Providing Students with Choice allows for:
  • Varied Learning Style
  • Student-Paced
  • Flexible Levels
  • Student Input in their own Learning

Provide Choice to...
  • have students PROCESS their learning
  • have students DEMONSTRATE their learning

All Projects should have an Audience
Defining the audience as a younger group forces kids to wrap their heads around a concept to put it in simpler terms. Simplifying an explanation of a complex concept requires critical thinking.

Be sure to build in time for kids to share with one another or, better yet, kids beyond your classroom walls. Consider a video chat with the kids with whom you shared.

Independent vs. Group
Groupwork allows for collaboration, an important 21st-Century Skill. We used to strive towards one-on-one computing, but times are changing. In order to prepare our students to be successful at the next level, they need to learn to work together. Groupwork does notmean that all kids do the same amount of work. The stronger kids should give their most, just as the struggling students should give their most. Students’ “mosts” will vary. Don’t get hung up on that.

How do I put Scores for Different Projects in my Gradebook?
That’s the hard part, isn’t it? The solution is to provide kids with a rubric that focuses on 21st century skills as applied to the concept. Don't give a grade based on the tool, but on the student's communication of a concept.

Part of the rubric should include the individual's contribution to the group. I had my students fill out a reflection sheet (using Google Docs) daily so that they could be honest about their own contributions, and be candid about the contribution of their classmates.

Sample Project

In AP Biology, students were given the task of reading a book (fiction, or non-fiction) that pertained to the topic of Biology. The students had an extensive list of approved books from which to pick, or they could choose their own book with their teacher's approval. Students were given the project description, and a rubric. The rubric was focused on communication of the content of the book they read rather than the tool or product.
Assignment Description
Project Rubric