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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.

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:

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...

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

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...

Criteria for Effective Assessment in Project-Based Learning One of the greatest potentials for PBL is that it calls for authentic assessment. In a well-designed PBL project, the culminating product is presented publicly for a real audience. PBL is also standards-based pedagogy. Oftentimes when I consult and coach teachers in PBL, they ask about the assessment of standards. With the pressures of high stakes testing and traditional assessments, teachers and administrators need to make sure they accurately design projects that target the standards they need students to know and be able to do. In addition, teachers need to make sure they are continually assessing throughout a PBL project to ensure their students are getting the content knowledge and skills that they need to complete the project. When designing, use R.A.F.T. as a way to ensure an Authentic Culminating Product R.A.F.T is great teaching strategy that many teachers use in activity-based lessons and assignments. Target Select Power Standards We know that learning is not segmented.

PBL 10 Things in School That Should Be Obsolete Flickr: Corey Leopold By Greg Stack So much about how and where kids learn has changed over the years, but the physical structure of schools has not. Looking around most school facilities — even those that aren’t old and crumbling — it’s obvious that so much of it is obsolete today, and yet still in wide use. 1. At Northern Beaches Christian School students learn everywhere. 2. 3. 4. 5. Corridors at Machias Elementary are used for informal learning 6. 7. 8. Learner Centered Classroom at Riverview Elementary School. 9. 10. Greg Stack is an architect for NAC Architecture and specializes in developing best practices for the planning and design of educational environments.

What is PBL? To help teachers do PBL well, we created a comprehensive, research-based model for PBL — a "gold standard" to help teachers, schools, and organizations to measure, calibrate, and improve their practice. In Gold Standard PBL, projects are focused on student learning goals and include Essential Project Design Elements: