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Challenge Based Learning - Younger Learners

"CBL facilitates connections — deeper relationships that evolve between classmates and myself as co-collaborator on the learning journey. It is these connections that help kids see that they matter, that help them care."

"How do I get my students to be engaged and care about learning?" This question confounds educators in schools around the world each and every day. Challenge Based Learning (CBL) offers a solution to this puzzle for students of all ages. Although the original focus of CBL was working with junior and high school age students, with the proper scaffolding Challenge Based Learning can be effectively used in elementary classrooms.

As a former 5th grade teacher, I can attest to spirit of curiosity and questioning, the quest for innovation, and desire to change the status quo which is evident in students this age. Unfortunately, when these skills are neglected they diminish at an alarming rate as students progress through their schooling. CBL offers a way to encourage and cultivate these critical learning attributes in our elementary and middle school students.
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7 Reasons to Use Contracts in a PBL Classroom + Tips for Use

7 Reasons to Use Contracts in a PBL Classroom + Tips for Use | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
When I talk with teachers about Project Based Learning, I always field questions about group work. I hear questions like, “How do you keep one kid from taking over?” or “How do you keep kids from doing nothing?” “How can you assure that all students are working?” “How do you keep them from picking on each other?”

These questions are no surprise, mostly because many of us have our own fair share of group work horror stories. Students, from Second grade to Seniors are absolutely no exception. Group work for many of them is something that gets them to roll their eyes, or starts their plotting for how to get another student to do their work for them. For many students, group work is something to be dreaded because they felt as if their voices were not heard, needs were not met, and no one cared.

I get it.
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6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
Project-based learning (PBL) naturally lends itself to differentiated instruction. By design, it is student-centered, student-driven, and gives space for teachers to meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. PBL can allow for effective differentiation in assessment as well as daily management and instruction. PBL experts will tell you this, but I often hear teachers ask for real examples, specifics to help them contextualize what it "looks like" in the classroom. We all need to try out specific ideas and strategies to get our brains working in a different context. Here are some specific differentiation strategies to use during a PBL project.
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6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning

6 Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
Project-based learning (PBL) naturally lends itself to differentiated instruction. By design, it is student-centered, student-driven, and gives space for teachers to meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. PBL can allow for effective differentiation in assessment as well as daily management and instruction. PBL experts will tell you this, but I often hear teachers ask for real examples, specifics to help them contextualize what it "looks like" in the classroom. We all need to try out specific ideas and strategies to get our brains working in a different context. Here are some specific differentiation strategies to use during a PBL project.
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Building a PBL Culture in the Classroom | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE

Building a PBL Culture in the Classroom | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it

One of the Project Based Teaching Practices in Gold Standard PBL is “Build the Culture.” BIE has described a healthy PBL classroom culture using terms such as independence, inquiry, attention to quality, growth mindset and team spirit...Let’s consider what a culture of independence is like. Generally speaking, we’re talking about a classroom where students are not directed too much by the teacher. While there should always be some guidance from the teacher and perhaps other adults, students in a PBL classroom have an appropriate degree of autonomy, given their age and experience, whether working alone or in teams. They should be able to make some decisions about how they work and what they create...It's important to build student independence; you can’t just turn them loose and expect them to be able to effectively function autonomously. Scaffolding includes co-crafted norms, practices, and routines – and teachers should be clear and explicit when talking to students about how they are practicing the habit of independence. Krystal pointed out that even high school students, much as we might think they can handle it, need support and structure to be able to work independently...

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Engaged...Equipped…Empowered

Engaged...Equipped…Empowered | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it

In the The World is Flat, Friedman (2005) notes that students acquire the skills and commitment for lifelong learning so as to be “really adaptable.” “Really adaptable” workers are resilient, patient, adaptable, persistent and responsible. They are self-directed learners with responsibility for their own learning. Martinez and McGrath (2013) identified three commonalities in developing self-directed learners. These were: disrupting traditional expectations of teaching and learning; socializing students into a school culture signaling the expectations for learners; and using a consistent pedagogical approach in which students manage complex projects and assignments, seek feedback, revise work and reflect on what they’ve learned.

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Engaged...Equipped…Empowered

Engaged...Equipped…Empowered | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it

In the The World is Flat, Friedman (2005) notes that students acquire the skills and commitment for lifelong learning so as to be “really adaptable.” “Really adaptable” workers are resilient, patient, adaptable, persistent and responsible. They are self-directed learners with responsibility for their own learning. Martinez and McGrath (2013) identified three commonalities in developing self-directed learners. These were: disrupting traditional expectations of teaching and learning; socializing students into a school culture signaling the expectations for learners; and using a consistent pedagogical approach in which students manage complex projects and assignments, seek feedback, revise work and reflect on what they’ve learned...

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Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
Prepping for a gamified unit of study or project is very different than prepping for your traditional, linear model. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Via Eve Lackman, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
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Project Management Toolkit

Project Management Toolkit | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
The Project Management Toolkit helps students develop skills while engaging in meaningful, real-world work that addresses compelling questions and problems
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Establishing a PBL-Friendly Culture in Your Classroom, School or District from The 21st Century Principal by J. Robinson

Establishing a “PBL-Friendly Culture” basically means to establish and classroom and school that “Builds on Trust and Care.” On the surface, this is a fundamental, must-have shift in thinking, from “controlling students” to moving toward a more learner-centered approach where students have a great deal of autonomy. In practical terms, it means showing students that you trust them by allowing them to take more control of what happens instructionally and culturally in the school and in the classroom.
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Project-Based Learning: Success Start to Finish

Visit http://www.edutopia.org/manor. Go inside Manor New Technology High School, where an unwavering commitment to an effective schoolwide PBL model keeps bo...
Cheryl Frose's insight:

Good intro video to help teachers understand PBL.

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Dispelling misunderstandings about PBL

I spend a good chunk of time on Twitter, often participating in or lurking on a Twitter chat. I have seen project based learning — PBL — a topic of discussion, but at the same time, I see a lot of claims about PBL that are just not true. What bothers me about these claims is not that they are wrong but that these misconceptions lead to further problems when implementing PBL. I’d like to take some time to dispel some of these misunderstandings in hopes that they clear up other issues teachers may have with PBL.

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How to Create the Learning Community Vital to Project-Based Learning’s Success

How to Create the Learning Community Vital to Project-Based Learning’s Success | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
An under-appreciated element of effective project-based learning is a community of learners who trust one another.
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How to Get Projects Off to a Good Start

How to Get Projects Off to a Good Start | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
In project-based learning, project kickoff is an exciting day -- and for good reason. This is when PBL shifts from planning to active learning -- the moment when students enter the picture. By planning entry events that fire up their curiosity, you'll engage students' sense of inquiry right from the start.

Today's post focuses on planning effective entry events. My next post will offer ideas for culminating events. In between these important PBL bookends, a world of active learning unfolds. Before you launch the project, you'll want to map out learning goals, consider how students will demonstrate what they have learned, craft a driving question, consider your assessment strategies, and plan for a culminating event.
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Inquiry Research: Moving Students Toward Independence

Inquiry Research: Moving Students Toward Independence | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
Over the course of two years or so, we learned, tried things out, shared ideas with each other, tried more, and eventually Inquiry became a driving force in our school.

It didn't look exactly the same in every classroom, and it certainly looked different in each grade level, but we came to share certain beliefs about inquiry:
Students lead, teachers support.
Questions drive the research, not topics.
Collaboration within a group is vital, and must be taught.
Findings should be shared.
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Design Thinking and PBL - @Edutopia

Design Thinking and PBL - @Edutopia | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
While project-based learning has existed for decades, design thinking has recently entered the education lexicon, even though its history can be traced back to Herbert A. Simon's 1969 book The Sciences of the Artificial. So why the resurgence of these ideas?

Lately, I have heard teachers and school leaders express a common frustration: "We are _______ years into a _______ initiative, and nothing seems to have changed." Despite redesigning learning spaces, adding technology, or even flipping instruction, they still struggle to innovate or positively change the classroom experience. Imagine innovation as a three-legged stool. Many schools have changed the environment leg, but not the other two legs: the behaviors and beliefs of the teachers, administrators, and students.

Consider this conundrum: much of what we know about teaching comes from 16+ years of observation as students. In no other profession do you spend that much time watching the previous generation before being told to change everything once you take control. Without the framework or scaffolding for that change, it's truly unreasonable to tell educators, "OK, start innovating."

Via John Evans
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Innovation is more than tools or rooms.
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Teaching the Design Process in Makerspaces | Renovated Learning @DianaLRendina

Teaching the Design Process in Makerspaces | Renovated Learning @DianaLRendina | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
Stewart Middle Magnet is a STEM magnet school, and part of our curriculum comes from Project Lead the Way, including classes in engineering, robotics and aerospace.  The Design Process is an important part of that curriculum.  It also ties in beautifully with what we do in our makerspace.  So it made sense for me to partner up with one of our Project Lead the Way classes to teach our students about the basics of the design process.  While this was a lesson with a specific class, it could easily work with small groups, after-school clubs, or any group that you bring into your makerspace.

Via John Evans
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9 Resolutions & 9 Resources for Your Project-Based Learning Classroom This Year - Getting Smart by Bonnie Lathram - PBL, PBL world, Project-based learning, Project-based learning ideas

9 Resolutions & 9 Resources for Your Project-Based Learning Classroom This Year - Getting Smart by Bonnie Lathram - PBL, PBL world, Project-based learning, Project-based learning ideas | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it

If you are teaching in a Project-Based Learning (PBL) classroom or aspire to bring high quality PBL to your classroom or school, we bring you nine resolutions to follow for creating engaging and effective projects in the new year. Follow these resolutions and you will be on your way to activating students’ interests and building a strong culture to support high quality, gold standard PBL in your classroom or school.

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Her dad thought her clean energy idea was just a 'kid's project.' He was wrong.

Her dad thought her clean energy idea was just a 'kid's project.' He was wrong. | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
Cassandra is fighting global warming with one unconventional method.
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Six Steps for Planning a Successful Project

Six Steps for Planning a Successful Project | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it
Use these guiding principles to pull together projects with the time and resources you have.
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The PBL Super Highway... Over 45 Links To Great Project Based Learning

The PBL Super Highway... Over 45 Links To Great Project Based Learning | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it

Are you on a journey to find  great PBL ideas? Then you have come to the right place. In fact, you just might want to spend some time here and also continue to come back. The first of my list includes sites that have created data bases of PBL Units. You will find units that you can use, improve, or incorporate as a base.

 
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Tips and Tools for PBL Planning

Here at Edutopia, we talk a lot about project-based learning, or PBL. Whether you call it deeper learning, inquiry-, problem-, or challenge-based learning, all are variations on the same idea -- that young people can learn more deeply, and retain the information better, when they can work collaboratively in teams to explore and solve real-world problems. Many would say that PBL can be a more effective way to teach - but anyone who has tried it agrees that doing it well is not easy.
It's fairly simple to find video examples of what PBL looks like in the classroom at all levels -- just check Edutopia's video library! -- but where can you find specific tips on how to plan and carry out great PBL? What are the building blocks of rigorous and relevant projects? How can you address some of the challenges you'll meet? While it's unlikely that you will become a PBL pro just by watching videos, this playlist will provide some gateways to get you thinking about the nuts and bolts -- and lead you to some organizations with many more tools and resources for tackling PBL.
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PBL and Standardized Tests? It Can Work! BY ANDREW MILLER

Because of the way that testing permeates education culture, I often hear some "pushback" from teachers and their implementation of project-based learning. Here are some tips and responses to that tension between PBL and standardized tests.
Don't Wait!
"I'll wait til after the testing season," is one I hear often. I know where it comes from: the pressure. If you say this, you are defeating the purpose of PBL. PBL's intent is to drive new learning, to engage students in learning critical content that is leveraged and tested. I'm not saying, "Don't do PBL after testing," just that if you truly want to leverage PBL and capitalize on its strengths, use it to teach content that will be on the test. What the PBL teachers often intend to do after testing is a culminating project or activity that will celebrate and review learning. This isn't PBL. However, there is nothing wrong with this sort of project or activity. Keep doing it, because it does engage students. I simply want to make sure that you know the difference between a culminating project and PBL.
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Project Based Learning: Explained.

Project Based Learning: Explained. | PBL 4 Learning | Scoop.it

The Buck Institute for Education commissioned the cutting-edge advertising agency, Common Craft, to create a short animated video that explains in clear language the essential elements of Project Based Learning (PBL).

This simple video makes the essential elements of PBL come alive and brings to light the 21st Century skills and competencies (collaboration, communication, critical thinking) that will enable K-12 students to be college and work-ready as well as effective members of their communities.

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Which Model of Project-Based Learning Is Needed in 21st Century Schools?

Project-Based Learning (PBL)  is being touted as the 21st century answer to how we should be educating students and the perfect delivery-system for the Common Core State Standards. While those reasons for implementing PBL are legitimate, there are other reasons for implementing PBL as well. First of all, it has the potential to be a more engaging learning and teaching strategy. Secondly, it may more accurately mirror the world of work by engaging students in problem-solving. Thirdly, it can engage students in using technology to create and innovate. While these are additional reasons to implement PBL, we also need to be clearer regarding what we mean by PBL. There are multiple versions of PBL and those versions are not all equally effective in addressing these same reasons.

In his book World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, Yong Zhao describes three different iterations of PBL, each with its own features and desired outcomes. He specifically advocates for the third model, Entrepreneurial Model of PBL, in order to educate students to effectively tackle the problems we face in the 21st century, but his PBL model framework is an interesting way to help us think about what we mean by PBL and what we want to accomplish with its implementation. Here’s Zhao’s three models:





“PBL has been practiced in various way…

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