Quality Project Based Learning WORKSHOPS

Learn how high quality project based learning is organized and with guidance and resources plan a unit in any subject or interdisciplinary for your students.

The Basic (two-days) and  Deeper (three-days) workshops are interactive including collaboration, planning time, concrete examples, hands-on activities, Planning Guide, video of challenge-solving projects, and online and hard copy resources.

In high quality project based learning your students from PreK – adult learners, general, special needs, or gifted are intrinsically motivated because they work to solve an authentic challenge and present their findings. Structure, scaffolds, and inquiry are throughout. Students have voice and choice, agency, and progress with academic standards and success proficiencies*.

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*Success Proficiencies examples: 21st Century Skills, Habits of Mind, your school’s, district’s, or state’s learning vision or learning guiding principles.

  Authentic Challenges –  E X A M P L E S 

. How can new students best be welcomed to our class?

. How can we plan a productive, sustainable practices garden within a budget?

. Role playing new leaders of a nation that previously was a dictatorship – how can we set-up and sustain a democracy?

. How can we reduce energy use and related costs?

. How can we reduce communicable diseases in our school? In our community?

. How can a local business or non-profit best use social media for marketing?

. How can we design a solar chocolate melter?

. What can be done to increase the voting rate in our community?

         . What can we provide to ensure our classroom plants will thrive?

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Sample Research

Stirling, L.A. (2016). Quality project-based learning. Journal of Maine Education: Deeper Learning, 101-110.

Wirkula, C. & Kuhn, D. (2011). Problem-based learning in K-12 education: Is it effective and how does it achieve its effects? American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1157-118.

Ertmer, P.A.& Simons, K.D. (2006). Jumping the implementation hurdle. Supporting PBL in K-12 classrooms. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 1(1), 41-56.

Chen, I. (2014, Sept.). Can project-based learning close gaps in science education? Mindshift.  Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/09/can-project-based-learning-close-gaps-in-science-education/

Stirling, L.A. (2012). Problem-solving students/problem-solving teachers. Journal of Maine Education. 28.

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Quality Project Based Learning Participants’ Comments

 Thanks for a great workshop Lee Anna!  What a great group we had! I feel really happy that I came to this. You provided tons of great resources that I’ll be able to use going forward. It was a great value. Thanks so much for facilitating an authentic learning community!
Billie Cleveland
ELA – Reading/Writing Teacher
Maranacook Community Middle School, RSU 38
Readfield, Maine

 The “quality” descriptor is definitely appropriate. Lee Anna modeled protocols and pedagogy so we could get direct experience using strategies before taking them back to our classrooms. I left the workshop with a plan for a project based learning unit that had been critiqued by my peers before I try it with my students. The feedback from other professionals was extremely helpful in planning my first project based learning unit. I learned so much and made some excellent connections with new colleagues. Thank you again for the Quality Project Based Learning workshop! 
Kate Drummond
Science Teacher
Skowhegan Area High School, Skowhegan, Maine

 The workshop walked us through the steps to implement project based learning in any classroom environment. I came in with little to no knowledge of project based learning and am leaving the two-day workshop with a project ready to roll out with my students. I enjoyed the information I gained and also the networking with other educators. Lee Anna clearly understands the process of effective instruction. Great experience!
Jessica DeJongh
Teacher, Grade 3
Farrington School
Augusta School Department
Augusta, Maine

 This workshop gave me the opportunity to focus on a unit to teach with valuable feedback from other participants. Lee Anna provided a variety of ways to present information and share. The workshop was very well organized and moved at just the right pace. There was a lot of time to bounce ideas off of other people from a variety of backgrounds and grade levels. We had plenty of time to actually create our project. I already have ideas for a couple more challenges! I loved the collaboration among everyone present. It epitomized the 4Cs – collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
Lori Swenson
Teacher, Grade 3
Bloomfield Elementary, RSU 54
Skowhegan, Maine

 This is a great workshop! Lee Anna Stirling is very knowledgeable in this area. Provided great resources and discussion. The pace and activities varied, kept teachers engaged. I love how you modeled the activities. Looking forward to taking this back to my school.
Leslie Marquis
Community High School, MSAD 27
Fort Kent, Maine

 The workshop was wonderful!…  The preparing for an Ebola epidemic unit created an engaging environment to review linear functions from Algebra I and to introduce new Algebra II functions. It was exciting to see the students take ownership in their work and see real-world applications for new material.
Tennille Moore, Math Teacher
Mt. Desert Island High School
Bar Harbor, Maine

Lee Anna Stirling is exceptional as a presenter. This course totally exceeded my expectations! Lee Anna provided time to listen, time to write, time to learn. We had time to share and assist peers. The format was weighted perfectly so as to accentuate standards and assessments. Using the outline it was ideal to take my reflection notes. She listens to us and learned about us individually. Lee Anna’s pace is excellent. I especially loved having daily agendas in front of me each day, to follow along. This class gives me the confidence to not put off my learning progress.
Sally Merchant
Mt. Desert Island High School
Bar Harbor, Maine

– Quality Project Based Learning. Lee Anna is very friendly and knowledgeable, had many resources. Very open to ideas, positive. Everyone seemed highly motivated. Time was well managed. The material is useful. I really didn’t know what this class would be about when I signed up, but after the first session I could see how my whole project would play out.
Amy Hart
William S. Cohen Middle School, Bangor School Department
Bangor, Maine

Quality Project Based Learning. This workshop provided tools/structure I can bring back and model for teachers. The various protocols, developing my project, time to work, and conversations/feedback from peers were very valuable.
Jandrea True, Principal
Tremont Consolidated School, Bass Harbor, Maine
Mt. Desert Island Regional School System, AOS 91
Bar Harbor, Maine


–  Recent and Past Workshops and Conference Presentation

Quality Project Based Learning – Two-Day Workshop
Viles Arboretum
Augusta, Maine
July 17, 18, 2017

Educators Peer Coaching
T. C. Hamlin School, MSAD 11
Randolph, Maine
June 19, 2017

Introduction to Quality Project Based Learning
University of Maine at Presque Isle
Presque Isle, Maine
Sponsored by CACE/NMEC
May 10, 2017

Peer Coaching: A Framework for Teachers’ Inquiry, Collaboration, and Empowerment
Annual Conference of the New England Educational Research Organization (NEERO)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
April 7, 2017  University of New England’s spotlight on the presentation – here.

August 16, 2016
Introduction and Overview of Quality Project-Based Learning – One Day Challenge-Solving Projects Workshop
RSU 3
Unity, Maine area schools K-12
Mt. View Complex
Thorndike, Maine

August 11, 12, 2016
Challenge-Solving Projects
MSAD 4, Piscataquis Community Elementary School
Guilford, Maine

July 11, 12, 13, 2016
Challenge-Solving Projects
St. Mary’s Campus, sponsored by AICE
Bangor, Maine
All levels – open to all educators

June 27, 28, 2016
Challenge-Solving Projects
Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School K-8
For Deer Isle-Stonington School faculty/staff
Deer Isle, Maine

June 15, 16, 2016
Challenge-Solving Projects
MSAD 27 Community High School
For MSAD 27 faculty/staff
Fort Kent, Maine

March, 18, 19, 25, 26
Challenge-Solving Projects
High School Level
St Mary’s Campus, Sponsored by AICE
Bangor, Maine
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Group rates are here.

For further information contact:

Lee Anna Stirling, Ed.D.
email: leemandu@earthlink.net
lstirling@une.edu

phone: 207 – 873-2458