February 6th, 2012
Project-Based Learning, Secondary Edition: Video for Feb 6
Our video this week features an outstanding project-based secondary science class. Our Featured Educator Melinda White helps her students create models of amino acids, but her students are the ones who choose which amino acid they want to make. After providing some whole-group instruction, the students get into groups and start to build their amino acids. During this portion of the lesson, Ms. White fills the role of guide and assistant, and lets the students drive their own projects.
When students are given this freedom, their investment in the project grows tremendously. I find the students' enthusiasm in their projects to be really inspiring. Clearly, choosing and building their own amino acid model is engaging them more than a standard lecture model of learning.
If you have any comments or questions about this video, please leave them below. Thanks!
February 10th, 2012
Project-Based Learning: More Thoughts
In this week's video, Featured Educator Melinda White helps her students complete models of amino acids as part of their chemistry curriculum. The students are thoroughly engaged in the work and drive their own projects, while Ms. White helps by making suggestions and asking questions.
If you're looking to know more about project-based learning (PBL), including how it can work for you in your classroom, here are a few more links you may find helpful. This article is an interview with a veteran high school math teacher who uses project-based learning in her math class. It's worth reading because I think most of us consider PBL as an approach to take with science, ELA, or social studies--but not typically math. And yet there's no better way to make math concepts relevant to your students.
The article links to the Buck Institute of Education's YouTube Channel, which houses some great PBL webinars. These are well worth your time if you're looking for some good, specific instruction on how to bring PBL into your classroom. Also, be sure to bookmark Michael Gorman's blog at 21stcenturyedtech.wordpress.com. This award-winning educator knows a lot, especially when it comes to technology and PBL!
I hope you find these links helpful. Check back here Monday, when I will post another great literacy strategies video.
February 8th, 2012
Project-Based Learning Resources for Secondary Ed
In this week's video, Featured Educator Melinda White helps her students construct amino acid molecules out of marshmallows and toothpicks. When you watch her classroom, you'll notice that the students are clearly in charge of their learning. They are engaged and enthusiastic, and not once does Ms. White have to remind them to stay on task!
Project-based learning is about turning over some of the control of the lesson to the students. This is a big shift for many educators, who are generally more comfortable in the role of "information dispenser." And yet, Melinda White's students and their enthusiasm provide a compelling reason to make this shift.
This thoughtful article talks about five ways to empower students, both in and out of the classroom. It speaks directly to the concept of shifting power within the classroom, to letting students take charge of their learning. And don't miss this video of five-year-olds immersed in project-based learning! It shows that students are never too young to get engaged in a good project.
Any comments or questions about project-based learning? Please leave them below. Thanks!
Blog Posts05/23/2013 - Working in PLCs to Develop Assessments
05/21/2013 - Connecting Effort and Achievement for Students
05/09/2013 - How to Create and Teach Math Tasks
05/06/2013 - Preparing Questions to Improve Learning and Thinking
04/30/2013 - The 15 Guiding Principles of Student-Centered Learning Communities
04/23/2013 - Focus, Alignment, and Feedback
04/16/2013 - Implementing the First Steps of Practical Lesson Study
04/01/2013 - Student Progress Reporting that Communicates Effectively