November 28, 2011

The ROLE is enveloped in the year-long project

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The year-long project is part of a successful results-only classroom and a piece that confounds many people. "How do year-long projects work?" is a popular question among colleagues and friends.

We are in the midst of my favorite year-long project. I call it MAD, or Make a Difference. The MAD project is an extension of a three-day project I started last year called, FedEX -- a name borrowed from Dan Pink's Drive. That project gave students two days to create anything they wanted to with very little restriction. On the third day, they delivered the project in class (a la FedEX).

The FedEX project was such a hit that I decided to convert it into a year-long event that would give me a chance to teach most of our curriculum objectives while allowing students to demonstrate their skills and to create something special. You can view the basic guidelines and some project choices at this link. It may not look like much, but I cover most of our learning outcomes with this project.

More on the specifics of how I do this later.

Meanwhile, think of one project that your students can work on all year that they'll love and that will create a fantastic avenue for you to teach most of your objectives. I dare you not to drive yourself nuts, considering the possibilities.

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