Six Steps for Planning a Successful Project Sure, King Middle School has some amazing projects, but the Portland school has been refining its expeditionary learning projects for nearly two decades. David Grant, who guides the school's technology integration and curriculum development, has put together a six-step rubric for designing a project. He says Fading Footprints, which became a model for King and Expeditionary Learning Schools, doesn't take an entire school, or even a team of twelve, to plan and carry out; one or two teachers can tailor this one to fit their time and resources. Six Steps to Planning a Project The Fading Footsteps project is a twelve-week interdisciplinary ecology unit centered around the guiding question: How does diversity strengthen an ecosystem? Using this project as an example, see how King Middle School creates an action plan around each step. How they do it: The 1-to-1 laptop program was a bonus when it came to creating a comprehensive final product. Step 5: Coordinate calendars.
10 iPad Apps for Web Curation Curation vs. Aggregation? Curation is such a necessity these days. The overwhelming wave of information we are exposed to is drowning us in facts and opinion. I tend to use more than one of these and in fact there are days that I would use three or four. Pearltrees: FREE Pearltrees is a place to collect, organize, discover everything you like on the web. Flipboard: FREE Flipboard creates a personalized magazine out of everything being shared with you, from Instagram photos and Facebook updates to Tumblr posts and articles from your favorite publications. Zite: FREE Zite is a free personalized magazine for your iPad that automatically learns what you like and gets smarter every time you use it. Scoop.it: FREE Scoop.it lets you easily publish online magazines by curating content on your favorite topic.
How to Refine Driving Questions for Effective Project-Based Learning In my last blog about driving questions, we reviewed the purpose of the driving question as well as some tools to help you refine your driving questions. In addition, some sample, poorly written driving questions were given to have you practice. We will review them at the end of the blog and look for some exemplars from all of you. There are many types of driving questions, but I like to break them down into three types. Philosophical or Debatable: These types of questions are honestly debatable questions that have complex possible answers. Product-Oriented: How do we create ______ to ______? Role-Oriented: Students love to take on roles and pretend to be things they are not, even high school students. I've had teachers ask, "What is the difference between essential questions (à la Understanding By Design) and driving questions?" We spend time crafting and refining driving questions for the student. One last point, be culturally responsive. Rewriting Last Week's Poorly Written Questions
10 Apps For More Organized Project-Based Learning Project-Based Learning, by definition, is flexible. It encourages learner-centeredness, provides the possibility of more authentic work, and allows learners to self-manage and self-direct in places they used to have their hands held. But this has its drawbacks. Learning is a capacity-building endeavor that seeks to, well, build capacity will ironically depending on that same capacity to progress, There are a variety of ways to support students in project-based learning, including organized digital learning spaces that support creative thinking, collaboration, and ultimately project management. 1. Platform: iOS How It Can Help: Pure overkill for most classrooms, but if an extremely powerful productivity and project management is what you need and you’ve got a $50 iTunes card burning a hole in your pocket, this could be just what the doctor ordered. 2. Platform: iOS 3. Platform: Android & iOS How It Can Help: 4. Platform: iOS 5. Platform: Android & iOS 6. Platform: Android & iOS 7. 8. 9. 10.
Problem Based Learning Activities Constitution Day projects & Essays resources es/ms/hs Actively seek out alternative information ADA - assessment and action project Alternative Energy Sources and Conservation Attendance Improvement Campaign Benjamin Franklin Extraordinary Biodiversity Exploration Investigation ms/hs Birds - examine status of local species Bird Species List for FeederWatch - make one Biomes - learn about biomes as you select a new home Bloggez- vous? Bonus Army treatment and veterans today Bridges or earmarks what is the national priority? Cars - Event recording device - privacy, safety & justice Charity begins at Home Civil Rights - What are yours? Clean Coal Technology fact or fiction Club or School Presentation Project Collaboration Online and Social Networking - Web 2.0 Collaboration online and Social Networking - using it to do work Colonial American PowerPoint project ppt download Community's History through its names Community Green Infrastructure Project Competition of Birds on Wade Island - updated 3/2013
Reframing and Refining the Worksheet Worksheets matter! I know we hear a lot of talking points that tell us to get rid of them, but I think it's much more complicated than that. That call for "no more worksheets" comes from a place where that is all there is. By that I mean classrooms where students do nothing but worksheets. Often these worksheets are de-contextualized from relevant work, and this is where there's an opportunity to reframe and refine the traditional worksheet. There is a time and place for drill and practice or individual practice -- even in a PBL project. A recent visit to a PBL school jumpstarted my brain on this issue. Worksheets That Model a Career Tool Students consistently worked on a piece of paper shown below. As we design worksheets, let's consider making them look like the real-world work that students are doing -- or could be doing. Worksheet used at ACE Leadership Academy Credit: Andrew Miller Other Tips for Worksheets Include the Driving Question Where Students Can See It Rubric and Reflection
Apps in Education Scaffolding for Success by Jamie McKenzie about the author This article is an excerpt from Jamie McKenzie's new book, Beyond Technology: Questioning, Research and the Information Literate School Community due in January. (click to learn more) Chapter 19 - Scaffolding for Success Some (but not all) schools and teachers have been trying for decades to engage students in challenging research projects. The best of all of these efforts always made significant use of scaffolding to organize and support the student investigation or inquiry, to keep students from straying too far off the path while seeking "the truth" about whatever issue, problem or question was driving the project. The least successful efforts assumed too much about student skills, organizational abilities and commitment. We should have learned by now that exploration by students progresses most effectively when those students have been well equipped, well prepared and well guided along the path. Matters of Definition "Structure" is the key word.
10 Practical Ideas For Better Project-Based Learning In Your Classroom By Jennifer Rita Nichols, TeachThought Intern Teachers are incorporating more and more projects into their curriculum, allowing for much greater levels of collaboration and responsibility for students at all levels. Project- based learning is a popular trend, and even teachers who don’t necessarily follow that approach still see the benefit to using projects to advance their students’ learning. Projects can be wonderful teaching tools. They can allow for a more student-centred environment, where teachers can guide students in their learning instead of using lectures to provide them with information. The increase in classroom technology also makes projects more accessible to students. Despite general agreement about the benefits of using projects and project-based learning in general, it must be noted that all projects are not created equal! This may happen fairly often because teachers are wary about being able to assign grades to the final assignments handed in to them by students.
21st-Century Projects Inspire Global Citizenship Plus Creativity Reforestation plan that was researched in a New York classroom led to 999 trees planted in Cormier, Haiti. Photo credit: Naima Penniman This is the second in a special Edutopia blog series about developing 21st century skills through project-based learning. In the first post, "Yes, You Can Teach and Assess Creativity!", blogger Andrew Miller offered classroom strategies to encourage creative thinking. This post takes a look at a real-world project that has inspired students to think more creatively about their role as global citizens. When Tech Valley High School opened its doors in 2007 in Rensselaer, New York, it offered students from across the state's Capital Region a chance to experience a different kind of public education. Those components recently came together in a project that took Tech Valley students to a rural village in Haiti, where they learned firsthand what it means to be creative -- and caring -- 21st century citizens. The Backstory A Project Takes Shape