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Page history last edited by Bjorn Behrendt 13 years, 5 months ago

Encouraging PBL

 

Project based learning is not a new concept, however it is becoming more and more important that we adopt these methods.  Todays students have evolved themselves to a digital world, they are multitaskers, and with information so readily avalible, they do not respond the the traditional classroom of textbooks and blackboards as they use to.   Project Based Learning is shown to be one of the best ways to educate our students in a ways they respond to.  The goal then is to have teachers adapt to a PBL teaching style.

 

Teachers might see another teacher doing a PBL lesson, and see students getting excited about what they are learning.  While that is good it will not create an epidemic of PBL lessons.  What needs to happen is once the innovative teacher does the project, that teacher needs to, through Professional Devolopment, explain that the lesson was sucessful becaused they used a PBL approach, and explain what PBL is and how they can get help in converting or designing their own PBL lesson.   The epidemic could occur in a faculty meeting if the teacher is knowledgeable, well respected, and a good communicator.  Once  teachers associate the success with PBL and not just a good lesson, then we might see an epidemic.

 


 

Example PBL Project: Letterboxing

 

 

 

 

Lesson Overview:

 

Orienteering and navigation skills have long been emphasized as a means of teaching survival skills. However, in the recent past, these concepts have become a vehicle for developing students’ spatial reasoning, logical reasoning, and other high-order thinking skills.

 

In this lesson, students will learn about the primary tools of orienteering and navigation, such as maps, and how to use them, while focusing on the geographic features of an area.

By participating in a web-guided geographic scavenger hunt, students will practice these skills, in addition to problem solving and logical reasoning.  Students will then create their own letterbox and clues.  They will utilize mind-mapping software to collaborate on their project ideas.  The final project will involve students creating a shared web pages to document their clues and then linking them to the North American Letterboxing Website to share with letterboxers across the globe.  Their individual and/or group experience will be journaled using online blogs.  Intended for grades 6-8.

 

 

 

What exactly is Letterboxing?

 

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Enduring Understandings:

 

  1. Students will navigate various web pages to find clues to letterbox locations.
  2. Students will understand how to create their own web pages as clues for their new letterbox which will be linked to a letterbox clue database and shared globally.
  3. Students will understand how to use mind mapping software to share ideas on possible locations for clues and observations that could lead to the generation of clues.
  4. Students will understand how to create their own blogs as they journal their experiences working with letterboxes.
  5. Students will collaborate between them selves to build the clues.
  6. As the project evolves Students will be able to collaborate with other schools, orgainizations, and previous classes.
  7. Through research and designing students will have oppertunities to work with other teachers and subjects.

 

 

How Does One Go About Letterboxing?

(Podcast)

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Assessment:

 

Since the project is quite scaleable and could have many focuses depending on what the teacher hopes to show the students, the assesment of the project could also be as diverse.   One approach would be to guage the involvement into the group by looking at the access logs of the digital collaborative application (aka wiki).   Another would be a feild test having the students take part in locating a letterbox.

 


 

How students would learn these skills in a traditional class:

In a non Project Based Class students will likely be learning similar skills by:

  • Reading a book about topography,
  • Share/collaborate data within one classroom, during classroom time.
  • Look at pictures or movies of various ecosystems.
  • Go on a field trip to a local ecosystem.
  • Write a 3-4 page paper with cited resouces in MLA format.

 


 

Reflective Questions for a teacher considering adopting PBL

 

  • Which teaching method do you think your students would relate to most?   Why?
  • Whch teaching method will most likely give the students skills they would use outside that particular class, and in their personal lives?

 


 

 

 

Notes

 

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