March 22, 2018
March 22, 2018
- Use Y4Y’s Trainings to Go to help program staff facilitate effective homework time and incorporate academic content. Why not invite school staff to help you customize and present the training?
- Use Y4Y’s online courses to help program staff learn new strategies (like project-based learning) and increase their knowledge in academic subject areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and literacy.
March 22, 2018
- Continuous Education Course. Learn about six key components that make strong partnerships between out-of-school and school-day programs.
- STEM Initiatives. Get science and engineering projects from NASA and other federal agencies.
- Computer Science for All — Computer Not Required. Yes, you can do this!
- Citizen Science Course. Students will love contributing to real scientific studies.
- Civic Learning and Engagement Bring civics lessons to life in your own community with ideas from the Project-Based Learning course.
- College and Career Readiness Course. Help students and families see higher education as a real possibility.
User-friendly, topic-focused guides and webinars provide strategies and best practices from experts and practitioners.
February 23, 2018
Driving Students Toward Success: Project-Based Learning! That’s the title of the next Y4Y Showcase webinar. It’s free, as always, so register now to get it on your calendar. You’ll get insights from frontline 21st CCLC practitioners as Y4Y walks you through the newly updated Project-Based Learning course. You’ll learn about the three phases of a project (introduce and prepare; design and implement; and celebrate, reflect and assess), steps for facilitating an authentic experience that students will enjoy and ways to deal with common challenges.
But wait. Why not invite a colleague (or your entire team) to attend with you? Participating with others is a great way to get more out of the experience. Before the webinar, tell your teammate(s) you’d like to huddle briefly after the webinar to discuss the following questions:
- What was new or surprising?
- What idea would you like to try?
- What would you like to know more about?
Having these questions up front, and knowing each team member will be called on to contribute to a postwebinar discussion, encourages active listening. That means your team will be more likely to pay attention, take notes and ask their own questions during the webinar. It also sets the expectation that team members will act on what they learn. That 10-minute discussion after the webinar could be the most important part of the experience, as information gets translated into action steps. Like this one, for example (hint, hint):
- Take the Project-Based Learning course together as a team.
So yes, register now for the Showcase, but also forward the webinar invitation to your team, along with the three questions listed above, and invite them to join you. After all, driving students toward success is what it’s all about, and project-based learning is a terrific way to do it!
February 23, 2018
Every discovery or invention of our time started with a question: When an apple falls from a tree, what makes it fall down instead of sideways or up? Is there a way to use this weak glue I accidentally created while trying to create a strong adhesive? (The answer to the latter question was yes, and if you’ve ever used a Post-it note, you’ve seen the result!)
“The important thing,” Albert Einstein said, is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
What are you curious about? What are your students curious about? Y4Y’s newly updated Project-Based Learning course shows, step-by-step, how to tap into students’ natural curiosity by awakening a sense of wonder about people, places and things in the world (indeed, the universe) where they live.
Chapter 1, “Introduce and Prepare,” provides a proven strategy for tapping into students’ questions or “wonders” to get them excited and prepared for project-based learning. Here’s a quick snapshot of the strategy:
- Mind mapping helps students identify what they already know about a topic (for example, zoo animals).
- Brainstorming helps them identify things they wonder about (for example, whether putting endangered species in zoos helps the species survive, or where zoos get food for all the different animals). Even if your students’ curiosity seems as dormant as an inactive volcano, this activity can get their thoughts flowing. As their questions or “wonders” erupt, don’t be surprised if they overflow the whiteboard or chart paper as they write them down!
- Voting is a democratic approach for agreeing on a topic or issue to explore.
- Discussing the topic helps students drill deeper into why they selected the topic and what aspects they’d like to explore through a project. Guiding questions such as “What interests you about…? Have you ever…? Why do you think it’s important to…?” facilitate the conversation and help students connect their “wonders” to real-life experiences.
That’s the strategy, in a nutshell, for preparing students to write a strong driving question that will focus inquiry throughout the project. The course walks you through the strategy with an example to show exactly how it works.
Curious about other strategies for using project-based learning to awaken an Einstein-like sense of wonder in your students? Check out the updated course. You and your students will be glad you did!