Signs along the way
Assessments can be hard to create and manage, but they are a necessary part of PBL. You can do it!
Assessments are often done with the elements of Understanding by Design : beginning with the end in mind.
Here are some ideas for how to use assessment — both formative and summative — to report to families, inform your practice, and improve student learning.
3 examples using blended learning
Let’s explore how some Vermont teachers are shifting their instruction and assessment practices to move all students toward proficiency. Three different educators have changed the way they assess proficiency in their classrooms. Each has created a way for students to have control over the pacing of instruction and have included students in monitoring progress and growth, using a blended learning environment.
5 benefits of doing action research in the classroom
Teachers are constantly tinkering, creating, learning, and growing. Action research is a slightly formalized version of what skilled teachers do every day.
By honoring action research as systematic professional inquiry, we empower teachers to improve their practice. It’s easy to get started undertaking a small, powerful action research project in your classroom. Let’s see what it can look like.
It’s where the learning is
It is easy to not plan time for reflection in project-based learning (PBL) because there is just so much DOING! The students are engaged, and it’s fun and hands-on, and everything moves pretty quickly. But for PBL to connect to learning targets and goals and transferable skills, frequent reflection needs to happen, and as we all know, this has to be deliberately built into the schedule.
So, what can this look like? Here are 8 methods for reflection in project-based learning.
For exit tickets, student support & action research
Using Google Forms and Google Sheets together can streamline your process and make all your tasks feel just a little more manageable.
As an educator, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep all your different data streams organized, not to mention the finding the time to analyze and interpret that data! Let’s take three examples of how Google Forms can cut down on your paperwork flurries.
Ways to support project-based learning
Some people have the mistaken idea that PBL is just when you point students in the direction of a project and say, “Go for it!”
If your students have a culture of doing project-based learning and are very independent, it makes sense to give them a lot of freedom — but that’s just not the case for many of our students.
If you have students who are younger, or need more support and structure here are some ideas and examples. It always makes sense to err on the side of having too many supports rather than too few.
Feedback, feedback, feedback!
As educators, it’s absolutely critical that we reflect on our practices, especially new ones. As schools around the state finish with parent-teacher conferences this fall, I’d like to take a look at how to evaluate student-led conferences in particular, by checking in on how one school built feedback metrics into the process from the start.
As Emeril Lagasse would say: BAMS!
Community conversations about education
What would you tell your neighbors about your school? What do you think they’d say in return? The Washington West Supervisory Union has set out to find out, by hosting a series of community conversations.
Life LeGeros, a Tarrant Institute professional development coordinator and WWSU community member, is taking part in those conversations, and sharing out what he learns.
#vted = #vtexcellence
A number of Vermont educators have been in the news lately, achieving and being recognized for the amazing work they do inside the classroom and out.
You’ve done an engaging entry event. You have a plan for your PBL unit with a focused driving question. Sweet! Now it’s time for the students to embark on research. But the world of information is a vast wilderness fraught with danger: the danger of misinformation!
Before we can research, we need to brainstorm: What do kids want to do about the driving question and about the entry event? What do they want to see happen?