Before You Jump In... Check it Out!
Before you jump into a project, consider the following questions.
Check 1 -
Does the lesson address a specific, meaningful standard(s)? If so, how? Enhance it:
  • Can you revise the activity using Bloom's list as a guide?
    • change a "labeling" activity to an "arranging" activity?
  • Can you provide scaffolds to help students focus on the standard?
    • provide a Venn or cause/effect chart to complete
  • How are you linking the current standard to learners' prior knowledge?
  • Does the activity reflect an interdisciplinary approach when possible?
  • Use online lessons and technology to fill in the gaps
Pigeon Planning
Keep it Simple
Strategies and Scaffolds
Before You Jump In... Check it Out!
Address Time Issues
Continuum of Project Complexity
Return to Eduscapes
Check 2 -
Does the time match the standard? If so, how? If not,? Enhance it:
  • How are students spending their time? reading, writing, thinking?
  • Is this a good or poor use of classtime? messing with graphics, retyping
  • Could more than one standard be addressed? add another content area
    • a social studies project could involve persuasive writing
    • a fruit project could involve color words
    • a community worker project could have an oral recording element
Check 3 -
Does the learning environment match standard and assessment? If so, how? Enhance it:
  • What form will information take? text, visual, auditory, movement, hands-on
  • How is new information being conveyed? teacher or student directed
  • Are enough examples, instructions, models, and scaffolds provided?
  • How are students actively engaged in learning?
  • Are students given opportunities for guided practice?
  • How are students transforming and transferring their new knowledge & skills?
  • How are you helping learners construct their own meaning?
  • How do student processes and products demonstrate understanding?
  • How do the assessments reflect student learning?
  • Have both individual and group assessments been used as needed?
Check 4 -
Does the project address the needs of a variety of learning styles? If so, how? Enhance it:
  • How can you make students more responsible for their own learning?
  • How can your lessons reflect the value of diversity and multiple perspectives?
  • How can you make tasks more relevant and challenging to students?
  • How can you incorporate multiple intelligences into your project?
  • How can you focus on different channels of communication (audio, visual)?
    • add audio narration or videotape a demonstration
Check 5 -
Does the technology contribute to the project in a positive way? If so, how? Enhance it:
  • How can you keep the focus on the learning not the technology?
    • Provide scaffolds that focus attention on the key concepts
  • How can you focus on fewer new skills or activities?
    • Create a spelling journal by using the spelling checker
  • What technology tools could assist with a particular standard?
    • Kidspiration is great for information organization and analysis
  • What other classroom management or configurations would work better?
Check 6 -
Does the project contain collaboration, sharing, or reflection? If so, how? Enhance it:
  • How do you form effective groups, instill team spirit, and monitor progress?
  • Could you connect to the "outside world" by using the Internet as a tool for collaboration such as email, chat, or video conferencing?
  • What about an online survey, discussion, or information sharing project?
  • Could you join an existing online project or develop a new one?
  • What about sending attachments or posting web pages and asking for ideas?
  • What real-world sharing could be done? Could you ask-an-expert online?
Collaborative projects are an exciting way to connect with the outside world. They can incorporate email, chat, video conferencing, online polls and surveys, discussions, and all kinds of sharing. Learn about building collaborative projects. Use some of the following links to identify projects. Try an ask-an-expert or Flat Stanley project as a starter project.

Pigeon Planning
Keep it Simple
Strategies and Scaffolds
Before You Jump In... Check it Out!
Address Time Issues
Continuum of Project Complexity
Return to Eduscapes

Created by Annette Lamb, 06/01.