progressive education and project based learning at kazoo school n.
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Progressive Education and Project Based Learning at Kazoo School. What we do How we do it Why we do it. Kazoo School. Kazoo School is a small, independent, progressive, Pre-K - 8th grade school in Kalamazoo, MI. What is a Progressive School?.

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progressive education and project based learning at kazoo school

Progressive Education and Project Based Learning at Kazoo School

What we do

How we do it

Why we do it

kazoo school
Kazoo School

Kazoo School is a small, independent, progressive, Pre-K - 8th grade school in Kalamazoo, MI.

what is a progressive school
What is a Progressive School?

As Jim Nehring at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell observed, “Progressive schools are the legacy of a long and proud tradition of thoughtful school practice stretching back for centuries” — including hands-on learning, multiage classrooms, and mentor-apprentice relationships.

Progressive education doesn’t lend

itself to a single fixed definition.

Any two educators who describe themselves as sympathetic to this tradition may well see it differently, or at least disagree about which features are the most important.

progressive education is
Progressive Education is:

Despite such variations, there are enough elements on which most of us can agree so that a common core of progressive education emerges:

Attending to the whole child -- Intrinsic Motivation

Community -- Collaboration

Social justice-- Deep understanding

Active learning -- Taking kids seriously

why implement project based learning
Why implement Project Based Learning?

Today’s students will enter a job market that values skills and abilities far different from the traditional workplace talents that so ably served their parents and grandparents. They must be able to crisply collect, synthesize, and analyze information, then conduct targeted research and work with others to employ that newfound knowledge.

In essence, students must learn how to learn, while responding to endlessly changing technologies and social, economic, and global conditions.

The Collaborative Classroom: Social and Emotional Learning

Traditional academic approaches won’t develop learners who are critical thinkers or effective writers and speakers. Rather, students need to take part in complex, meaningful projects that require sustained engagement and collaboration.

what sticks
What sticks?

Conducting experiments to

find answers

Plastic spider does not stick!

collaborative learning
Collaborative Learning



to create


magnet maze
Magnet Maze

Engaged in Learning

lines of magnetic force
Lines of Magnetic Force

Focused, cooperative learners

competent confident students
Competent, confident students

Learning and

having fun!

magnetic racing hot wheels
Magnetic Racing Hot Wheels

Making connections

magnetic poles
Magnetic poles

Fun with trains!

science night
Science Night!

Sharing our learning with the community

Magnetic Fish Pond Student Made Displays

science night1
Science Night

Teaching others what we have learned

project based learning
Project Based Learning

Why teach this way?

-Real world problems capture students' interest and provoke serious and critical thinking

-Students learn to collaborate and share ideas

-Depth vs. Breadth - students explore topics more fully and develop deeper understanding

-Students learn to solve problems and make decisions independently

-Students develop competence and confidence

student inspired projects
Student Inspired Projects

Haitian Earthquake 2010

environmental stewardship
Environmental Stewardship

Native tallgrass prairie

restoration at Ft. Custer

Recreation Area

kleinstuck preserve
Kleinstuck Preserve

Collaborative Plot Studies

Individual Observation & Recording

upper elementary literature projects
Upper Elementary:Literature Projects

Students create dioramas, game boards, posters, plays, models and more to share their understanding of literature.

basegroup buddies
Basegroup Buddies

Older students pair with younger

'buddies' to serve as mentors,

role models, project helpers, and

field trip 'chaperones'.

computers and projects
Computers and Projects

Every 4th and 5th grader is provided a laptop for school use.

social studies projects in the upper elementary the constitution
Social Studies Projects in the Upper Elementary: The Constitution

Students learn the basics with hands-on projects.

more constitution
More Constitution . . .

. . . add some fun

using new knowledge making laws
Using New Knowledge: Making Laws

Student "Legislators" presenting the bills that became laws during the Legislative Session.

social studies in the upper elem grades regions of the united states
Social Studies in the Upper Elem. Grades:Regions of the United States

A race to find the important features of our United States Regions

Your Mission:

Create a series of clues that will direct the players to important geographical, cultural, historical, or recreational features of your region.

Your Challenge:

Use your research skills to find the important features about each of the states in your region in order to create good clues for your contestants.

so why isn t there more project based learning
So, why isn't there more Project Based Learning?

-More teacher preparation

-Greater involvement with Students

-Teacher as Facilitator vs. All-knowing Teacher

-Assessing a Project vs. Grading a Test

-Managing Group Dynamics and Conflict

-PBL teaches skills (planning, problem solving, collaboration, deep thinking) that are not easily measured by standardized testing.

your challenge
Your Challenge

-Decide how you want to teach.

-If progressive, project- and inquiry-based learning resonates with your style and your philosophy of teaching and learning, seek out independent or public schools that support these ideas for your internships as well as for your future teaching positions.