Project-Based Learning in the Secondary Math Classroom? YES! - By Carolyn Marchetti Districts and schools everywhere are seeing the value and benefits of using project-based learning in the classrooms. It may seem easy for science teachers because they are accustomed to inquiry-based teaching, and maybe even elementary teachers because they have the same students all day and can integrate the projects across content areas. But what about us Continue Reading
Tools for Encouraging Classroom Collaboration - Rachelle Dene Poth There are so many options available to facilitate collaboration and communication in classrooms today, that it can be challenging to decide which tool would be the most beneficial. What do I recommend? When I got started, I took a close look at my classroom and the interactions in class. I thought about the different ways we Continue Reading
Top 5 Articles on STEM Education and PBL - By Maggie O'Brien Each month, we list news articles on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and project-based learning (PBL) that we find exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM’s mission of empowering students to build future-ready skills through authentic Continue Reading
How to Spark Student Interest in STEM - Tips for helping students understand STEM and how it connects to all subjects and careers. By Kelsey Bednar The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiative has been gaining traction in the global workforce and classrooms for the past 10 years. The world “STEM” means different things to different people, but more and more educators agree that it is Continue Reading
Assessments that Improve STEM Success - By Anne Jolly "Assessment should be deliberately designed to improve and educate student performance, not merely to audit as most school tests currently do." - Grant Wiggins You’ve located and designed STEM lessons. You’ve guided your students through exploring problems, creating solutions, and working in teams to do that. Now comes the big question: What did your kids learn? Continue Reading
Building 21st-Century Skills Through a Competency-Based Learning Model - By David Reese, Ed.D. Competencies, future-ready skills, 21st century skills all involve students doing something. For the students, these ideas represent the “how” to do something or the skills needed to navigate a situation. For the teacher, these ideas represent the “why” we teach students using certain strategies. And for the curriculum, it is the application of “what” we Continue Reading
Getting Started with Blended Learning - By Rachelle Dene Poth There has been a lot of discussion about how to implement blended learning or how to “flip your classroom.” For some educators, the questions about blended and flipped learning seem to be mostly focused on defining blended learning and implementing it in the classroom. With so many diverse digital tools available, it can be challenging to Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of January - By Maggie O'Brien Each month, we list news articles on STEM education and project-based learning (PBL) that we find exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of empowering students to build future-ready skills through authentic project-based learning. Here's what Continue Reading
STEM, Maker Spaces, and Engaged Students - By Anne Jolly Recharge your Students It’s February, and I’ll bet students are bouncing into your classroom and chomping at the bit to jump into their lessons and assignments. They’re eagerly working as hard as they can. No doubt they stay on task and learn with enthusiasm and persistence. Not exactly? Well, you’re not alone. Curtis Chandler, 2011 Kansas Continue Reading
Teaching Collaborative Problem-Solving for 21st-Century Success - Performance tasks provide opportunities for students to practice working together and problem-solving. By David Reese, Ed.D. As educators, it’s our job to prepare the students of today for the jobs of tomorrow. Collaborative problem-solving is a critical part of the 21st-century workforce and essential to success. In 2015, OECD and PISA defined collaborative problem solving as “the capacity Continue Reading
Powerful Student Learning Through STEM and CTE Partnerships - By Anne Jolly Every student deserves to go into the world with confidence and aptitudes needed to face a new life filled with opportunities. As 2018 rolls out, educators are still asking: How will we accomplish that? How can we inspire our students and equip them with the mindsets, habits, flexibility, and skills they need to be successful? So Continue Reading
Teaching Strategies for Kinesthetic Learners in STEM Education - By H. Davis Each fall, students, teachers, and parents come together for another academic school year, and as we watch our students grow, it quickly becomes clear that each child has their own unique way of learning about the world around them. One student might spend countless hours reading a book quietly in the corner, for example, while another Continue Reading
How to Develop Future-Ready Students - By Kelsey Bednar We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist … using technologies that haven’t been invented … in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” —Richard Riley, former Secretary of Education This quote from former Secretary Riley rings truer than ever in our 21st-century world. As his quote suggests, Continue Reading
10 Online Tools to Help You Create Beautiful Classroom Presentations - By Gloria Kopp Slideshows and presentations, whether they are PowerPoint or otherwise, are a great way to introduce new concepts and educate your students in new and exciting ways so they can grasp the data a lot easier. Most children these days are very visual learners and instead of having teachers stand at the front of the class simply Continue Reading
Top 10 STEM Education Articles of 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien We reviewed the major news articles written on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in 2017 and found ten that we think are exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and STEAM (STEM+Arts) initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM’s mission of assisting students in developing Continue Reading
Getting Started With Project-Based Learning - Tips for encouraging teachers to implement project-based lessons. Try PBL days! By Kelsey Bednar As both teachers and students come back to school in January rested and re-charged, it is the perfect time to implement a new, engaging strategy like Project-Based Learning (PBL). If you want to try this out but your school has not developed a plan Continue Reading
Preparing Students to Thrive in a Modern Workforce - By Lydia Withrow With report after report touting the American economy’s need for STEM workers, school districts across the country have rushed to roll out STEM and STEAM initiatives. As is often the case in education these days, though, specific subject knowledge is less important than broader skills such as digital literacy, problem-solving, and social skills. At Horace Mann Continue Reading
PBL: Trust the Process - By David Reese, Ed.D. I often come across educators who are concerned with the time that project-based learning can take in their classroom. Often, shortcuts are looked for and taken, which diminish the value of the learning process. It is important to have a vision for the outcome and an understanding of how the process can benefit students. Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of November - By Maggie O'Brien | November 2017 Each month, we review news articles written on STEM education and project-based learning (PBL) and list five that we think are exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of assisting students in developing the Continue Reading
Authentic STEM Projects: Learning with a Purpose - By Anne Jolly Problem-solving is the heart of STEM investigations, but not just any old problem will do. STEM focuses on authentic projects that fuel students’ curiosity and investigative interests – problems that generate enthusiasm and a sense of empathy as kids engage in work that truly matters. Students might design and create solutions to make a product safer Continue Reading
Enhancing Teaching and Learning with eLearning Videos - By Mary Ginley In a world that has been taken over by social media outlets and video sharing platforms, it makes sense for teachers to capitalize on students’ interest in digital media. Videos, in particular, are a valuable tool that can significantly increase student engagement and interaction with important academic work. For example, look at the rise and Continue Reading
Combining Inquiry and PBL: 3 Guidelines for Success - By Kelsey Bednar High-Quality Project-Based Learning (PBL) provides opportunities for sustained inquiry over multiple working sessions. Transitioning to PBL involves shifts in planning, instruction, classroom management and teacher-student interaction. In my experience supporting educators who are making this shift, I hear one challenge voiced more consistently than others: how do I facilitate student inquiry? Sustained Inquiry is one of Continue Reading
Promoting Student Agency Through Project-Based Lessons - By David Reese, Ed.D. I frequently collaborate with teachers around the ideas of making learning authentic and relevant for students. The conversation is often driven by the need for student engagement, igniting student passion, and ensuring students develop the skills needed to be lifelong learners. In my years of teaching, I found a great way to achieve this was Continue Reading
What is Student Agency? - By David Reese The term student agency relates to the student having an active role in their learning through voice, and often a choice, in the process. Project and problem-based learning provide opportunities to increase student agency through activities that are interesting and relevant to the learner. When the student has agency, the student is making, creating, doing, sharing, Continue Reading
STEM and PBL: A Perfect Combination - By Kelsey Bednar In today’s educational culture, you would be hard-pressed to find a school that did not count STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) or Project-Based Learning (PBL) as one of their core initiatives. While these educational philosophies sound different on the surface, in actuality, they are more similar than many might think. In fact, I would posit Continue Reading
How I Expose My Students to the Real World - By Jamie Harbin As a STEAM teacher, I believe it is critical that our students understand and make connections between the classroom and the real world. While not every child aspires to be an engineer, nor do we expect them to be, every child will be faced with challenges or obstacles at some point in their school career or Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of October 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien Each month, we review news articles written on STEM education and project-based learning (PBL) and list five that we find exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of assisting students in developing the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed in Continue Reading
11 Characteristics of an Engaging STEM Classroom - By Anne Jolly If you’re a new STEM teacher you may be wondering: “What should my STEM class look like? What should my students be doing?” If you’re a veteran STEM teacher perhaps you are asking yourself: “How are my STEM classes coming along? What does an action-packed STEM class look like?” Take a look at 11 things that Continue Reading
Four Opportunities to Connect Authentic Learning and Community - By Dr. David Reese, Ed.D. I was working with educators from a large urban school district in Florida on the development of performance tasks when one of the educational leaders suggested creating local community tasks to drive student engagement. This was a great idea as the county is very diverse and local community tasks could look very different from Continue Reading
5 Steps to Engaging Students in a Performance Task - By: Holley Burford It is no secret that student’s in today’s increasingly complex world need to be equipped with a vast range of skills to enter the workforce. Many are learning and preparing for jobs that have not even been created yet. To help our students be prepared, teachers need to look at how they learn best. One way Continue Reading
STEM and STEAM – What’s the Difference? - By Anne Jolly You already know what the acronym, STEM, stands for – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Add an “A” for arts, and the acronym becomes STEAM. At first, including that “A” generated questions and frequent push-back, since STEAM brings together what we generally think of as polar opposites in the curriculum. But STEAM is part of the Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of September 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien Each month we review articles written on STEM (science, technology, education, and mathematics) education and project-based learning (PBL). Below are five that we found exceptionally inspiring and educational last month. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of assisting students in developing Continue Reading
Parents: Ideal STEM Partners - By Anne Jolly How can students continue to grow in STEM habits and attitudes through holidays, weekends, and even during the school day, given the relatively short time that STEM teachers can interact with a class of students? Consider this: parents may be an untapped resource. After all, who else is more interested in a child’s success, both in Continue Reading
A Unique Rotation Model that Engages Students in STEM - Four Teachers from four different classrooms at Huntington Middle School (PA) used their individual strengths in a rotational, project-based model to teach middle-school students how to apply STEM to real-world situations. The team included technology teacher Matt Rakar, library media specialist Sally Steward, math teacher Ben Young, and science teacher Samantha DeMatteo who split the students into four classes and Continue Reading
5 Tips for Engaging Students in STEM - By Anne Jolly I never intended to be a teacher. I took a “temporary” job as a middle school science teacher when I moved to a new city and no jobs were available in my virus research profession. By the end of that first year, I was in love. I fell in love with kids, classroom, and teaching. I Continue Reading
3 Reasons Why Performance Tasks are the Best “Back to School” Activities - By Kelsey Bednar It’s that time of year again! Teachers and students are back to school with a renewed excitement about the prospects of an exciting, productive year ahead. Before the new learning can begin, time must be taken to establish expectations, evaluate prior knowledge, and review content and concepts. Each of these activities serves an important purpose, but Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of August 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien We reviewed the major news articles written on STEM education and project-based learning (PBL) last month and found five that are exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM’s mission of providing students with engaging real-world project-based lessons that Continue Reading
Girls Can Be STEM Champions! - By Anne Jolly Don’t miss this report: The Complex Data on Girls in STEM in The Atlantic Daily. The new National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measured students’ ability to think through problems systematically, using technology and engineering to arrive at the best solutions. And now for the Big Reveal. Guess what the results showed? Girls outscored boys – Continue Reading
How to Create an Engaging Lesson that Infuses Literacy and STEM - Two elementary school teachers explain how they infused literacy and STEM to create an engaging lesson that improved their students problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Last year, Lake Lehman School District (Lehman, PA) created an innovation team that consisted of a group of lead innovative teachers responsible for working with classroom teachers to implement collaborative projects that connect innovation to Continue Reading
Hands-on Training Model Shows Teachers the Power of PBL - A New Jersey district uses a train-the-trainer model to introduce educators to project-based learning. If you had walked into a Hopatcong Borough School District classroom two years ago, you likely would have seen students seated quietly, with a teacher standing at the front of the class giving a lesson. In 2015, Hopatcong’s goal was to increase student engagement, and Continue Reading
A Superintendent’s Perspective: The Elements of a Successful PBL Strategy - By Dr. Art Fessler To make sure our students are future-ready, learning in District 59 reflects the real work being done in the world, empowers the learner, solves real-world problems, and provides for student agency. We are moving from a traditional means of education to an environment where kids are empowered to learn. Our lessons now require an emphasis Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of July 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien We reviewed the major news articles written on STEM education and project-based learning (PBL) last month and found five that we think are exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of providing students with engaging real-world PBL lessons Continue Reading
Study Confirms Project-Based Learning Has a Positive Impact on How Students Learn Science and Math - By Dr. Kerry Speziale My research team and I recently presented findings of a study we conducted on project-based learning at the ISTE 2017 conference. The study compared elementary classes who were piloting project-based learning (PBL) against classes that were continuing to use the district’s traditional curriculum. Our findings were consistent with a broad array of existing research that Continue Reading
4 Content Considerations for Educational Leaders - By Dr. David Reese, Ed. D. In my research to learn about what attributes school systems envision for their future graduates, I’ve found that content applications were a constant based upon academic standards. However, many systems focused on how the content was to be used by the future graduates. Based on this research, I have compiled 4 content Continue Reading
Tips to Help You Plan Project-Based Lessons – Part 2 - Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part blog series. For the first blog post, click here. By Kelsey Bednar As you think about how you can enhance your curriculum with project-based learning (PBL), there are four important elements you should consider: Content Selection Student Mindset Inquiry Classroom Organization In last week’s blog, I discussed the Continue Reading
3 Ways to Prepare Educators to Teach PBL - By Art Fessler | Getting Smart Passion is a driving force in all facets of life, especially teaching and learning. Learning in Community Consolidated School District 59 (CCSD59) in the Chicago suburbs reflects the actual work being done in the world, empowers the learner, solves real-world problems and provides for student agency. To make sure our students are future-ready, lessons now require Continue Reading
How District Leaders Are Revamping the Curriculum to Better Prepare Students for the Real World - Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from the July issue of Tech & Learning Leader As a futurist and innovator, Tim Brown looks at emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and robotics to figure out where the economy, industry, and technology will intersect in the future. He’s the vice president of innovation and advanced research Continue Reading
4 Tips to Help You Plan Project-Based Lessons this School Year - By Kelsey Bednar One of the many initiatives that districts across the U.S. are working toward is the successful implementation of project-based learning (PBL). Whether you have done PBL in the past and are looking to make some improvement, or you are looking to incorporate this strategy for the first time, here are 4 elements you should consider when Continue Reading
Performance Tasks and PBL: The Link Between Process and 21st Century Skills - By David Reese, Ed. D. In my role as Chief Academic Officer, I spend a large amount of time helping educators make decisions on strategies and tools to support authentic learning. These discussions usually start with curriculum alignment based upon an identified set of standards and move to tools that best serve the educator’s needs and the school’s mission. Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of June 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien Each month we post a list of news articles that relate to STEM education and project-based learning (PBL). Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of using real-world projects to help students build the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed in college, Continue Reading
Teaching to the Edges Using Project-Based Learning - For these two teachers, PBL is the key to differentiating lessons for students of all ability levels. By Jamie Kuminga and Brandi Zivilik | T.H.E. Journal What do special ed (SPED) and gifted students have in common? They both have unique educational challenges and are often removed from the classroom because traditional teaching methods don't "fit their needs." While some Continue Reading
When students become entrepreneurs, real learning happens - By Jason Braddock | eSchool News Here in eastern Ohio, some of our students are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit right at school, engaging in a style of learning that helps make lessons come alive. The students, spread throughout nine districts, are working with my organization, the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, which provides educational opportunities—including this foray into project-based learning—to Continue Reading
Girls and STEM: One School District’s Success - Editors Note: This is an excerpt from the article "She Believed She Could" featured in Tech & Learning. SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD By Ellen Ullman | Tech & Learning If you’re the parent of a girl, you probably tell her she can be anything when she grows up—even President of the United States. Somehow, though, a lot of girls don’t hear Continue Reading
Inspirational Stories from Trailblazing Teachers - To help provide inspiration and new ideas for engaging your students, we’ve put together a list of articles featuring a few of our favorite trailblazing teachers. 5 stories featuring inspiring K-12 educators: I made my classroom look like the real-world—and test scores soared eSchool News Elementary school teacher, Anthony Johnson, describes how he turned his classroom into a Continue Reading
Building Life and Workplace Skills through PBL - By David Reese, Ed. D. I often see former students of mine around town. Inevitably, I ask them what they remember from class and I expect them to talk about photosynthesis, mitosis, and food webs, but that is seldom what is discussed. Instead, they mention the skills they learned and how those skills helped them to be successful in Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles of May 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien We reviewed the major news articles written on STEM education last month and found five that we think are exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and STEAM (STEM+Arts) initiatives in schools. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of assisting students in developing the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed Continue Reading
Differentiating Instruction through Project-Based Learning – Part Two - Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part blog series on differentiation in the classroom. Click here for part one. Differentiation is an instructional strategy employed by many classroom teachers around the world. It is based on the following idea: let us provide learning experiences that meet all students where they are so that we create more opportunities Continue Reading
Defined STEM Awarded 4-Stars by Common Sense Education - "A stellar collection of STEM resources that support project-based learning" -Common Sense Education Defined STEM was recently rated 4-stars by Common Sense; the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We are excited and proud to be included in their prestigious lineup of educational technology resources that, according to Common Sense, "empower educators and Continue Reading
What is Project-Based Learning? - Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional methodology that encourages students to learn and apply knowledge and skills through an engaging experience. PBL presents opportunities for deeper learning in-context and for the development of important skills tied to college and career readiness. Characteristics of Project-Based Learning Here are three characteristics of meaningful project-based learning activities that lead to deeper student understanding: Continue Reading
Strategies that Help Students to Dream and Innovate - By Brian Cook, Ed.D Dream and innovate - these are goals that I set for my students. Finding opportunities for them to realize these goals has grown complicated because, as educators, it’s mandatory for us to focus on standardized tests in our current educational landscape. However, state test scores do not tell the entire story. As facilitator and editor-in-chief Continue Reading
3 Ways to Include Project-based STEM Lessons in Your Math Class - By Jessie Smith In addition to core classes, students at Memorial Middle School participate in a research course where they engage in cross-curricular project-based lessons that build 21st century skills. We focus on creating a student-centered classroom in which the teacher plays the role of a facilitator as opposed to a micromanaging direct instructor. As a math teacher, I Continue Reading
Differentiating Instruction through Project-Based Learning – Part One - Editor's note: This is part one of a two-part blog series on differentiation. By Kelsey Bednar Differentiation is an instructional strategy used at all levels of K-12 education to meet the needs of students with diverse abilities. Though widely used, questions still exist for teachers about how they can differentiate efficiently and effectively in their classrooms. Incorporating Project Continue Reading
Project-Based Learning and Problem-Based Learning: Can They Co-Exist? - By David Reese, Ed. D. Working with schools around the country, educators frequently refer to PBL in their discussions. When I ask whether they are referring to Project-Based Learning or Problem-Based Learning, some are definitive in their answer and others ask “what’s the difference”? Often people believe they are the same thing. Are they? On the surface, the Continue Reading
School & Community Partnerships Showcase the Power of Real-World PBL - By Meghan Raftery At the beginning of the school year, our school district announced a new strategic plan that called for deeper and expanded partnerships within our community. Our goal, at the District's Office of Community Engagement, was to communicate something different to our schools and community about the power of mutually beneficial partnerships. Our end-of-year Community Celebration seemed the Continue Reading
3 Benefits of Using PBL in a Special Education Classroom - By Jamie Kumiega The project-based learning (PBL) trend is sweeping schools across the nation, and my special ed (SPED) classroom is no exception. Students in my classroom have a variety of disabilities, which make specialized instruction in content areas necessary. In class, we focus on functional life skills that are needed to achieve success in academic and post-secondary life. Continue Reading
Why Parents and Teachers Should Treat Students Like Employees - By Shannon Turner As a language arts and STEM research teacher, I use project-based learning (PBL) to bring relevance to my lessons so students can learn to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. One way I connect the classroom to the outside world is by making them think they are employees as opposed to students—and I’m the CEO. Continue Reading
What is a Crosscutting Concept? - By Kelsey Bednar Crosscutting concepts are one of the three dimensions of science teaching and learning that are included in the performance expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards. In this post, I will explain crosscutting concepts and share ideas of how teachers can help their students engage with them. What is a crosscutting concept? The National Research Council’s Continue Reading
3 Tips on Connecting Social Studies and STEM - By Meghan Raftery Just because the "s" in STEM does not stand for "social studies" does not mean that social studies does not have a place. Economic, geographic, and civic knowledge are crucial components to good citizenship and deserve an equal place in terms of emphasis in curriculum, as early as preschool. The "doing" of social studies is Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles | April 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien | May 1st, 2017 Below is a list of noteworthy articles on STEM education from the past month. These articles support Defined STEM's mission of assisting students in developing the critical 21st century skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life. Be The Change You Want to See By Shifting Traditional High School Continue Reading
Engaging English Language Learners with Project-Based Learning - By Yvette Ramirez According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 4.5 million public school students (9.3 percent) were English language learners (ELLs) in the 2013-2014 school year. This means that almost 1 in 10 students have the difficult challenge of learning the English language at the same time he or she is learning academic subjects. At the school Continue Reading
What is a Performance Task? - By Jay McTighe A performance task is any learning activity or assessment that asks students to perform to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency. Performance tasks yield a tangible product and/or performance that serve as evidence of learning. Unlike a selected-response item (e.g., multiple-choice or matching) that asks students to select from given alternatives, a performance task presents a situation Continue Reading
3 Strategies for Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow - By Dr. Genevra Walters Are we really doing all we can in our current educational system to prepare today’s students for the careers of tomorrow? Since I started in education, I’ve used the motto, “The transition to adulthood starts in preschool.” Today, the phrase is the mantra pushing my teachers and principals to do everything they can to prepare Continue Reading
Chemistry Isn’t Boring: Inspiring Students with Real-world, Project-based Lessons - By Nate Hassman I’ve got a pretty tough job, because sometimes chemistry is a hard sell. Some students love it and embrace the periodic table and Newton’s laws of motion, but as research shows —a majority simply don't see how it connects to their lives. It's my role as the teacher to provide experiences to overcome the misconceptions I see Continue Reading
STEM Lessons Bridge the Gap Between Content Knowledge and Application - By Brandon Wilson | April 7th, 2017 I have been teaching 7th-grade science for the past five years. Four years ago, I joined the staff at the Winkler Middle School in Concord, North Carolina. North Carolina is a state where the number of STEM jobs is growing, so it is up to today’s educators to prepare our students for Continue Reading
Future Ready Learner: 5 Traits of Civic and Global Engagement - Editor's note: This post is a follow-up from the previous article "Five Domains of a Future Ready Learner". By David Reese | April 4th, 2017 My second trip to Istanbul to teach was during the beginning of the crisis in Syria. Thousands upon thousands of refugees were making their way across the border to Turkey. Many had been Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles | March 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien | March 31st, 2017 Below is a list of noteworthy articles on STEM education that we came across this month. These articles support our mission of assisting students in developing the 21st century skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life. Engineering Making Headway in Schools, Analysis Shows Edweek This article recaps a Continue Reading
Teaching Every Subject with an Eye on Career Readiness - By Barbara Dill-Varga | March 31st, 2017 For today’s students, STEM- or STEAM-related careers are the future. In Maine Township High School District 207, we take the acronym one step further and teach our students 21st-century skills based on STEAME, where the second “e” stands for entrepreneurship. To prepare our students for the next phase of their lives, Continue Reading
Test Post - School leaders will need to know what behaviors they should be observing, what successful schools and classrooms look like, and get an understanding of potential barriers that may be need to overcome from leaders who have been working with this initiative. Understanding the ideas individually and collectively can help make an initiative systemically successful while helping schools meet their mission Continue Reading
5 Domains of a Future Ready Learner - By David Reese | March 8, 2017 I have the amazing opportunity to work with educators across the United States and around the world. One of my first conversations always revolves around what matters. Recently, I worked with educators from the Virginia Beach City Public Schools and they discussed a new Commonwealth mandate, the Portrait of a Virginia Graduate. This Continue Reading
Guide to Successful Sustainability of a K-12 Initiative - By Dr. David Reese | February 24, 2017 As a new teacher, I remember listening intently to my school leader share new initiatives we would be required to implement. As I feverishly took notes, two veteran teachers looked at me and told me to “not waste my time”. They went on to explain that this happens every year and by Continue Reading
Top 5 STEM Education Articles | February 2017 - By Maggie O'Brien We had such a great response to our post on the Top 10 STEM Education Articles of 2016 that we decided to share our favorite articles on STEM education every month. Hopefully this will help shine a spotlight on the exceptional work educators are doing to ensure their students are college and career ready. Here's what we liked this month: Think Continue Reading
Why my students are real world-ready with nothing but a device - BY ANTHONY JOHNSON | February 23rd, 2017 | eSchool News Just as few modern-day workers could function in their jobs without a cellphone, a laptop, or periodic trips to Google, I want my students to learn how to solve problems using devices that will likely be similar to ones they will encounter for the rest of their lives. I strongly believe Continue Reading
A Thoughtful Approach to Career Readiness - By Ken Wallace | March 2, 2017 Millennials today have too much student loan debt and are entering a workforce with not enough employment demand. Part of that stems from unrealistic expectations set by parents, colleges, and even K-12 institutions. Ten years ago, I think we thought our job was just to get kids admitted into college, but as our Continue Reading
2 Steps to Embedding Career Pathways into the K-8 Curriculum - How can teachers easily and effectively incorporate career experiences into their existing curriculum? Here's a 2 step solution.
3 Tips on Implementing Project-Based Lessons in Your Class - When students become part of their own learning they take pride in their education and become more engaged.
3 Classroom Practices to Enhance Career Readiness - College and career readiness for students is a growing initiative across the United States. There are countless ways in which teachers can support this effort.Here are three practices that can move your students along the continuum of career readiness and success.
Creating Learning Navigators: Designing Authentic Teaching and Learning Opportunities - To truly become successful in an uncertain world, students need to be learning navigators. Through an authentic learning process students utilize soft skills, learn how to problem solve, use a variety of skills and content areas to discover new destinations and answer the challenges before them.
Tips for an A+ Professional Development Session - As the CAO of an edtech company, I lead onsite professional development (PD) sessions for K-12 educators. I am often surprised when I begin a session and a majority of the participants do not know why they are there or the purpose of the session. I’ve found that the most productive and successful PD sessions often share common elements.
Top 10 STEM Education Articles of 2016 - We reviewed the major news stories on STEM education in 2016 and found ten that we think are exceptionally inspiring and educational. Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM initiatives in schools.
5 Elements of a Successful STEM Initiative - Working with a number of school systems around the country, I have witnessed a number of commonalities that have led to successful STEM learning experiences and initiatives.
Defined STEM Helps 4-H Clubs Grow Independent Learners - 4-H students are spending a lot of their time focused on areas like civics, sustainable living, technology, and leadership skills—and they’re doing it largely on their own.
4 Ways to Keep Students Focused During the Holidays - Parties, shopping and vacation time can derail learning. Here are rock-solid solutions to keep students on task
The Importance of Audience in Authentic Teaching and Learning - How can the consideration for an audience enhance performance-based learning?
What happens when college and career readiness starts in kindergarten? - As one district proves, you don’t have to wait until high school to expose students to their futures
What CSI Can Teach ELA - By offering engaging lessons and embracing a chaotic classroom, one teacher brings STEM into her English curriculum.
Anthony Johnson Learning Experience - A weather unit was already part of my plans so I decided to use the Defined STEM Weather Reporter performance task. I integrated a few of my other weather projects, like launching a weather balloon, into the Defined STEM lesson.
Experiential Learning and School/Community Connections - Project Based Learning can help teachers extend the classroom beyond the school walls. Frequently, projects can be extended to engage the internal and external school community. These projects can help provide partnerships that allow students the opportunity to work pro-actively with community partners.