Comments (86)

Comment RSS
K-4 Technology Facilitator from Northfield, New Jersey

Hi Jane, I am a technology

Was this helpful?
+1

Hi Jane, I am a technology teacher as well and am intrigued by your lesson. Can you send me more information? My email is kjarrett@ncs-nj.org and I am @kjarrett on Twitter. Thanks in advance!

Computer Technology Teacher

I'm happy to report that my

Was this helpful?
0

I'm happy to report that my other classes so far have really taken to the activity and loved it. I think you're right...the wheels came off in my difficult class yesterday because there were about 4 kids who had trouble finding a partner and then, by default, paired with each other. They didn't get along at all. I think for next week (I only see them once a week) I will have each of them join an already functional group to form groups of three. If they can't get along with the new group, perhaps they are kids who would rather work alone.

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

Hi Jane- I think this might

Was this helpful?
0

Hi Jane-
I think this might be a case of "too much, too fast." I see it a lot when teachers try to move to a mover facilitative mode of teaching. You might want to rethink the length of time they were expected to work, the way the groups were formed, and/or the messiness of the task they needed to complete. You know them better than I, of course, but usually when the wheels come off it's because the task or the social aspect was just a bit too complex.

I'd be happy to talk more about it if you'd like. My email is lthomas at antioch dot edu

Computer Technology Teacher

I'm a believer in this, but

Was this helpful?
0

I'm a believer in this, but I'm having some trouble implementing it with my 1st graders. I teach computer technology, and I want the kids to work in pairs to do self-directed inquiry to figure out an animation program. I made very short videos they can use to see how the program works. I let the kids choose their own partners and told them they can help each other and ask other groups for help. I got them set up with one computer to watch the videos and the other for their animation work. This all went fine for most of my classes until today. I had one class where at least three groups just fought with each other the whole time, then cried and I came home feeling like a terrible teacher. Suggestions?

Education Specialist

Susan, if your time permits I

Was this helpful?
0

Susan, if your time permits I would encourage a short stint to Jefferson County Open School (In CO) wherein projects are one of limitless choices students can make in their learning and their reaching for their goals, or you may check out an account of that school and its longitudinal impact on grads, Lives of Passion, School of Hope by Rick Posner, best of luck on your journey!

Fifth Grade Social Studies/Science Teacher

I totally agree with this

Was this helpful?
0

I totally agree with this post!! I love to view teaching in this way and believe that student centered learning is much more effective.

Ben, There is one school here

Was this helpful?
+1

Ben,
There is one school here in Denver Public Schools that does a fantastic job of project-based learning with a teacher-as-facilitator model, and it is the Highly Gifted and Talented magnet elementary school. My genuine frustration is that their model is not exported to every single school in the district. The argument is that the students at this school are better prepared for such a model, but the truth is that there are students even at the HGT school who are behind in reading or math. I am certain that at-risk students in low-income neighborhood schools would benefit from project-based, real-world learning. Filling in the blanks on meaningless worksheets is handicapping the very students that this exercise is meant to "help". The question is, how do we get administrators to buy into the idea that PBL is best for ALL students and not just for those who have already demonstrated a capacity for higher-level thinking?

Sixth grade math/science teachr from Forrest City, Arkansas

I loved your article and it

Was this helpful?
0

I loved your article and it had a lot of information that I can used to improve my teaching skills. I will also share this article.

5th grade science teacher from NJ

I think that this is an

Was this helpful?
+1

I think that this is an excellent write up. I know from my experience in the classroom students learn and remember so much more when they take over the discussion and I just guide them. Students don't want to be dictated to they want to be a part of the conversation.

Ben, this article should be

Was this helpful?
+1

Ben, this article should be required reading for all teachers regardless of their teaching status. It defines the difference between teaching and learning so very well. We cannot lose sight of this child centered philosophy. It is not the facts that are important but to know the method to reaching the facts on their own. It is a process of participation not just listening.... Teachers need to fight for the time to allow their students to participate. There is such a drive to increase the curriculum so students can be exposed to more materials but in essence if the cannot participate in their learning then nothing will change in the outcome of their performance. They should be excited about learning and able to make choices and discover the wonder in actually "getting and understanding for themselves". Again, thanks for one of the best articles written in my 42 years of teaching all levels of students from elementary to college. MaryAnne

see more see less