Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How can projects provide opportunities for deeper thinking in my classroom?

Projects initiate student centered learning. As the teacher, I can coach, guide, and direct student learning as students take over the center of the learning process. A well designed project would provide decisions that are made by students, flexibility for application of students' interest, and allow for collaboration with classmates.

Project work must align with state/district standards. Ideally, projects are driven by an essential question that will cross multiple or all physical science units. Models and guidelines of high quality work would be provided (rubrics, checklists, and/or samples of student work).

By including real-world connections for any project work, the work becomes more relevant to students' lives.


  1. Making a well designed project is time consuming, but worth the effort. I like your idea of making real world connections to make the learning more relevant. I have two questions for you: What do you do with students that finish their projects early? Do you require all the work to be done at school? (We have been battling moms all year that complete their students projects if they are sent home.)

  2. Rick,

    I like how you use the essential question that covers all science areas. This seems like a great starting point to any project. Also having the students look at a model of a project will ensure that your students are doing the project correctly. These rubrics and checklists must be very helpful. The real world connection makes it interesting for the students as well.