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Thinking Through Project-Based Learning

Thinking Through Project-Based Learning
Guiding Deeper Inquiry

March 2013 | 216 pages | Corwin
Everything you need to know to lead effective and engaging project-based learning!

Are you eager to try out project-based learning, but don't know where to start? How do you ensure that classroom projects help students develop critical thinking skills and meet rigorous standards? Find the answers in this step-by-step guide, written by authors who are both experienced teachers and project-based learning experts.

Thinking Through Projects shows you how to create a more interactive classroom environment where students engage, learn, and achieve. Teachers will find

A reader-friendly overview of project-based learning that includes current findings on brain development and connections with Common Core standards

Numerous how-to's and sample projects for every K-12 grade level

Strategies for integrating project learning into all main subject areas, across disciplines, and with current technology and social media

Ways to involve the community through student field research, special guests, and ideas for showcasing student work

Whether you are new to project-based learning or ready to strengthen your existing classroom projects, you'll find a full suite of strategies and tools in this essential book.

About the Authors
Section One: Inquiry, the Engine of Deep Learning
1. The Whys and Hows of PBL
2. The Inquiring Human Animal
3. Making the World Safe for Thinking
4. The Thinking-Out-Loud-and-in-View Classroom
5. Designing Rich Learning Experiences
Section Two: Taking a Page From the Experts
6. Thinking Across Disciplines
7. Language Arts
8. Social Studies
9. Science
10. Math
11. The Project Spiral
Appendix A: Project Library
Appendix B: Discussion Guide
Appendix C: Professional Development Guide
Appendix D: Project-Based Learning Resources

Found a book that aligned better to the goals and objectives of the course. The Problem-Based Instruction course is for pre-service science teachers. We adopted Teaching Science in Elementary and Middle School by Krajcik and Czerniak (2014).
I would, however, recommend the Kruas book for general methods.

Dr Robert Ferguson
Teacher Education Dept, Cleveland State University
December 17, 2014
Key features
  • Offers a step-by-step guide to developing inquiry-rich projects, including identifying "power" standards, developing an essential question, planning an entry event, creating rubrics for assessment, and deciding on artifacts of learning.
  • Subject-specific chapters consider the language, tools, and methods professionals use, present projects and project ideas, and include reflections from teachers and students about teaching and learning the subject matter in an interdisciplinary way through projects.
  • Experiments – involving brainstorming, visualization, and reflection, all with the purpose of engaging the reader and activating his or her own inquiring mind.
  • Exercises that help readers connect what they are learning to their own practice
  • Conversations – sample conversations serve as models, familiarizing the reader with new ways of interacting as they guide students in meaningful study.
  • Thinking Routines – the purpose and general rules for thinking routines are described in chapter three, and then appear throughout chapters 4-9.
  • Illustrations from the ideas, practices, projects, and student work made available by teachers through blogs, wikis, project Web sites, photo sharing sites and participation in online discussions and Webinars—as well as illustrations or diagrams to clarify key ideas such as the phases of the inquiry cycle.
  • Resources – there are a variety of templates and forms presented in the book available for download in a companion Web site.
  • Technology Spotlights highlight useful technologies teachers and students use for teaching and learning.
  • Offers numerous samples that illustrate concepts and can be adapted to classroom use, including sample conversations, projects, rubrics
  • Facilitator Guide - a brief guide at the end of the book that helps principals, coaches and others use the text to guide teacher learning. The guide summarizes key concepts from each chapter and advises on facilitating group and individual activities. It also helps the facilitator know what to look for and respond to during class visits.
  • Web site – A resource hub with links to all the online tools, Web sites, forms, and templates presented in the book.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Book Study Discussion Guide

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ISBN: 9781452202563
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