Category: Project Based Learning

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Spread Their Wings

Videos could be great sparks for discussion and learning. When I saw this video of the eagle flying with a camera strapped to his back, I thought of all the ways it could spark even more learning in the classroom… -Generate questions: What landforms is he flying over? What is he possibly doing while he flies? What type of food might be looking for? -Calculations: Determine how fast eagles fly and calculate, using Google Earth to find distances, the amount of time it would take an eagle to fly across your city, state, country. -Fractions: Research the typical wingspan of...

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Blending It All Together

I don’t remember what my classroom was like before I went off the deep end for Project Based Learning, infusing inquiry, and STEM.  I’ll bet my students don’t remember much about it either.  I used to teach what was in chapters.  But, over time, I came to realize that the best stuff we can teach is in the world around us.  I became a learner with my kids.  I mean, I already WAS a learner, but there was a time when I didn’t think I could let my kids know that.  Not anymore. That little fact is what changed everything....

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At the Speed of Learning

My third graders have been studying the Iditarod race and tracking musher data online during the past few weeks.  Take a look at the data available on the mushers, like first place winner Mitch  Seavey.   Graphing, data analysis, addition, subtraction, addition, averages, and so much more become real as students follow the race online, tracking their own selected musher.  As a part of the study, we built our own sleds.  I cleaned out the art supplies and covered an entire table with random stuff. Popsicle sticks. Cardboard. Cotton. Yarn. Bubble Wrap. Recycled items.  The goal?  To build a sled that would carry...

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Got Robotics?

This weekend, I’m surrounded by nuts, bolts, and curly brackets.  Our school’s inaugural season of Botball is about to begin and I’m in training with 3 students.  We are learning software from KIPR (KISS Institute for Practical Robotics).  Students will build, program, and solve a series of real-world problems with their robots in a competition later this spring. As students gathered around their laptops and dove into programming with C code, I stood back. As the team mentor, I’m am there to support the kids, but not grab the mouse, fix their code, or build their robot.  I just get...