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Summer Planning for PBL

Edutopia – Andrew Miller

“It’s summer, which is a time for those of us who have a summer holiday to take care of ourselves. But if you do have some energy to reflect on a project-based learning (PBL) project or to do some planning, here are some manageable ideas to consider for revising what you’ve done in the past without creating too much new work.” (more)

Starting Small With PBL

Edutopia – Lesley Bright

“This year I embarked on an adventure: implementing project-based learning (PBL) during a middle school chemistry unit. It was intimidating at first, but I my experience convinced me that PBL can be successfully implemented in nearly any classroom. My eighth grade class designed a chemistry museum—a series of displays that demonstrated what they had learned. They created a human timeline, dressing up as figures from the history of chemistry; built models of atoms and created demonstrations of reactions; and even produced a periodic table made entirely of cupcakes. On the day of the museum, they acted as tour guides for other classes, taking their peers through the displays and explaining the chemistry.” (more)

3 strategies to keep students engaged in STEM

E-School News – George Hademenos

“STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is more than just an acronym or a collection of letters. Rather, it is an instructional movement that embodies cross-curricular concepts from four fundamental disciplines, as well as a research-based strategy that addresses the future needs of a technology-driven work force and sustaining a global economy. The importance of STEM is further validated by its prominence in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).” (more)

A Place-Based Approach to PBL

Edutopia – Suzie Boss

“Connecting students with issues, experts, and allies right in their own backyard is a surefire strategy to make project-based learning (PBL) more accessible and immediate. Students can meet academic goals by doing things like investigating access to neighborhood parks, mapping local food deserts, or telling the stories of people who help to give a place its identity. They become more engaged citizens who understand “how everyone and everything in a community is interconnected,” according to educator and author Sarah Anderson.” (more)

Bringing Social Studies to Life with PBL

Edutopia – Judy Sandler

“This generation of students presents a unique challenge to educators: How can schools continue to engage and teach children who have access to so much knowledge at their fingertips? How can we join school programs and curriculum with student interests and passions when much of their learning is occurring outside the walls of the classroom? The answer is complicated, but for me it lies in the relationship among student agency, project-based learning (PBL), and the power of student voice and choice in their learning.” (more)

Standards-Based Assessment in PBL

Edutopia – Matt Weyers

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 10-year teaching career, it’s that designing valid and reliable assessments in a project-based learning classroom is a time-consuming process—at least it is for me. Like most teachers, I want to engage my students in dynamic, real-world learning experiences that require authentic knowledge application. Unfortunately, I discovered quickly that aligning the type of learning experiences I desired with the standards-based grading practices required by my district required significant changes in my practice.” (more)