Let’s Explore & Show What you Know

Let’s Explore (Wednesday Post)

Before we get started, complete this form to share you Google Site for your groups critical thinking and problem solving project.

Problem Based Learning

Let’s watch a video that describes project-based learning. Next let’s look at this website that can help us think more about project-based learning. The strategy here stresses designing with the end in mind. What do you think that means?

Beginning with the End in Mind

Although we will be creating an exploration framework for your project, we need to think first about what we want students to produce or perform in the end. Talk with your group about the end product you are planning for your project. After you have identified the end, how are you planning to guide students in your explore phase?


You have already created an essential question(s), a hook (or anticipatory set), and a graphic organizer.

Your group will want to create a page on your Google Site, titled Explore. They might use the “Get Organized” graphic organizer – or there might be an additional one for this section. Your group will need to provide a list of websites that are age-appropriate. Be sure you are not just listing websites, but describing the relevant sites and giving student something to do when they enter a site.

It may be helpful to think about the way past students organized their adventures.

A great resource for lesson ideas and interactive games is Thinkfinity. For interactive media, check this part out. You can search in the keyword search box for your specific content.


So what will this look like for your adventure? Take 10-15 minutes to talk with your group and brainstorm some ideas.  It may help to review the NETS Standards.

Talk with Your Group

Share your groups ideas at this point for the explore section of your project. What ideas do you have at this point? Have you thought ahead to the next section, Show What you Know – the student product. The product should align to the exploration activity you are setting up for the students. It is essential to think about these sections at the same time to make sure they are aligned. Complete the explore page of your site. On Friday, you will be finalizing the next section, “Show What you Know”.

I also want you group to think ahead to the Author Introduction Video. Although this is the last part we will be working on, it will help to prepare the content for this section. In the video, your group will want to introduce everyone and explain why your group choose this topic. Your group will also give an overview of your topic/adventure.


Before getting started, let’s talk about the structure of your Google Site.

Navigation Bar Settings

Many of you are probably wondering why your pages are showing up in alphabetical order rather than the order you intentionally designed. Because we want to create ease in navigation on the site, it is important to organize our navigation bar. Watch this quick video to learn how to change the page order on your Google Site. The order that we have been talking about is as follows:

  • Author Introduction (video)
  • Inquire
  • Hook
  • Organize
  • Explore
  • Show What You Know
  • Apply (Finding a Career)
  • Parent/Teacher Letter

You may have chosen slightly different titles to describe you pages and that is perfectly fine.

Show What You Know

Earlier I asked you to think about the end product before deciding on the exploration activities for your students. This way you are planning with the end in mind. So what makes a good student product? What are you having students do as part of their adventure? Is it meaningful or busywork? Are they using critical thinking and problem solving skills or just repeating facts? Keep these questions in mind as you create this part of your project.

The rubric states, “This is the product – after they’ve learned about the topic, what can students create to show what they’ve learned and/or to learn more about the topic? This will be a creative endeavor – not a worksheet or research paper. In addition, how will students share their final product with you?”

Check out this Beginning with the End in Mind website to see how you may think about designing the end product that students will work on. It may also help to see what former students have designed for this section. Check out this example – notice this student created the “Show what you know” in his “Figure It Out” section. He then created a page for how students will submit their work on the “Show What You Know” page. You can choose to include this information on one page to consolidate and just title it “Show What You Know.”

For Monday

Make sure your group has completed the following sections be Monday:

  • Inquire
  • Hook
  • Organize
  • Explore
  • Show What You Know

On Monday (November 14), we will work on both the Finding a Career and Parent Teacher Letter portion of the project. You can preview some examples of the next steps by viewing a former student’s Finding a Career page and viewing their Parent Teacher Letter.

We will also start an outline for the author introductory video. Then on Wednesday (November 16), we will start recording the author introductory video. You can check out this example video to help you think ahead.

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