[Insert video: Marcus discussing phase 1, phase 2, phase 3 of the math project and how it is sustained over time]
(1) Make a Choice
First, your class has to decide on what to do.
Use criteria based decision making, or a democratic voting process.
Some teachers allow small groups of students to conduct mini-projects based on their preferences. If you go this route, be sure that you can empower and enable every student to work a project through completion. Here is some interesting information on group decision making:
(2) Plan the action
The terms duration and intensity are used sometimes to describe the scope and sequence of a service project. In place-based education, the duration and intensity of a project should be considered when planning for the experience. Duration is simply the period of time during your school year that will project will occur. The duration of the project should typically last longer than a few days. The National Youth Leadership Council suggests the highest-quality projects last approximately six to twelve weeks.
Intensity is about the amount of time you spend working on content, skills, or experiences related to your project each day or week. Quality projects explore the project's material consistently (at least 1-2 hours per week). Finding a perfect balance of duration and intensity is completely up to each individual teacher and their classrooms' needs. For example, some teachers make their place-based education project a thread that runs throughout their entire year, but may only work on the project once per week for 20 minutes. Other teachers may complete an entire project within a pre-defined four-week unit and spend every day focussed on the material. Each teacher must find the balance of duration and intensity that works for their teaching style and environment.
Not sure where to start for the action-phase of your project? Use these project management tools to guide you through.
GYLSD Student Project Planner
GYLSD Student Project Planner (FOR YOUNGER STUDENTS)
Earth FORCE Pacing Guide (8-WEEK)
Earth FORCE Pacing Guide (25-WEEK)
(3) Go for it!
Perhaps the most rewarding part of a place-based education project is the service experience (for students and adults). Be sure document your service experiences with photography, sketches, writing, or video. That information will be priceless for reporting and reflection in the future.