Blogs on Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning

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Get tips and advice for teaching core subject matter with meaningful activities that examine complex, real-world issues.

Shawn CornallyJune 7, 2013

So I recently quit my job and started my own school with the support of a local media company, the second largest school district in Iowa, and a groundswell of community interest.

Our philosophy boils down to a fairly liberal project-based learning environment. As I began the marketing push to enroll students, I uncovered some frankly stunning assumptions that many students have about learning:

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Karissa StayMay 29, 2013

As we reimagine curriculum at Sammamish High School around a comprehensive problem-based learning approach, we find ourselves reimagining the bounds of the classroom and the singular nature of The Teacher. One way that we have been expanding the classroom and the role of the teacher is through expertise. In ninth grade AP Human Geography, a full-inclusion class, the use of experts has increased students' motivation within challenge cycles, as well as given students a view into various careers in or related to geography.

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Andrew MillerMay 17, 2013

You read that correctly: Zombie-Based Learning. When I started learning about it, my inner geek squealed with joy. I've always loved zombies. I've watched all the movies and even read the original Walking Dead Comics before it became a hit series in the classroom.

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Suzie BossMay 10, 2013

After months of planning, city officials in Elk Grove, California, are preparing to open a community recycling center equipped to handle hazardous household waste materials. If the new facility is going to be well used, local residents will need to learn the right way to transport batteries and other hazardous materials for safe disposal.

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Danielle LynchMay 6, 2013

Sammamish High School has defined seven key elements of problem-based learning used in our classrooms. This week we will explore the key element of academic discourse. How students communicate their discoveries and connect them to the overall learning is an essential part of what we do. Without proper communication, progress cannot be made on many projects.

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Suzie BossApril 29, 2013

Separated by thousands of miles, middle-school students in suburban Massachusetts are teaming up with peers in Brazil, Africa, and India on a project with lifesaving potential. By designing and building efficient cook stoves, students are learning about energy and humanitarian engineering.

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Jayesh RaoApril 24, 2013

At Sammamish High School, we're developing and implementing a comprehensive problem-based learning program for all of our students. Working closely with my peers during this process has become one of the highlights of my career as an educator. These last two years I've been granted (literally and figuratively) the space and time to exchange ideas, learn from others and feel the satisfaction of knowing that I grow as a professional with each exchange. I have two very different teacher collaboration experiences to relate.

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Mark WilbertApril 19, 2013

At Sammamish High School, our staff has dedicated our professional development to building expertise in the key elements of problem-based learning. Previous blog entries by my colleagues have given an overview of this process, as well as exploring how we include student voice and work with authentic problems. Another crucial element of successful problem-based learning is using authentic assessment throughout all stages of a unit to constantly evaluate and improve student learning.

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Andrew MillerApril 9, 2013

Project-based learning can provide an intentional and effective opportunity to integrate the arts across disciplines and curriculum. While valuable as a stand-alone discipline, arts education can be given further power and value when used in a PBL project as part of the core curriculum.

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Robert HallockApril 5, 2013

At Sammamish High School, we've identified seven key elements of problem-based learning, an approach that drives our comprehensive curriculum. I teach tenth grade history, which puts me in a unique position to describe the key element of authentic problems.

What is an authentic problem in world history? My colleagues and I grappled with this question when we set about to design a problem-based learning (PBL) class for AP World History. We looked enviously at some of our peer disciplines such as biology which we imagined having clear problems for students to work on (they didn't, but that is another blog post).

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