Part 1: Ten Reasons for Mapping Out PBL… Scaffolds That Makes Project Based Learning Work

 

tm1By now you know that I really believe in the power of PBL.  It supports tested content standards and important 21st century skills while PBL providing teachers with the why and how. In this series I wish to investigate that “why” and “how” while providing some ideas and resources to support PBL planning.. Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration, and a continuing series on Professional Learning Communities!  Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers. Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic, practical, and purposeful professional development . Please note I will be at BLC18 in Boston (July) and FETC19 Orlando (January) supporting teachers in PBL and more. See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

As I travel the country I have so many teachers ask me what PBL really looks like. We analyze videos together, visit successful classrooms, and read case studies. While this satisfies part of their need I still have educators asking what does PBL look like. With some conversation it soon comes down to, what does PBL planning look like?

This is a great question to be asked because teachers can see that in many ways PBL allows for needed transformation, but also incorporates so much of what they may already do. Another question I am also asked is how a project can teach difficult standard? The answer… the project is the mechanism that the teachers uses to facilitate learning of standards. This may even involve an “explain session” by the teacher either through traditional means, or possibly a flip video, in or out, of classroom scenario. The next question usually is in regards to wanting to know how a project assesses the standards. The answer once again is through traditional means as a test, performance-based observation, ongoing formative assessment, or a combination of all. The teacher still provides assessment, but also incorporates student and peer assessment along with community (virtual or real) possibilities. Self-assessment is many times the most powerful.

Let’s go back to the question of how a PBL is planned. Of course, standards must be at the foundation. It might be that the teacher designs a project around standards, or it might be that the project comes first, and the teacher builds an integration to the standards. Both work, although some of the best will include a local community possibility, allowing for authenticity that incorporate the standards. Either way a question is the basis for inquiry and the question(s) will uncover the standards. Some of this will be addressed in a later blog.

As we talk about mapping or the scaffold of a project we refer to the design process of making a PBL. A PBL is made up of products. Take for instance a video student will make. We all know that the end-product is the video. Let’s examine what other products it took to get there. Perhaps there was an outline.. Students must be taught how to outline. There might also be a product of providing a narrative, or writing a journal, or examining details. There might be science content that must be researched which is another product, or a persuasive essay that will be the basis for the video. The persuasive essays might be an individual product that leads to a group video product.

Think of all the products I just mentioned. What lessons are needed for each product? Perhaps a lab, web quest, simulation, lecture, inquiry, video, guest speaker. All these lessons are mapped out under each product. Keep in mind these are lessons that may have always been done in the classroom. We do not always invent something new, we can incorporate the old in the product. Keep in mind that there must be assessments in the products. Some might be traditional, such as a quiz, while others might be performance-based, or even student self-reflection using an exit ticket.

The Product Map might look like what I have below. The teacher must think what lessons/activities and standards must be provided to make the learning come alive for students.

One Product for a PBL Video  (Keep in mind that this video will have multiple products. Others might in a persuasive essay, another research on a content subject, still another the outline as I spell out below)

Example: (Outline Product): (Keep in mind that standards, lesson/activities, and assessment must be aligned.

Standards (All of those outline standards that must be taught… list them on your map)

ELA001 Determining main ideas for an outline, ELA002 Supporting main ideas with details ELA003, Comparing phrses and sentences, ELA004 Proper sequencing of ideas, ELA005 Writing an outline, ELA006 Critiquing and revising techniques, ELA007 Connecting an outline to a written product

Lessons: (All those lessons and activities that must be incorporated… list them on your map)

Examination of final writing and outline , reading an outline, video on main ideas and supporting details, practice lesson on main idea and supporting details, collaborative outline writing lab, collaborative writing of outline from persuasive paper for video.

Assessment: (All those lessons and activities that must be incorporated… list them on your map)

Journal entries exit tickets, outline explanation, peer critique, teacher critique, even a basic quiz, and of course summative assessment of the final product.

This might be one product for the map of a video PBL. Think of the other products you will want to map out for the PBL. When we put all these product maps together we have a Project (PBL). They may include persuasive essay, research on a content subject, and even a product that covers prose to scripts and storyboards.

Keep in mind there is not one product grade or assessment. There are quite a few that will keep the student focused and on track. There are also a wide variety of means to facilitate the standards, including a lecture… although I believe most lectures should come after exploration and inquiry (Explain… part of  5E process). The students, through teacher guidance, may even be able to give it. As the mapping continues and is completed the teacher then takes all the products, lessons/activities, and assessments and will put them on a calendar.

In the next post I will share ten reasons why mapping in PBL is so important and several template ideas you can use based on the scaffold/mapping process I have described. I do hope you can see that thinking through the PBL with some mapping of ideas will ensure that real learning and authentic purpose are accomplished. While the students are owning the learning at the center, the teacher is involved with intentional planning at the start, effective facilitation from the side, and a shared and constant assessment through-out. These ideas provide that background look of what PBL really looks like! Be sure to gain more insight as you join me in part two of this post coming next and I hope you enjoy this PBL journey and treasure the idea of mapping!

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My 2018  calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January and 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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15 Ideas to Ensure That Project Based Learning is Grounded in Content And Standards

 

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You might know that I am a big proponent of PBL.  I believe that as we work on helping students understand the content standards, PBL provides teachers with the how. I do hope you enjoy this content driven article. Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration, and a continuing series on Professional Learning Communities!  Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers. Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic, practical, and purposeful professional development . See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

15 Ideas To Ensure That Project Based Learning Is Grounded In Content And Standards

It is important that Project Based Learning provides students with wonderful opportunities that allow them to take part in a culture focused on rich activities and experiences. It promotes those important 21st-century skills while balancing this acquisition with important content knowledge and standards. The lessons and activities are intentional, aligned, and mapped to curricular standards. The standards and skills are constantly assessed in a variety of ways involving numerous stakeholders.  Most of all, there is an alignment between standards, skills, and assessment. By incorporating these indicators teachers are ensured that they have provided a project process that is built on standards and proper skill acquisition. The four areas that serve as indicators for grounding PBL  in standards are below.

1. Curricular Content
2. 21st Century Skills
3. Formative and Summative Learning Opportunities
4. Intentional, Aligned, Varied, and Constant Assessment

In this post, I would like to focus on the curricular content and standards that are one of the foundations of PBL. As I travel the country I will often hear teachers state that there is not the time for PBL because of the demands of the curricular content and standards. I understand this concern and the sincere desire that amazing teachers have in trying to prepare students for a successful future.  I do wonder about the difference between knowing standards and understanding standards, but I will save that for a future post.

First, I do agree that students do have the need to learn and understand base curriculum that focuses on important content standards. These are also those same skills that are many times tested on the standardized test, end of course assessment, and other high stake tests such as ACT, SAT, and AP. PBL, when done right, allows teachers to focus on and facilitate important content and standards. So what is PBL done right? Let’s take a moment to investigate and reflect.

I have heard many interpretations of Project Based Learning. Often I hear a description that suggests that the teacher delivers the content and students follow up with an inspiring and engaging cumulative project. While this involves student doing a project, it really is not PBL. I call this teaching and then having students do a project.  Resources from BIE (BUCK Institute) describe this as a “dessert project”. This comes from the idea that first there is the teaching… and then a sweet project for dessert. While this can be useful and  can reinforce some learning it is not truly Project Based Learning. In fact, I would like to give this practice its own acronym,  LBP (Learning Before Projects). I can understand how we as educators might not have time for this encore or dessert style or approach. PBL, however, is not an afterthought!

In true Project Based Learning the project uncovers and facilitates the learning of significant content. In PBL, there is a balance of learning that occurs throughout the project’s duration. It is this combination that allows for quality and rigor while helping students see the connection of content to the real world. It is important to understand that the ongoing project itself, through careful teacher planning,  must facilitate the learning.  Furthermore, it is  essential that a PBL unit is designed with proper scaffolding or mapping that includes both learning activities and effective ongoing assessment. In fact, some of these activities might actually be existing lessons that a teacher has always used. It is even possible and probable that part of the scaffold will include readings, lectures, and even a worksheet, although it is important to keep a balance using all of Bloom’s levels. While assessment is varied, there is nothing wrong with including a summative test. After all, our students will be facing these for awhile as they continue their educational careers. It is important to note that because the project is used as a base and point of reference throughout the learning, the element of time becomes much more productive than what might occur in LBP (Learning Before Projects). Through this process, the  learning, understanding, and application of  significant content  standards will become an important outcome. PBL provides the rigor of learning new content along with the engagement apparent in a student-centered program based on deeper learning. The content becomes the “what” while PBL is the “how”.  Below you will find twelve ideas to keep in mind in order to ensure that a PBL unit contains those important content standards.

  1. The entry event or launch should show a relationship to the Driving/Investigative Question promoting a “need to know” of the standards and content.
  2. The entry event serves as a link bewtween student prior knowledge and what students are about to learn.
  3. The Driving/Investigative Question should allow students to uncover the curriculum standards in a student friendly and understandable manner.
  4. Student inquiry in the project allows for motivation, engagement and ownership of the learning and the standards. The inquiry alloiws for the cycle of learning in the project.
  5. PBL shoud get students beyond the nouns in the standards allowing real life practice of those verbs that are also in the standards.
  6. Any PBL planning sheets and activities for students should line up with the standards and content in the curricular area being studied and assessed.
  7. The project should be ongoing and made up of activities and lessons that facilitate the learning of significant content.
  8. Formative learning activities and assessments that teach and reinforce the significant content should be mapped and occur throughout the timeline of the project.
  9. While innovative and student-centered learning is encouraged,  the scaffolding of the project can still include traditional lecture, tests, and textbook readings that promote significant content. Yes… rich engaging lectures can be used!
  10. The PBL map should include a wide range of Bloom’s levels and deeper learning opportunities. While digital technology can amplify the experience, it is not always neccessary.
  11. There should be rubrics developed that evaluate student learning outcomes and rubrics should be aligned with the significant content and student performance. Students and their peers should also be part of the evaluation process.
  12. The final project should not only emphasize the content standard verbs (21st century skills) but should show the learning and understanding of significant content at he highest levels.
  13. The final project should demonstrate student understanding and learning of the standards and content. At the same time it should provide an answer to the Driving /InvestigativeQuestion providing students the “why”.
  14. Since learning is embedded throughout the project, consider the number of standards when determining the length of the project. There should be a balance and productivity in the learning experience.
  15.  Remind students the importance of learning about and understanding the content standards throughout the project. This can be facilitated by providing important formative and summative assessment that ensures accountability while connecting the learning to real life.

The acquisition of content knowledge that has been deemed important by society is one of the key functions of education. Project Based Learning honors this by immersing students in the important content standards while providing that needed foundation. In a world that is seeing content multiply at an exponential rate, it is also important to help students become seekers of knowledge and lifetime self-learners. Along with those additional 21st century skills, PBL provides the avenue to both build the content foundation while activating the natural ability to learn.

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. My 2018  calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January and 2019! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Celebrate Teachers: It’s True…  I Teach Because I Can’t Do Anything Else!

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Happy 2018 Teacher Appreciation Week! I wish to share with you one of my favorite annual  postings that I dedicate to  an amazing world of educators. I hope you find this reflection, one that you will continue to enjoy and share with others!   Also, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans . I have some great posts coming your way involving PBL, STEM, tech integration. Most of all, thanks for being one of those over 30,000 visitors a month and over 14,000 subscribers.  I would appreciate it if you pass this special post on to others through email or a retweet!  Also, remember that I can come to your conference or school district and provide engaging authentic and purposeful professional development . See booking info and please contact me anytime at (mjgormans@gmail.com). Thanks so much.  Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech).

Quick Notes – Opportunities you may want to be aware of.

PTO Teacher Appreciation Resources – Popular ideas, printables, clip art, and planning tools to help you celebrate your teachers in May (and all throughout the year).

GoFundMe  – As part of the #WeLoveTeachers initiative,  GoFundMe is matching donating $100,000 in donations to campaigns by or for teachers.  Here’s the GoFundMe landing page with some additional details on the promotion.

NEA and PTA – Join NEA and the National PTA in saying “Thank You” during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11:

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for 2019 …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

It’s True…  I Teach Because I Can’t Do Anything Else! – Michael Gorman – (21centuryedtech.wordpress.com)

Ok, so it’s true! I have spent nearly over 40 years in education because I cannot do anything else! Today, I travel around the country providing professional development involving all sorts of exciting educational possibilities. In those school districts I do my best to provide learning experiences for students and educators just as I have always done in the classroom. The idea of not being able to do anything else actually is something I have learned in the last ten years,  something I did not know  when I  presented my very first classroom lesson! I actually  began my undergraduate career in the College of Business with an eye on marketing. In the early stages of my teaching career, I became licensed to sell securities with the idea of becoming rich!  Little did I know that because I could only teach, I would find richness beyond monetary wealth! I dedicate this list of reasons to all of those great educators who teach because they cannot do anything else! Again, please retweet and share with all of our colleagues that really can’t do anything else! I would really appreciate you taking the time to share!  Most of all enjoy the week and know that you are appreciated! – Mike

The List

  1. I can’t be a banker or work in the financial business because while I might enjoy counting money and financial growth, I would rather count and measure the success of my students.
  2. I can’t be a doctor or dentist because  while I enjoy seeing people smile as they leave and are healed, I get even more satisfaction if I see a smile when they first sit down.
  3. I can’t be a professional athlete because while I do enjoy competition, I get even more satisfaction coaching young people to play each game with honor, integrity, and respect.
  4. I can’t be a computer programmer because while creating new digital applications is exciting, finding ways to integrate technology to inspire real learning is rewarding.
  5. I can’t work in agriculture or landscaping because while supplying food and natural beauty is appreciated by all, I enjoy planting seeds of life-long learning knowing that it will nourish one’s life.
  6. I can’t work as a cook or chef because while I appreciate the art in a great meal, I enjoy even more finding just the right ingredients that allow for a child’s success.
  7. I can’t work in sales or marketing because even though I have learned from their great people skills, I would rather sell students on their abilities and possibilities.
  8. I can’t be a pilot even though I appreciate them as I travel to new places, as I would rather facilitate young people as they climb in altitude and arrive at new destinations.
  9. I can’t be an artist despite my appreciation for the beauty they bring, as I have found that my art is the ability to inspire and nurture children as they discover their innate abilities.
  10. I can’t be a scientist or inventor because, while I am aware of the great advances they bring, I wish to create  innovative learning experiences that always end in success.

I could go on and on! As you can see, I really do appreciate all of the other professions and realize there are so many I can’t do. After all, as teachers, we really are preparing students for what they will do best in the world. Possibly in the future, those we teach will not be able to do anything else, because we have assisted them  in becoming the very best at what they do!  As I continue my journey I have expanded my teaching horizon and understand that a genuine educator, whether being a teacher, administrator, or educational leader, continue to teach and inspire others because they really can’t do anything else.

A  big shout out to all  educators on a very special week!  Thanks for joining me on another journey dedicated to learning in the 21st Century! As always I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can teach each other! I also encourage you to sign up for this blog by email or RSS.  I invite you to share this posts with others through email or a retweet!  Thanks for your visit and know that I will keep  sharing, teaching, and facilitating all learners, after all, I can’t do anything else! – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am finding my calendar becoming full but still have some dates through January 2019… Mike

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Part 2… 30 NCAA Basketball Lesson Plan Resources and Links … A PBL Series

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Welcome to a second post containing 15 more   amazing links to use during the NCAA Basket Ball Tournament. First, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans .  You see… we really must learn to put into practice some of the best lessons never taught! Sign up and retweet… the next 15 links will be out soon. Have an exciting tournament and a wonderful week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference?  I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have done 100′s of workshops and presentations.  Check out my Booking Page… Please contact me soon if you have an interest. It is not to early to think about planning PD for the next school year …. dates are  already beginning to fill!

In the last post I shared an almost PBL story that I hope you enjoyed. The post also contained 15 links to help bring the engagement and excitement of the NCAA tournament to your classroom. Did you miss it? I have the link here. When basketball can be integrated with content standards and 21st century education, everyone wins. Please stake a moment to enjoy these next 15 links.

What is a Slam Dunk? – The website Wonderapolis provides this interesting question, video, and related ideas. It could just be a slam dunk lesson!

Who Invented Basketball – You and your students can explore another wonder of the day from Wonderapolis. Students will enjoy the video, accompanying fact, and any activity incorporated with it.

The Harlem Globetrotters and Early Professional Basketball – Perhaps you can design a lesson from this podcast at the Smithsonian History Explorer. Student will discover how this group of amazing basketball players became the world’s most recognizable sports team

Math in Basketball – This is a wonderful learning interactive from PBS Learning Media. Students follow a profile of Elton Brand, an accomplished basketball player who uses math in his work, students are presented with this mathematical basketball challenge. This site does require free registration for educators.

PBS Learning Media – Check Out all of these other basketball resources that are free from PBS Learning Media. Great multimedia and ideas for your project!

Robot Basketball – This lesson comes from Try Engineering.  It demonstrates the difference between precision and accuracy. Students design a device that can shoot a basketball free-throw shot accurately every time.

Engineer Hoopsters – A great article from eGFI that lets students know you can excel in the STEM fields while also playing basketball… and winning. A wonderful article that promotes both sports and academics.

Math Basketball Games – Are you looking for a way to bring a little basketball into your elementary of middle school math class? These games can be used in the classroom in connection with smart boards and Promethean boards.

Penny Basketball – A site that poses a lesson that involves penny basketball. Best of all, students learn how to make sense of the data they collect.

Energy Transfer – This is a great lesson in kinetic energy and energy transfer. It is also a wonderful time to use a basketball to display the laws of physics.

Math In Basketball – This is a fantastic lesson plan from Get the Math.  Using video segments and web interactives, students engage in an exploration of mathematics, specifically reasoning and sense making, to solve real world problems.  Best of all,  students focus on understanding the Big Ideas of Algebra: patterns, relationships, equivalence, and linearity.

Science of Hang Time – Can your students answer the question, “How High Can You Jump?” They can experience this great video for PE, Math or Physics as students learn about the science behind the hang time in basketball. Perhaps you can create an activity around this.

PBL, Physics, Basketball, and Inquiring Minds – Check out this PBL unit with math and basketball.

Where Will it Go? – This is a lesson plan aimed at lower elementary allowing student prediction of where a ball will go when bounced. This is a perfect opportunity to use any ball… or perhaps a basketball?

Sports Science – Look for some great basketball videos from this ESPN archive. It might be the basis for a great STEM lesson during this exciting basketball season.

So there are the rest of those NCAA links. Please follow and sign up.  If this has been useful please give a retweet! It means a lot!

Thanks for joining me in my tribute to education and the need to include student voice, choice and relevance to learning. In the coming weeks you will discover posts devoted to 21st century education including such topics as Flipped Classrooms, Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also, remember to subscribe to this 21centuryedtech  Blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets.  I hope you enjoy your journey of  best lessons never taught.  Have a great week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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NCAA Bracketology: Classroom Lessons Never Taught…. It’s Madness… Plus 30 BB Lesson Links

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Creative Commons Img

As you might know I am a big time fan of Project Based learning.  In this post I provide a mix of educational ideas pressing full court toward the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I also have some great educational basketball lesson possibilities. Please enjoy and share this special story through a retweet or email.  I am sure you will understand my thoughts in regards to PBL as defined by the BIE (BUCK Institute).  Please let me share this special story and dream about educational transformation possibilities based on authenticity,  relevance, and student centered learning.  First, please take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and  join me on twitter at mjgormans .

 Also, please explore my Booking Info. I would like to bring practical and affordable PBL, STEM, and Standards Based Technology Workshops to your school of conference.    You see… we really must learn to put into practice some of the best lessons never taught! Have an exciting tournament and a wonderful week! – Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

A Classroom Lesson Never Taught : Welcome to my PBL Reflection… it really is a good read… but if you want the links right away… scroll down

It was twenty minutes before the first school bell would ring, signifying the beginning of another day of learning. Students were beginning to enter and fill the classroom.  There was air of extreme excitement as the teacher looked from nook to corner. It was a typical room filled with students, desks, chairs, and a few computers. This morning seemed to be different from the others. The teacher stood perplexed, in awe of an  amazing event that was beginning to unfold. Students were using computers and  printers to produce what appeared to be a complicated worksheet. Some kids were on the floor while others were seated at tables eagerly filling the paper out! Their eyes were filled with inquiry and enthusiasm as they completed the graphical sheet from top to bottom! It was definitely a worksheet experience like no other the teacher had ever witnessed! Upon closer inspection the teacher realized the students had searched for and found the new NCAA Basketball Brackets.

The teacher watched students engaged in a true spirit of collaboration, as they learned from each other some interesting facts about various college teams. Geography was a main topic, as students discovered using Google Maps, the location of various universities. The teacher could hear students compare and contrast strengths and weakness of the various competitors, while others children used mathematics to perform some comparative scoring.  There was a massive research symposium, as students looked on the internet to find out what the experts of the newly found science of “Bracketology” thought!  Some students sought out other students ready to present their reasoning for their selections and amazingly showcased their persuasion skills. Any observer would have been amazed by the critical thinking, creativity, and reflections that the students were able to share. It appeared that that the students were in control of this very special time before education would begin. They had created their own learning experience before the bell rang. Their was engagement based on their interest in the real world. It was much like watching a game of neighborhood baseball long before the advent of sanctioned  coaches, leagues and teams.

The twenty minutes were soon past as the bell  rang, and announced yet another day of learning. The students obietiently put away their Brackets Papers, while the room came to a silent halt. Students left their collaborative groups and sat in their individual seats lined up in precision rows. They pulled out a worksheet, some only half filled out, assigned  from the day before. The teacher initiated a well thought out lecture entitled ” Making Predictions Using Compare and Contrast”.  As he described predictions as they have been made through observing math sequences, the students  appeared to listen as they took notes. After all, this was an important standard to be repeated for a test. What a change the bell had made.  The March of Madness was over.  It was now a time to learn?

NCAA Basketball Links – The First 15 (Next 15 in a later post this week… sign up now and please retweet!)

Live Interactive Bracket – Watch the NCAA live interactive bracket for this year’s tournament. Note that this page also contains a printable bracket.

NCAA Big Dance Basics – Take a look and get ideas from the STEM site eGFI. You will get hooked as your read their statement: “ From long-shot “Cinderella” teams to “field goal” averages, “giant killers” and “bracketology,” the NCAA Div. 1 men’s college basketball championship has generated a host of pet terms and traditions since it first tipped off in 1939”. This is a 2013 article …but still filled with great thoughts and ideas.

The Art of the Free Throw – It really is about STEM! Take a look at this eGFI article and video that really goes through the math and science of a free throw.

Basketball Physics – This lesson comes from Science Friday. It contains the Driving Question, “ How does physics affect your game?” John Fontanella, a physicist at the U.S. Naval Academy and author of The Physics of Basketball, explains the role of physics in basketball, from foul shots to side-arm passes. You and your students will find out what forces are acting on the ball, and what players have to do to offset these forces.

Physics of Basketball – A great basketball thinking video  from Dragon Fly TV.

Basketball For Better Verse – This lesson from Education World provide students the opportunity to look at various basketball poems and the publish their own.

The Team at Home – Another lesson from Education World that allows students to locate an NCAA basketball tournament team on a map, research the relationship of the team’s name and mascot to the history and geography of the college. This is a great social studies lesson.

Who’s Number 1? Investigating the Math of Rankings – In this amazing lesson, students explore the use of quantitative ratings by examining how Division I college basketball teams are ranked, and how specific mathematical decisions can and do have significant consequences.

Thinking About The Future… A Poem of Possibilities – This resource from Read Write Think focuses on the poem “Ex-Basketball Player” by John Updike, analyzing the details and the format of the poem. From there students are then introduced to a writing assignment in which they write a poem about themselves in five years.

Bracket Science – Do you really want a fascinating reading about the science of the brackets? This is a great read and could be a part of any language arts or math class.

Smithsonian March Madness – This is a wonderful exhibit from teh Smithsonian. Examine the multitude of March Madness articals.

James Naismith… Inventor of the Game of Basketball – This is another awesome activity from Read Write Think. Students look at the original rules of basketball, allowing a perfect opportunity for students to practice their expository reading and writing skills. Best of all, students end up with some their own innovation as they put together their own hand out to explain a game.

Should LeBron James Mow His Own Lawn? – Discover this lesson that explroes absolute advantage, comparative advantage, specialization and trade with an example using professional basketball player LeBron James.

Using NBA Statistics for Box and Whiskers Plot – You may wish to substitute a student’s favorite NCAA player for the NBA player. This lesson from Illuminations requires students to use information from basketball statistics to make and compare box and whisker plots. The data provided in the lesson come from the NBA, but you could apply the lesson to data from the NCAA men’s or women’s.

So there is my story and links… want the next 15 links? Please follow and sign up. I have them scheduled to be published before the end of this week. If this has been useful, please give a retweet! It means a lot!

Thanks for joining me on another reflection of 21st Century Learning! Please take a moment and follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we will learn from one another. You are also welcome to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with free and amazing resources.   Again take a moment to subscribe this blog by email or RSS. Read below to see some upcoming articles and if you liked this article there is a button below for a retweet! As you  follow the NCAA Basketball Tournament make sure the real winner is your facilitation of 21st century educational transformation! Put the kids in center court! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Project Based Learning and the Flipped Classroom… A Great Combination!

flippbl

I big shout out to all of you I had a chance to meet at FETC 2018 in Orlando. Also, a big thank you to the over 400 that attended my workshops and sessions. While I was at FETC I ran into Jon Bergmann who is best known for his work on the Flipped Classroom. We had our usual talk on ideas that support both PBL and Flipped Learning. In fact, you can listen to several webcasts we have been part of in the past in the links below. It reminded me that I wanted to write a post dedicated to the idea of how PBL and Flipped Learning really can be a powerful mix. I hope you enjoy the read and discover how the two can compliment and amplify each other!  As always, thanks so much for reading and sharing! I wish you the very best of weeks as you continue your journey of educational transformation! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Project Based Learning and Flipped Classroom… A Great Combination (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Have you ever considered flipping your classroom and engaging students in Project Based Learning at the same time? As I study these learning processes I see possibilities that allow the two to not only coexist, but also complement each other. How might this work? They do share similar emphasis on higher order thinking skills. Another not so obvious way the two can complement each other is based on productivity and time. Let’s take a closer look.

As you might know Project Based Learning (PBL) is a dynamic process that allows students to learn and understand content at Bloom’s highest level while taking an active part in their learning. The process uses the BIE Gold Standards as a foundation. PBL provides for deep inquiry, which leads to rich and powerful understanding. Through authentic experiences, and a driving question that engages students with content standards, PBL has the ability to be a delivery method for the student centered classroom. In PBL, formative learning activities occur throughout the project. This allows for productivity between content delivery, facilitation, and student production. Of course this all takes time! How might we increse the productivity for both teacher and learner in PBL? A flipped infusion just might be the answer.

As you might already know the Flipped Classroom was first coined with the idea that class lectures are recorded and watched at home while the teacher assists students with homework in school. Technology makes this very basic scenario a real possibility. Through the years the Flipped Classroom concept has become more sophisticated with an increased benefit to the student. While lectures still may be ported for home use, teachers have found powerful ways to  utilize in class time beyond just homework help. The Flipped Classroom has become more of a Flipped Learning experience. This can be discovered more in the Four Pillars of Flipped Learning. While instructional videos may be  viewed at  home they can also shorten the “expain time” in class. Either way teachers have the opportunity to employ higher order learning activities at school. It is these activies that I often refer to as “real learning”.

As we look at the process of PBL and Flipped Learning we can begin to see how the two together can promote Bloom’s higher order learning.  Together they provide  a streamlining of valuable time, which in turn allows for increased productivity. As we continue to examine this concept several other added benefits are accomplished.

As teachers combine the PBL and Flipped experience,  they see learning spiral. This allows teachers the opportunity to bring the both the home and in class learning experience up a notch. Students can be provided open-ended questions, engaging interactive activities, and front loaded thought-provoking videos at home that can spur deeper classroom discussions and activities for the next class period. This blended experience erases the classroom walls allowing for an authentic and constant learning experience.

Instructional videos, while still used at home, can also be incorporated as part of the PBL scaffold during class time.  After-all, research has demonstrated that an instructional video can be more time productive than a live lecture.  Yes, there is often a need for explaination, after inquiry! Plus, there is also the added benefit of the student able to pause, rewind, and replay the instruction. Try that in a lecture. Please note that the teacher is still available for face to face time in order to provide any reinforcement needed in the learning process.

In this day of what appears to be numerous educational initiatives, it is exciting to see how the two are able to work in harmony with each other. In fact, as we further reflect we just might see how other initiatives such as 21st century competencies (4 C’s), technology integration, digital curriculum and literacy, 1 to 1 computing, PBL, and Flipped Learning really do blend as one. They all allow for authentic learning putting the student in the driver seat!

In closing, we just may wish to ask, how many educational initiatives there really are? Perhaps there are not as many as we originally thought. It may be time for you to see how PBL and Flipped Learning really can work in productive harmony. After implementing these two practices, you may wish to work on student centered learning next. Or perhaps you will find that you just did it!

PBL and STEM Webinars/Podcasts

PBS Learning Media: Flipped Classrooms For Real Learning: Definitions, Resources and Tools – Educators keep hearing about the benefits of flipping their classrooms, but what does that really mean? PBS Learning Media invites you to join Jon Bergmann, a pioneer in the Flipped Class Movement and co-author of Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day – along with Mike Gorman, a 21st century educational technology and learning expert.

BAM Radio Interview with Michael Gorman – Listen to Jon Bergmann author of Flip Your Classroom interview Michael Gorman who has served education for 37 years and has partnered with ISTE and various educational, governmental, and business organizations and foundations. He initiated a 1:1 laptop program along with PBL in Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is also a  consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE,  Follet,  and November Learning. Mike is on the National Faculty for BIE (BUCK Institute) and an Adviser for Tech & Learning Magazine.

ISTE Presentation of PBL 8 Essentials With Michael Gorman – Join Mike at ISTE in Atlanta as he shares the 8 essential elements found in PBL. This is a must video for those wanting to get started with PBL

Organizations and Individuals

BIE – Learn more about PBL at the BUCK Institute. It is an amazing organization conducting some of teh best research and teacher education programs in the world!

Flipped Learning Network – Spend some time lerning about the Four Pillars of Flipped learning while engaging in this websites many resources.

Cycles of Learning – This is a must visit blog for anyone that has an interest in Flipped, PBL and Inquiry.

Edutopia – Learn all about Project Based Learning from the amazing people at Edutopia. You will discover lessons, videos, and thought provoking articles that will peak your PBL interest!

I do hope you enjoyed reading about how PBL and Flipped Learning have a place for each other. Think about ways you can bring the two together while putting your students in the center of their learning. Please take a moment and  subscribe to this Blog by RSS or Email. You may also wish to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). Have a wonderful week! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs. It is also not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

 

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Forget Real Learning???? … Get Them Ready For The Test????

Time for a little fun and reflection! I was looking at a post I did a while ago and wanted to bring it back once again with some updates.  I call it “Forget Real Learning??… Get Them Ready For The Test??  Notice that I have used the question mark extensively!! Many educators are understandably faced with that same question mark when deciding where to focus their students’ learning!  There is so much emphasis on the test that as teachers we often question our selves. My plea is to stop questioning the time spent in authentic learning; whether it be PBL, STEM, or 21st Century Skills. As long as these practices emphasize and assess standards I am certain there will me multiple signs of success. In fact, a focus on Real Learning!!…just might get them ready for the test!!. Have a great week and please smile as you enjoy the read! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Forget Real Learning?? … Get Them Ready For The Test????

1. Inquiry, problem solving, metacognition, reflection…. providing the facts is more time efficent ??…  get them ready for the test??

2. Relationship building to grow a culture of learning… this can’t be found on an exam?? … get them ready for the test??

3. Teaching to the “Whole New Mind”…  the right brain takes away  too much time??… get them ready for the test??

4. Putting children at  center of their learning, they may be way too inexperienced??… get them ready for the test??

5. Make connections with the real world,  isn’t it all in the textbook??… get them ready for the test??

6. Connecting disciplines and real world to bring about authentic learning….  isn’t there a good video for this ??… get them ready for the test??

7. Collaboration with other students to focus on learning, doesn’t the teacher have all the knowledge??…  get them ready for the test??

8. Technology integration to facilitate deeper learning… shouldn’t a worksheet provide the learning neccessary?? …  get them ready for the test??

9. Experiencing a multitude of learning experiences….  doesn’t this take away valuable lecture time ??…  get them ready for the test??

10. Dive into Bloom’s Taxonomy or Webb’s DOK, why won’t Pavlov’s conditioning get the job done ??… get them ready for the test??

OK, I couldn’t stop at ten??… so I saved the best for last??

11. Their future, what’s the  matter with our past??… get them ready for the test???????

Hope you enjoyed a little bit of fun! Don’t wait for the test to be over to facilitate real learning with your students.  I really do feel if educators focus on “Real Learning”, not only will kids be ready for the test in school… but will be prepared for the ultimate test in real life! Please take a moment and  subscribe to this Blog by RSS or Email. You may also wish to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter at (mjgormans). Have a wonderful week and focus on “Real Learning!!”… get them ready for life!! – Mike

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now almost booked through April. Perhaps you need to think about summer conference dates or PD needs and it is not too early to think about the 2018/19 school year! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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