Throughout the school year teachers all over (just like you) are looking for ways to incorporate multiple skills into a lesson while actively engaging their students. With Project Based Learning you can do just that. What is Project Based Learning? Project Based Learning is a multi-disciplinary approach to learning where students gain knowledge by working for an extended perior of time (more than one class period) to investigate, research and respond to a given problem, challenge or question.
Bringing Problem Based Learning into your classroom can be extremely easy and the resources below will help you do just that.
Here in Texas our math standards have been modified to include Financial Literacy for every grade level. Not only has this thrown many teachers for a loop as the materials are hard to come by but it is also a new area to teach for all. In my classroom I LOVED using the “If I Had a Million Dollars” Project to help students realize some real-life situations where they would need to not only budget their money appropriately but also appropriately use a checkbook, ledger and more.
Teaching with A Mountain View has created a new project, The City of Shapes, that allows students to become a master in perimeter and area by building and designing many buildings and aspects in their city.
Are you ready to have your students become entrepreneurs? Sweet Integrations has created From Lemonade to Espresso to help students understand the ins and outs of becoming a business owner and how to look at all aspects to determine if you have a profitable business or one that will fail.
Another real-life project based learning activity is Party Planner, also by Sweet Integrations. Every year students attend or participate in many different parties so why not allow them to help plan one and determine all of the budgeting, planning and preparing that is a part of making something go off without a hitch.
Who doesn’t love cupcakes? Lindsey Perro’s The Cupcake Shop allows students to apply fraction, decimal and percent skills with real-life situation of beginning their own cupcake shop. Students must work together to not only name their store but then choose the cupcakes they plan to offer, purchase the ingredients in the right amounts for the amount they plan to bake each day, and so much more. Now I’m definitely craving a cupcake!
And for those of you who are looking for more information from books on Project Based Learning, here are some resources that will definitely help you get started in the right direction.
If you are just starting with Project Based Learning, or need a reference guide, then this book is PERFECT for you! Not only does it contain classroom tested advice, sample projects and step-by-step guidance but the PBL Starter Kit also includes planning tools, rubrics and other online resources just for you!
Project-Based Homeschooling gives some great tips for parents who are looking to integrate Project Based Learning into their homeschool program. Just because you don’t homeschool your children doesn’t mean this can’t be a great book for you. Think about how the summer is coming up and your kiddos will soon be saying “I’m Bored!” How about playing into their interests and developing some week long (or even longer) projects that you can do together to develop their learning with real life situation?
If you are looking for specific Project Based Learning Tasks, then this is the book for you. Not only does it include specific projects that you can use right away but also includes grading matrices, detailed information on how to implement the projects and more.
And if you are like me and want to get all nerdy into reading more about what the ins and out of Project Based Learning are, then Project Based Learning- Differentiating Instruction for the 21st Century is just right for you! Not only do you learn how project based learning started but also the ins and outs of how teachers have seamlessly implemented it into their classrooms to help relieve your anxiety of trying something new. If you are looking for a book to read this summer, this is definitely one to put on your list!
Have you implemented project based learning in your classroom? What are some of your favorite resources?
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