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Deborah Diffily and Charlotte Sassman give us pause to rethink the look, feel, and content of classrooms. They remind us that even the youngest students can fully participate in the life of their schools and their communities. And they show us just how successful children can be in conducting their own projects.
The authors detail the characteristics of an Applied Learning project, a venture in which students connect school work to the real world and direct their own learning. They offer a timeline for one such project, and describe several more, with suggestions for additional project topics, research resources, and end products. Using numerous vignettes and examples from their own teaching experiences, they demonstrate that, above and beyond academic learning, children grow into contributing members of different groups by learning how to negotiate and compromise, direct their own learning, and make daily work choices that mesh classroom learning with real-world projects.
As one six-year-old explained, "Projecks can be educkashional. Projecks can be fun." This book's purpose is the same: to help you understand the power, and the fun, of project-based learning. Try it and possibly change your life.
The Applied Learning Classroom
Creating a Classroom Community
Before the First Project
Your First Project
Learning Skills Through Projects
Assessing Children's Work and Progress
Parting Words of Advice
A. The History of Projects in American Education
B. Books About Project-Based Learning
C. Possible End Products
D. Suggested Topics and Research Sources for Applied
Learning Projects E. Involving Families
F. Learning Embedded in One Project