Category Archives: Project Based

Great idea for a New Year

A great idea for a new year of classroom activities can be found at a blog on We Are Teachers.  Why not check it out.  While you are at the blog site, you could click around to some great ideas and even grant ideas. 

Everyone knows a teacher is always busy with many things but do your self a favor this year and investigate some websites that might spark an idea, brighten your day or lighten your perspective.

Perhaps someone out there has some ideas to share with us.  Go for it!


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Are there novelists lurking in your classroom?

Are there novelists lurking in your classroom?  Do you think you and they could each create a novel in one month?

Many educators believe that the answer to both questions is YES!  In this Edutopia Blog Laura Bradley, an educator and blogger, explains how her middle school students accomplished this with oodles of excitement among the young writers – they were asking to write.  Those who are teaching Grade 8 students know what a feat this was.

Look at her blog and click on some of the links she used to help the process.  It is all part of a national project that you can learn more about by going to the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo site.  This is for any age writer so elementary and middle school teachers take heart.  You can download free materials to help in the process.

Share your progress, your success, your challenges as you attempt this project in November!  If you are going to participate, you need to check it out now and plan your classroom activities leading up to the Big Write!


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Do you have an idea worth sharing?

Do you have a classroom idea worth sharing?  It might just win a grant or prize.  The We are Teachers website offers just that for teachers.  If you let us all know and we like your classroom idea we can cast our vote for you and your project.

This site is great for hands-on teachers who want and need new ideas and the simple technology or supplies to accomplish it.  The grants are not huge, but they might help you get that flip video recorder or a set of e-readers or …..  You need to check often because new grants are always listed.

Do yourself a favor and visit and subscribe to We are Teachers.


Did you ask a question today? Did your Students?

This can the beginning of a science project or a moment of real learning.  Asking questions is how we learn, just listen to a two or three-year old.  Why do we stop?  Or maybe we just stop saying them out loud.

Google is launching the second annual on-line science fair.  A student can submit from any country as long as the student has internet access.  Language is not a barrier.  Projects can be submitted in 80 different languages.  Read about this new concept in science fairs and perhaps you encourage students to participate. 

The key to any science fair is the question asked.  Help your students formulate a clear and BIG question and then determine their route to an answer.  We have budding scientists in our classrooms.  Let’s help them discover their question, their process, and their learning. 

Let us hear from you or your students if you are going to take this challenge!


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Students Design Solutions, if You Let Them

Calling all teachers interested in project based learning and helping the environment.  There is an opportunity for you and your students to register to be part of the “Design Your Own Planet” competition Planet Challenge.  If your students’ project is selected, you receive $500 to help you carry it out.  Registrations due December 23, 2011.

There are many opportunities out there for “projects” developed by students like the St. Louis’ The Big Return.  The Disney Planet Challenge is limited to environmental projects and it seems to link very well with the curriculum.  What ever type of “project” you allow your students to develop, it is a great way to develop those 21st century skills.  Connect your lessons to real life and give students an opportunity to design their own learning vehicles.

Comment on this post and tell me and other teachers how your “projects” are going.  What great ideas have students developed?  Someone out there may want to help out and/or replicate the project in their classroom.  Students’ great ideas are worth sharing.