What Is Project?

Before incorporating the Project Approach into our curriculum, Rohan Woods faculty and staff visited and studied at Duke School in Durham, North Carolina – a leader in Project Learning. 

Rohan Woods implemented Project into our classrooms with an approach utilizing the best practices.  Rohan Woods School uses Project in class to provide in-depth investigations that challenge students to apply skills, knowledge, and strategies from different content areas as they do authentic research, analyze data, think deeply about problems and draw conclusions. As projects evolve, students build on their unique interests and talents and become experts in a particular area of the project topic. Through project work students not only learn new concepts and content, they develop the competencies essential for future learning: the ability to formulate essential questions, conduct research both independently and collaboratively, evaluate and synthesize results, present those results to others, and reflect on the strengths of their work and the ways they can improve.  Project provides a platform for engaging students with challenging academics that put the emphasis on student involvement.  This approach also encourages leadership skill development in teamwork, planning and presentation. 

Project Approach Model

Rohan Woods School bases its project work on the Project Approach model developed by Lilian Katz and Sylvia Chard. Katz and Chard define a project as an in-depth investigation of a real-world topic worthy of the children’s attention and effort (Chard, 1998). The Project Approach projects follow four distinct stages:

PROJECT APPROACH

  • STAGE 1:  PRELIMINARY PLANNING

The teacher selects a real-world topic based on student interest, the school’s curriculum standards, and the availability of resources. Using their experience, knowledge and ideas, the teacher represents them on a topic web.

  • STAGE 2: BEGINNING A PROJECT

The teacher uses an activity or discussion as a springboard to discover what students know about the topic. Frequently, the teacher e-mails parents, encouraging them to talk to children about the topic and share any relevant expertise. Students share their stories at school and represent their knowledge through drawing, writing, photography, drama and oral sharing and their representations are posted throughout the room. As a result of this phase, student questions begin to emerge. Teachers post these questions and wonderings along with the children’s representations. These can be amended or added to as the project progresses. During this phase, the teacher evaluates the students’ abilities to discuss their knowledge and formulate important questions.

  • STAGE 3: DEVELOPING A PROJECT

Teachers arrange for students to do field work and interview guest experts to answer their questions. The teacher also provides resources at school to help children with their investigations. These resources many include real objects, print, videos, or internet resources. At times, students will do the same field work; at other times research will differ depending on the interests and abilities of students. As students make and carry out plans, record observations, collect data, interview experts and conduct experiments, they represent what they learn and teachers help students post it in the classroom. Each day, the class discusses what students learn, which often leads to new questions. The teacher evaluates each student’s planning, follow-through, details in observation, research, ability to apply academic skills, and ability to work cooperatively with others.

  • STAGE 4: CONCLUDING A PROJECT

Teachers and students plan and prepare for a culminating event during which each student or small group of students take the role of experts and share with others what they have learned. Teachers help students select material to share and involve them in reviewing and evaluating their work. They also help them select the method by which they will share their knowledge, which allows students to capitalize on their interests and talents.


Meaghan Knobbe

Meet Meaghan Knobbe

Project Outreach Coordinator

Meaghan Knobbe began teaching at Rohan Woods School in the fall of 2014 bringing a plethora of educational experiences with her. Meaghan is passionate about differentiating instruction and activities to make learning enjoyable, and she provides a warm atmosphere that promotes independence and responsibility. Meaghan has extensive experience in both the public and private sector having taught since 2005. In her spare time, Meaghan enjoys traveling, reading, knitting, and spending time with her family and friends. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Masters of Arts in Education Degree from Truman State University.

Contact Meaghan Knobbe

Class Updates

Welcome to Third Grade

Aug 24, 2021 | Uncategorized

We have had a great start to our school year! 

The third grade classroom got a make-over during the summer.  We have new desks and furniture as well as a new smart board projector that will be utilized throughout the school year, particularly with our new ELA curriculum.  In third grade, students begin using chrome books.  We have started our chrome book tutorials and we will be using these to enhance our learning. 

The third and fourth grade will work together for Project this year.  The fourth graders will also help the third graders become more familiar with their chrome books and how to utilize them during project.  And our third graders are the big buddies for the Early Childhood class.

We started the school year by talking about Growth Mindset and setting goals during the first week of school.  We are looking forward to a school year filled with learning, making connections and reaching our potential!

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