Project-Based Learning (PBL) has been a trending topic in education over the past several years. As with any change in the traditional teaching approach, it can be a bit daunting to jump in and try something new. When we hear of the increases in student engagement and achievement though, it can make testing the waters a little more inviting. We’ve put together a collection of resources to answer some questions, get you started, and pack your PBL toolkit with a myriad of resources.
I assign projects, so I can check the box on having a PBL classroom, right?
Wrong! PBL isn’t labeling assignments as projects and expecting amazing results. It’s a practice where students delve into the heart of learning through a thoughtful and personally driven study. Students have to be invested in the project and its connection to the real world. The learning takes place as the project develops, not before it begins. Mindshift shares what PBL is and isn’t to help you get your head around the overall concept.
What’s my role as a teacher in the PBL classroom?
If the kids are embarking on a personal journey of learning, it can leave teachers wondering where they fit into the PBL mix. These 5 roles of the teacher in the PBL classroom from Edutopia offer great insight for creating and maintaining a successful learning environment. Posing essential questions and providing continual feedback from self, teacher and peers are key components that bring success to any educational scenario. Facilitating idea development and creating real-world audiences are the big takeaways from this article for making PBL work in the classroom.
How do I start PBL or enhance my existing practices?
If you’re looking for a from-the-trenches viewpoint on starting PBL, this series on edutopia is a great entry point. The 10 blog series follows two middle school teachers during their first year of implementing PBL. From rolling out the concept to students and parents to grading and best resources, many fundamental questions can be answered by a duo with first-hand experience.
You can turn to this gem of a resource from Teach Thought when you’re ready to start filling your toolkit. This piece really does house everything PBL! With 12 site links that take you from the wonders of TeacherTube to the all-encompassing resources and information found at the Buck Institute, you can really get lost in all the information that is at your fingertips.
Now that I’m ready, where can I find project ideas?
Early Elementary Idea - This article offers a great idea for the early years along with how one veteran teacher got the process going. This is a chance to explore her journey and find a way to bring the concepts to life in your own classroom.
5+ Driving Questions - This collection from edutopia offers some ideas from the trenches as teachers at a workshop began formulating driving questions for projects. A handful are taken beyond the initial question development stage and a host of others are there for you to develop as you see fit.
10 More Driving Questions - These 10 project ideas from edutopia offer a variety of entry points for engaging students. The focus in this article is all about borrowing that big idea and making it your own- genius!
From getting down the basics to starting up your own project, we’ve got you covered. PBL is a great opportunity to engage learners by creating a meaningful link to bigger concepts. When you choose to make PBL a part of your classroom, everyone involved will reap the benefits of this powerful learning experience!
If you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas shared here, check out the trainings and tools (for teachers and for families) that we offer.