Thursday, July 12, 2018

Project Based Learning Made Simple – Book Review

I recently read Project Based Learning Made Simple by April Smith that was graciously sent to me by Ulysses Press to review. I am not being paid for this review.

I am a huge fan of Project Based Learning! I love every aspect of it and I truly believe that is the best way for students to learn. Yet, it is hard to talk many teachers into leaving the traditional way of teaching to give this a try. The world is a different place than when we were taught in the traditional way and when we first learned to teach in a traditional way. Project Based Learning makes learning relevant to the students and gives them real-world experiences.

In the first chapter, the basics of project-based learning are discussed. But my favorite part is chapter 2 which really gives the nuts and bolts of teaching project-based learning. It is well explained and gives a “recipe” for setting up project-based learning in a classroom.

I believe this is a great way of teaching but involves a lot of planning on the front end of the lessons. Then it is fun to facilitate student learning throughout the rest of the lesson. Since everything including assessment is planned in advance, it makes grading progress very easy. Many teachers talk about how much work is involved in this kind of teaching, but I don’t think it is any more time than the time involved overall in traditional teaching methods.

The rest of the book gives great suggestions and processes for 100 different projects. The chapters are broken into sections for  Science and Stem, Math and Financial Literacy, English Language Arts, Social Studies,

The last chapter covers wrapping up the end of the project. This is what brings all the work on the project together. Wrapping up is what helps students retain the skills that they have learned.

I have to say I love this book! It is great for someone who wants to do project-based learning in the classroom but doesn’t know where to start. I highly recommend this book and it would be a great addition to every teacher’s library as well as in a school professional library.

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