In the Common Core one anchor standards is: Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. (The anchor standard is - ELA Reading Anchor Standard 3)
There are many ways to accomplish this; my mind immediately envisions a "PROJECT"!
Earlier this year, I walked into a classroom and students were reading The One and Only Ivan. I look at the above standard and the possibilities are endless with PBL! A project adds excitement and purpose. Project Based Learning would allow students to choose any book, and it gives the freedom for students to own their learning.
I often hear educators say, I don't have time or Where do I start? Projects are vast, and here are some examples of tools that can spark creativity: Video taping, iMovie, prezi, keynote, power point, posters, glogster, hand-made books, paintings, songs, brochures and more. Project Based Learning lends itself to differentiation and standard-based grading.
Another Common Core anchor standard is: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others. (The anchor standard is - ELA Writing Anchor Standard 6)
I can immediately hear the excuses! It's all about the barriers... "We don't have this" or "We can't do that..."
The Common Core is not asking for excuses; this is what we must do. This is the expectation. So how can we do it? What about student blogging? This can be a tool used at all grade levels. For example: A lower elementary classroom could have the "star student" blog, and then receive "positive" feedback on the entry. OR it could be a "center activity" where students blog and post on the teacher created page.
The next Common Core Standard I'll share is: CCSS.Math.Content.5.MD.A.1 Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.
When I see this standard I see the phrase, "Real World Problems". Whenever I see this language I see the potential for a project. As I sit and brainstorm a possibility, I begin to think about the Olympics. A fun, engaging project would be to take some of the Olympic events and have students create posters, iMovies, Keynotes, and more. Inside this project students can simulate or create something involving long jumping or another event. Imagine the possibilities! Students video tape themselves long jumping, then they measure the distance and convert. This is real world and this is an engaging project that students can get excited about.
Project Based Learning opens the door to so many authentic learning opportunities. What I enjoy most about Project Based Learning is that it individualizes the educational experience. As educators we can assist students in a way that matters to them and in a way that they will remember.
As the year begins to wind down I want to encourage you to try out a project. If you've never attempted Project Based Learning, this is a golden opportunity to get started. What's the worst that can happen? It flops? So what! I say try! I'd rather have educators fall on their face and learn from it, then never try at all. Don't be afraid to fail.
If you are looking for Project Based Learning Ideas check these out:
Project Based Learning Blogs
Project Based Learning and the Common Core by @wholechildadv
10 Characteristics of Authentic Learning by @timbuckteeth
Next Week at a Glance:
Monday, May 20th: Security Walkthrough (expect to see visitors with me)
Tuesday, May 21st: Kids Hope Lunch
Wednesday, May 22nd: Enterprise City for 4th grade
Wednesday, May 22nd: Grades 3-5 assembly 8:45
Wednesday, May 22nd: Teacher Meeting 2:50
Thursday, May 23rd: Art Club after school
Thursday, May 23rd: Leader in Me at Parma
Friday, May 24th: Staff Meeting 7:55 in Mrs. Dault's room
Friday, May 24th: Happy Birthday Mrs. Rouse
8 Useful Apps for Working on Video Projects by @Mizgibson
iPad in the Classroom, can we make it simpler? by @MoodleMcKean
Create, Innovate, and Increase Student Access with iTunesU by @RebeccaWildman
Articles Worth Reading:
I Don't Like Food shared by @Cantiague_Lead
New Look Teacher Interview shared by @joesanfelippofc
How Social Media Improved an Entire District shared by @gcouros
Why it's time to take ownership of your PLN shared by @NMHS_Principal
Authentic Learning Cannot Be Standardized by @NMHS_Principal
8 Helpful Assistive Tools For Your Classroom shared by @casas_jimmy
Teachers Should Be Critical of Bad Teachers by @edrethink
14 Days by @8Amber8
The inconvenient truth of educational reform shared by @stumpteacher
Story of the Woodcutter by academictips.org
8 Ways Happy People Start Their Mornings by @marcandangel
Make a Tough Situation Good... shared by @leah_whit
How To Smile: Math & Science Activities shared by @dreambition
Videos Worth Watching:
Sir Ken Robinson: 3 principles crucial to help the mind flourish (19 min)
Positive Reinforcement Big Bang Style! (5 min)
Power of One! Attitude and Demeanor. (9 min)