21st Century Learning DowningtownSIXTH GRADE CENTER
Challenge: If you were building a new school, and were able to involve enthusiastic kids, experienced teachers, committed parents, an interested business community, an inspired administration and a supportive school board, what might you create? What could be new? What could be different? What would be better?
21st Century Student Outcomes • 1. Core Subjects (the 3 Rs) and 21st Century Themes • 2. Learning and Innovation Skills • Creativity and Innovation • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving • Communication and Collaboration • 3. Information, Media and Technology Skills • Information Literacy • Media Literacy • ICT Literacy • 4. Life and Career Skills
Project Based Learning …hails from a tradition of pedagogy which asserts that students learn best by experiencing and solving real-world problems. (Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008(12); Thomas, 2000(13)): • students learning knowledge to tackle realistic problemsas they would be solved in the real world • increased student controlover his or her learning • teachers serving as coaches and facilitators of inquiry and reflection • students (usually, but not always) working in pairs or groups
Benefits of PBL • PBL increases long-term retention of content, helps students perform as well as or better than traditional learners in high-stakes tests, improves problem-solving and collaboration skills, and improves students' attitudes towards learning(Strobel & van Barneveld, 2009(14); Walker & Leary, 2009(15)). PBL can also provide an effective model for whole-school reform. (National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform, 2004(16); Newmann & Wehlage, 1995(17)).
Necessary Components • A realistic problem or project • Structured group work • Multi-faceted assessment • Teacher participation in staff development and a professional learning network
Ideal conditions for 6GC PBL • Interdisciplinary Teams • Proposed one to one tablet initiative • Strong core curriculum that has interdisciplinary connections • Block scheduling • Proposed Integrated Digital Literacy Course
What’s New – Proposed Integrated Digital Information Technology • One IDT teacher for each house • (4 interdisciplinary teams) • Teachers will integrate planned technology instruction in the context of interdisciplinary projects. • Teachers will work with core and encore classes in whole class, small group and individualized instruction. • There will be an online component as well.
Why integrate technology? BIG IDEA:information is changing at exponential rates – doubling every 5 years . Consequently, we are never going to teach kids in the 21st century everything they need to know. • Integrating digital literacy skills teaches students how to learn, synthesize, and evaluate the information that is readily available in a digital world. • Research shows that tech integration deepens and enhances the learning process. • The Common Core Standards call for students to develop digital media and technology skills.
Technology and PBL • PBL and tech integration make a perfect marriage – you can’t have one without the other. • IT assisted PBL allows students to create, communicate, and collaborate in ways that will revolutionize the way they learn.
Investigations In Engineering • Utilizes “Engineering Now!” pilot curriculum developed by Boston MOS (Engineering is Elementary designers) • Two days per cycle • Opportunities for interdisciplinary projects
Key Tenets • Engineering design challenges must demonstrate how engineers help people, animals, or society. • Projects must be set in a large, real-world context to show where and how engineering information and tasks might be relevant. • Engineering role models must be of both sexes, from a variety of races and ethnicities, and have different abilities/disabilities and a wide range of hobbies and interests. • Design challenges must be truly open-ended with more than one correct answer.
Key Tenets • Challenges must be amenable to evaluation by both qualitative and quantitative measures. • Failure must be treated as a necessary and inherent part of engineering that invites subsequent improvements in designs. • Steps in the process should be explicitly organized to build student skills progressively, without making the process formulaic.
Engineering Now! Unit Design • Utilizes clips from “Design Squad Nation”: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXZjKhBaaNI&list=SP8954EC33654535E6 • Presents lessons as problems or investigations to be solved • Utilizes design and build process • Supplies are common, low cost materials
Proposed Units of Study • Bio-Engineering – 8 days • Construction – 8 days • Manufacturing – 8 days • Aerospace Engineering – 8 days • Energy – 8 days • Agriculture – 8 days • Lego Robotics – 12 days
Introduction to Spanish, French, German • Every other day course (three days per six day cycle) • Purpose: Provide a foundation for learning a foreign language by creating a course that maximizes “comprehensible input.”
TPRS • “Total Physical Response and Storytelling” • Research based and evaluated approach for teaching classroom foreign language - best for introduction • The goal is to allow students to learn a second language in much the same manner as we learn our first—through the senses and comprehensible sensory input. • Increases total time in target language with gestures and repetition so students have greater comprehension and retention
TPRS • Students learn details of a story (background information) in both the past and the present tenses from the beginning using high frequency words. • Use first language to quickly check comprehension, all else is in target language. • 3 Pillars of TPRS are comprehension, aural repetition and interest.
How Is It Different than Rosetta Stone and WL I courses? • The emphasis of the TPRS method is listening and speaking – comprehensible input. • It is superior to most other introductory methods because the methodology lessens students inhibition, or affective resistance, to attempting to communicate.
How Is It Different than Rosetta Stone and WL I courses? • Rosetta Stone concentrates more on vocabulary and word recognition • Traditional WL courses will focus more attention on grammar, sentence structure and writing
Implications for WL Curriculum • WL I will be offered in 7th grade as an elective course • There will probably be on-going curricular re-design based on student progress through Rosetta Stone and Introductory courses • TPRS methodology will researched for further integration into higher level WL courses
6th Grade Wellness • 3 day per Cycle Course • No longer two disconnected 2 day/quarterly courses • Instructional time for PE is increased by not having students change • Utilizing LifeSkills pilot curriculum in the Health component • Emphasizing physical exercise/healthy choices connection
6th Grade Wellness • Every other day course has potential for interdisciplinary connections • Will allow for time extensions based on student learning • Best practice and research will inform equipment purchase
Revolutionize the Learning Process! 21st Century Learning - Myths and Opportunities