Projects & Activities Tip #4 – Understanding NextLesson’s 8 Key Components for Projects


What makes a great project?

  • Learning should continue through peer feedback and self reflection.
  • Students are always asking “why”, authenticity answers this question.
  • The final product should answer a question originally posed.

Understanding NextLesson’s Key Components for Projects

NextLesson Projects are extended lessons based in real-life situations or simulations, culminating in the creation of a final idea, interpretation or product. They are specifically designed to be ready to use and compatible with implementing PBL in your classroom. NextLesson Projects include 8 Key Components that facilitate an authentic PBL experience, requiring deeper learning and in-depth inquiry while also incorporating student voice and choice, reflection and revision and student collaboration. The 8 Key Components found in every NextLesson Project are:

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Class Manager Tip #4 – Getting to Know Your Class with InterestID

db_interest-idWhy do I need to know what my classes are interested in?

  • Knowing what your students like keeps engagement high.
  • Answer the “why?” with application of skills in meaningful scenarios.
  • Give your students a voice in their learning!

What is InterestID?

InterestID is a tool designed to connect teachers with lessons based on the interests of their students. Students browse through the hundreds of interesting topics that NextLesson has developed its content around, indicating whether they like or dislike them. As students engage with the InterestID browser, they build an interest profile. 

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Rank & Reason Tip #4 – How can I create my own Rank & Reason?

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  • Focus a discussion on a big idea, ethics, a moral dilemma, and such
  • Sequence a series of events, a process, a timeline, and more by interpreting a point of view
  • For younger students, simple sequencing and ordering will work



You’ve Got the Idea AND the Rank & Reason Tool to Build It! 

Writing a Rank & Reason discussion lesson is quite easy once you have the idea. The tool is intuitive and a basic Rank & Reason discussion can be set up in 5-10 minutes. Of course, your first one may take longer as you learn the tool and exactly which pieces you want to use.  

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Skill Builders Tip #4 – Can I use these outside of whole class instruction?


Using Skill Builders Outside of Whole Class Instruction

Skill Builders are a great way to give students the time and practice they need to master foundational skills. They tap into student interests like sports, movies, music, and more and provide repeated practice of a single skill. We have seen several teachers use Skill Builders as part of their whole class instruction when introducing a sill for the first time. However, we have also seen our Skill Builders used in other creative ways as well! 

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Performance Tasks Tip #4 – How can I set the reading level of text and questions?

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  • English Learners need accessible vocabulary and structure
  • Struggling students should participate but need a lower reading level
  • Accelerated students should be challenged with more complex language

Setting the Reading Level in ELA Performance Tasks

First, we are talking about ELA Performance Tasks and not Math. The ELA Performance Tasks are much denser with language, structure, vocabulary, and require writing – making them our top priority.

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