Incorporate Project-Based Learning into the Curriculum
Just in time for summer, Defined Learning has launched a new online professional development course, Performance Task PD with Jay McTighe, coauthor of Understanding by Design. The four-module course guides educators through the process of incorporating project-based learning into their current curriculum. Module 1 gives a basic outline of a performance task, including key characteristics such as outlines and rubrics and reasons for using them to evaluate students. Module 2 describes appropriate criteria for designing an effective lesson and tools to align the task with current curriculum, state standards, Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards. Module 3 provides a roadmap for educators to follow as they make adjustments to incorporate project-based learning into their curriculum. Participants will understand how their role as an educator leading the class will shift as they become a coach providing feedback and guidance to allow students to gain 21st-century skills by exploring real-world topics, solving problems, and working collaboratively. And Module 4 demonstrates how to evaluate each performance task using a rubric and how to “plan backward,” starting with the task analysis. This module also examines how tasks correlate with students’ ongoing formative assessment, which includes engaging students in self-assessment, reflection, and goal setting.
Meta’s Engineer for the Week (EFTW) is a free program that introduces engineering to learners (aged 11–18) historically underrepresented in STEM. Over the course of 15 to 20 hours, learners work alongside adult facilitators to build technology prototypes that address a social issue of their choice.
BoomWriter is a simple-to-use and highly engaging writing platform that engages and inspires young writers. Students choose from one of BoomWriter’s story starts or write their own. Then they read, plan, and write the next chapter of the story.
Project Budburst, which is managed by the National Ecological Observatory and Chicago Botanic Garden, collects data on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants throughout the year to help scientists investigate the impact of climate change on different species.