May 10, 2012

Where do you go for project-based assessment ideas?

Next year, my school will be moving from 46-minute teaching blocks to 60-minute blocks. This scares a lot of people.

"What will we do with all of that time?" they ask. "The students can't sit still for 40 minutes, much less 60."

Of course they can't, I think. And why should they? Who wants to sit around listening to teachers talk for two-thirds of an hour?

"If the students work on projects, you'll see that 60 minutes isn't really that long at all," I say. Many reply not-so-sheepishly that they have no idea what that looks like. Admittedly, they don't know where to begin, and the notion of shifting from a traditional lecture-worksheet-test style to a student-centered project-based class is frightening.

There isn't a lot of good, detailed blueprints for projects in various subjects, so I understand their fears, even though I use project-based assessment in language arts all year.

So, where do you go for helpful ideas for creating good projects in different subject areas?