Incorporate Project-Based Learning into the Curriculum
Just in time for summer, Defined Learning has launched a new online professional development course, Performance Task PD with Jay McTighe, coauthor of Understanding by Design. The four-module course guides educators through the process of incorporating project-based learning into their current curriculum. Module 1 gives a basic outline of a performance task, including key characteristics such as outlines and rubrics and reasons for using them to evaluate students. Module 2 describes appropriate criteria for designing an effective lesson and tools to align the task with current curriculum, state standards, Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards. Module 3 provides a roadmap for educators to follow as they make adjustments to incorporate project-based learning into their curriculum. Participants will understand how their role as an educator leading the class will shift as they become a coach providing feedback and guidance to allow students to gain 21st-century skills by exploring real-world topics, solving problems, and working collaboratively. And Module 4 demonstrates how to evaluate each performance task using a rubric and how to “plan backward,” starting with the task analysis. This module also examines how tasks correlate with students’ ongoing formative assessment, which includes engaging students in self-assessment, reflection, and goal setting.
How many times have you listened to a lecture, memorized the information, and passed the exam only to be unable to recall most of what you learned just weeks later? How many times have you read a powerful story or watched a movie and been able to recall the plot years later? Information presented in a story doesn’t fade away after it’s been used; it sticks in the mind, ready to be accessed and used at any time.
Students who enter the Fluor Engineering Challenge have the chance to explore firsthand what it means to be an engineer and to collaborate with others to solve a problem and improve a solution. The Fluor Challenge is open to students in kindergarten through grade 12.
The Curiosity Cube is a traveling cargo container fitted with labs, virtual-realitytechnology, and other resources to give students a hands-on experience when learning about science. The concept of The Curiosity Cube is based on TheCuriosity Labsprogram, developed by the biotech company Millipore Sigma, in which employees go into classrooms and conduct hands-on experiments with students.