Project Based Learning (PBL) Demonstration

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Project Based Learning (PBL) Demonstration by Mind Map: Project Based Learning (PBL) Demonstration

1. I. What is PBL?

1.1. Overview:

1.2. Includes:

2. II. Why PBL?

2.1. It works!

3. IV.Creating an Authentic Question

3.1. Why: A good driving question captures the heart of the project in clear, compelling language, which gives students a sense of purpose and challenge. The question should be provocative, open-ended, complex, and linked to the core of what you want students to learn.

3.2. Example: After a discussion about bullying, and the different types of bullying (verbal, physical, & cyber bullying) pollution, the teacher will lead the students in brainstorming possible solutions, such as enacting school policies to address bullying, designing a way to teach bullying students about correct ways to deal with conflict, and raising school awareness about the need to reduce bullying. Students will create a driving question to focus their efforts, focusing on a specific area: How can we reduce the amount of bullying at Caldwell Elementary?

4. III. Creating a "Need to Know"

4.1. Why: Teachers can powerfully activate students' need to know content by launching a project with an "entry event" that engages interest and initiates questioning. An entry event can be almost anything: a video, a lively discussion, a guest speaker, a field trip, or a piece of mock correspondence that sets up a scenario.

4.2. Examples: -The teacher could read a story that involves bullying, such as “King of the Playground” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, which describes different scenarios during which a child is bullied. -Other: There are two different programs in Nashville (The PG-13 Players, and Nashville Public Library) that involve student actors who act out real-life scenarios and then, at the height of the conflict, stay in character to answer questions. Given the time available, this would be a great way to generate student interest.

5. V. Student Voice and Choice

5.1. Why: This element of project-based learning is key. In terms of making a project feel meaningful to students, the more voice and choice, the better.

5.2. Example: Once the teacher’s students' interest is piqued by a challenging question, the teacher will explain the requirements for the "Anti-Bullying" project, which will include included an individually written paper, an oral presentation of students' work accompanied by a bar graph representing the types of behavior infractions that have occurred thus far in the school year, and a product of students' choice created by teams. Students could potentially chose to develop media kits, public service announcements, brochures, skits, and letters to government and industry officials, among other products. The teacher will include a rubric of topics that should be included in each area.

6. VI. 21st Century Skills

6.1. Why: A project should give students opportunities to build such 21st century skills as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and the use of technology, which will serve them well in the workplace and life.

6.2. Example: Collaboration will be central to the project. Students will be broken into teams of three or four and plan what tasks they would do and how they would work together. Students will also be encouraged to explore their critical thinking and problem solving skills by determining the process and tools that will be used to carry out the project. The teacher could encourage communication amongst the groups by facilitating small group discussions about why students might bully others to explore different perspectives.

7. VII. Inquiry and Innovation

7.1. Why: Students find project work more meaningful if they conduct real inquiry, which does not mean finding information in books or websites and pasting it onto a poster. In real inquiry, students follow a trail that begins with their own questions, leads to a search for resources and the discovery of answers, and often ultimately leads to generating new questions, testing ideas, and drawing their own conclusions. To guide students in real inquiry, refer students to the list of questions they generated after the entry event. Coach them to add to this list as they discover new insights.

7.2. Example: After their discussion about observations of and experiences of bullying, in addition to choosing a driving question, the students as a whole class will generate a list of more detailed questions about verbal, physical, and cyberbullying and their effects on others. Questions could include: What does bullying sound/look/feel like? Do you have to be bullied to feel the effects of bullying? Where/why/when/how does bullying happen at Caldwell? Why do people bully others? The teams will fine tune their questions and discuss how to find answers from the teacher, books, articles, websites, experts, and visits to the guidance counselor and principal. As these learners research and find answers, they will likely raise and investigate new questions. Students will then synthesize the information they gather and used it both to inform their individually written papers on the driving question and to help create their team's product related to that question.

8. VIII. Feedback and Revision

8.1. Why: Formalizing a process for feedback and revision during a project makes learning meaningful because it emphasizes that creating high-quality products and performances is an important purpose of the endeavor.

8.2. Example: As they develop their ideas and products, student teams will be responsible for critiquing one another's work, referring to rubrics and exemplars. The teacher will check their research notes, review rough drafts and plans, and meet with teams to monitor their progress. The teacher will allow students to collaborate, but give them structure within to operate. The time the students are given to complete the project will be carefully scaffolded.

9. IX. A Publicly Presented Product

9.1. Why: Schoolwork is more meaningful when it's not done only for the teacher or the test. When students present their work to a real audience, they care more about its quality.

9.2. Example: Students will create posters to be displayed in the hallway with their findings. During the school day, a schedule will be created for students from other grade levels to cycle through the fourth grade classrooms, and students will be able to present out about their finding “science-fair” style. Parents and community members will also be invited.

10. Sources: