Below you find some examples that represent my emphasis on interesting and authentic instruction via projects.
To Tell the Truth | Cold War Game Show
As a part of a Cold War unit students competed in a game show as personalities famously involved in the Cold War. The clip above is what I used to introduce the assignment. We basically followed the structure of the original show except students pretended to be from different spy agencies acting a person from the Cold War and the judges were teachers. Students enjoyed trying to trick our guest judges and the project rewarded students who could think on their feet. Here is are some documents which accompany the project: pdf of the assignment, pdf of the teams, pdf of hints for judges, pdf of the audience cards, pdf of the slides for the day of the show(s).
21st Century Classroom Flipped Lesson
As a part of four teacher professional certificates I worked on at Sophia I developed unit projects. These projects were used to assess the teacher’s proficiency on that unit’s competency and sub-competency. Please note this samples are excerpts from different projects: unit competencies for a standards based unit, a project description for creating a flipped lesson, a list of requirements from a UBD project evaluating a colleague, a rubric from a project implementing 21st Century instructional framework. Additional information about this project is available from Sophia’s project website (the content is planned for a stagger release with the certificates not complete until late 2015 or 2016).
World War II Newsreel Assignment
As a part of a World War Two unit students were asked to create a period authentic newsreel about an event from WWII. Much of this project was through small group instruction and discussions but here is a pdf (Newsreel.pdf) of the Smartboard files used to go through the assignment. Even students with zero video editing/creating experience did some awesome work. *Also all the video and audio available to them was public domain or not copyrighted.
This video was created by one of my student. I can’t take credit for his work all I do is create the conditions and environment for students to shine. While not every student reached this level of performance his work was not atypical from most students.
As part of a European Enlightenment unit students created a resume for an enlightener then applied and interviewed for the job of the “most enlightened” (group interview). The project always seemed to be a hit with students and my colleagues because it combined real world skills with knowledge of the content in a nontraditional way. Here is a pdf (Enlightened Enlighteners) of the assignment.
As a summer course I took 3rd and 4th graders on walking tours of downtown Minneapolis. Students worked in teams to create virtual tours of our trips using google maps. The class was a blast both years I taught it because we combined many individual skills into a polished final project which they could share with their friends and family. Here are the students roles for the class (Mapping Minneapolis roles.pdf) and below is a screen shot from the website where I hosted their work.
Of course there is always more but here are some quick hitters to round out this sampling of my instruction. I have use CoverItLive to host online discussion while we watched political speeches and debates (it used to be a free web 2.0 program). I have used a blog to host my class messages (instead of writing on the board) and had students write their own blogs. I also have used VoiceThread to have students show how both culture and art changed during the Renaissance and Reformation. Below is an example and again I can’t take credit for their work all I do is create the conditions and environment for students to shine*Instructors if you like copies of these or other work for use or modification in your own classroom feel free to contact me and I’ll pass them on.