This is going to be the first part of a series of more informal blog posts in the development of my Project-Based Learning (PBL) project. Where I keep a reflective journal of the process, triumphs, and tribulations of developing my own PBL Project. Each of these posts will use the tag PBLblog, so feel free to follow along!
During our second week in Technology-Supported Project-Based Learning, we were to further delve into Project-Based Learning and explore some projects to help solidify our Project Idea. We were to:
- Identify some common features among projects that we examined.
Share one PBL project that we were able to locate during our search.
Explain why we liked this project, and how we might be able to adapt it for our own use.
- What projects were we able to find?
- How do we think PBL will fit into our teaching style?
- Do we have an idea for a project? Begin articulating it now
Wow, there is so much out there, it is incredible! It even got a little overwhelming after seeing so much but I found so many new resources, like always, some better than others. One of my favorites, of course, is the BIE (Buck Institute for Education) PBL site, however, I wish the projects could be organized a little further so that when you do a generic search it defines grade levels. Regardless, there was so much to offer! My favorite is the PBLU site that has projects created by BIE. Among many of the projects I found, there were some common features & those are:
- Cross-curricular projects
- Community involvement
- Student Choice
- Real-world Connections
Most of the projects I found also followed a similar format that included:
- Overview or summary of the project
- List of standards met
- Links to resources for the project
- Plan or ideas for presentation
One project that I found that I absolutely loved was Choose Your Own Adventure. You’ll need to sign up to PBLU from BIE, if you haven’t, to view/download this project,it’s worth it! I loved it so much that I’ve changed my entire idea & I’m going to adapt this plan & use it for my project.
What I loved about this project is that it takes something that we teach in fourth grade, why people came to Idaho to settle & the risk that took and applies it immediately to their own lives. Many times when we teach about immigration students see it as a fantasy world and don’t see it’s application to them. This project shows them that just like those in the past they are in the drivers seat of their own destiny and they will have to think critically to discover “What makes people take a risk?” including their own family members!
I’m going to modify this project by including some of the stories of immigrants that moved to Idaho like the miners, settlers, missionaries, etc., to relate it back to Idaho History & our standards. I’m also going to make this cross-curricular (even more) and tie it to one of our novels Inside Out & Back Again. To say the least, I’m thrilled…I search, & have found GOLD! I am going to use something very similar to this project!
I plan on having students research why people take risks particularly immigrants both in Idaho’s history’s past, the past of others from other countries, their ancestors (by family interviews), and fictional stories. Then students will be teaming up to form groups to develop a scenario where they are going to combine the stories and information they have collected to “create their own adventure” working with developing several scenarios and probability/risk associated with each, to present a culminating Idaho History & family history “Choose Your Own Adventure” presentation to other classes and parents.
I see Project-Based Learning as something that has the potential to impact my teaching significantly. The driving focus of student choice, community involvement, and real-world connections makes it so that learning and teaching has so much more value to both educator and student. I need to remind myself to start slow, as I have seen that as a recommendation in many of the sources I looked at including, BIE (which is a goldmine in itself), but to say the least, PBL has great potential in Miss. Quezada’s classroom!
Reflection of Learning/Standard Connection: This assignment required me to delve into several articles and websites to develop a thorough understanding of Project-Based Learning. I got the experience to analyze various situations and synthesize the information I’ve learned to solve these problems.
- AECT Standard 4.3 Reflection on Practice: To further delve into what project-based learning is and identify similar features I needed to analyze and interpret various projects and reflect on the effectiveness of their design, development and implementation of technology-supported project-based learning instruction and learning to enhance my own professional growth and create my own artifacts.