Thursday, May 23, 2013

Recycling--Project Based Learning in Action!

Project based learning is an incredible tool to use in any common core lesson.  It demonstrates a direct connection between theory and real world.  Further, it engages all students, involves students working in teams to accomplish a common goal, creates built-in support for students who might not process information as quickly due to language proficiency or limited background in the topic, taps into several disciplines within the same project at the same time, puts the responsibility for learning on the students, and allows the teacher more time to monitor/facilitate.  PBL prepares students for future careers in a global economy.

This  project based learning activity taps into the theme of recycling.   It is one that resonates with students of all ages in this day and age since students are more aware of the health of the planet than earlier generations were.  Earth has only a certain amount of resources so the need to recycle and reuse is paramount to preserving life here.  Unchecked disposal of man-made materials has major negative impacts on all lifeforms here including humans. 

So, through PBL students are given a mission to address this pressing issue in any way that resonates with them.  For this, students must arrive at a plan that articulately makes the case with their communities.  Students must articulate their argument in writing (English), devise plans to collect, organize what they find (math),  and recycle what they collect (science).  More may be involved here, but for a start, it is pure common core since more than one discipline is required to reach their goals.

Common core will offer many options for student learning.  When students have choices and collaboration is actively encouraged, they have a chance to experience what will be asked of them in the global community. 



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