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Project Based Learning Projects

about 1 year ago

Each of these links include the Teacher Instructions, Classroom Discussion sheet, "Stimulus Items" (videos, articles, etc.), note-taking sheets, and grading rubric have been provided.

Weekly Warm-up 2014 - 2015


Humor in the classroom


Students will become tech investors and decide on the "next big thing" in the world of wearable technology (smart watches, glasses, jewelry, and even clothes).                                                                             


Your students will become advisors to the NFL commissioner and consider all of the issues involved.  Is this a realistic goal, and what strategy should be used to help American football become a worldwide sport?



Your students are going to become software developers who are looking to create a great mobile app.  They must decide what the app will do, how the user will interact with it, and who the intended audience will be.  There are a number of directions students can go with this (and you can guide them based on your specific subject area).



As people across the country cast their votes, there is one political issue that doesn't get much focus, although it's always on the table. The issue is whether the minimum voting age should be lowered (or even abolished).  This last happened in 1971, when it was lowered from 21 to age 18... but why stop there?  Students will have to decide where they think the voting age should be, and the issue is much more complex than it first appears!



The looming question is whether, in this day and age, we really need Daylight Saving Time at all.  Students will have to decide whether the practice should still exist.  Again, it's not as easy it seems!



Your students are going to become sports stars finishing up a great season (they can choose the sport).  As they become household names, companies from around the world will want them to become the spokesperson for their brand.  Which products will your students choose to endorse?  What will be the deciding factors?


Music in Our Schools Month


It just so happens that March is "Music in Our Schools Month" as designated by the National Association for Music Education.  That's the focus of this week's exercise.  Students will consider ways that their school can recognize and participate in this observation.  Here's the link:


As always, the Teacher Instructions, Classroom Discussion sheet, "Stimulus Items" (videos, articles, etc.), note-taking sheets, and grading rubric have been provided.


 March Madness 

The first is one I sent out last year, and has students deciding whether or not college athletes should be paid (on one hand, the athletes do put in a huge amount of time and effort for our entertainment and for the profits of the school... on the other hand, do you think college sports can survive contract negotiations, hold-outs, and a complete loss of innocence?).  Here's a link to this exercise:


This next exercise is a new one, and has been a very hot topic over the past month or so.  Students are going to take a look at sports betting and consider the impact of legalizing sports gambling.  It just so happens that people bet more money during March Madness than during the Super Bowl!  Is this a harmless way of making the games more exciting, or is it asking for trouble?  Here's a link to this exercise:


 Daylight Saving Time

You might remember that several months ago I sent out an exercise on Daylight Saving Time (back when it ended in early November). This past weekend, most of the country had to "spring" their clocks ahead, so I'm reintroducting the question of whether we need Daylight Saving Time as a full integrated PBL.


It's setup so that you can approach the problem from a math angle (Is there a cost savings to Daylight Saving Time?) or science (What is the purpose and is it necessary?) or social studies (How does it impact businesses and farms?). Teachers can look at any one of these (they all stand alone), or they can do a few (they work great together). I like to reserve the ELA portion for evaluating all of the different approaches and coming up with one definitive answer (in this case: "Should we keep or get rid of Daylight Saving Time?")


Just so you know, these PBL integrated scenarios are what you find within the PBL Project website (please let me know if you want a temporary password). In the meantime, here's a link to this exercise:


2013 - 2014

Memorial Day Activities:

Ronald McDonald Activities:
The fast-food chain has decided to make a few changes to his outfit and hair to help catch the clown up to the times.  He's even going to be on Twitter.

Summer Time Exercises
How should students occupy their time during summer vacation?  They will need to consider all of the options--camps, sports, summer jobs, volunteering, family vacations, etc.  Then they'll decide on the best way (if it was left up to them) to spend the three months "off" they get during the best part of the year!

Exercises from the beginning of the year:


It’s time for Quintoberfest!
Let’s celebrate student progress before

Week 1:
Each week we will send out a short (less than three minute) video challenge. No obligations – no requirements - no forms to fill out – no reports to make – simply an invitation to learn from kids and their teachers and to share what you learned.

Week 2:
This week is about recognizing ALL students for making progress in their learning. 100% of our students can “Level Up” this year with encouragement and recognition for their hard work.

Send us your pictures to help us recognize creativity and success on the Pinterest wall. As always, let us know how we can help

Week 3:
This week – it’s all about the kids in Quintile 3. Learn from the kids – take a gratitude walk – tweet it to the world - #quintoberfest.

Thanks to Justin Richardson from Canyon ISD for starring in this edition! Maybe a little district competition is in order?

Week 4:

How about those kids in quintile 4! They are generally stronger performing students – kids who need a challenging learning environment. Although many passed STAAR, some did not meet progress. Let’s explore how great teachers get all students to think at deep levels.

Use the PLC for PLC menu to guide your work!

Special thanks to the leadership team at Sanchez Elementary in McAllen, TX for creating this week’s challenge.

Remember to tweet your learning at #quintoberfest!

Quintile 5:

Really smart kids who need fewer, but deeper questions.
We need to model error making and persistence as these kids typically give up early when they don’t give the answer the first time.
Ask them for viable, alternate responses.
Praise them when they push themselves and keep going beyond the first error.

For Rigor:
Ask them what they do when the work is really hard. What do they do first, and then...and then...What if that doesn’t work?

For Relevance:
What did you do in class last week that you think you’ll be using in 10 years? Explain what you mean.

For Relationships:
What is one thing your teacher does that helps you work harder for that class than you do for the other classes? Why does that make a difference in your efforts?
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