Getting Started with Project-Based Learning (Hint: Don't Go Crazy) Before the start of the school year, many of us want to use the remaining weeks of summer to learn some new skills -- such as project-based learning (PBL).
One of the things we stress for new PBL practitioners is, as I say, "don't go crazy. " It's easy to go "too big" when you first start PBL. I have heard from many teachers new to PBL that a large, eight-week integrated project was a mistake. So how do you start PBL in ways that will ensure your success as a learner and teacher? Here are a few tips to consider. Start Small As I said, "Don't go crazy!
" Plan Now One of the challenges of PBL, but also one of the joys, is the planning process. Limited Technology We love technology, but sometimes we get too "tech happy. " Know the Difference Between PBL and Projects This is the big one! We are all learners, and when we start something new, we start small. Photo credit: wwworks via Flickr (CC BY 2.0) World Wonders Project. 20+ Tips and Resources to Help Learners with Their Presentation Skills. Teaching Presentation Skills to English Learners “At a funeral, people are five times more likely to want to be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”~ Jerry Seinfeld Public speaking is the number one phobia.
People are more afraid of speaking in public than death which is why Jerry Seinfeld made the remark above. At some point our learners will have to give a presentation. For many of our learners this is a different type of skill they have to learn and their struggle with the language makes it more frightening for them. Tips for Preparing Their Presentations Before your students present, they will need to prepare what they want to say. Have them observe famous speakers and speeches! Tips for Designing Their Presentations Now that your learners have determined what they are saying, it is time to get them to support these ideas with multimedia and visual aids.
Instruct them to support concepts and main points with multimedia, images, and videos. Lesson Ideas. Resources for Project-Based Learning. Free materials and downloads for building rigorous projects for all grade levels.
In this section, you will find materials and resources for teaching about project-based learning, whether you are conducting a two-hour session or class or can spend a day or two on the topic. We believe you will find much here from which you can build a set of experiences tailored to class participants for the purpose of exploring PBL: More Edutopia.org Resources on Project-Based Learning: Top Edutopia.org Case Study Videos on Project-Based Learning: Lower ElementaryUpper ElementaryMiddle SchoolHigh School Back to Top Additional Resources Elsewhere on the Web: The sample schedule provides ideas for one- and two-day sessions. This PowerPoint presentation introduces PBL, based on research and case studies, and discusses why the method should be used, what it is, and how to begin, touching on the process of questioning, planning, scheduling, monitoring, assessing, and evaluating.
How Does Project-Based Learning Work? Tools for understanding the process of planning and building projects.
Project-based learning, as with all lessons, requires much preparation and planning. It begins with an idea and an essential question. When you are designing the project and the essential question that will launch the activities, it is important to remember that many content standards will be addressed. With these standards in mind, devise a plan that will integrate as many subjects as possible into the project. Have in mind what materials and resources will be accessible to the students.
Teacher Eeva Reeder developed and implemented an architecture project for her geometry students. Here are steps for implementing PBL, which are detailed below: Start with the Essential Question The question that will launch a PBL lesson must be one that will engage your students. "Questions may be the most powerful technology we have ever created. Take a real-world topic and begin an in-depth investigation. Design a Plan for the Project. What Is Project-Based Learning About?
A description of what teachers can accomplish in the classroom using project-based learning.
PBL Is Curriculum Fueled and Standards Based Project-based learning addresses the required content standards. In PBL, the inquiry process starts with a guiding question and lends itself to collaborative projects that integrate various subjects within the curriculum. Questions are asked that direct students to encounter the major elements and principles of a discipline. PBL Asks a Question or Poses a Problem That Each Student Can Answer In PBL, the teacher or the students pose a guiding, or essential, question: "What is cystic fibrosis, and how is it caused? " "The classroom is a place where people can live a fulfilling life together as a community of learners if needs and concerns are appropriately expressed.
There is more information about crafting essential questions in the How Does PBL Work? PBL Allows Students to Delve into Content in a More Direct and Meaningful Way. Why Is Project-Based Learning Important? The many merits of using project-based learning in the classroom.
PBL Helps Students Develop Skills for Living in a Knowledge-Based, Highly Technological Society The old-school model of passively learning facts and reciting them out of context is no longer sufficient to prepare students to survive in today's world. Solving highly complex problems requires that students have both fundamental skills (reading, writing, and math) and 21st century skills (teamwork, problem solving, research gathering, time management, information synthesizing, utilizing high tech tools).
With this combination of skills, students become directors and managers of their learning process, guided and mentored by a skilled teacher. These 21st century skills include A number of excellent works published in the last few decades promote 21st century skills. PDF download) about the changing skills young people need to succeed in the workplace. PBL and Technology Use Bring a New Relevance to the Learning at Hand. Project-Based Learning Professional Development Guide.
An overview of the Edutopia professional development guide for teaching how to use project-based learning in the classroom.
Edutopia.org's Project-Based Learning professional development guide can be used for a two- to three-hour session, or expanded for a one- to two-day workshop, and is divided into two parts. Part one is a guided process, designed to give participants a brief introduction to project-based learning (PBL), and answers the questions "Why is PBL important? ", "What is PBL about? ", and "How does PBL work? " Part two assigns readings and activities for experiential PBL. Students Follow the Butterflies' Migration: Teacher Frances Koontz shows students a symbolic butterfly sent from children in Mexico.
The Resources for PBL page includes a PowerPoint presentation (including presenter notes), which can be shown directly from the website or downloaded for use as a stand-alone slide show, and sample session schedules. Continue to the next section of the guide, Why Is PBL Important? Project-Based Learning Workshop Activities. Hands-on lessons you can adapt for your PBL workshops.
Now that you've established the basics of PBL, you're ready for part two. On this page, you will find a wide range of activities that will get workshop participants thinking and talking about PBL. 1. Prepare Participants for Critical Viewing of Case Study Videos Before watching a set of videos that demonstrate PBL at work, ask participants, "What questions do you have about good PBL projects that might be answered by looking carefully at a video of students working on a project? " Suggest that participants view the videos shown with particular questions in mind. 2. Choose a video from the following list to share with class participants, based on their grade level interest. After a brief small-group discussion and reflection, engage the larger group of participants in conversation about what they saw. "What steps did the students take to work on their project? "" Credit: Kristi Rennebohm Franz 4. In the What Is PBL About?
7. How the Common Core Standards Tackle Problem Solving. When the word creativity is used, the left side of my head begins to hurt.
Now why would that happen? Let's see, could be the years of exposure to right and left brain mumbo jumbo? If you want to see some interesting things about the brain, there is a course on iTunes U from the University of Arizona, called Visualizing Human Thought. It shows that even though a man had nearly his entire left hemisphere destroyed by a stroke, including the comprehension (Wernike's area) and speech center (Broca's area), he can still communicate. How did this happen? The thread of literacy found in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) suggests a way to get to the heart of problem solving. A problem solved must be compelling enough to need a solution.
An Example My lawnmower quit working. How did I solve it? The problem needed to be solved, the grass was too high, the fix was dubious but doable, and the results were irrefutable. How do you get your students to solve problems? Secret to Better PBL? Focus on Problem-Finding. On April 22, a billion people around the world are expected to take part in Earth Day 2012 celebrations.
Among the anticipated "billion acts of green" will be scores of events for students and schools, from gardening lessons to eco-fairs to solar cooking demonstrations. It could be an ideal set-up for young people to dive deeply into problem solving and creative thinking -- but only if we trust students to figure out which problems they want to tackle. That's advice from educator and entrepreneur Ewan McIntosh, who knows a thing or two about engaging students in project-based learning. Last fall, he facilitated an event that drew 10,000 students from five continents to tackle some of the world's biggest problems. Students came together online for the ITU Telecom World Meta Conference. Students were challenged to design solutions to tough issues, such as improving access to clean drinking water or extending education to reach all the world's children.
What did students dream up?