Teachers Dig into Project-Based Learning with NCCAT | NCCAT

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Teachers Dig into Project-Based Learning with NCCAT

Project Based Learning Units are an effective and enjoyable way to learn that allow students to work as a team, reflect, ask questions, build confidence, work with a purpose, problem solve and learn time management.

CULLOWHEE—Gaston County teacher Kim Suddreth found the sharing of viewpoints and tools very beneficial during the "Project-Based Learning (PBL) in Digital Format" program recently at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, a recognized national leader in professional development.

"The tools that were demonstrated were incredibly valuable like FlipGrid, Linoit, Grammarly, Pixton, and others," said Suddreth, a teacher at Stanley Middle School. "This was my first real introduction to PBL, and I have discovered so many areas in my ELA curriculum where I can use it."

Project Based Learning Units are an effective and enjoyable way to learn that allow students to work as a team, reflect, ask questions, build confidence, work with a purpose, problem solve and learn time management. Participants in this NCCAT professional development were able to investigate essential questions, unit questions and content questions that will enable them to develop their own PBL unit. They can return to their classroom with a PBL unit they created that will excite and engage students as they claim ownership of their learning.

"The time to break and digest the tools given was very vital," said Mavis Ottley, of Falls Lake Academy Charter School in Granville County. "I did not feel too overwhelmed but felt that I had that time to access and explore how these valuable resources can be utilized. So many times in the past I have attended professional development and its non-stop and zero time to process or debrief and that time here was vital to map out the planning of the lesson. Seeing how things happen is key."

Time at NCCAT took out the fear factor of devoting time to a PBL.

“I believe a well-run PBL is extremely effective at improving student achievement and after this program at NCCAT I feel more confident that I could run one well," Edward Tidd, a teacher at Fuller Elementary School in Wake County, said. "The fear of dedicating a large amount of time to a project that fails to teach what it needed to is real, but this week certainly helped lessen my fears considerably."

The program was led by NCCAT Senior Digital Learning Specialist Elizabeth Joyce with assistance from NCCAT Senior Program Specialist Sandra Bowling.

"As a seasoned teacher, Elizabeth has the intuition and the ability to read into situations and identify deeply with us from a professional and personal way in a concise amount of time," said Laura Daughtry, of Eastern Alamance High School in the Alamance-Burlington School system.  "I was impressed with the creative feedback and Elizabeth's ability to help us while giving us total ownership."

About NCCAT

Increasing teacher effectiveness is fundamental to improving public education. NCCAT provides teachers with new knowledge, skills, teaching methods, best practices and information to take back to their classrooms. For more information about NCCAT’s professional development programs, visit www.nccat.org or call 828-293-5202.

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