Learn how to implement a real-world approach to project-based learning. Authentic learning experiences are created around genuine, outside audiences and meaningful purposes. They meet the Common Core, engage students in critical thinking and 21st Century learning, teach important skills such as research and collaboration, and improve student learning. This practical guide provides step-by-step instructions to make it easy for teachers to create their own authentic learning experiences. The book is loaded with a variety of examples from different grade levels and content areas.

Bonus! Each example incorporates technology and addresses the Common Core State Standards.

Chapter 1: Authentic Learning Experiences: An Introduction

My Story

An Overview of Authentic Learning Experiences

Chapter 2: Creating a Challenging Investigation

Complex Problems

Critical Thinking

The Challenging Investigation

Teaching Critical-Thinking Skills

Sample Authentic Learning Experiences

Chapter 3: Creating the Community/Career Connection

Career Connection

Community Connection

Career Connection Examples

Community Connection Examples

Chapter 4: Justification of One’s Work

Moving Beyond Brainstorming

Making the Most Out of Research

Sample Authentic Learning Experiences

Chapter 5: Creating a Meaningful Outside Audience

What Is a Meaningful Outside Audience?

How to Create an Outside Audience

Using Technology to Connect to Your Audience

The Outside Audience Promotes the Justification Element

Sample Authentic Learning Experiences

Chapter 6: The Common Core and Other State Standards

Testing in the Common Core Era

Directly Connecting the Elements of Authentic Learning Experiences to the Test

Sample Authentic Learning Experiences

Chapter 7: Designing Interdisciplinary Authentic Learning Experiences

A Shift in Thinking .

The Single-Teacher Approach

The Multiple-Teacher Approach

Interdisciplinary Examples

Chapter 8: Authentic Assessment

Formative Assessment: What Is It, Anyway?

Effective Formative Assessment

Summative Assessment Is More Than Just a Test

Final Thoughts

Chapter 9: Facilitating Authentic Learning Experiences

Taking the First Steps

Collaboration Is a Needed Skill


Scaffolding Is Not Differentiation

Final Thoughts