PBL (Project Based Learning) How can we incorporate this into our classrooms?

Project Based Learning.  You are wondering, I’ve heard about it, would love to try it, but I’m too stressed and tired trying to get the Common Core curriculum in.  I wanted to make you aware of what Project Based Learning is and to have you think and reflect, how can we add this into our school and make it engaging for our kids.
You’re  probably thinking, there goes Vicki, trying to push more stuff on us.  No, I am not.  I really think this is something we need to explore and develop.  We have worked very hard to incorporate CCSS and engage our students with NYSED curriculum.  Actually, some of the curriculum lends itself to PBL.  My concern, and I have voiced to folks with the curriculum is that is it engaging and innovative for our students and will it work?  How can we enhance them?  Hence, project based learning.
 So what is PBL?  The Buck Institute for Education gives a definition.
Project Base Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge.  Essential Elements of PBL include:
  • Significant Content – At its core, the project focuses on teaching students important knowledge and skills, derived from standards and key concepts at the heart of the academic subject.
  • 21st century competencies – Students build competencies valuable for today’s world, such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and communication, and creativity/innovation, which are taught and assessed.
  • In-Depth Inquiry – Students are engaged in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, using resources, and developing answers.
  • Driving Question – Project work is focused by an open-ended question that students understand and find intriguing,l which captures their task or frames their exploration.
  • Need to Know – Students see the need to gain knowledge, understand concepts, and apply skills in order to answer the Driving Question and create project products, beginning with an Entry Event that generates interest and curiosity.
  • Voice and Choice – Students are allowed to make some choices about the products to be created, how they work, and how they use their time, guided by the teacher and depending on age level and PBL experience.
  • Revision and Reflection – The project includes processes for students to use feedback to consider additions and changes that lead to high-quality products, and think about what and how they are learning.
  • Public Audience – Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher.

I think it’s intriguing, and of course, it will take lots of work and training, but how powerful would this be for our children.  Something to think about.  Visit the Buck Institute’s website.  Also, Patrick Shaw is a PBL trainer for OCM BOCES.  Check out the archived PBL and Responsive Classroom newsletters here.  Patrick also developed OCM RC and PBL Facebook pages you should all ask to join!

I have been in contact with Patrick and don’t be surprised, we may see him soon.  PBL also goes hand-in- hand with Responsive Classroom and Academic Choice.  All I ask is that you keep an opened mind.  Have a great week!
Vic
Other News
  • Bus Duty for Mar 10 – Mar 21  Team 3:  Jessica Serviss and Teresa Kiechle.  Upcoming bus duty:  Mar. 24 – Apr. 4  Team 4:  Jennifer Prevost, Marci Woods, Kathy Buell
  • I will be sending out the updates of special switches for the ELA tests on April 1,2,3.  Look for an email soon.
  • DWIS is on Monday at West Side.
  • Our Spelling Bee is Wednesday morning.  Thanks Paula!
  • We are going to try and do the pie in the face assembly on Thursday in the afternoon at the end of the day in the gym.  This will happen!
  • The District Transportation Committee is meeting Tuesday, 3/18 at 6:00p.m. per Mrs. French’s email.
Things in the Blogsphere
  • What are the five things you are grateful for?  Make a list daily.  It does wonders!
  • Be the change agent for kids!  Be a champion for kids.  Every kid deserves a champion!
Other Items of Interest
The Board of Regents has not yet adopted the Social Studies Frameworks. They will be voted on at the April meeting
The Governor’s Common Core Implementation Panel released their report which is pretty much what the Regents said last month.
Perseverance is a characteristic we value in students. This study points to perseverance as an important characteristic of effective teachers.
The new program Cosmos has a companion website. It includes full episodes as well as supporting resources.
Do you have a growth mindset? Do you deliberately promote a growth mindset for your students? Project Based Learning can help.
All Grades | All Subjects | CCSS
This video kicked off the Let’s Chat Core series. We talk about how to read the CCSS, how the Core affects teachers and students, and offers insights on implementation.
All Grades | All Subjects | CCSS
This webinar demystifies what “text complexity” is all about and explores ways we can use it to make purposeful decisionsabout what we’re asking our students to read.
All Grades | All Subjects | Planning | CCSS
We “zoomed in” with this video to look carefully at the language of exemplar tasks to help us wrestle with the finer details of the Core. 
A Touch of Humor
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