May 28, 2017

Authentic Tasks vs. Project Based Learning

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I have to say that I am so jealous reading these blog posts about summer vacation...we are still knee deep in curriculum and still have a whopping 19 school days left...the 4th grade science written and performance task, a dance performance, a poetry cafe, one more field trip, and visitors coming to the school to see the work that we're doing around tasks.

Has anyone used authentic tasks in their classrooms or schools? From what I can tell from the research I've read, the difference between authentic tasks and project based learning is that with authentic tasks, the students come up with the problem, define the purpose and audience, and seek out solutions through their own inquiry. The projects are created and designed by the students. I'm dappling with this type of work as we close out the year, but I feel like I'm tip-toeing around the beach instead of diving right into the water.

Did anyone else feel like this? Any advice or words of wisdom?

May 2, 2017

Creating Classroom Communities with Sanford Harmony

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of learning about T.Denny Sanford. He is a businessman and a philanthropist.

His motto is:

and he wants to die poor. At 81 years old, his net worth is 1.77 billion dollars--you can read his bio HERE and HERE

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm writing about T. Denny Sanford...well, he recently donated 25 million dollars from Sanford Harmony to schools in the United States. Sanford Harmony is a research based, teaching strategy that helps strengthen classroom communities. 

It is a way to redesign your morning meetings through sharing of items/stories/ideas, buddy conversations, creating Harmony goals for the entire class, and problem solving and highlighting goals. There is a classroom kit that contains all the materials needed to complete the lessons (which are already pre-planned!) 

Here's a sample lesson for K-2 on the The Meet-Up and a 3-5 sample lesson on Buddy-Up.

The best part of this is that the kits are free for your entire school! Click here for more information

I actually left my PD feeling excited to try this! My kit hasn't been delivered to the classroom yet, but when it does, you know I'll be like a kid in a candy shop :) 

I'd love to hear your thoughts about Sanford Harmony! Anyone use it? Or you can comment below with one favorite activity you like to do during morning meetings!