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Principal’s Message - The Essential Elements of PBL
Last week I shared an overview of Project Based Learning and why we use it as one of our major instructional approaches. But what are the essential elements of PBL that make it a powerful way for students to learn?
According to the Buck Institute of Education, a nationally-recognized leader in PBL,
Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Essential Elements of PBL include:
- Significant Content - At its core, the project is focused on teaching students important knowledge and skills, derived from standards and key concepts at the heart of academic subjects.
- 21st century competencies - Students build competencies valuable for today’s world, such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity/innovation, which are explicitly taught and assessed.
- In-Depth Inquiry - Students are engaged in an extended, rigorous process of asking questions, using resources, and developing answers.
- Driving Question - Project work is focused by an open-ended question that students understand and find intriguing, which captures their task or frames their exploration.
- Need to Know - Students see the need to gain knowledge, understand concepts, and apply skills in order to answer the Driving Question and create project products, beginning with an Entry Event that generates interest and curiosity.
- Voice and Choice - Students are allowed to make some choices about the products to be created, how they work, and how they use their time, guided by the teacher and depending on age level and PBL experience.
- Critique and Revision - The project includes processes for students to give and receive feedback on the quality of their work, leading them to make revisions or conduct further inquiry.
- Public Audience - Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher.
To learn even more about PBL, check out another great video, this time from Edutopia.
Progress Report Grades Now Posted on PowerSchool
Log in to see your child’s Progress Report 2 grades. This is the halfway point of Trimester 2. If you need assistance logging in, please call the office.
Sixth Grade Info Night - Welcome Soon-to-be Sixth Graders and Families!
Rising sixth graders (current fifth graders) who will be attending Crittenden this Fall are invited to an information night with Crittenden staff on Tuesday, February 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the MUR. Come and learn about your soon-to-be middle school and ask questions! For more information, contact the office (650-903-6945).
Dance on Friday: Volunteers Needed
The theme for Friday’s dance is “A Night in Paris.” Our Leadership students and volunteers have been working hard to make this happen and it looks like it’s going to be a magical evening! Tickets are on sale now in the Student Store. $3 in advance, and $5 at the door. We still need parent volunteers for food, drinks, supervision, etc! Contact Ms. Mogin (email@example.com) if you can help.
Join the Walkathon team!
The Crittenden Walkathon will be Friday March 6th and we need your help to make it a record breaking success. Please come to planning meetings on January 30th from 1:30-2:55 and February 24 from 1:30-2:55 at the office. Please email walkathon co-chair firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to join a committee. This week we need the most help with editing and translating into Spanish the student walkathon packet, and running and recruiting for the parent volunteer calling day on February 3rd.
Make the call...make Walkathon Successful!
Parent volunteers needed to call parents (on February 3rd) to tell them about the Panther Prowl Walkathon (March 6th). Calling is very important since some students lose their forms in their backpacks or forget to tell their parents so many parents don’t realize we are having a walkathon without the call. Please sign-up for a shift using this link. Questions contact email@example.com
Save the Dates
- Startup Weekend Youth--Mountain View, February 27-March 1. Official registration is in early February. Students, if you attended last year's event and want to go again, tell Mr. Noriega or Mr. Chang ASAP and you will be guaranteed a spot.
- Panther Prowl Walkathon, March 6. You can donate now by clicking here. Please share this link!
District Facilities Committee
The Mountain View Whisman School District is seeking qualified and interested persons to serve on a committee of community leaders, which will serve as the District Facilities Committee (DFC) to provide input and recommendations regarding the District facilities master plan for the elementary school campuses. Interested individuals must submit an application by 4:00 pm on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 to:
District Facilities Committee
Mountain View Whisman School District
750-A San Pierre Way
Mountain View, CA 94043
A complete copy of the application is available at http://www.mvwsd.org/facilities. Representatives from PTA, School Site Council (SSC), or English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) are encouraged to apply. Please direct any questions to Kathi Lilga at 650-526-3552.
Friday, January 23 is National/World Handwriting Day! This special holiday is celebrated in conjunction with John Hancock’s birthday. Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence and is famous for his large, bold signature.
The purpose of National Handwriting Day is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting. Writing quickly and clearly with a pen or pencil on paper leads to better grades and is an empowering form of self expression. Your teachers now and in the future need to be able to clearly read what you write, and you will need to be able to read the notes you write.
Recent research is shows that people remember handwritten notes better than typed notes.
If you handwriting is not as clear as you would like, find your favorite music and download a worksheet (cursive is faster than printing) and spend 15 minutes a day on your handwriting.