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Category : 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?” […]

14 Feb 2019

Design Thinking in Preschool

A guest post by Erin Carey, Preschool Head of Learning and Innovation, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School So, you’ve heard a lot about Design Thinking, right? Well, have you ever thought about what that looks like with different groups of people? Specifically, what might that look like with young children, and the teachers that work with them every day? Here in the Preschool at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, we utilize the principles and practices of Design Thinking through Project Work done […]

13 Dec 2018

A Teacher’s Reflection on Courageous Conversations PBL

Guest post by Kristen Pisacreta: Seventh Grade Literature Project Based Learning A Teacher’s Reflection on a PBL centered on Courageous Conversations This semester students read the novel Monster, by Walter Dean Myers and explored what it feels like to be silenced in our judicial system and what rights are actually allowed by the First Amendment. Students analyzed the First Amendment and evaluated historical court cases that challenged the way we view our First Amendment rights regarding freedom of speech. After analyzing the […]

17 Jun 2018

Solving Problems – Life on the Crag as Natural Learning

When someone says “learning in school does not match real-life learning,” what do you think they mean? Isn’t a student’s experience in school part of their real life? Of course it is, but I think this is what the proverbial someone means – the structures of learning in school don’t closely enough match the structures of learning outside the parameters of typical school. To explore this idea in more detail, I often think of something specific that my older son […]

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 […]

07 Nov 2017

Curiosity and Passion Drive Learning

I hate exercising.  Well, hate is such a strong word…I really don’t like exercising.  The kind where you go to the gym, take a class, push-ups, sit-ups etc.  It’s not that I don’t exercise at all.  I guess it goes in spurts for whatever is piquing my interest at that moment, but it never lasts.  I’m just not that into it.  In fact, if I didn’t have to do it, I probably wouldn’t exercise at all. I should mention though […]

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 […]

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