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Tag : PBL

25 Apr 2019

Who are modern explorers and where are they exploring now? Grade 4 Project Based Learning (PBL) Unit on Space Exploration.

  Originally posted on the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School Blog Contributed by Eileen Fennelly, Lower School Science Teacher Project Based Learning Starts With Questions The title question came from Mount Vernon fourth graders as they were working on a Project Based Learning (PBL) unit about The Age of Discovery last December (2018). Their curiosity stemmed from Modern Exploration. Fourth-grader Dalton asked, ”What about all of the new space companies? How are they going to give people rides if they are not astronauts?” […]

17 Apr 2018

HMW curate a museum that evokes empathy about social justice?

Blog post by Team 3, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School   We start with questions here at Mount Vernon…. How might we curate a museum that evokes empathy around social justice? Before beginning our research around social justice, our driving question led us to investigate museums and how they are created. We decided to take an expedition to Fernbank Museum of Natural History so that students could examine different types of exhibits as well as elements of museums including lighting, sound, […]

07 Mar 2018

The Paco Project – A Serendipitous Opportunity

An amazing opportunity came my way thanks to my PLN to engage students in a real-world design thinking challenge involving Paco, a blind dog: This could also be a chance for our MVIFI team to test out some tweaks to our DT/MDE methodology that we’ve been tinkering with in an authentic setting – real user, real problem, real designers. But more importantly, it would be an incredible opportunity for students to witness their ability to make an impact through the […]

20 Feb 2018

Using Critique for Formative Assessment and Higher Craftsmanship

Leveling Up Project Craftsmanship with Critique “Craftsmanship means dwelling on a task for a long time and going deeply into it, because you want to get it right.” – Matthew B. Crawford. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work   This week MVIFI hosted Collider  – an in house unconference style professional learning day*. I was curious to test and share a hypothesis that I have been pondering: As critique leads to higher craftsmanship, depth and complexity of […]

29 Nov 2017

Restaurant Profile Writing as PBL, by Max Hanson

Guest post by Max Hanson, Middle School Dean of Operations and Student Life, Grades 7 and 8, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. Posted from an email originally sent to parents of students in Mr. Hanson’s 8th grade English Language Arts course. === Dear Parents, Last Fall, my 9 year-old daughter was studying Greek Architecture at school and brought home an assigned project calling for her to recreate a smaller-scale version of the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. By the end […]

01 Nov 2017

Sunsetting Projects

How often do we talk with students about the end of the project, beyond just its due date? About what happens to the work they’ve done once the due date has passed? What happens to the “learning residue”? Do students see the end of a project as the moment that they get their grade, or when the project has stopped serving its purpose? Are these two moments different? If they are, should they be? Sunsetting as a natural part of […]

19 Oct 2017

Choreographer or Teacher? by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post by Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty at MVPS. This is post #3 in a series about 7th graders engaging in a design project as biomedical engineers.  === Choreographer or Teacher? I always struggle with how the beginning of a PBL is supposed to go. I have been under the assumption that the mark of a good PBL is when an entry event naturally leads students to the driving question. I agree with 50% of this statement. In my […]

17 Oct 2017

Design with Empathy, by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post by Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty at MVPS. This is post #2 in a series about 7th graders engaging in a design project as biomedical engineers.  === My students were about to embark on a design challenge to create medical solutions that could potentially be used by humans. I couldn’t help but think, how can I mentor them to be better than the medical professionals that I have come across? One memory stood out to me and I […]

28 Sep 2017

Biomedical Engineers in 7th Grade, by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post from Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty. This is the first post of a series. === Mount Vernon Capstone Design Project: The Birth Story I learned a very important fact at a Research & Design science team meeting last year: our students have one opportunity to learn the basics of human anatomy… and that is in seventh grade. If students become passionate about this subject, then they have the choice to take an additional elective course in the upper […]

26 Sep 2017

How Will You Make A Difference? – Scaffolding Impact

  Q: How do you make a difference? A: By going out and doing something.   The answer to the question might seem trite, but if you boil it down, it really is as simple as that.   But when educators think about a charge to “help students make a difference”, the clarifying questions educator are often asking themselves are more about the boots-on-the-ground aspect of what difference-making looks like in school.   When you take the long view of […]

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