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Student-Led Learning Presenters: Aissa Norris, Principal, Pershing Early Learning Center, Decatur, IL Karen McFadin, Teacher, Pershing Early Learning Center,

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Presentation on theme: "Student-Led Learning Presenters: Aissa Norris, Principal, Pershing Early Learning Center, Decatur, IL Karen McFadin, Teacher, Pershing Early Learning Center,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Student-Led Learning Presenters: Aissa Norris, Principal, Pershing Early Learning Center, Decatur, IL Karen McFadin, Teacher, Pershing Early Learning Center, Decatur, IL Practical Application Of the Project Approach In an Early Childhood Education Classroom

2 Young children are spontaneous investigators who are insatiably curious and proud of their accomplishments. Constance Kamii It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. Albert Einstein

3 What is the Project Approach? What is Project Approach? A project, by definition, is an in-depth investigation of a real-world topic worthy of a student’s attention and effort. The study may be carried out with an entire class or with small groups of students. Most often at the preschool, elementary, and middle school levels. Projects typically do not constitute the whole educational program; instead, teachers use them alongside systematic instruction and as a means of achieving curricular goals. ( The Project Approach, “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand. - Chinese proverb

4 Purpose “Children have a strong disposition to explore and discover. The Project Approach builds on natural curiosity, enabling children to interact, question, connect, problem-solve, communicate, and reflect. When teachers implement the Approach successfully, students feel highly motivated and actively involved in their learning, leading them to produce high-quality work and to grow as individuals and collaborators. This kind of authentic learning extends beyond the classroom to each student’s home, community, nation, and the world.” ( The Project Approach,

5 Step 1: Determine Interest A. Find out what your students are interested in. B. Ask yourself before starting a project: Can I develop more experiences with this topic? C. Is it feasible? Workshop center and interest in hammers

6 Messing around with tools Watching interest and ideas

7 What do people use tools for? Can girls use tools? Who uses tools? What can tools build? How do we use tools safely? Step 2: Develop background knowledge A. Create a web about what students know about the topic. B. Generate a list of questions students have.

8 Step 3: Investigate the topic A.Plan field trips and “expert” visitors. B.Help children conduct research using multiple resource materials. C.Have children conduct surveys. D.Create representations of investigations (drawings, graphs, stories, models, etc.) E.Include all curricular areas in study. F.There’s something for everyone to do.

9 Tool Project - Math Students surveyed each other to see if they had a hammer in their home. Students graphed classroom tools.

10 Tools Project - Art

11 Tools Project- Dramatic Play and Block Area

12 Tools Project – Reading and Writing Areas

13 Tools Project – Fine Motor and Science

14 Providing more experience with tools

15 Now It’s Your Turn: Task 1.Get into groups of 9 or 10 people. 2.Stand near one of the pieces of chart paper around the room. 3.Choose a leader, timekeeper and a recorder. 4.Think about the bulk of your group’s grade level, and choose an appropriate Project topic and write it at the top of your paper. 5.Decide on what content areas you cover in your classroom. In a Pre-K classroom: reading center, art center, block center, home living center, writing center, language/literacy center, math center, science center, large motor. 6.Make headings on your chart paper using those content areas. 7.Brainstorm ideas of what materials and investigations you would put in each of those areas Time: 12 minutes

16 Step 4: Conclude the Project A.Have children report their findings and evidence to each other and to peers. B.Help children determine how to create a display of their project. C.Determine a method of presenting the project to parents and the community.

17 Questions???

18 save-47.php Resources The Project Approach, Tools Project: Laura Deluca and Sandy Dunn; Pershing Early Learning Center, Decatur, IL Illinois Projects in Practice, Contact us: Aissa Norris – Karen McFadin –


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