Samantha's Mini-Course: Project-Based Learning
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How can we get students to gain a deeper understanding of class material and show us they understand?
In today’s classroom it seems and research has agreed that students learn best being hands-on in the classroom. As time goes on, the traditional structure of a classroom should be changing to foster additional ways in which students show their understanding of the content. In a project based learning classroom the teacher gives the students a “whole” concept and they must work together to find the “parts” of the content and bring it back together. The students are given resources, technology, support, and students must research concepts and apply them to their learning. Students are involved in multidisciplinary assignments and the classroom is centered on them, not the teacher.
A project based environment gives way for a classroom filled with student opportunities that help students gain better problem solving techniques, connecting and addressing real life issues, is facilitated by the teacher, and lets students take control of how and the best way of learning the instruction. Project based learning has been found to motivate students, encourage a deeper way of thinking and promote collaboration between students and teacher.
Project based learning is also very beneficial when students are able to create their own rubric for their projects. Creating a rubric decreases student confusion of what is expected and a clearer picture on what they are responsible for in their learning.
Now it's time to synthesize project based learning in your content area
Project Based Lesson Planner: (copy the following planning method into a word document and fill out)
Content/problem/ask a question: Start with finding a good driving question, specific content knowledge, or a real issue that connects to the students. Think of the topic and its content- what do you want students to learn about the content? How can they prove they have developed an understanding by showing you their project?
Research: is there an ample amount of information available for your students?
Project Plan: How can a group of students show you they understand the information? What types of projects allow you to see their comprehension? (i.e. The issue/content is world hunger, students conduct a food drive for local food pantries, students attend a town hall meeting and make a speech, students research world hunger and come up with new ways in which to fight it, etc.)
Content Standards & Objectives: Identify the objectives explicitly taught or learned through discovery within this project design; identify the learning targets and the evidence of student mastery for each learning target within each objective. Be sure the project meets the criteria for standards-focused PBL.
21st Century Skills: Identify the Learning Skills and Technology Tools Standards that students will practice in this project.
Assessment Plan: Define independently or with your class the products and artifacts for the project. Be sure to include a variety of assessments for learning that are closely tied to the content, learning skills and technology tools outcomes. The products and criteria must align with the objectives and outcomes for the project. State the criteria for exemplary performance for each product.
Project Evaluation: How will you and your students reflect on and evaluate the project?
- Please fill out the KWL with your knowledge of project based learning
After your KWL is complete please answer the following questions by clicking on the link: http://padlet.com/wall/9cb21b5g9m
- Do you think project based learning is beneficial to students and their teachers?
- Is there anything you wanted to learn that wasn't covered?
- Overall course feedback