Using Project Management and 21st Century Skills in the Gifted Classroom

For the last few days I have been here at the Ohio Association for Gifted Children Annual Fall Conference. I have learned a lot. One presentation in particular stood out to from the first day of the conference. It was Todd Stanley’s presentation on Using Project Management to Create 21st Century Classrooms This presentation stood out because a lot of what Mr. Stanley does in his classroom I also do in mine. Mr. Stanley took ideas and concepts that are using in the way businesses plan projects and how they execute then, and modified them to fit the classroom. Many of the ideas presented in his presentation are from business books.

If you do projects in your classroom, you will benefit from this presentation. Let me point out a few things from his presentation.

Steps to a Project:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Develop solution options
  3. Plan the project
  4. Execute the plan
  5. Monitor and control progress
  6. Close the project.

These six steps are used in many of the big businesses in the world. Notice how these steps can also be used in the classroom. Mr. Stanley goes into detail of these steps.

The other piece that stood out to me from Mr. Stanley’s presentation was step 5 (Monitor and control progress). There are 5 steps to successful coaching in the classroom.

  1. Managing stress
  2. Giving students space
  3. Keeping students focused on the goal of the lesson
  4. Conferencing with students
  5. Training them in group work

It’s this last step that I had my AHA! Moment! I don’t spend enough time teaching my students to how to work effectively with each other. I just assume they know how to work with a partner. I realized that I must spend more time training them to work with a partner or small group, but also to be efficient.

Again, if you get a chance please check out Mr. Todd Stanley’s whole presentation. I honestly believe if you do projects in your classroom, the 21st century skills that needed in the work place will be used in your classroom.


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