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The Top Ten Ways to Fake an Authentic Classroom

The word authenticity is used frequently in today’s 21st century eduspeak with self-proclaimed gurus, ninjas, and experts. Thus, we must be careful as to whose advice we follow. Since I wrote a book on authentic learning experiences, I would certainly consider myself as an authenticity expert. However, for years, I wrongly thought I provided my […]

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How Project-Based Learning Can Support Standardized Testing

Today, I’m ready to celebrate! It is Friday and the standardized testing season, for my fourth grade daughter, is officially over. A few weeks ago, we finished the math, reading, and writing portions of the PSSAs (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment). Now, science is behind us and I won’t have to hear about the PSSAs […]

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Is Your Project Just a Research Paper in Disguise?

In keeping with the theme from my last post on the 30 second PSA as a final product, I thought I would tackle another subset of PBL products: the faux creation. When I coach teachers who are designing their first authentic PBL experiences, I tell them to ask the question, “Is my required product simply […]

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Why a Public Service Announcement May Not Be the Best PBL Product

Often, when I work with teachers, I find them resorting to requiring a Public Service Announcement as a final product for the project. Immediately, a red flag goes up on my radar. While a PSA may be one of several final products, only requiring a PSA leaves a lot of open holes when it comes […]

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Sharing Stories: Authentic Learning Experiences

Originally Published by MiddleWeb in Oct. 2013 (Modifications from the original have been made in this updated version) I frequently ask my fourth-grade daughter: “What did you learn in school today?” In response I often hear, “I don’t know” or “nothing much.” Disappointed, I long for the day when she tells me a spontaneous story […]