PBL in Action

"[Project-Based Learning] is the ongoing act of learning about different subjects simultaneously. This is achieved by guiding students to identify, through research, a real-world problem (local to global) developing its solution using evidence to support the claim, and presenting the solution through a multimedia approach based in a set of 21st-century tools.  Kids show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other. They don't just take a test or produce a product at the end to show their learning" (Wopert-Gawron).

At STEAM Tech Academy, each core works through PBL projects throughout the year in a manner that addresses content cross-curricularly.  Select from the list of projects below for more information.

Core 1 (Kindergarten): iPads and Ice Cream

Essential Question
How can we help others learn something new?

Description
Students will develop social studies and language arts skills by planning an activity afternoon at Sunset Manor.  Students will be writing an informational text to present to Sunset residents to teach them how to play an APP on their iPad.  They will be learning about how to carry themselves when speaking in front of a group vs. speaking with one person.  They will be asking their resident questions after they spend time playing their app.

Authentic Audience
Residents at Sunset Manor

Product
2018/2019 School Year

Major Standards Addressed
English Language Arts

  • RI.K.2 identify the main topic and retell key details of a text

  • SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations about kindergarten related topic and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups

  • W.K.2  Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic

Social Studies

  • K-C1.01 Identify and explain reasons for rules at home and in school

  • K-P4.2.2 Participate in projects to help inform others

Core 1 (Kindergarten): Pet Pamphlets

Essential Question
How can we teach others to take care of pets?

Description
Students will create a brochure on how to care for a pet of their choosing that will be displayed in a local pet store to help customers choose a pet and how to care for them.

Authentic Audience
Parents and Customers at Grandville’s PetSmart

Product
2018/2019 School Year

Major Standards Addressed
English Language Arts

  • W.K.5 With guidance and support from adult, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including collaboration with peers.  
  • W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects. 
  • K-SL.0.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
  • L.K.1A Print many upper and lowercase letters
  • L.K.2.D Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
  • L.K.2.D Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships. 
  • L.K.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to and responding to texts. 
  • RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear
  • RF.K.1.C Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
  • W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • W.K.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

Social Studies

  • K-C2.0.2 Explain why people do not have the right to do whatever they want.
  • K-C5.0.1 Describe situations where you demonstrated self-discipline and individual responsibility.
  • K-P4.2.2 Participate in projects to help inform others. 

Science

  • What do animals need to survive?

Core 2 (1st & 2nd Grade): Growing Up, Not Old!

Essential Question
What was life like in our community before I was born and how does it compare to my life today?

Description
Students will be interviewing one of their grandparents to gain insight and compare/contrast the past with today.  They will ask questions focusing on school and communication, but will also learn about family life and hobbies.  The final result will be a digital story created through iMovie that will be presented during a Grandparent’s Day event. Throughout this process, students will learn how to write a letter, good interview strategies, and presentation skills.

Authentic Audience
Student's Grandparents

Products
2018/2019 School Year


Major Standards Addressed
English Language Arts

  • RI.2.1: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

  • RI.2.3: Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

  • W.2.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

  • SL.2.2: Recount or describe key ideas or details from written texts or information presented orally or through media.

Social Studies

  • 1-H2.0.1: Demonstrate chronological thinking by distinguishing among past, present, and future using family or school events.

  • H2.0.3: Retell in sequence important ideas and details from stories about family.

  • 1&2 1-H2.04: Retell in sequence important ideas and details from stories about families or schools.

  • 1 H2.0.5 Compare life today with life in the past using the criteria of family, school, jobs, or communication.