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Ten Things I've Learned in Going Project-Based

Ten Things I've Learned in Going Project-Based
It's a few days before Christmas and I expect a challenge. Students will be checked-out or hyper. However, to my surprise, they are fully engaged in a project that combines reading, writing, global awareness and critical thinking. I've mentioned before that this year has been challenging. However, I am realizing that my students excel when I approach a subject with a project-based framework. Here are some things I've learned over the last few years as I've transitioned toward a more project-based approach: Students need to be a part of the planning process. Related:  Project Based LearningPBL and Global Inquiry

How to Reinvent Project Based Learning to Be More Meaningful By Thom Markham This is a crucial time for education. Every system in every country is in the process of figuring out how to reboot education to teach skills, application, and attitude in addition to recall and understanding. Helping students be able to grapple with increased problem solving and inquiry, be better critical and creative thinkers, show greater independence and engagement, and exhibit skills as presenters and collaborators is the challenge of the moment. That’s why so many educators are using the project based learning (PBL) model. However, it’s also time to reboot PBL. If PBL is to become a powerful, accepted model of instruction in the future, a vocabulary change may be in order — preferably to the term project based inquiry. 1. Infusing inquiry into the curriculum is the goal, so that instruction starts with questions rather than broadcasting content. First, think skills. Think strategically. Use PBL for entrepreneurial inquiry. Differentiate subjects. 2. 3. Reflect. 4.

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 6 Great Videos on Teaching Critical Thinking Critical thinking is a skill that we can teach to our students through exercise and practice. It is particularly a skill that contains a plethora of other skills inside it. Critical thinking in its basic definition refers" to a diverse range of intellectual skills and activities concerned with evaluating information as well as evaluating our thought in a disciplined way ". All of our students think in a way or another but the question is , do they really think critically ? are they able to evaluate the information they come across ? Critical thinking is part and parcel of what is called critical theory and hence critical literacy. 1- A Quick Guide to 21st Century Critical Thinking Skills for Teachers2- What Does Critical Thinking Mean in Education3- Great Critical Thinking Poster for your Class4- 7 Great iPad Apps to Improve Kids Critical Thinking5- A Clever Tip to Easily Develop Students Critical Thinking What we have for you today is a great series of videos on critical thinking.

The Difference Between Doing Projects Versus Learning Through Projects The Difference Between Doing Projects Versus Learning Through Projects by Terry Heick We’ve clarified the difference between projects and project-based learning before. Projects are about the product, while project-based learning is about the process. Projects are generally teacher-directed, universal, and tangent to the learning, while project-based learning is student-centered, personal, and the learning pathway itself. Paul Curtis recently shared this excellent visual on twitter that takes a different approach to clarifying the difference, looking at it from the perspective of curriculum planning and instructional design. Note that this is only one approach. Thoughts, comments, or related resources in the comments below. The Difference Between Doing Projects Versus Learning Through Projects

Deeper Learning: Performance Assessment and Authentic Audience In a conversation with a veteran educator -- a man with years of experience teaching English and acting as a headmaster -- I was confronted with a prejudice so ingrained in my teaching that I was almost embarrassed to admit it. He said, "You know, when I ask a student to write a paper and turn it in to me, that's ridiculous; I'm the worst audience they could have." I was intrigued. He went on, "Who am I to assume that someone will want to write their best work, something truly personal and creative, for me? That hit me like a rolled-up newspaper. As I absorbed this veteran educator’s words, I realized that not only was I wrong in my assumption that I (or any teacher) is a meanigful audience, but also that my assumptions about how grading and assessment work were so far removed from modern research that I might as well have been a 21st-century doctor treating humours. Fortunately, there are many approaches we can take within our own classrooms to change this situation. This matters. 1. 2.

PBL Course Development: Collaboration Among Colleagues Author Jayesh Rao collaborates with his AP Biology design team. Photo credit: Bill Palmer At Sammamish High School, we're developing and implementing a comprehensive problem-based learning program for all of our students. Working closely with my peers during this process has become one of the highlights of my career as an educator. Stamina and Momentum Last year, my first experience with a PBL collaborative group was working with six teachers on an integrated biology/chemistry course. This came at a price, however. Attachment and Agreement Another interesting thing about last year's collaboration was the fact that the design group had been formed the previous year (2010-11). But that's the thing about collaboration -- you are never in a place where your ideas are the only ones, so you must be able to contribute without being too attached to the outcome. Little and Big Pictures This year I am a part of a new design team for AP biology.

20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers 20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers by Miriam Clifford This post has been updated from a 2011 post. There is an age old adage that says “two heads are better than one”. Yes, those two were of course Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the founders of Microsoft. Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information for longer times than students working individually. Groups tend to learn through “discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of other’s ideas.” Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information for longer times than students working individually. Many consider Vygotsky the father of “social learning”. What are some ways to include best practices for collaborative learning in our classroom? 1. Effective collaborative learning involves establishment of group goals, as well as individual accountability. 2. 3. 4. Successful interpersonal communication must exist in teams. 5. 6.

Project-Based Learning from Start to Finish via Edutopia For this installment of Schools That Work, we chose Manor New Technology High School, a public high school that is part of the New Tech Network of schools. Located just outside of Austin in Manor, Texas, it is an entirely project-based learning school that has consistently achieved outstanding results since opening. We followed a project there for three weeks to find out what makes their model so effective. By Mariko Nobori There is a small town, about 12 miles east of Austin, Texas, where a high school devoted to teaching every subject to every student through project-based learning (PBL) opened five years ago. Related What Makes Project-Based Learning a Success? At one high school in Texas, where every class in every grade is project based, the answer is devotion to a consistent process, belief in relationships, and commitment to relevance… Similar post Apps for Learning Series Gets Interactive In "Collaboration Fluency"

Questioning – Top Ten Strategies “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein Questioning is the very cornerstone of philosophy and education, ever since Socrates ( in our Western tradition) decided to annoy pretty much everyone by critiquing and harrying people with questions – it has been central to our development of thinking and our capacity to learn. Most research indicates that as much as 80% of classroom questioning is based on low order, factual recall questions. Effective questioning is key because it makes the thinking visible: it identifies prior knowledge; reasoning ability and the specific degree of student understanding – therefore it is the ultimate guide for formative progress. 1. 2. Taken from ‘Mock the Week’, this simple little technique sparks the inquisitiveness within students – just by quickly reversing the standard question and answer dichotomy it can deepen their thinking. 3. 4. 5. Q1. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Added Extras:

What Project-Based Learning Is — and What It Isn’t Screenshot/High Tech High The term “project-based learning” gets tossed around a lot in discussions about how to connect students to what they’re learning. Teachers might add projects meant to illustrate what students have learned, but may not realize what they’re doing is actually called “project-oriented learning.” And it’s quite different from project-based learning, according to eighth grade Humanities teacher Azul Terronez. Terronez, who teaches at High Tech Middle, a public charter school in San Diego, Calif says that when an educator teaches a unit of study, then assigns a project, that is not project-based learning because the discovery didn’t arise from the project itself. “If you inspire them to care about it and draw parallels with their world, then they care and remember.” For Terronez, the goal is to always connect classroom learning to its applications in the outside world. When Terronez assigns a writing project, it’s rarely just for a grade. Related

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