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Robert I think you have a

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Robert I think you have a great point. Students need to discuss this in advance and the article offers a great explanation of the differing values gained.

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

Larry Ferlazzo gathered some

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Larry Ferlazzo gathered some great input on this topic- check out his Storify!

http://storify.com/larryferlazzo/the-best-advice-for-project-based-learn...

Jean made an excellent point

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Jean made an excellent point about the transparency of authenticity for students. I think students should be made aware what differences they may experience between their classroom based project and future projects outside the classroom. Experiences outside the classroom for students who are in a PBL activity may be quite different than for ordinary citizens as people may be more generous and understanding when dealing with a group of students. Even if a project is "fully authentic" it may good to have a discussion with the students at the end of the project to highlight the different experiences they might expect if they took on the same initiatives as an employee or a member of a community rather than as a student.

Elementary Teacher

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The sliding scale of authenticity for projects is an interesting way to look at PBL. Understanding the scale, which goes from "not authentic" to "somewhat authentic" to "fully authentic" gives me a new way to think about how to correctly implement PBL ideas within my classroom. Also, reading the "four ways" to create authentic project based learning in the classroom is a great way get some ideas flowing. Fully authentic project based learning opportunities are vital ways to make students feel they have a voice in the world, all while allowing them to participate in meaningful learning.

Not just the audience but the how of thinking.

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Nice article.
Your second example, making a calendar, might be authentic or not, depending on how deeply students must think about the information they present.
We find in our Windows on History program (students produce local history websites EmergingAmerica.org) that publishing alone isn't enough. Students must learn to analyze primary sources, placing them in context and corroborating with other sources. Otherwise they may publish sloppy thinking or incorrect information.

President, NJ Association for Middle Level Education

PBL encouragement

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I love that you end with a few words of encouragement! It is important to keep the ultimate goal of authenticity in mind, but don't throw out a great project if it does not rise to 100%. PBLs take a lot of upfront work. Summertime is a great time to get a head start. I have some hints for getting your materials organized in my blog at http://bit.ly/MvKmCQ.

The truth is that I have

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The truth is that I have always been a little hesitant to undertake projects in the classroom because I have seen so many that do not have any real educational value. However, this year I watched a colleague have HUGE success in the classroom doing projects, and I really want to learn more about doing "authentic" projects. I thought about it a lot, but I was having a lot of problems coming up with ideas. Thankfully, after reading this article, I have a ton of great ideas. Thanks so much!

Excellent Topic for a Professional Development Meeting

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Educators--novice to expert--would highly benefit from this information. It supports differentiation instruction that essentially highlights a goal identified in mission statements. This information would be a hot topic in professional learning communities where teachers of all levels contribute ideas, resources, and experiences specific to their discipline. I love the rubric approach to assessing authenticity. Students, too, will benefit by understanding authenticity ranges/levels.

High School Science Teacher

Reaching for the PBL Promised Land

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I teach physical science and physics at a high school in Illinois. I have implemented science curriculum initiatives that are interdisciplinary and project-based. It is essential that these projects provide value in the minds of the students. This effort directly reflects the relevance issue that is being presented in this article by John Larmar.

Intrinsic motivation to learn by students is the most important factor that needs to be considered when providing relevancy in the classroom. One of the most important influences that spurs student success of project-based learning is multiple opportunities for feedback from peers, teachers and stakeholders within the community.

For years I have tailored curriculum initiatives in science that optimize these important aspects of project-based learning and lead to increased student academic achievement in the classroom.

high school science teacher in Augusta GA

a new script

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More and more we are being herded toward scripted learning. I can handle Common Core ideals, but am frustrated with being told 'this nine weeks you will teach x,y,z" and you are supposed to spend 4 days on this, 5 days on that, etc. It is as constrictive as a straight jacket. No matter how much I wiggle, I can't break free.

PBL sounds fantastic, but justifying that much time on a project doesn't seem to fit with the latest demands on our teaching.

Would love to hear from teachers who have had success with scripted teaching and PBL.

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