Tag Archives: North Carolina Essential Standards

Project-Based Learning: It’s the Right Thing for Kids

Bie.org is an amazing resource for everything PBL - including samples, definitions, videos, blogs, and even an amazing template.

The deeper we all dig into the Common Core State Standards and North Carolina Essential Standards, the more we all agree — these standards reflect what students need to be able to know and do to be ready for college and careers.

Even though our teachers are going through the challenge of learning the new standards and writing new curricula, we have to admit that it is exciting to have the opportunity to frame what learning is going to look like across the region.  Most districts have used their professional development days to group teachers intentionally by grade level or content area in order to ensure fidelity and horizontal alignment district-wide.  And many have begun to share that work on our Region 7 wiki.

The PBL Blog provides yet another great resource housed on bie.org.

This is why now is the perfect opportunity to explore the impact Project-Based Learning (PBL) can have on our local curricula.  Right now, teachers are working hard to learn the standards and to organize them logically.  Soon, teachers will be asking the question, “How do we teach these standards?”  A great place to start answering that question is with PBL.

The more we talk about changing the way the 21st century classroom operates, the more specific examples and support teachers need.  Let’s face it.  Most teachers were educated for 16+ years and trained to teach in a very different model than what the latest researchers proclaim as most effective.  The best way to help teachers get comfortable with embracing this change is to not only share a clear expectation but also to provide specific examples.

Common Craft provides a clear, simple explanation of what PBL is and how this practice can transform any classroom.

Use "Project Search" to find hundreds of examples of PBL lessons complete with teacher reflections, student samples, and lesson plans.

If that isn’t exciting enough, there are some great PBL lessons out there complete with lesson plans, timelines, teacher reflections, handouts, and student examples!  What more could you need to get started?  Check out bie.org.  This site is a great starting point for teachers interested in specifics about what PBL looks like in a classroom.  You will find samples in the “Project Search” bar and support with how to begin your own project on the “PBL:  Do It Yourself” page.  A variety of videos, suggested resources and readings, and even a blog about current PBL happenings and events are available on this site.  Check it out for yourself.

PBL Lessons are categorized as BEGINNER, EXPERIENCED, and EXPERT to help teachers choose the most appropriate experience for their students.

Sign up for a free account on bie.org (It takes less than 60 seconds and is completely free.) and get access to the template for creating PBL experiences for students.  The template ensures that teachers take into consideration all important aspects of creating a project,  It is simply amazing!



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6 Cs of Primary Source Analysis

As we draw closer to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and North Carolina Essential Standards, many of you are already developing your local curricula.  If you are an ELA or Social Studies teacher, you may find this resource helpful.  Created as part of The History Project at the University of California  – Irvine, this one-pager asks students to consider 6 Cs about their primary source documents.

Those Cs include:

Content (Main Idea:  Describe in detail what you see.)

Citation (Author/Creator:  When was this created?)

Context (What is going on in the world, the country, the region, or the locality when this document was created?)

Connections (Prior Knowledge:  Link this primary source to other things you already know or have learned about.)

Communication  (Point-of-View or Bias:  Is this source reliable?)

Conclusions (How does this primary source contribute to our understanding of history?)

Whether you use this handout as is or modify it to meet your needs, the questions help students analyze, synthesize, and make personal connections to primary source materials.  Furthermore, the document also provides questions that ask students to consider questions they have about the source as well as what other documents they think might help them with a deeper understanding of the topic.


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