background preloader

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.

Blogs as Showcase Portfolios I am a huge advocate of blogs as ongoing, reflective portfolios of student work. After using them with students for the last six years in a variety of formats in three different schools, in my opinion, they are the perfect container for sharing, organizing and reflecting on student learning. For starters, they are so amazingly easy to use. I’ve used blogs with students as young as third grade and it really only takes one lesson for them to understand the basics. In addition to the ease of use, the accessibility of connecting with other learners around the world, since work is online and easy to comment on, makes blogs a straightforward tool for building a global classroom. So I was very happy that YIS had an existing blogging portal, The Learning Hub, (set up by Colin and Brian last year) when I arrived last August. Basically, all I would like students to do is reflect on their goals for the year and share pieces of work that are important to them. Showcase Portfolio Include:

Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques Many students are being left behind by an educational system that some people believe is in crisis. Improving educational outcomes will require efforts on many fronts, but a central premise of this monograph is that one part of a solution involves helping students to better regulate their learning through the use of effective learning techniques. Fortunately, cognitive and educational psychologists have been developing and evaluating easy-to-use learning techniques that could help students achieve their learning goals. In this monograph, we discuss 10 learning techniques in detail and offer recommendations about their relative utility. To offer recommendations about the relative utility of these techniques, we evaluated whether their benefits generalize across four categories of variables: learning conditions, student characteristics, materials, and criterion tasks. We attempted to provide thorough reviews for each technique, so this monograph is rather lengthy.

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. Indeed, it is so integral to all that we do that it is often overlooked when developing pedagogy – but it as crucial to teaching as air is to breathing. We must ask: do we need to give questioning the thought and planning time something so essential to learning obviously deserves? Do we need to consciously teach students to ask good questions and not just answer them? Most research indicates that as much as 80% of classroom questioning is based on low order, factual recall questions. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Q1. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Added Extras: Like this: Like Loading...

Time to Break the Ice « The Art of Forgetting Tomorrow is the first day of school. As Shakespeare has so eloquently put it there will be “the whining schoolboy with his satchel/and shining morning face, creeping like snail/unwillingly to school.” (Not much has changed in 450 years.) I have had a few students and teachers tell me they aren’t ready to go back quite yet. The first day can be a bit awkward. So in honor of educators everywhere looking to start the year off right, here are some interesting and unique ice breakers you can use in class this week (or in the weeks to come if you’re not starting school quite yet): Octopus Pyramid BuildBuilds: Communication Skills, TeamworkSupplies: String, Rubber Bands, 10 Solo cups per groupThe How: To play, you’ll need to make ‘the octopus’ first. cut six to eight strand of string that are about 6″ each and tie them to a rubber band in a circle. I hope you can find one of these useful. Like this: Like Loading...

Progressive Education Spring 2008 Progressive Education Why It’s Hard to Beat, But Also Hard to Find By Alfie Kohn RELATED PUBLICATIONS: * "What to Look for in a Classroom" (table) * "A Dozen Basic Guidelines for Educators" (list) If progressive education doesn’t lend itself to a single fixed definition, that seems fitting in light of its reputation for resisting conformity and standardization. Talk to enough progressive educators, in fact, and you’ll begin to notice certain paradoxes: Some people focus on the unique needs of individual students, while others invoke the importance of a community of learners; some describe learning as a process, more journey than destination, while others believe that tasks should result in authentic products that can be shared.[1] What It Is Despite such variations, there are enough elements on which most of us can agree so that a common core of progressive education emerges, however hazily. It’s not all or nothing, to be sure. What It Isn’t Why It Makes Sense Why It’s Rare 1. 2. 3.

Why English teachers should care about project-based learning: multiliteracies, assessment for learning and digital technologies. | There is impetus for pedagogical change in the English classroom. Bull and Anstey (2010, p.6) observed that, ‘literacy teaching and learning should respond to the rapid changes in literacy arising from increasing globalization, technology and social diversity.’ This transforming social, cultural and technological landscape necessarily brings with it a new set of opportunities and challenges for secondary English teachers. This study is designed to answer three questions: How are digital technologies used when project-based learning is introduced into the Australian secondary English classroom? The researcher is a practicing educator and this study draws on broader learning theories of constructivism, engagement, assessment and literacy. Founded in Constructivist theory, project-based learning (PBL) “involves completing complex tasks that typically result in a realistic product, event or presentation to an audience” (Barron and Darling-Hammond, 2008, p. 2). Figure 1 Data Collection Figure 2

The Myth About Homework Sachem was the last straw. Or was it Kiva? My 12-year-old daughter and I had been drilling social-studies key words for more than an hour. It was 11 p.m. Our entire evening had, as usual, consisted of homework and conversations (a.k.a. nagging) about homework. As the summer winds down, I'm dreading scenes like that one from seventh grade. Subscribe Now Get TIME the way you want it One Week Digital Pass — $4.99 Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS — $2.99 One Year ALL ACCESS — Just $30! Don’t do inquiry No, I’m not trying reverse psychology here. I really don’t want you to do inquiry in your classroom. Seriously. 10. 9. You’ll get no argument from me here. 8. Then again, they just might… Billy’s in the back of the room on the brink of drowning in his own drool puddle. 7. Neither is America. 6. Drill and kill, worksheets, videos on Friday, giving the same lecture every year, textbooks, pacing guides, etc. are all much easier to do. 5. You’ve got me there! 4. Maybe that says more about college than it does about kids and how they learn? 3. Nope. 2. Can you lose something you never really had in the first place? 1. Neither is work… I must not be doing it right, then. Do inquiry because you want to love teaching. Don’t do it because somebody with a blog said to. Note: this was previously published on my other blog – Wisdom Begins with Wonder Like this: Like Loading...

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - Anu Partanen The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence. Sergey Ivanov/Flickr Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West's reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point. The small Nordic country of Finland used to be known -- if it was known for anything at all -- as the home of Nokia, the mobile phone giant. Finland's schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And yet it wasn't clear that Sahlberg's message was actually getting through. Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. Herein lay the real shocker.