Big projects = big goals for young learners

From left, Ripon High School teachers Alicia Young and Natasha Paris and Murray Park Elementary School teachers Caitlyn Goeldi, Cindi Pokorny and Steve Brooks work on an exercise at a project-based learning workshop led by the Buck Institute for Education last week Thursday at the high school. Goeldi, Pokorny and Brooks came up with an ambitious, Ripon-encompassing project for their third-graders to tackle this fall.

Sometimes, class research projects may involve distant history, faraway places and secondary sources.

But Ripon teachers are dreaming up projects for the school year that will hit a little bit closer to home.

They aren’t lightweight, abstract problems, either.

The cracking Tygert Street bridge that’s had the city scratching its head over a solution?

Some third-graders will be on that.

The history of Ripon, how changes have led to its present state and recommendations for future growth?

Yeah, another set of third-graders will tackle that one.

Ambitious? Yes. Challenging? Of course. Exciting? Now that’s the key.

Last week, many Ripon teachers — from those who work with kindergartners to those teaching high school seniors — gathered at Ripon High School for a three-day workshop on project-based learning (PBL) led by the Buck Institute for Education, an organization that trains educators in PBL.

Read the full story, including details on one of the ambitious projects headed by a three-teacher team, in the Aug. 10, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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