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Discovery and Project Learning

Discovery Learning Approaches

  • Independent Reading
  • Transmedia Creations
  • Making and Makerspaces
  • Design thinking
  • Genius Hour
  • Invention
  • Play
  • Tinkering and experimentation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Growth Mindset
  • Higher level thinking
  • Self-directed learning

uTEC Maker Model

Symbaloo Virtual Makerspace Webmix for makers of all ages available 24/7 and complements a physical makerspace in the school.

YouTube Video

You never really know what’s going to happen when you play.

“Play can be a doorway to a new self, one much more in tune with
the world. Because play is all about trying on new behaviors and thoughts,
it frees us from established patterns”.

( Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by

Stuart Brown, 2009)

Sandbox Thinking - This model from Beyond Bird Units is all about playing to learn

Learn By Doing Model - from Beyond Bird Units

 Flipped Bloom

YouTube Video

 Responsive Dynamics of the Learning Commons: Discovery Learning and Project Based Learning

Recent Webinar: October 20, 2015 by David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin:

The Elementary School Schedule in the Learning Commons : Fixed and Flex Spaces

YouTube Video

Project Learning Approaches

  • Inquiry
  • Think Models (Beyond Bird Units)
  • Problem Based Learning
  • Project Based Learning
  • Literature Circles
  • Independent Study Projects
  • Knowledge Building Centers
  • Webquest
  • Big Think (Metacognition)
  • Higher level thinking
  • Self-directed learning

Design for Success

  • Position students to be in command of their own learning.

    Provide continuous feedback and a range of assessments for, of and as learning.

    Find and infuse the best technologies to boost learning.

    Design for collaborative knowledge building by creating
    plussing opportunities.


Design for Engagement
  • Design the HOOK - Ignite a desire to learn with a challenge, puzzle, surprise, problem, emotional tug!
    • Primary sources such as photographs, film, news items, artifacts, story and quotations are proven catalysts for engagement because they are immediate and real.
    • Questions, both teacher developed and student initiated open the doors to curiosity and wonder and imagination. If students own the questions they are interested.
  • Design for Building Learning Literacies and Skills
Example: Questioning Skills
Master Question Builder Chart - Go to 'File' and 'Make a Copy.' Rename your new Google spreadsheet.
  • Design to Boost Knowledge Building with Best Technology
    • Technology is an instant motivator and many collaborative tools provide the social incentive to learning E.g. collaborative brainstorming, mapping, drawing, creating, recording of ideas, visuals, sound.
Design for BIG THINK!

After a major learning experience; after the grades are in; adults and students need to engage in metacognitive reflection about that learning experience. 
What do I know? What do we know? How did I learn? How did we learn? So what? What’s next? 
If student don’t reflect, they don’t get better. 
If the adults involved don’t reflect, they don’t get better either

Design for Learning to Learn

Carol Koechlin,
Aug 15, 2016, 10:39 AM
Carol Koechlin,
Aug 15, 2016, 10:39 AM