Project-Based Learning in Elementary Classrooms: Making Mathematics Come Alive
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By Jean S. Lee and Enrique Galindo
Elementary school mathematics teachers, mathematics coaches, STEM teachers, curriculum leaders, and teacher educators—this book was written for you. Drs. Lee and Galindo share their years of experience training teachers in project-based learning (PBL) with you in mind.
This book provides an overview of the essentials of project-based learning (PBL) and the evidence that supports the use of PBL. It showcases PBL units addressing Common Core State Standards for Mathematics for the purpose of demonstrating how PBL works and the learning that results.
Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships
Rigor, relevance, and relationships are the foundation of PBL. The projects that are shared provide opportunities to learn rigorous mathematics; engage students in authentic, relevant problems, challenges, and issues; and develop positive relationships among the school, teacher, students, and community members.
The book is organized into four sections.
Section 1 provides an overview of PBL and includes the nuts and bolts of designing an effective PBL unit. Leveraging rigor, relevance, relationships, and the NCTM Mathematics Teaching Practices in a PBL environment is discussed, as well as a review of the literature on PBL.
Section 2 contains detailed cases of PBL units that have been used in elementary school classrooms. Each unit addresses the essential elements of PBL, discusses the connections to NCTM’s Mathematics Teaching Practices, includes 21st-century skills, and provides readers access to supplemental materials that include the following:
Section 3 contains brief cases of PBL units. The purpose of this section is for readers to see a variety of ideas to help them with the design of their own units. Each brief case includes the following:
Drawing from the examples in the second and third sections, the fourth section synthesizes lessons learned for implementing PBL and highlights best practices in PBL. Tips and resources are provided. This section is written by a math coach and a math educator, both of whom have researched and taught in PBL settings.
About the Authors:
Jean Lee is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Indianapolis. She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction/Mathematics Education from Indiana University Bloomington and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate mathematics education and curriculum courses. Lee is a project-based learning (PBL) certified and licensed secondary mathematics teacher. She also continues to work in urban and rural classrooms to support K–12 preservice teachers, as well as novice and veteran mathematics teachers. Lee has been involved in leading various professional development projects, working with teachers at the state and international levels. Her research interests include project-based learning and the preparation of teachers for high-need urban school settings.
Enrique Galindo is an associate professor of mathematics education at Indiana University Bloomington. He is interested in research on teacher education and on learning in technology-supported environments. He teaches courses on math and pedagogy, secondary mathematics methods courses, and graduate courses for teacher educators. He has directed many large-scale funded projects and has many years of experience with professional development. He has conducted professional development projects to help teachers in K–12 improve teaching and learning in STEM education, incorporate project-based learning, and develop their technological and pedagogical knowledge to improve their teaching.