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Resources,  May 21, 2007

Five-Year-Olds Drive Their Own PBL Projects

"'Don't go yet, because there's lots of airplanes and birds covering the sky!' warns a wary air-traffic controller from his cardboard perch above a mockup of a plane loaded with his classmates. But it's only a minor delay for students of the Yellow Pod, a small segment of the 460 kindergartners who attend the Auburn Early Education Center, in Auburn, Alabama. Soon, they will be virtually winging their way to Brazil on a fantasy flight aboard their handcrafted plane, culminating two and a half months of preparation for the role-playing exercise as part of a yearlong study of South America.

At this award-winning kindergarten learning center, shared with a special-education preschool, the students decide what projects they want to tackle, and teachers guide them to resources, on the Internet and in books, that help them create something from what they learn. Whether they're building an airplane or a cruise ship, or conducting a funeral for the class praying mantis, AEEC students are learning more than basic facts and skills. They are acquiring a taste for the process of lifelong learning...

Although the project-based curriculum generates much of the enthusiasm for learning here, a recent infusion of technology -- putting interactive whiteboards in every classroom -- has raised the bar for students and teachers.

URL: http://www.edutopia.org/node/4103
Posted by wrivenburgh on May 21, 2007 | Resources
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