Current Issue Back Issues Cards
Issue 10, Spring 2013
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An Artful Thinking Classroom,
   Jessica Ross
Solving Real-World Problems With
Open Source Software
   Tim McNamara
Change Leadership For Learning,
   Tony Wagner
Deeper Learning In Common Core
Math Projects
   Sarah Strong
Design Thinking and the Shift
from Refrigerator Projects
   Lindsey Ott & Eric White
Deeper Learning For Professionals,
   Karen Fasimpaur
Gaining Perspective: Guiding
Student Reflection
   Tara Della Roca
A Differentiated Lesson, A To Z,
   Cara Littlefield
Taking A Stand On
Controversial Issues
   Mary Hendra
Scaffolding Creativity Through
Design Thinking
   Mindy Ahrens
Don’t Just Talk About
Character: Teach Habits
   Liza T. Eaton & Cyndi D.Gueswel
Teachable Moments: A Lesson In
Listening To Students
   Beth DeLuca
Mindsets and Student Agency,
   Eduardo Briceño

1: Energy Puzzles
2: Food For Thought
3: Historic Rap Throwdown
4: Turning Points, Toy Theatre
5: The End of the World Uncovered
6: Matter All Around
7: The Learning Landscape
8: Are You Fitter Than a 5th Grader?
9: The Great 9th Grade Odyssey

The End of the World Uncovered

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Students and teachers built this project from scratch. We started with students’ questions about the world and themselves. From those questions, an overarching theme for a semester project emerged: The end of the world. After brainstorming and selecting doomsday topics, students conducted authentic research on a wide variety of topics, stretching across academic disciplines. Each group arranged field trips and interviews with local organizations and experts in order to get answers to their essential questions. Finally, they wrote, illustrated and designed a magazine to reveal their findings. The published piece was accompanied by Flash animations. Our magazine launch party (exhibition) took place the day before the supposed Mayan apocalypse (December 21, 2012). We sold 65 copies in just two hours!

Teacher Reflections
The democratic design of this project has shifted my mindset about project design and learning. I watched my class tackle complex issues in their research, interview college professors and take the lead on scheduling field trips. Together we found natural connections between science, mathematics, English, technology and social studies. The project proved to me that a democratic approach to learning is definitely a way to deepen learning.   —Bobby Shaddox

Throughout both the design and execution of this project, I was continually blown away by students’ ideas, effort, and collaboration. Students stressed over how important it was for them to make their own choices and work with others. In this project, I definitely felt more like a facilitator or even a participant than a teacher. One of the best parts was watching students make decisions about how to design a project that were similar to decisions I would have made.          —Allie Wong

Student Reflection
I remember the satisfaction that I felt when I was presenting my work at exhibition. They were amazed that a group of 6th graders could do this type of work. When we actually have a say in the project, it makes it more fun for all of us. We had design input which made it more interesting. I would definitely want to try this again.            —Langston