Units 4 - Project-Based Learning
Project-based learning is a way to lend real-world authenticity to learning and a way to combine several standards into one chunk of instruction. As you work through this unit, please be sure to note the difference between project-based learning and just doing projects.
For these units you will need the book Thinking through Project-based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry, by Jane Krauss and Suzanne K. Boss.
Identify the basic elements of a Project-Based Unit and evaluate how it might be used in supporting a student centered classroom.
Evaluate options for planning documents and decide on one to use as your test
planning document to organize your Project-Based Unit.
Become familiar with a new tech tool that will facilitate the customization of the project-
Recognize the elements that support and promote student inquiry and envision how
they might be implemented with your students.
Examine current brain research concerning the use of project-based learning.
Explore a technology tool to incorporate within the project-based process
Become familiar with assessment options within a project-based context.
Analyze rubrics related to performance tasks and project creation
Integrate technology integration options for project-based learning
Review the recommended steps for project-based Lesson implementation
Read & View
Watch this Project Based Learning Video
Read Chapter 1 of "Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry" written by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss
Assignment 1 - Planning Document Selection
Below are some possible Project-Based Learning planning documents. Select a planning document template that best fits yours needs from these online resources listed below. Here are just a few options. You are welcome to find more and modify or customize them as you see fit. This document will be used to organize the scope and sequence of your Project-Based Unit
As your first step in using this planning guide, fill out the specific content standards that will be addressed during the course of your Project-Based Unit. By the end of the course this document will be completely filled out and submitted as your final assignment.
Submit your first draft of this document to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Assignment 2 - Teacher vs Student Centered
Chapter 1 of the book refers to student vs teacher centered classrooms. The traditional model of American education is predominantly teacher centered. One of the biggest changes in the implementation of Project-Based units is the shift towards a more student centered classroom.
Conduct a self evaluation of your current practices within your last full week of instruction. Identify which practices you regularly employ that allow for student centered lessons and activities. Identify the classroom practices you employ that are specifically teacher centered. Make a list including both types of practices. Compare the relative percentages of these practices within the context of a typical week in your classroom.
Submit a short reflection on what you observed in your evaluation and your thoughts on where you are at right now to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Assignment 3 - Technology Evaluation
Read through this document about technology tools that lend themselves well to Project-Based Units. Choose one to examine more closely and evaluate. Create a Technology tracking tool document for your to keep notes on. This document will be used in each unit as you add new tools to your toolbox list. Keep notes on the new tools you find, and ideas of how you might use them in your classroom. (Remember, some tools come and go, so this may not by completely current.)
Submit a copy of this document to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Read & View
Read Chapters 2 and 3 in "Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry" written by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss.
Checkout this video introducing the Project-Based Concept.
Check out this video by Ramsey Musallam.
Assignment 4 - Inquiry Based Atmosphere
To fully realize the dream of Project-Based Units you will need to insure that your classroom supports an atmosphere of inquiry. Students should feel free to explore, dig deeper, and ask questions. Chapter 1 and 2 refer to specific elements that can facilitate the creation of an inquiry based classroom. Identify these specific elements and consider how you are currently supporting them within the context of your own classroom.
Look at this article, What the Heck is Inquiry-Based Learning.
Submit a short reflection on inquiry-based learning and how you see this fitting in your classroom to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu
Assignment 5 - Getting their attention
Check out some of the sample Project-Based Units that are referenced throughout your text and analyze the introductory activity or "hook" they use to prompt/spark student curiosity. Consider your own student population and make a mental list of possible hooks that will spark their curiosity.
Modify your planning document to include a clear description of the "hook" you will use for your planned Project-Based Unit that will capture your students attention and spark their curiosity. Submit this to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Assignment 6 - Expand your tech toolbox
Check out this article, Tools for Project-Based Learning. Add another resource to the evaluation tool you created in Assignment 3 and turn in to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Read & View
Read Chapter 4 in "Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry" written by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss.
Explore this project design rubric.
Explore Project-Based design checklists.
Assignment 7 - Explore existing Rubrics and Sample Units
Search online for Project-Based and various performance Rubrics. Examine them for content and structure. Take notes on common elements. Check out Buck Institute’s articles on Rubrics for Project-Based Units.
Select a Project-Based Unit and evaluate it using the Rubric you selected in above. Here are some quick links or my may find one of your own:
Submit a rubric and sample unit you chose. Reflect on your thoughts and how you might use or modify for your classroom. Why did you like it? Did you find multiple ones that intrigued you or do you feel like you will have to create your own? Turn in to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Assignment 8 - Expanding your tech tool box
Continue to develop your technology tool evaluation document. Do your own research to find new tools. You should now have explored and added a total of three new technology tools. Send to Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Read & View
Read Chapter 5 in "Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry" written by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss
Assignment 9 - LMS exploration
Explore LMS options to maintain, monitor and track student data. Options you might consider: Edmodo, Collaborize Classroom, Blackboard, and Schoology. Your school may already be using one, but look at at least one more. Create a two- to three-paragraph report on an LMS system you think would best support your Project-Based approach. Include the pros and cons as well as any special information.
Submit this report to your Sherry.Crofut@USiouxFalls.edu.
Assignment 10 - Project-Based Learning Planning Guide
Submit a completed Project-Based planning guide to your instructor. This should include standards, hook, activities and other information based on the selected template.