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Project-driven - An approach to learning focusing on developing a product or creation. Usually tied to a theme and cross disciplinary studies.
Problem-based - An approach to learning focusing on the process of solving a problem or scenario and acquiring knowledge.
Inquiry-driven -In inquiry-based learning environments, students are engaged in activities that help them actively pose questions, investigate, solve problems, and draw conclusions about the world around them.
Make sure the topic is of personal interest to you and the students and that it is based on their needs and developmental levels. Consult the state and local curriculum guides, teacher’s editions of textbooks, trade books on the topic, and other expert learners. Involve the children in planning.
Identify concepts/brainstorm topic:
Identify key concepts or subtopics related to the theme of the project. A semantic map is an excellent way to visualize and brainstorm content related to a theme. Use K-W-L with the children for their input about what they want to know. Get ownership through their questions.
Locate materials and resources:
Locate diverse materials and resources related to the topic, i.e., children’s literature, films, manipulatives, music, arts/crafts, resources, and people from your Web community. Utilize diverse global perspectives.
Plan learning experiences:
Develop a variety of learning experiences related to the topic. Include hands-on activities using concrete objects. Plan for small and large group activities, learning centers/stations, independent research, exploration, problem-solving, using both divergent/convergent learning activities.
Use Internet resources and models when gathering materials and planning learning experiences.
Online Correspondence and Exchanges: Involves setting up keypal (e-mail penpal) or real time (via Skype, Elluminate) connections between your students, their online peers, and subject matter experts (SMEs) like scientists and engineers working in the field. Also includes the formation of learning communities using environments like Imbee, Facebook, Second Life, Tapped In, or NING. http://virtual-architecture.wm.edu/Telecollaboration/interpersonalexchange.html
Information Gathering: These projects challenge students to use the Internet to collect, analyze, compare, and reflect upon different sources of information. They also teach students to synthesize and determine the value and credibility of the resources they find. http://virtual-architecture.wm.edu/Telecollaboration/informationcollection.html
Problem-Solving and Competitions: Online competitions are projects through which students must use the Internet and other sources to solve problems while competing with other classrooms. Student created learning products are an outcome. Like ThinkQuest. http://www.abpc21.org/classroom20.html http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0212462/
WebQuests and Treasure Hunts: Online learning activities in which students explore and collect a body of online information and make sense of it – from an inquiry-driven approach. Problem-based scenarios promote higher-order thinking skills. http://www.ecps.k12.nc.us/dfw/ebaker/WebQuestHomepage.htm http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/formats.html
Online Conferencing : Students use asynchronous and synchronous learning environments or audio or video conferencing software to collaborate and complete various project objectives. This kind of activity becomes “business as usual” http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=180
Use a webbing approach to organize concepts and activities into content areas: the arts, sciences, social studies, mathematics, literature, and technology. The goal is seamless integration of all content area learning within the planned activities.
Organize the learning environment:
Consider space, time, materials, learning experiences, teacher/learner roles, methods of assessment and evaluation.
Initiate integrated/interdisciplinary study:
Arouse students’ curiosity and interest with stimulating introduction. Consider visual display of theme as well as introductory activities.
Bring closure to the theme by concluding with an event. Incorporate parent involvement, collaboration with other classes both in the school and the blogosphere, and allow students to use technology to enhance learning and celebrate success!
Assessment and authentic evaluation:
Use assessment and evaluation which may include the following: “kidwatching,” observations, anecdotal records, checklists, conferences, informal interviews, rubrics and digital portfolios.
Plan which content standards will be addressed while answering the question. (I start with my concept map, then I break into a topic map, then I match standards)
Involve students in the questioning, planning, and project-building process. (I decide which areas I will teach and then I put them in collaborative learning groups of mixed ability and let them choose the area where they will become experts- the go-to person for that topic)
Teacher and students brainstorm activities that support the inquiry.(I use a tic tac toe activity chart. Groups will choose three to do.)
Let the kids help plan and make decisions, and have them do the work in pairs or small teams
One of the great things about the Internet is that kids can collaborate across great distances. Try contacting a classroom across the country (or across the ocean) in a place your kids would like to learn about.
Your classes can exchange email or start an instant-message conversation. (Skype – Video Conferencing)
You use a wiki to work together to show how things are the same and different in each community.
Blog to Document http:// newliteracy.globalteacher.org.au / http://www.sjeds.com/blog/china/ Wiki to Document http://www.learningismessy.com/PublicService.htm http://westwood.wikispaces.com/Wildcat+Web+2+Project Podcast to Document http:// allanah.podomatic.com
Inquiry-driven learning is focused on teaching by engaging students in investigation.
“ Within this framework, students pursue solutions to nontrivial problems by asking and refining questions, debating ideas, making predictions, designing plans and/or experiments, collecting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, communicating their ideas and findings to others, asking new questions, and creating artifacts (e.g., a model, a report, a videotape, or an educational game that teaches the concept)."