Sunday, June 28, 2015

Post #9- What We learn About PBL From Teachers and Students

 "Some "projects" border on busywork. Others involve 

meaningful inquiry that engages students' minds."-  a quote
from Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning. This quote reminded me that learning is not about staying busy to pass the time, it's about engaging in something that has a purpose and will help you at some point in life. Giving students a "project" where you give them all of the instructions and websites to go to, to me is a way of underestimating the ability for your students to find this information themselves. Students need to know,  at an early age, how to conduct research and find information on their own. Ways to make sure you are conducting a project in the right way:

  1. By having a "Need to Know"
  3. A Driving Question
  4. Students Voice and Choice
  5. 21st Century Skills
  6. Inquiry and Innovation 
  7. Feed Back and Revision
  8. A Publicly Presented Product
I will use this list as a guideline to help me create the best and most effective projects for my students. Each of  these play an important role in making up a meaningful project that will create the best learning experience. 

The video, Project-Based Learning for Teachers, tells that with PBL students learn collaborative skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and career and life skills. These skills come from projects that challenge students to get the best out of their learning experience. 

I learned with project based learning comes a plethora of tools and resources online. There are so many collaborative sites out there that students can use to do group work. The blog post,Ten Sites Supporting Digital Classroom Collaboration in Project Based Learning, has a very good list of helpful and useful sites that I plan to incorporate in my classroom one day. Some of the sites that I find to be very effective are: Padlet ,Google Docs, and Skype in Education. These sites can be used for many different projects.,d.cWw&psig=AFQjCNG6PTTSZVjfWW6Spx_gGiQp12Fv0g&ust=1435635144176768
Students can do group work from wherever they are, not just in the classroom. Skype is a great tool for the classroom, because the possibilities are endless. Skype can be used to bring experts in to teach your class, students can have a video conferences, field trips can be brought to the classroom by using Skype, etc.

PBL ultimately is a way to get students interested and excited about learning. Students enjoy being able to come up with their own ideas and find solutions to problems that they experience. Giving students projects that are irrelevant to their lives will not benefit them in any way. However, when you let the students have a voice in their own learning, you will see much better results. An example of the enthusiasm students can have once they are given the opportunity to be creative and use their imagination can be found in this video: Two Students Solve the Case of the Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap. Two high school students invented a new cap for a ketchup bottle, to eliminate the messy water that comes out when you squeeze a bottle with a regular cap. These students put a lot of thought into this project, mainly because it was something that interested them. They were able to work together to solve a problem that many others have. This taught me that students can really do anything, if they are given the chance.

In the video,What Does Project-Based Learning Look Like in the classroom Look Like?, I learned a very effective way to get students to understand concepts that are needed and used in the real world. Teaching can be done by partnering with another teacher and combining your efforts to teach two different subject by doing one project. This is a great way to show students how both of the subjects are connected and how the concepts that they are learning are used together.

Learning should be fun, exciting, and interesting for students.


  1. I loved your post and how its set up. You did a wonderful job with this. I think project based learning is great and we need more of that in classroom.

  2. You need a summary of what the students did in the ketchup video.

    "Learning should be fun, exciting, and interesting for students." Absolutely.

    Thoughtful. Interesting.