Spring 2019

In this newsletter you will find:

  • Highlights from CCTE Showcase and PBL Institute
  • SDUSD PBL News
  • Professional learning opportunities

If you would like to make a suggestion, would like to submit something for a future newsletter, or would like to be removed from the list of recipients, please contact Reuben Hoffman, San Diego Unified PBL Resource Teacher, at rhoffman@sandi.net

CCTE Showcase

Project teams from all across San Diego Unified attended the CCTE Showcase on May 22 to exhibit the inspiring work produced throughout the year as part of an interdisciplinary team or in one of their CTE classes.

In total, there were 35 student project teams sharing their learning with the public and the CCTE Showcase Judges. Throughout the evening, as teams presented, attendees were able to sample foods prepared by CCTE’s culinary programs.

While all of the teams could be classified as winners because of all of the amazing work they put into their projects, some were recognized with awards.

The People’s Choice Award went to Hoover’s SABE, Plastic Pollution Solutions. Hoover SABE students tackled the plastic pollution problem and spearheaded a campaign to reduce the use of plastic in the City Heights community.

The Open CTE Award went to Point Loma HS, An En“lighten”ing Experience - Creating an Illuminated “Pointer Pride” Sign. The Point Loma High School Engineering Design and Development class worked with the school administration to create a solar-powered LED lit display that will be installed by the stadium scoreboard.

The Interdisciplinary High School Team Award went to Kearny DMD, Sea and Me. Kearny DMD students worked with Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Birch Aquarium to develop infographics and persuasive videos to post on social media in order to bring attention to the danger coral reefs face.

The Middle School Award went to Marston Middle School, Ocean Savers not Ocean Darth Vaders. Students worked with San Diego Coastkeeper to teach other young people to join the rebellion against single use items and climate change.

The Newcomer Award went to Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet, "We are Linda Vista" Lamp Post Banner Project. Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet students worked in teams to create a visual representation of Linda Vista for light post banners. The banners can now be seen along Linda Vista Road and Ulric Street.

The CCTE Showcase Judges were extremely impressed with all of the students and their projects. This was evident through their post showcase comments.

“The students were amazing - they did such innovative and heartfelt projects!” Katlin Choi, SD Mesa College Work Based Learning Coordinator

“What great projects the students created. It was refreshing and inspiring to see the students' work and their enthusiasm for each of their projects.” Cynthia Wilson, Explore Solutions

“There are some talented students in SDUSD. I always love talking to the students about their projects. I judged middle schools this year and was blown away by the depth of their projects. They have great insight and perspective, and of course they couldn't get that without dedicated teachers and strong programs.” Jenni Preciado, Junior Achievement Work-Based Learning Program Manager

This annual tradition is a highlight for students involved in project-based learning and we hope you can join us next year as a participating teacher, judge, or attendee. The 2020 CCTE Showcase has been scheduled for May 20 from 4-6:30 pm. See you there!


PBL Institute

From June 17-June 28th, 139 teachers came together from SDUSD middle and high schools at PBL Institute to work in interdisciplinary teams to design rigorous real-world projects to implement with students during the 2019-2020 school year. During the two weeks, teachers engaged in a design challenge, job shadow, workshops, brainstormed, created meaningful essential questions, and used the Six A's of PBL as they collaborated to develop a new (or improved) project.

An example of an interdisciplinary project is "Energy Independence: The Future of City Heights" designed by the Sustainable Academy of Building and Engineering (SABE) of Hoover High School for their 9th graders. The project integrates Green Up and Go, Integrated Math 1, and English and challenges students to consider the question: "How can the use of renewable energy to promote economic self-sufficiency in low-income communities?" Through the project, students will explore renewable energy sources, sustainability principles in housing, and how renewable energy and sustainability principles can help communities be self-sufficient. Students will utilize renewable energy (wind and solar) to power an EnergiPlant from Primo Energy that is off-the-grid and will provide clean electricity to Hoover students and community members. Additionally, students will be writing proposals to City Heights CDC to potentially establish partnerships between City Heights CDC and Primo Energy for the purpose of fostering economic self-sufficiency in City Heights through the practice of sustainable principles. This is just one example of the 35+ real-world and client-based projects created by teachers this summer. View more - PBL Institute Projects

Learn more about the SD Unified PBL Institute:


San Diego Met Hosts ProjectCon

The staff and students of San Diego Met, a Big Picture Learning (BPL) school, volunteered to host this year’s ProjectCon 2019 at their site on the Mesa College campus on April 29 and 30.

ProjectCon is an opportunity for educators from across the world to come together, in a BPL network school, to learn from the life of the school -- the students, staff and leadership -- around best practices for student-driven project work. At ProjectCon, students have the opportunity to get real-time feedback from peers and BPL advisors from across the country. At the same time, BPL advisors from across the country have the chance to get real time feedback on their project-based learning practices from their peers, as well as from an audience that matters most: students.

Follow these links to learn more about Big Picture Learning and their 10 Distinguishers.

Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet - Featured in Share Your Learning Video

Share Your Learning, an organization whose goal is to have 5 million students share their learning to a public audience, recently released a new promotional video featuring Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet school (view video). Share Your Learning has been highlighting the work at Montgomery around student-led conferences and school-wide exhibitions. Students at Montgomery have expressed that they love being in charge of their own conferences and are excited about interacting with the community through their exhibitions.

According to the Share Your Learning, “when students share their learning with an authentic audience, we provide them with an opportunity to share their story, reflect on their growth, and engage in real dialogue with others about their learning and their futures.” Many San Diego Unified Teachers have joined a group of 300,000 other educators that have pledged to have students share their work publicly via the organization, Share Your Learning.

Visit Share Your Learning to learn about the free resources teachers are using to set up student exhibitions, student presentations of learning, and student-led conferences.
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Professional Learning

Leaders of Innovation

The sixteen teachers in this year's Leaders of Innovation have developed and implemented at least one innovative challenge with the goal of transforming student experiences and learning either in their classes, at their school site, or district-wide. On Day 3 of the program, the teachers were able to share their learning during the Leaders of Innovation Exhibition at Taft Middle School. During the morning, teachers participated in an exhibition workshop with guest speaker Michelle Pledger, from Share Your Learning. Through the workshop, teachers learned that an exhibition of learning is an organized event that provides learners the opportunity to share their learning with an authentic audience. Teachers designed a blueprint for their own student exhibition and then prepared for their exhibition. In the afternoon, the audience arrived and the Leaders of Innovation shined as they shared how their innovative challenges had transformed student experiences and learning in their classrooms.

iMiddle DHH Teachers Connect with Students Through Empathy Interviews

Innovation Middle School Deaf & Hard of Hearing (DHH) Teachers recently conducted one-on-one empathy interviews with students to connect with them as people and to better understand them as learners. The empathy interviews were the starting point for the DHH teachers as they learned how to use the design thinking framework to find solutions to problems/needs. Through the interviews, the teachers collected student thoughts and perspectives on school-related topics and general interests. The teachers then analyzed the data for patterns and insights that might reveal problems that students are facing or needs students have. The number of problems/needs that the DHH teachers were able to define was surprising to them. With potential problems/needs to address, they ideated by brainstorming potential solutions and chose a few to prototype. With prototype models designed, they each shared their solutions to get feedback from one another. Many new ideas surfaced and they applied their revisions to their models. The teachers shared designs for a Deaf Field Day to connect the Deaf Community, Buddy Boxes to allow students to create a safe space to communicate with a friend, and to have students make “Life Through Deaf Eyes” videos to help teachers and students understand Deaf student needs and perspectives.

Next, the teachers will test what they have designed by implementing their models with students.

Having had no experience with design thinking, The DHH teachers modeled what it means to be a lifelong learner and being a risk-taker by their willingness to learn by doing. Now that they have a framework for problem-solving that they can use and integrate into their classrooms.

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Events & Meetups!

Work-Based Learning Summit - Free!

Where: Miramar College, Building L – Room 105; 10440 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

When: Friday, September 20th; 9 am – 3 pm

Who: WBL Summit is open to ALL K-14 teachers, faculty, counselors, staff, and administrators from San Diego - Please share with your colleagues!

Register here by Friday, Sept 13th.

*Parking, continental breakfast, and lunch will be provided

SD Unified Teachers

- Approved CTE teachers getting subs through CCTE funds to attend.

- General Ed teachers would need to provide their own subs through site funds.

What is Work-Based Learning?

Check out a brief overview of the WBL Continuum, examples, and benefits for students, faculty, and employers.

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* The events listed below are paid events not sponsored by SDUSD. They have been included in the newsletter for awareness of events that pertain to PBL / Linked Learning / CCTE / Pathways. You can follow these events for free virtually on many social media platforms, especially Twitter.

  • SDCUE: Powered Learning Fair - (West Hills High School) - November 2, 2019
    SDCUE is an annual event focused on educational innovation. Interested in presenting? Call for Presenters

  • Educating for Careers Conference (Sacramento) - February 27-29, 2020
    The Educating for Careers Conference is an annual three-day professional development event surrounding career technical education (CTE).

  • CUE Conference (Palm Springs) - March 19-21, 2020
    The Spring CUE Conference is an annual three-day event focused on educational innovation and educational technology.

  • Linked Learning Conference - TBD
    This is a great opportunity to learn from educators, postsecondary institutions, and economic development and employer leaders who come together to make the vision of Linked Learning a reality.

SDUSD Instructional Innovation Team

For more information regarding PBL at SDUSD, please contact Reuben Hoffman at rhoffman@sandi.net, visit the SDUSD PBL Website, follow #sdusdpbl & @reubenhoffman on Twitter.

Please invite me to see your students in action, so I can share more of the great things happening in SD Unified.