September 24, 2013

Project-based learning has been shown through research to be effective, and common sense tells us it’s something kids of all ages can enjoy. But what does it really look like? Watch this video to find out.

You’ll see many of the core tenets of project-based learning – a project that has relevance, is student-driven, addresses real-life problems, and offers hands-on learning opportunities. The youth in this video are responding to a real community challenge by becoming part of the solution.

The video serves as an introduction to the Project-Based Learning course. Get a glimpse of how the steps of project-based learning play out, then continue learning by completing the course.  

 


September 24, 2013

Because project-based learning is such a different method than what many of us are used to, it requires staff to wear a new hat: a facilitator’s hat. Facilitation is different from directing or leading and it allows for learning to be more student-centered.

Staff may need practice and support in this new role, though. Use this checklist from the Project-Based Learning Coaching Module to help staff feel at ease in the role of facilitator and to find ideas for getting project-based learning going with students.  

 


September 24, 2013

While staff are taking a step back and handing over the reins to youth when it comes to project-based learning, all projects should still be well thought-out and planned. A project is much more likely to lead to learning gains and be more fun if it is well-planned from the very beginning.

Not sure where to start? Use the Project-Based Learning Project Planner from the Y4Y Design Studio to help you get going. This tool guides you through all of the items that you need to think about to ensure a successful project.  

 


September 24, 2013

One of the greatest assets of the project-based learning approach is its contribution to building 21st century skills in youth – such as collaboration, time management, and public speaking. The best way to develop these skills is with an intentional focus, which demands that staff be aware of what 21st century skills are and deliberately plan programming to incorporate those skills.

If you’d like to set your staff up for success with 21st century skills, try this Training Starter for a staff development session. The Training Starter provides a framework for a training session and allows you to build out the rest with your own examples, activities, and timing.

Download the Training Starter as a Word document and fill in your ideas to make a ready-to-go training plan!  

 


September 9, 2013

Student-centered, or learner-driven, is the kind of environment you want your program to provide for youth. It’s also a great fit for 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs. Just take a look at this list of how your program can support students’ development, and you’ll see that a student-centered approach is a great match. You can also watch the Coach’s Commentary for a peek into a real program’s efforts to support student development and gain some tips.

Besides encouraging the skills, habits, and behaviors that youth need to be successful, a student-centered approach also builds a foundation for stronger alignment with school-day staff and administrators. If everyone puts students first then other potentially conflicting priorities will take a backseat as all parties contribute what they can to helping students learn and achieve.

Do you want to work on building a common vision with your partners? Watch this video from Y4Y to see an afterschool program discuss vision and goals with its partners.