" I wonder who learned more during the implementation of this unit: if it was my students or me? The entry document was the first shocker.
I learnt a lot by relating the topic to a real-life issue. Are insects organic or non-organic? Currently in Nigeria, the use of insecticides to protect our plants is quite minimal unlike some other countries so does that make our insects organic? So many other questions that I had not anticipated and this led us to more research. Example; a question came up while we were talking about food chain. It led us to the discovery that both humans and minibeasts were plant eaters. Question from a student ‘ Ms. Queenette, are humans safe? Being the last week of school, I could not complete the unit so we agreed to continue at resumption.
It was for me a beautiful experience."
-Queenette T. Mwibani, Nigeria
"Honestly, I was never exposed to the use of PBL and entry points in designing a lesson plan, however, seeing the effective outcome of their implementation during my unit study delivery, I became a firm believer of their effectiveness. Seeing the positive reaction of students has motivated me to re-look at creative ways to redesign my future unit studies to have the student learning experience more relevant to their lives. I witnessed student confronting real-life problems and coming up with real-solutions through testing out their ideas to find solutions, challenging their assumptions, seeing things in new ways, building their knowledge and develop collaborative relationships with each other. I enjoyed seeing the high level of excitement and engagement among the students as we went through this learning experience.
Having gone through this new learning experience and seeing its positive impact not only on the students, but also on me, I plan to be more vocal about these tools to other teaching professionals in our school. I also plan to offer coaching, assistance and support to any of my colleagues who have not been introduced to the PBL to pilot these methods in their lesson planning and delivery."
-Reham Fakhouri, Grade 3, Jordan
"After the dust had cleared, I polled the class on their preferences to PBLs or a traditional classroom setting lecture. Out of sixty-four students, one hundred percent preferred the PBL citing their preferences to collaborate in groups and their enjoyment of the video making process. Right now, my twelfth grade AP Literature class is going for round two, with presentations on Beowulf, The Iliad, The Aeneid, and Dante´s Inferno. They have not missed a beat with their research and are excited for next week´s unveiling of their final products. It has become quite obvious the success of these activities and introduction to Project Based Learning."
-Ryan Bunker, High School Teacher, Venezuela
“I have had the wonderful pleasure of learning from and working with the Core 21 team for almost 5 years now. They live and breath education and their passion for it comes out in every conference, workshop, course, etc. Core 21 has an amazing ability to make advanced teaching strategies simple and easy to implement for all teachers. We have had many different types of PD over the last 5 years but none have made the kind of positive impact on learning that Core 21 has. That is why they have been to our school 6+ times and are scheduled to come back every soon!”
— Joseph Almeida, Elementary Principal, School of Nations, Brasilia, Brazil
“Jacksonville Independent School District Texas, was fortunate to have Sherrye Dotson from Core 21.education lead our district in developing a new Strategic Plan. She met with the administration, developed a timeline, and facilitated the two days of Strategic Planning. Follow-up was also provided until the final plan was developed and adopted by the school board. She has continued to be a valuable resource to our district.
What a special talent to be able to work with thirty plus team members in developing beliefs, visions and mission statements!!! She knows her job and presents the information is a way that all listen, think and participate in the process. Making our district aware that it was our plan and making the committee understand how they have to work together, agree on items, and then be able to present the plan as a unified document is a talent that she possesses. Sherry Dotson had such a positive effect on our team and it transferred to our district. We appreciate you!!!"
— Judy Terry, Assistant Superintendent, Jacksonville SD, Texas
USA, New York
"Joan Della Valle conducted an engaging, interactive and informative presentation on school culture at a Director’s meeting for Imagine Early Learning Centers. The Directors learned a number of strategies and techniques that they are eager to take back and put into practice with their staff. One of the most significant takeaways was to pay particular attention to the way we use language with staff. We need to be sure that what we say is both clear and consistent at all times to ensure that everyone is receiving the same message."
— Cora Zoccolo Ungaro Executive Director, New York City
“I’ve been applying all the contents we worked with in the week you were working with us, I AM THRILLED WITH THE RESULTS!!!!! My little ones are doing great! They know what to do in case of a fire, they know who to call if they are lost in a mall, we did the pre assessments and formative assessments so far and I am SUPER HAPPY in how they are learning, can’t wait to learn more about Core 21!"
— Blanca Mabel Ortiz Leal, Primary Teacher, San Roberto School, Monterrey Mexico
“If you need cutting edge professional development on 21st Century Teaching and Learning, these are the people you need!”
Joan Della Valle is a fabulous presenter! She has been coming to Kuwait for four years to teach courses for our Buffalo State SUNY Master’s Cohort. She was so engaging and motivating for the cohort, I knew we needed to have her do professional development for the rest of the school too. She has worked with our teacher leaders, administration, done 2 conferences, both keynotes and 4 hour workshops and I hope to have her come again and again. Joan introduced us to Sherrye Dotson and she is also amazing! She now offers master’s courses for us, has partnered up with Joan to do a keynote and several 4 hour workshops in our last conference. We will continue to bring then both back for everything we can.
Often, our professional development is after school. Tired teachers need presenters that will engage, motivate, inspire and know their stuff. If that’s what you are looking for, these are your ladies!”
— Lynda Abdul Raheem, Professional Development Coordinator, Fawsec Educational Company, Kuwait