Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog #9

In Seven Essentials of PBL, it is said that the teacher handed out a packet announcing a new project for her students. This teacher's move immediately turns the students against the project. Teachers should engage students by asking driving and open-ended questions. Student's need to apply it to their everyday life; like the project in the above. They live in California near the beach so they did a project on contaminated waters. This directly affects the students.
The seven essentials they give are as follows:
 1. A Need to Know- The students need to feel connected to the project. By getting personal experiences, this engages the students.
2. A Driving Question- The students need to feel challenged and have a purpose to complete a well done project. When the student is given a question to answer it makes for a better and easier project.
3. Student voice and choice- This is the most important essential. If the students chose their topic for the project they may be more apt to participate in the project.
4. 21st Century skills- The students should be practicing skills that will be used in the workplace. They should be working in groups, using technology, and this will help with their social skills.
5. Inquiry and Innovation- The students need to actively search for answers to the question. This can include interviewing people in the project's subject.
6. Feedback and Revision- The students need to know that their first draft is not their best draft. When teachers and peers give helpful feedback, the student's finished project will be and/or should be better.
7. Public Presentation- When the students are given the opportunity to present their project in front of people other than their teacher and classmates, like local politicans and experts in the area, it gives the students that extra incentive to produce their very best work.

In Tony Vincent's PBL for teachers video, shares example questions that can help reach today's students. These questions are open-ended questions that will get the students' brains engaged and become more open minded about diferent subjects. He states that Common core curriculum is the 'What' and project-based learning is the 'How.'  PBL meets these common core standards with the personalization and investigation. Like the 7 essentials, it emphasizes that students learn skills: communication, critical thinking, life and career. The video also states technology is a vital role, students should use tools like Popplet or Prezi.

In "What Motivates Students Today" it shows us different students' motivations and the reward systems that they like. This gives teachers a good idea of what works for kids like pizza parties, homework passes, media passes, bonus points and more. Rewards work and this can also serve as motivation to learn. When a student works hard, they should enjoy the satisfaction of being a recognized and complimented.

On this site, it shows the top ten website tools that support collaborative learning. The ones that I have used personally are Skype for education and Google Docs. These are useful both inside and outside of the classroom for collaboration on projects. While the students are in-class, they can be in their groups without talking. The teacher can also monitor progress from their own computer. Skype for education is very useful when students need to work on things outside of class. This tool is also useful for interviewing people that are too far away. Based on the descriptions of the other tools, the one I'd most likely use would be Linoit. This allows students to contribute information without having to log in. This could also be a place to present homework and where students can ask and answer (sometimes) questions.

With PBL implementations at Sammamish High School, they looked for PBL for every class and tried to find one for each lesson. While this didn't always happen in math classes, the students would get to make games, for some lessons. I can remember playing the dice game Farkle for our probablity lesson. The entire class was engaged and we were all having fun. When students are learning while having fun, the lesson is tends to stick.

In conclusion, what we can take away from these videos is when students are having fun, the project is meaningful, they are challenged, and they feel a sense of purpose they produce their best project. Teachers must ask questions that will help the students form their own opinion about different things. Through project based learning, the students learn about the subject and how to apply it to everyday life.

hexagon of Significant Content and 21st Century skills in PBL


  1. I really liked reading your blog post today. I also agree PBL should be fun as well as educational. Keep up the good work.