How did news get around in the 1940’s? Newspapers, radio, magazines, and newsreels. This last one has been the focus in Mr. Frago’s Social Studies classes for the past four weeks at Goochland Middle School.
In small self-selected teams, students have chosen topics of interest related to World War II to create newsreel-like reports based on research. To help stay organized and on schedule, the students are using scrum, a framework originally designed to facilitate teamwork in computer programming projects. Mr. Frago and Mr. Beasley (GES 5th grade teacher) have adapted the framework to facilitate teamwork in all project-based learning activities in their classrooms.
When students are in scrum, they select tasks to complete that align with the goals set by the team for each class block. Students work independently, or in small sub-groups with team members, to complete and evaluate each task. Tasks for a class block may include writing and editing a script for a video segment, selecting and sourcing background images and video clips, designing and building props and costumes, and filming and editing video. Students are in constant communication to keep each other on task and to provide feedback as tasks are being completed.
This approach to project-based learning is helping students develop a number of essential 21st century skills: collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.