Building Rigorous Projects That Are Core to Learning (Keys to PBL Series Part 2) Steven: A lot of people think that Project Based Learning is fluff. So what we did, instead of having a three-column rubric that has "Unsatisfactory, Proficient and Advanced," we added a fourth column. It is the "Standards," what has to be taught. Peggy: Students are going to address the content that they need to learn through this PBL approach. Lisa: I start with the standards in mind. Steven: Our students still take assessments, district assessments, and benchmarks. Peggy: There's really two main reasons that a teacher should use a PBL approach. Steven: It's a shift in the delivery of instruction. Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1) Peggy: Usually by starting with an authentic problem in the community, or in the neighborhood, you anchor the unit with a driving question. So students are given this question, for example, "What's in our water? And how did it get there?" And then the students choose different paths to explore that question. Sheela: Start to examine what's happening in your local community. Lisa: It's knowing people. Sheela: We find that the best way is to take the kids out into the community. Peggy: Once you're aware of this type of approach to teaching, it's like you have little antenna out.
Classroom Guide: Top Ten Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning (now available in Spanish!) Facebook Edutopia on Facebook Twitter Edutopia on Twitter Google+ Pinterest Edutopia on Pinterest WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation What's Inside the PDF? Keep It Real with Authentic Products Don’t Overlook Soft Skills Learn from Big Thinkers Use Formative Strategies to Keep Projects on Track Gather Feedback -- Fast Focus on Teamwork Track Progress with Digital Tools Grow Your Audience Do-It-Yourself Professional Development Assess Better Together BONUS TIP: How to Assemble Your PBL Tool Kit How a TEDx Mission Makes Learning Relevant To Students’ Lives How a TEDx Mission Connects Students to Real-World Goals (Transcript) Cameron Brown: All right, your thirty seconds begins right now. Student: Let’s confess the U.S. is a mess. We are a mess. Student: Our TED Talk is about the fact that our country needs to step up their game and improve themselves. Cameron Brown: One of the great things about using missions to teach is that students really get hooked right from the start, something that we try to make really relatable to them. Student: I think really the nice part about this was we were only given a general subject. Cameron Brown: To me, my favorite part about the Quest model is that it’s so grounded in skills and real-world topics that students are interested in. One of the unique aspects of hosting this TEDx event is that the students, they really take ownership of it. The presentations are gonna start in a couple minutes from now, all right? Within this model as a teacher it challenges you to be a learner as well. [ laughter ]
PBL Research Review (Edutopia) Editor's Note: This article was originally written by Vanessa Vega, with subsequent updates made by the Edutopia staff. Studies have proven that when implemented well, project-based learning (PBL) can increase retention of content and improve students' attitudes towards learning, among other benefits. Edutopia's PBL research review explores the vast body of research on the topic and helps make sense of the results. In this series of five articles, learn how researchers define project-based learning, review some of the possible learning outcomes, get our recommendations of evidence-based components for successful PBL, learn about best practices across disciplines, find tips for avoiding pitfalls when implementing PBL programs, and dig in to a comprehensive annotated bibliography with links to all the studies and reports cited in these pages. What is Project-Based Learning? Learning Outcomes Keys to Project-Based Learning Success
Those Boom-Whacking Blues - National Association for Music Education (NAfME) By NAfME Member Joann Benson Ah . . . It’s May. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and the kids are coloring in LOTS and LOTS of little bubbles . . . what to do to catch their attention in music class? I have just the thing; teach them a 12 bar blues pattern using Boomwhackers!!! There is something so, so satisfying about bonking a tube and creating music. I’ve done this with fourth graders, but fifth and third could definitely benefit with a little tweaking. We begin by reviewing the C major scale, often times playing the “Whacky Do-Re-Mi” from Plank Road publishing. Next, I have the children identify the pitch names of the notes involved in each chords, identifying those lucky boomers who play in more than one chord. Or The “Amen Cadence” of IV……………..I Now, for the really fun part . . . The kids practice it a few times and then – VOILA! For an extra challenge, I put an interlude between each verse. About the Author:
A Project-Based Learning Cheat Sheet For Authentic Learning A Project-Based Learning Cheat Sheet by TeachThought Staff Like most buzzwords in education, “authenticity” isn’t a new idea. For decades, teachers have sought to make student learning “authentic” by looking to the “real world”–the challenges, technology, and communities that students care about and connect with daily. We’re going to take a closer look at progressive approaches to teacher planning whenever Terry Heick can be convinced to finish that series. The function of this image is to act as a kind of brainstorm–to help you get your own creative juices going to decide what’s most important when designing an authentic project-based learning unit–audiences, technology, habits, purposes, and so on. You obviously don’t even have to use these categories; they are just a sampling of the kinds of thinking that can help you make the shift from academic to authentic learning. 3 Questions To Guide Authentic Project-Based Learning What role is the learner taking on?
Socrates Knew A Thing Or Two About Training Minds: Questioning As The Engine Of Training - eLearning Industry Socrates knew that without their participation his students would never be complicit in the ideas they discussed, and therefore would not feel they had a voice in their own development as a thinker. And he knew that it is best to examine ideas in a group. In other words, his sessions were not instructor-led; not didactic. They were a group endeavor focused on the interrogation of a thesis –or hypothesis– until the thesis was either adapted or abandoned. The best way to identify and solve a problem is by using our natural curiosity.Only when an answer is followed by yet another question does learning proceed. Here is my attempt to restore questioning to its rightful place; as the engine of training and learning. My Reasoning The vast majority of answers, which we readily give to our students beginning in school and extending into the workplace, are of course facts. Boeing has thousands of engineers who know the objective facts of their profession. The same is true in your industry.
Integrated PBL Projects: A Full-Course Meal! In the project-based learning field, we use the metaphor that projects are the "main course, not the dessert" (as coined in an article from the Buck Institute for Education). Projects are intended to create the need-to-know content and skills, and the opportunity for students to learn them in an authentic context. When teachers first design PBL projects, they are often limited. In fact, I recommend that. Teachers develop PBL curriculum for the coming year. Photo Credit: Andrew Miller Use a Variety of Planning Strategies I wrote about many of these strategies in a previous blog post. Larger Part of the Meal Not all integrated projects are equal when it comes to the disciplines. Many "Courses" in the Project Sometimes, all components of the project can happen at the same time, where the meal includes not only what could be the larger part or "meat" of the project, but also the sides.
How schools fuel female STEM participation Adding project-based learning and mentoring opportunities to STEM programs may better ensure that female students do not get left behind. In the United States, women hold fewer than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields, despite accounting for 47 percent of the workforce, according to the nonprofit Million Women Mentors. “It’s really important for us to continue to encourage young girls and women in STEM fields, and the words and actions of administrators really matter,” says Melissa Moritz, deputy director of STEM initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education. “Never underestimate the power you have to encourage more girls to pursue their dreams, which for many could be in a STEM field.” To close the gender gap, administrators can have females working in STEM fields regularly visit classrooms and host students at their workplace, says Talmesha Richards, chief academic and diversity officer at Million Women Mentors, which aims to get more females to pursue STEM careers.
30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning 30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning Project-based learning is a matter of identifying needs and opportunities (using an app like flipboard), gathering potential resources (using an app like pinterest), collecting notes and artifacts (with an app like Evernote), concept-mapping potential scale or angles for the project (using an app like simplemind), assigning roles (with an appp like Trello), scheduling deadlines (with apps like Google Calendar), and sharing it all (with apps like OneDrive or Google Drive). With that in mind, below are 30 of the best apps for getting this kind of work done in the classroom, with an emphasis on group project-based learning apps for both Android and iPad (and even a few for plain old browsers). 30 Of The Best Apps For Group Project-Based Learning
How can schools better engage girls in STEM? Dive Brief: Talmesha Richards from Million Women Mentors and Melissa Moritz, deputy director of STEM initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education, recommend schools engage girls in STEM subjects at a young age. Schools can invite professional women who work in STEM fields to classrooms for regular visits, as well as bringing students on field trips to STEM workplaces in order to spark interest and foster awareness. Real-life connection and real-world experiences are crucial, the experts say, and suggestions for increasing engagement include challenging sexist media portrayals of which people work in STEM jobs, experimenting with innovative classroom instruction, incorporating mentorship and starting STEM exposure in pre-K. Dive Insight: There's been great news related to girls' performance in STEM subjects recently, with National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results on literacy in engineering and technology showing for the first time girls now lead the way.
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. 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. Students do not need to be compared against each other, but to the standards they need to achieve for their level. Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration.
Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves Editor's Note: This piece was adapted from Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners: Strategies to Help Students Thrive in School and Beyond by Larry Ferlazzo, available March 21, 2015 from Routledge. My previous post reviewed research on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and described the four qualities that have been identified as critical to helping students motivate themselves: autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance. In this post, I'll discuss practical classroom strategies to reinforce each of these four qualities. Autonomy Providing students with freedom of choice is one strategy for promoting learner autonomy. Some researchers, however, believe that a third option, cognitive choice, is a more effective way to promote longer-lasting student autonomy. Competence Feedback, done well, is ranked by education researcher John Hattie as number 10 out of 150 influences on student achievement. But how do you handle providing critical feedback to students when it's necessary?