- Consider Your Content - What matters to students that could serve as the foundation for the assignment? If the topic is pre-determined, why should it matter to students? (Comics, dating, drawing, famous people, personal talents, sports, technology, videogames)
- Connect to a Context - Cultural, Meaningful, Real Life, Relevant (Think: What are some real world circumstances, contexts, or fields in which this topic would be a substantive and meaningful?)
- Determine the Demonstration - Decide on a task that would allow students to demonstrate their understanding in meaningful ways.
Forte, Imogene, & Schurr, Sandra. (2003). Curriculum & project planner for integrating learning styles, thinking skills, and authentic instruction. Nashville, TN: Incentive Publications. ISBN 0-86530-348-7. This fold-out planning sheet offers an at-a-glance look at ways to integrate multiple intelligences with Bloom's taxonomies, a variety of different student assessments, projects, and performances, and sample curriculum outcomes. Superb if you need ideas for meeting the needs of a variety of different students!
- Search for Samples - Even if you don't use them, looking at potential examples will give you ideas that will help you to strengthen the project. Be sure to keep track of samples that show what to do and ones that show what NOT to do from both novices and experts. (Google Notebook is a great tool for doing this.)
- Separate Into Steps - What will students need to know, understand, and be able to do in order to accomplish the task? How will you teach these things to students prior to asking them to complete the project? What tasks will students need to do in order to complete the overall project? What steps will students need to follow in order to complete each task?
Video Lesson Presentation Project Tchr Notes.doc
- Rough Out a Rubric - Doing this will help you to clarify and define what you really want, break what students will need to do into discrete elements so that you can explain it to them more easily, and recognize potential places in the process where students might have difficulty so that you can provide appropriate scaffolding. Be sure to outline your expectations for quality content, process, and product.
Speaking Rubric Outline.doc
- Scaffold the Students - What scaffolding will you provide in order to ensure student success? Be sure to consider:
- access to content (hard copies of materials, search skills, notetaking skills, organizational skills),
- equipment (borrow from a friend, check out from school, learning centers, use at school outside of the school day),
- expertise (content/topic, field/process, technology),
- process (what to do, how to do it, how much to do in class v. out of class, roles of group members, progress reports, standards for performance, brainstorming activities, timelines, planning sheets, storyboarding worksheets, editing worksheets, etc.), and
- technology skills (what equipment or software to use, how to make it work, how to use shortcuts and special features, tips for troubleshooting, tutorials, who to ask for help--including peers)
- Board Game Scaffolding Sheet.doc
- News Activity.doc (Example of how a teacher might use a student assignment sheet at a learning center to prepare students for a group project)
- Teach the Processes & the Tasks - Students need to be "taught" how to work in groups, how to break projects into manageable steps, and how to work together to complete tasks. Here are some tools that will help you with that:
Classroom Management Resources - Links to a wide variety of tips and tricks for addressing common classroom management issues, including getting students' attention, interventions for inappropriate behaviors, managing transitions between activities, etc.
Establishing a Climate for Learning - This electronic newsletter from the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center contains links to a plethora of practical strategies and materials that teachers can use to help them become better classroom managers
Learning Centers - Links to ideas and information for structuring learning centers
Making Groups Work.doc
- Teach the Tech - Students need to be "taught" how to do projects, how to work in groups, and how to use the technology. Visit Cool Tech Tools for help with that!