Imagine It!

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Challenge Based Learning

Students today have instant access to information through technology and the web, manage their own acquisition of knowledge through informal learning, and have progressed beyond consumers of content to become producers and publishers. As a result, traditional teaching and learning methods are becoming less effective at engaging students and motivating them to achieve.
Today’s school curriculum presents students with assignments that lack a real-world context and activities that lead to uninspired projects and end in a letter grade. Many students either learn to do just enough to get by or they lose interest and drop out. In this interconnected world, with ubiquitous access to powerful technology and access to a worldwide community, new models of teaching and learning are possible.
Students embrace media that presents participants with a challenge and requires them to draw on prior learning, acquire new knowledge, and tap their creativity to fashion solutions. The entertainment networks have capitalized on this formula with shows like The Amazing Race, Top Chef, Trading Spaces, and Project Runway in which participants creatively draw on their knowledge and resources to create appropriate solutions to challenges. To address the need to create new ways of engaging students to achieve, Apple worked with educators across the country to develop the concept of Challenge Based Learning.

This I Believe

Samples of student work on this topic.
This I Believe Goes Global - We Want You!

For the past three years, I have had my classes write their versions of National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” segment. I was introduced to this idea by a colleague and have been always impressed by what my students hold as their personal values and beliefs. Writing these essays has allowed for them to do something they don’t get to do all that often at school - express their heartfelt beliefs. After writing the essays the first year, we submitted them to NPR, but we also decided to podcast them ourselves – no need to wait to see if NPR might choose to broadcast them. The writing was good at expressing their values, but once their voice was added to their written expression, WOW, it simply transformed that personal essay. Instead of the words simply being words, the words conveyed deeply held emotions. Now, this is the standard.
Previous class examples:
Period 2 06-07
Period 5 06-07
Period 3 06-07
Period 2 07-08
Period 5 07-08
Period 3 07-08
Wiki 09-10

We are approaching that time of year, when I am going to start the kids on this writing adventure, but this year I wanted to invite you in the blog-o-sphere to join us again. I want “This I Believe” to go global. I want my students to benefit not only from knowing what their peers believe, or what the other AHS classes believe, but to hear and see what the world values. What do kids elsewhere in the U.S. believe in? What do kids elsewhere in the world believe in? What do some of the learned professionals that I know believe in? I want my students to walk away from this experience realizing the power they have as professional writers as well as connecting to other teenagers and adults from around the world. I want to see them exchange ideas, foster relationships, and appreciate the variety of perspectives. Maybe you can challenge your principal, your school board members, your local politicians, heck, maybe your entire school. Maybe we can even get our President to write his own “This I Believe.”
How You Can Get Involved
For Educators

This I Believe Essay-Writing Guidelines

Think Small

What's It All About?
is a free, open community aimed at finding solutions to issues that face New Zealand.
This is a place for Kiwis in business, and anyone who cares about New Zealand's future to share issues, find solutions and make small changes that have big results.

Global Lives - Unit One

Some ideas for the start of the year from Clarence Fisher

The Change Game

A Tool for Exploring the Effects of Innovation.The game really can "change" your classroom by actively involving students in exploring the effects of innovation in the past and on the future.

The MY HERO Project

The MY HERO Project is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Our mission is to inspire people of all ages with an ever-growing internet archive of hero stories from around the world...

The Hero Workshop

There are many famous heroes. You know their names; Mandela, Gandhi, Parks. Don't let that fool you. Most of the heroes in our world are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Prepare yourself for the moment where you will be asked to do something heroic; when you will be asked to be a hero.
The Hero Workshop is preparing young heroes-in-waiting for their finest hour.

Hero Machine

Curriki Locate resources in any subject area.

Access top-rated curricula in core subjects.
Search Curriki’s growing repository.

Year 7 Information Fluency Project

The Research Project
The possibility of the Earth becoming uninhabitable in the future leads people to wonder if other places in our solar system could be made suitable for us to live. The three closest places in the Solar System are the Moon, Venus and Mars. Each of these places would be difficult places for people to live. Mars is considered the best of these three, but still there would need to be a Mars Space Station set up for people to survive in this hostile environment.

Carbon Footprints Project

Welcome to the Carbon Footprint Project. We will be working together to reduce our carbon footprint by sharing information, setting goals, creating artwork and getting to know about each other. This is a place we can talk and work together, showcase our work and share our ideas. we hope that you will visit and contribute often!

Network challenge

From Durff " I challenge the network to incorporate the use of one technology tool in their teaching in the next fortnight. Then tell us about it on your blog.
For example, you may ask kids to interview the oldest person in their neighborhood using a podcast."

How does your village grow? Ollie Bray has the answer, with the help of a whiteboard

Some useful social studies ideas

ONE Project - FOUR Formats


Some ideas from jlietze



Influence Unit

Our Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions for this unit are:

How and why does the physical environment influence people?
  • How and why climate, topography, and natural resources, influence people (habitat, food, activities, clothing, job, economic level, societal roles, religion, actions, decisions etc).
  • How and why people adapt to their environments to meet their needs.

How and why do people influence their physical environment?
  • How and why people’s choices and actions often impact the environment, (+ and –)
  • How and why people’s use of new scientific and technological knowledge impacts the environment (+ and -)

A matou mihi

Each student has explained who they are and a few very special things about themselves and their place. In Maori this is called a Mihi.

Living the dream as a Niuean netballer

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In the future I would like to be a professional netball player.My favourite netball team is the silver ferns. Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand,it's important to the Maori people.
Even though it's a very small country,New Zealand is not like other countries especially Australia because we actually have a North Island and South Island. Even though it's different we still have heaps of people living in our country.New Zealand is very popular for it's sports, we play netball,rugby,basketball and so much more.
We also have a famous building called the sky tower, And that's what I love about this country. //italic// **bold** quote link On Sundays I go to the Tamaki Comunity Church with my family.God is very important in my life.

Living the dream as a Niuean netballer by Rock Our World with Pt England School.
Living the dream as a Niuean netballer by Rock Our World with Pt England School.

Sixth Grade Unit 1- Perseverance

Sixth Grade Unit 3- Taking a Stand

Home of the Future Wequest

"The world's climate scientists have provided us with a clear message - that the balance of evidence suggests humans are having a discernible influence on global climate.
What is required is sober, sensible but forward-looking action to reduce greenhouse gases and this is the approach my Government will adopt."

What Do You Wonder About?

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is a free service that walks you through the process of creating a web quest. The galleries web quests are handy if you're short on time or short on imagination for creating new web quests.