Learning Adventure Project

PART ONE. Learning Adventure Project

Today we are starting a new project, one that will continue until almost the end of the semester.  You have all created learning activities, digital stories, a personal website, and more. Now it’s time to integrate all of your skills into one project.

Let’s Look at an Example

Before we get to all the details, let’s first look atsome examples of Adventures created by former EDIT 2000 students. Ours will be set up slightly different, but the premise is the same. You are basically creating a web site for students, parents, and teachers. The site is meant to guide a student through an adventure of your choosing (of course, it’s nice to offer them choices within your adventure as well).

Health Adventure: You Are What You Eat

Adventure in the Wilderness

Questions/Ideas

After looking at the student examples, what questions do you have? How do you think the adventure could have been improved? Do you notice any missing elements of the adventure that could have made it better? Think on this – maybe as we work through the project, you will want to go about it differently. That’s okay! Just be sure to talk with me to let me know your ideas.

Rubrics

Let’s look at the grading rubric so you’ll understand what needs to be included in each section.

Timeline

  • 11/7: Outlining
  • 11/12: Work Day 1
  • 11/14: Work Day 2 (Optional)- Feedback
  • 11/19: submission before beginning of the class / 20% Project
  • 11/21: Showcase for Learning Adventure & 20% Project

STEP ONE: What is an essential question?

You’ll want to get students interested in your topic by starting with an essential question. We’re going to try and write a few ourselves today.

  1. On an index card, write a question related to a topic about which you enjoy learning. For example, “what happened to the dinosaurs?”, “why did the Titanic sink”, etc.
  2. Get in a group with 3 other classmates, and use a tubric to turn your question into an essential question.
  3. How good is your question? Use the essential question development checklist on the last page of thishandout to see how well you did.

Share at least one good question with the class. Then, as a class, we’ll form a definition of essential questions and talk about how you can use these in your Learning Adventures.

STEP TWO: Backwards design – project-based learning and the “Show What You Know” section

Sometimes the best way to figure out what you want to teach is to first figure out what you want students to be able to do. When you’re cooking, most of the time you decide what you want to eat BEFORE you get together your ingredients. At least, in the more successful times that you are cooking. So, let’s figure out what kinds of projects your students might complete – then next week we’ll working on organizing resources to help them create their projects. Just as we choose a recipe by looking at pictures, a lot of kids will choose your adventure based on the project they will complete.

Project-based learning

Why does project-based learning even matter? What did you learn from the articles you read/videos you watched before today’s class. How does this apply to your Learning Adventure?

Together, we’ll watch the video on Applying Math Skills to a Real-World Problem.  What evidence do you see that this is a good project? What are the characteristics of a good project-based learning activity?

Brainstorm project ideas

Now it’s time to brainstorm project ideas. What kinds of projects might your student do? Will they create a glogster poster to show how the define a hero? Or will they create a stop animation video to talk about recycling? Maybe you’ll encourage your student to start a blog to help other middle schooler’s learn how to make and keep their friends. Here’s a long list of project ideas. Read about Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects for more ideas. This is a great place to use some of the tools you’ve learned about this semester.

Once you have a question and a project in mind, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to help students come up with an answer to your question and show you what they know (i.e. what they believe the answer is) with some type of project.

FOR NEXT TUESDAY:

  1. STUDY MATE reflection 2 due is this Sunday 12PM.
  2. Can’t think of an idea for your Learning Adventure? Wonderopolis is a great place to get questions and ideas for your adventure.
  3. Begin work on your Learning Adventure. I would recommend finishing the Inquire and the Show What You Know sections.  The Learning Adventure is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, November 19.To get started, you’ll need to create a Google site and do the following:
    • Make sure the title of your site reflects the nature of your adventure.
    • Make sure your navigation bar reflects the sections in the rubric distributed in class today.
    • Add a link to your Google site to your about.me page
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