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November 2, 2017

We began our 3-part exploration of competition with our first post focused on competition in the classroom. Now, in this second post, we will explore how systemic use of competition affects students. While teachers have a level of control of how students are...

September 13, 2017

5 Common PBL Design Issues

Common PBL Design Issue #1: WEAK ADULT WORLD CONNECTIONS

Strong adult world connections can greatly enhance a project rather than be an afterthought. 

Strategy #1: Brainstorm, search for and/or suggest specific authentic documents, data and...

July 23, 2017

One of the joys of teaching about the environment is getting my students outside as much as possible. Usually this means excursions to nearby field sites every month or so, which in itself feels miraculous in the typical pace of a high school day. This past year howeve...

Whether it’s your 1st PBL project or your 50th - there are always surprises. The role of a constructivist PBL teacher is to curate a space in which that variation can flourish while still providing and facilitating an effective learning environment for a diverse group...

January 3, 2017

Project Based Learning is a methodology of teaching and learning in which students respond to real-world challenges, problems, controversies, scenarios and simulations through a process of focused, student-influenced inquiry with the goals of:

•genuine student engageme...

December 15, 2015

Background

Wm. E. Hay is a Secondary School in Stettler, Alberta. It has 5 vocational programs (Fabrication, Building Construction, Automotives, Foods and Cosmetology) that are taught by staff who have an Education degree as well as Journeyman status in their chosen tra...

October 16, 2015

Companies use branding all the time when they push their products into the market. They want to influence the way you perceive them as a company and the products they put into the market.

Branding is about intentionally evoking a desired emotional response in a customer...

October 8, 2015

Project Based Learning is a great model for unit planning and deeper learning. Some teachers are going further by anchoring a semester or a year in a unifying, engaging and provocative premise.

This premise helps them "brand" their classroom to better connect the d...

Some of the best projects are anchored in authentic issues and problems. Students tackle them with original research and a problem solving approach. I love how Calista, a multi-age teacher in Alberta, developed this type of project called The Buzz on Bees. 

Title: The...

August 18, 2015

Companies use branding all the time when they push their products into the market. They want to influence the way you perceive them as a company and the products they put into the market.

Branding is about intentionally evoking a desired emotional response in a customer...

Title: Builders Without Borders

Grade: 7

Length: 4 - 6 Weeks

Entry Event:

Viewing of “Junk Raiders” - a Canadian reality show that challenges participants to construct structures using upcycled materials on extremely limited budgets. Slideshow of recent tragic environmenta...

Another project idea from a team of teachers in Red Deer, Alberta! 

Title: Creeping, Crawling, Flying

Grade: 2

Context: In response to a teacher’s camping situation, students will act as entomologists to research and identify a variety of bugs that are harmful and/or help...

December 10, 2013

Several years ago, Jennifer Rust, a math teacher at John Dubiski Career High School in Dallas, Texas, attended the first day of a three-day workshop for Project Based Learning (PBL). She came with an open mind, but had her fair share of reservations about PBL’s applica...

November 13, 2013

While project-based learning is a phenomenal way to contextualize learning in meaningful ways, not all content is made equal. I’ve been involved in designing hundreds of projects. All too often during the design process, projects just come together naturally. Sometimes...

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