I have seen the Challenge Based classroom work well. My son attended an IB school for three years and challenged-based projects were introduced at an early age. Challenge-based learning allows a personal connection and inspires students to help make the world a better place. It empowers students of any age to be an agent of change. I think anytime we offer students choice and empower them to engage in a process of learning that focuses on helping others we are modeling important life-long skills.
At the elementary level it is important to note that in K-3 students are learning to read and often are not ready to “’read to learn.” I think this is important to remember as we integrate PBL, Flipped Classrooms, and Challenge Based Classrooms. In Napa we are lucky to have System 44 and Read 180 to allow striving readers the ability to “crack the code” and learn to read fluently. We will be adding in IReads next year which will support our K-2 students. These technology based programs allow students to fill in reading gaps and fast track through concepts that they have already mastered. I see this as an important layer of support as we start folding in Challenge Based or Project Based Learning.
These topics relate to my interest in building an effective toolkit of strategies for ALL learners. These effective strategies could be embedded in the direct instruction portion of the flipped classroom. It is exciting to think about the possibilities of where 21st teaching and learning will take us as educators. The Flipped Classroom and the Challenge Based Classroom are exciting options to consider as we “think outside the box” about ways to make the most of our time with students.