TeachersFirst's Problem-Based Learning
Problem-based learning is a curriculum design method that offers learners challenging, open-ended problems. The hands-on learning activities offer investigations of real-world problems. Problem-based learning allows students to develop lifelong learning skills, gain work-place readiness, and improve team-work and cooperative learning strategies. View this collection to begin your journey with problem-based learning in your classroom.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): branches of government (56), cells (82), digital storytelling (129), environment (218), genetics (67), geometric shapes (133), grammar (134), landmarks (18), map skills (55), molecules (38), multiplication (119), Online Learning (33), parts of speech (40), problem solving (218), Research (61), social and emotional learning (60), STEM (226), stories and storytelling (34)
In the ClassroomBookmark this excellent site to use as a resource for finding and developing lessons for both in-person and online learning. Lessons found on this site includes links to videos and articles found on the Khan Academy website, use bookmarking and collaborative resources such as Symbaloo EDU, reviewed here, or Padlet, reviewed here, to share the Khan Academy links along with other helpful resources for students. Use a word cloud tool like WordClouds, reviewed here, to motivate and encourage students to think about the topics shared at the beginning of your activities. If you prefer to use additional multimedia resources in addition to the Adobe products shared in the lessons, browse through the TeachersFirst Edge Tools, reviewed here, to find additional tools for creating videos, webpages, collaboration, and much more.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): agriculture (43), climate (78), climate change (77), design (86), forests (26), oceans (130), recycling (46), remote learning (48), solar energy (33), STEM (226), Teacher Utilities (123), water (98)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site as a resource for science and nature lessons to supplement current materials in your classroom. Because lessons were created for use in remote learning situations, they are perfect for including during elearning or digital learning days. Create an account and customize lessons to personalize activities to fit your curriculum and students. For example, customize lessons easily to change discussion questions to adapt to student abilities, then share the differentiated lessons to different groups of students. Extend learning by adding links to additional activities such as asking students to write a short blog post using Edublogs, reviewed here or create a cartoon based on the activity's content using ToonyTool, reviewed here. Extend learning for all students using Synth's audio podcasting tool reviewed here. Begin by creating a discussion question, then share the topic with students. Students record a response that is 256 seconds or less; responses are linked together to create a shareable audio podcast.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomAs students participate in the activities and lessons shared on this site, utilize the many features of Google Documents or Microsoft Word to gather information, and collaborate with peers. Use spreadsheet tools to record findings and create graphs to evaluate the results of experiments. Engage students in the learning process by adding questions and comments to the videos in the learning packages using edpuzzle, reviewed here. Ask students to use Sway, reviewed here, to share the products of their learning activities. Add text, images, videos, and more to create multimedia presentations. Use the learning packages to find activities and resources to incorporate into your current learning units. Be sure to check out the interactives (games) that focus on problem-solving and collaboration skills.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomShare ideas from this site with peers as part of your professional development sessions. Consider creating a monthly building-wide schedule using the suggestions provided on the site. Include your ideas with parents through your website to teach them along with you and your students on methods for working through any type of decision. Use technology resources to reinforce and reflect upon the Big6 and Super3 decision-making processes. For example, use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here to create digital posters for each of the strategies. Include suggestions on ways for students to be successful within each strategy. Provide resources for students to match strategies such as planning. Read Write Think, reviewed here, has a large number of student interactives including a Cube Creator, reviewed here, Book Cover Creator, reviewed here, and an Essay Map, reviewed here, that provides students assistance in planning writing assignments. As students learn about and become familiar with the Big6 and Super3 process, ask them to share their ideas and reflect upon learning using blogs created with Edublog, reviewed here. Have students share their knowledge with others using a video explainer tool like simpleshow video maker, reviewed here. Be sure to share student reflections and explainers on your class website for parents and others to view!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark OER Commons to use as your first stop in lesson planning. Take advantage of the search filters to narrow down the content and grade-level information to suit your needs. This website is also an excellent resource for finding materials to differentiate instruction. Use higher-level activities to challenge gifted students, and search for content to use for remediation. As you gather resources into a collection or lesson plans, be sure to think about ways to incorporate technology in meaningful ways to enhance and extend learning.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this site with your resources for teaching both of these timely topics. Collaborate with your students and extend learning by bookmarking and saving additional resources using Netboard, reviewed here. In addition to saving bookmarks, Netboard includes the option for adding notes to shared resources. Encourage students to use this feature to describe useful information found on any website. As students explore these topics, use FlipGrid, reviewed here, to enhance learning by creating video response questions for student discussion. Encourage students to redefine their learning and problem solve solutions by creating video explainers describing the problem and proposed solutions using a video explainer tool like My Simpleshow, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to save these puzzles for use throughout the school year. Use these problems as a substitute for your typical homework assignments. Include questions as part of math or science centers. Replace pencil and paper journals or notebooks by having students blog about their learning and understanding using Tumblr, reviewed here. Ask groups of students to work on topics together then share their results with the class. To enhance student learning and understanding, consider instituting a recurring podcast for students to share problems and discuss problem-solving strategies. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomInclude the videos and materials with your current lessons using problem-solving skills. View videos together as a class and have students work in groups to discuss questions found in the teacher's guide. This resource lends itself to problem based learning: Have students find an image of a current global problem and use Thinglink, reviewed here, to add text, videos, and audio to discuss the problem and address possible solutions. Explore global issues further in depth with Google My Maps, reviewed here. Add pins onto Google Maps to share specific problems around the world and have students post their ideas for helping those in need.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomYou and your students will benefit from this site's free materials to include in your science lab activities to teach content, problem-solving, and scientific investigation techniques. As students begin activities replace paper and pencil and use a digital graphic organizer such as one found at TUZZit, reviewed here, to organize questions and gather information. Upon completion of experiments, enhance learning and have students share their work using Printing Press, reviewed here, to create a one-page newspaper or brochure including images and text. At the end of your unit, have students use Biteable, reviewed here, to redefine their learning and create an explainer video sharing and demonstrating the results of their lab activities.
In the ClassroomShare Google My Maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector to create virtual trips for many situations. Create a trip to biomes around the world, visit places mentioned within books, map out battlefield locations for different wars, or find and save different kinds of landforms on your map. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Embed completed maps onto your class webpage or blog for students to view when reviewing for tests or quizzes. Have older students complete their own Google My Map project to create their own virtual field trips. This site is perfect to use in conjunction with TeachersFirst Reading Treks to follow the adventures of characters in the featured stories. Not ready to create your own maps? Use the explore feature on the site to find many examples of maps made by others.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomFacilitate a TED-Ed Club to promote problem-solving skills and creative thinking in any subject. Challenge students to pursue ideas of interest to them in the classroom. Create a club as an after-school activity for like-minded students, or as enrichment for gifted learners. TED-Ed Club provides an outlet for some quieter students with interests other than what is offered in the curriculum, encourage these students to share their interests and passions through the guidelines provided in the clubs.
GradesK to 8
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomBring out the "inner engineer" in each of your students! During physical science units, visit this collection to get directions for students to build simple models to supplement content. You might want to visit the accompanying site How to Teach Project Based Engineering to Kids before getting started. Students can work in small groups to create a project. Different groups can demonstrate different laws of physics. Add this to your class website as a do-at-home project to encourage exploration at home. During language arts when focusing on using concise, clear, language, listen to the directions and use as a model. Enhance learning by having students write the scripts for creating other models using Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Using these online documents affords many benefits, including the ability to add comments, highlight information, and add links to online information. Extend learning by having students create a multimedia presentation featuring the directions and construction of the student model using Thinglink, reviewed here. With Thinglink students can annotate, narrate, and add related links to an image. In gifted and talented classes or pull out programs, consider for a beginning of a deeper understanding of the concepts. Move forward with virtual field trips to see the "real" machines at work. Find ideas for after school clubs, camps, and more.
Grades3 to 9
tag(s): communication (135), cross cultural understanding (148), enrichment (9), gifted (64), listening (69), Problem Based Learning (12), problem solving (218), social media (44), social networking (82), social skills (23), speaking (21)
In the ClassroomThe Wonderment is a problem based learning adventure for each student around the world to communicate and collaborate with other students. This venue allows great lesson ideas for digital citizenship and digital footprints. Begin by choosing a path for the entire class and feature on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Have students work in small groups to choose their best response. Discussions can focus on creativity, problem solving, and collaboration between the group and others from around the world. In a gifted class, use as a way to challenge kids to break through the "right answer" and find the "best answer." Use this as a model for finding authentic needs in your community. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class blog, website, or Edmodo account. Use this tool as the answer for the parents who always want more challenge and enrichment for their students at home. Be sure to share at a staff meeting to spread the wonder for other students and adults.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomMark this site on your class web page, put it on your task bar, and add to all student computers. Demonstrate by using and creating your customized graphic organizer. Turn it into PDF format and save or print. Get students in the habit of using graphic organizers to improve achievement, organization, and details.
Grades1 to 6
tag(s): air (106), animals (265), birds (41), careers (132), classification (21), earth (173), endangered species (28), environment (218), fish (17), habitats (78), insects (58), recycling (46), water (98)
In the ClassroomPlan to use Environmental Education in more than science class. For language arts, find detailed information about animals, plants, habitats, conservation, and Earth to use as practice with informational texts. Add this resource to your gifted curriculum for a problem based learning project on invasive or endangered species. Help find solutions to the existing problems in your area. Write letters to government officials offering ways to help the environment in your area.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): timelines (47)
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events, research literature, learn about different decades and events throughout the world, and more. Transform student technology use by having them create timelines for research projects. Use a whole class Google account or individual Google apps accounts if you have them. Use this tool to make a timeline of your school year. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel, interspersed with the ways themes appear throughout the novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. Why not create a timeline highlighting students' family events for a special gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or other holidays? You may need to assign students to do some investigative work first (years of births, marriages, vacations, etc.). In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master with vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and photo digitization while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history and cultural developments.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomCurriki has several ways to benefit teachers and students. Use Curriki as a resource listed on your website to have extra opportunities for additional practice or enrichment for parents and students. If you have a blended classroom, Curriki is the perfect tool to use for your students to access assignments. Use as a way to organize your digital resources. The lesson plan and Webquest templates are user friendly and promote best practices. While growing in your professional development by connecting with teachers worldwide, let your class learn with other classes worldwide. Curriki encourages you to think critically about your own lessons, and also the lessons suggested.
Grades7 to 12
There are suggestions, resources, and support to empower young people and give them the energy to take action and make a difference. Whether their passion is to feed the homeless, end bullying, help even the playing field of educational inequalities, or many more needy causes, this website is chock full of easy to access information and strategies that encourage teenagers to decide for themselves how they can contribute their time and desire to make a difference.