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Tag : Project-based Learning

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 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, […]

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 […]

19 Jan 2017

Living in a Personal Case Study – Curiosity-based Learning

By Bo Adams, Executive Director, MVIFI Before the middle of November 2016, I had never really rock climbed before, other than some scrambling over boulders at various times of my life while playing or hiking. I definitely had never tied-in with a harness, donned the super-snug climbing shoes or doused my hands in chalk. There’s no way that I could have named a professional rock climber or told anyone what a Yosemite rating was. For the last two months, though, I […]

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