Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Project-Based Learning

Edutopia has recently come out with a great series of resources on Project-Based Learning.  In the first article, written by Bob Lenz, he talks about making Project-Based Learning easy.  You can read the full article by clicking HERE.  He understands that there is only so much time in a day, so he shares three principles for instruction:

  1. Academic Rigor -- Ask a Question
  2. Balanced Assessment -- Write an Essay with a Rubric
  3. Active Exploration and Adult Connections -- Conduct an Interview

The next resource is entitled: Core Strategy; Project-Based Learning.  Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying.  You can view the full resource by clicking HERE.  They project two videos:
  1. An Introduction to Project-Based Learning (three minutes)
  2. Project Based Learning: An Overview (nine minutes)

The next resource is an article written by the staff of Edutopia.  It is entitled--Why Teach with Project-Based Learning?:  Providing Students With a Well-Rounded Classroom Experience.  The major point of the article is that Project-based learning helps students apply what they learn to real-life experiences and provides an all-around enriching education.  You can read the short article by clicking HERE.

The next resource is blog posting from Suzie Boss.  It is entitled, Perfecting with Practice: Project-Based Teaching.  I think you will find the links within the article very helpful.  You can read the posting by clicking HERE.  She shares a few "gems":
  1. Get Minds Inquiring
  2. Lay a Foundation
  3. Look to the Discipline for Cues
  4. Develop Confidence
  5. Build Some Buzz
  6. Establish the Right Context

The final resource is a TED Talk.  John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board -- and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches -- spontaneous, and always surprising -- go further than classroom lectures can.  I think you will see that it could easily be adapted to fit the kinds of questions that come up in your classroom.  You can watch the 20-minute video by clicking HERE.

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