Field Day: Project-Based Learning Think & Do Tool by Pivotl – Are your kids into animals? How about running a vet’s office, complete with billing and veterinarians diagnosing common ills on the spot – whether it be stationed in the arctic or the rainforest. Do you run a learning support class, where all the kids hate haircuts? You can not only build a story around it but play it. Making things real or giving an abstract or novel situation relevancy makes it stick because it is intrinsically motivating. Knowledge and comprehension beget competency through direct experience, and this competency is then transferable across domains of learning.
Field Day has your back, for you as a teacher or clinician. It is going to get you organized and facilitate any teaching experience that you could possibly dream of by helping you map it out. It asks just the right questions to get you focused and started, then points you to strategies to use to make your classroom experience a success, and finally how to go about collecting data to the envy of all! This app has extensive resources at your disposal, and having access to them really makes me feel so lucky to have been given a chance to view this app, just for the resources alone. Here is a sample of the extensive resources available in the app itself in order to get you started and their website: FieldDayApp.com can link you to more.
The first tab is to set up your challenge; let’s use the example of getting a haircut. By clearly defining your goals, you are then ready to ask yourself what are the key concepts that you want your students to explore? By giving you sample questions to ask yourself in terms of imparting intended knowledge and comprehension you can then formulate strategies for instruction, for example – Why include beginning scissor skills in a PBL experience with kids with sensory defensive behaviors in getting haircuts? Well, as an OT, I want a child to be able to self-regulate by knowing the operational function of scissors so that he or she can relax during the real life experience because they know how something is going to be used and comprehend what is going to happen.
Strategies for implementing the plan are laid out with not only helping to set up ways for students to access knowledge and comprehension but also applying what they’re learning in a real life routine. As you can see in the picture, you are able to add pictures, ideas, or how you are going to proceed or account for a specific strategy.
The summary is also a perfect way to keep data as the experience unfolds, and you can make notes on what has worked, and what has not. After all, our failures are really just a means of evaluation, and keeping notes tells you what didn’t work and we can then eliminate that track next time!
In summary, this is one fantastic app to help teachers and clinicians organize learning experiences for their students. Big or small – Whether it is one or two hour event such as Haircut Day or Planning a trip to Florida to learn about the citrus industry – complete with flying out there, buying land, and planting and caring for a citrus grove, this app will help put your class over the top, and enrich your student’s lives.
About the Author
Jo Booth has been an Occupational Therapist for over 30 years and currently works in Pediatrics with early intervention. She sees kids newly diagnosed on the spectrum as well as medically fragile kids. She loves to move, explore and play every day; so that “her kids” grow up to be healthy independent learners.