Transforming Classrooms


man at computer with professorThe Process

Rather than attending lectures or workshops, it's up to you to develop the knowledge and skills you need to complete your project using the online resources provided.

Complete each of the following four components to guide your materials exploration and redesign: topics, testing connections, techniques, and technology.

Before you begin, find some help! Develop partnerships within your building. Bring together classroom teachers, school library media specialists, technology coordinators, special needs teachers, curriculum coordinators, administrators, and others to brainstorm and share expertise. Rather than working in isolation, consider a systematic approach to broaden the impact of your activities.

For ideas and examples, go to Building Partnerships.


Select a specific topic, unit, or chunk of instruction that you'd like to work with for this WebQuest. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the essential questions and understandings related to this content area?
  • How are they expressed in the SOLs?
  • How could a project-based learning environment be applied to this topic to increase the meaningfulness and active learning aspect of the unit?

For example, if you traditionally ask students to read the textbook, write a term paper, and take a test, what are other approaches could be taken that are more engaging and motivating for students?

Explore the following modules to learn more about creating authentic learning environments in your classroom.

Testing Connections

Locate the test scores for your class. As you analyze these test results, ask the following questions:

  • What are the strong and weak areas?
  • What reoccurring deficiencies can you identify across grade levels and subject areas?
  • Can any of the weak areas you identified be strengthened within the context of your unit of interest?

For example, if sequencing is a reoccurring problem, what mini-lesson, assignment, or activity could be incorporated into your project to address this need?

Explore the following modules to learn more about analyzing your test data.

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Think about the inservice workshops, courses, and other professional development activities you've done recently. Explore key ideas in teaching and learning. Apply a couple of these ideas to your project. Ask yourself:

  • What techniques would you like to incorporate into your classroom?
  • What approaches and activities are most effective in teaching particular subject matter, concepts, and skills?

Explore the following modules to learn more about key ideas in teaching and learning.

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Many technology tools and resources can be used to help students learn in project-based learning environments. Apply a couple of these tools and resources to your project.

Explore the following modules and resources to learn more about technology tools and resources.

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Developed by Annette Lamb and Kathleen Sharp, 7/04. Updated 4/06.