What should we be expecting from the future?

Imagine if this is the future of cars.

How or where would you rather be? In or out

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Ensuring That PBL Is Accessible to All Planning project-based learning around three core strategies helps all students get what they need. By Frank McKay

Project-based learning (PBL) continues to gain momentum as a powerful approach to teaching and learning, and for good reason. Research indicates that when implemented well, PBL improves student motivation and achievement, and helps students master skills that are essential for college and career readiness.

Yet I sometimes run into teachers and administrators who question whether PBL can be used successfully with all students, which ultimately brings up a question of equity. We know that PBL can be a powerful tool to eliminate achievement gaps and help students of all backgrounds develop critical 21st-century learning skills that prepare them to thrive. But how do we ensure that PBL is accessible to all learners?

Continue reading “Ensuring That PBL Is Accessible to All Planning project-based learning around three core strategies helps all students get what they need. By Frank McKay”

Planning for PBL Implementation Project-based learning can be messy, but planning to have student inquiry lead your instruction can make it an orderly mess. By Andrew Miller

Planning for project-based learning takes a lot of time and effort. All teachers who have planned a new project know the work that goes into making one a success. You have to create an engaging driving question to focus the inquiry. You need to select and plan for products and authentic audiences while being mindful of voice and choice. You have to plan a great project launch. You must align the project to standards. And the list goes on and on.

However, after this initial phase, the planning isn’t complete. Next you move into the nitty-gritty—the day-to-day work of students, the calendar of tasks and instructional activities. Because the students drive the learning, this aspect of planning can be difficult to map out.

Continue reading “Planning for PBL Implementation Project-based learning can be messy, but planning to have student inquiry lead your instruction can make it an orderly mess. By Andrew Miller”

Project Management for Middle School How one middle school teacher guides his students to managing their project-based learning groups like pros. By Matt Weyers

I’m a middle school teacher who incorporates project-based learning whenever possible. Over the past four years, I came to understand that I was missing one of the key features necessary for a successful, high-quality, collaborative experience with middle school students: I had never provided my students a consistent structure to use when managing their projects. I realized I needed to teach them a specific language and process to ensure successful teamwork and clarity in expected deliverables.

Through my father-in-law, I learned about a project-management methodology used in the software world called Scrum. I adapted aspects of Scrum to create a classroom-wide project-management language that helps students iterate their products, set clear team expectations, and provide multiple opportunities for feedback and reflection along the way. Here’s how I did it.

Continue reading “Project Management for Middle School How one middle school teacher guides his students to managing their project-based learning groups like pros. By Matt Weyers”

Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum Four of the skills used to solve computer science problems can be applied in other classes as well. By Eli Sheldon

As defined by Jeannette Wing, computational thinking is “a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior by drawing on the concepts of computer science.” To the students at my school, it’s an approach to tackling challenging questions and ambiguous puzzles. We explicitly integrate computational thinking into all of our classes, allowing students to draw parallels between what they’re learning and how they’re approaching problems across all disciplines.

Our students rely on four computational thinking skills, as well as a set of essential attitudes.

Continue reading “Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum Four of the skills used to solve computer science problems can be applied in other classes as well. By Eli Sheldon”

Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum Four of the skills used to solve computer science problems can be applied in other classes as well. By Eli Sheldon

As defined by Jeannette Wing, computational thinking is “a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior by drawing on the concepts of computer science.” To the students at my school, it’s an approach to tackling challenging questions and ambiguous puzzles. We explicitly integrate computational thinking into all of our classes, allowing students to draw parallels between what they’re learning and how they’re approaching problems across all disciplines.

Our students rely on four computational thinking skills, as well as a set of essential attitudes.

Continue reading “Computational Thinking Across the Curriculum Four of the skills used to solve computer science problems can be applied in other classes as well. By Eli Sheldon”

2017 Education Research Highlights

Twelve studies that educators should know about, on everything from the benefits of mentors to the most effective studying strategies.
Hands on a computer keyboard seen from above, overlaid with maps and lines from a graph

Every year, we hope, researchers gain new insights into what works in the classroom—and what doesn’t. In 2017, a group of scientists made the case for why social and emotional learning is essential in schools. We learned that negative stereotypes can discourage students of color from going to college, and that a reflective writing exercise can help. We also learned that it’s OK for second graders to use their fingers to count, and that text messages sent to parents boost family engagement and student attendance.

Continue reading “2017 Education Research Highlights”