The Super ZIP Codes

I was in a school the other night and walked the walls looking at projects that the students had completed. I recognized during my walk that lots of time had been spent to make sure that all of work displayed looked great and that everything was labeled and straight. I was visually impressed. I was impressed that projects served as the summative assessments for the learning in the classroom. I paused at this point to realize that the content of learning was shocking. The heart of excellent project based learning has to be rich, meaty, robust, rigorous topics of learning. I'm sorry, but phases of the moon, Egyptians, and sunlight and shadows doesn't cut it, not for a five year old or a 15 year old. These are topics worth exploring, but not built for robust projects. Finding great project based learning isn't hard. It is about tying students to life and expanding the walls of the classroom. I recently read about the Super Zip Codes, see link below, a concept that explores poverty, education, and more. The graphic interface in the article allows students to explore their neighborhoods and surrounding neighborhoods in an engaging and interacting way. These are some of the themes of great learning. Interview officials, take pictures that represent the learning, share with other zip codes, reflect, and build more learning on top. If time is short, make every second count with BIG LEARNING. THE SUPER ZIPS