There’s only 1 thing necessary to start PBL in your classroom after Spring Break…
And I’m almost certain as a learner-centered practitioner that you already have it in place.
It’s more powerful than an idea of what product your class might create.
Or how you will assess learning.
More powerful than milestones, or a project timeline.
More transformative than community partnerships or key connections outside the classroom.
Best of all, you can start it TOMORROW.
That’s it. And it’s that simple.
Which part of your curriculum are you responsible for delivering in the Spring?
Do you plan to teach it, or DISCUSS it?
I guarantee if you start the learning process with a discussion, you will have paved the pathway for higher student engagement, rigour, and deeper meaning.
Several teachers new to PBL are already using dialogue to co-create their projects with learners…
Craig Billington started a dialogue with his secondary Science students around the scarcity of precious metals. They are exploring modern aircraft, cars, and innovations that rely on them. It’s ignited a project around a class forum on how to best protect them.
Anna Bursey started a dialogue with her after school club around the lack of students in the ‘ENCORE’ program. Together, they brainstormed ideas to increase attendance. This ignited a project around more student-led events, and a student-run store with kids’ favourite toys.
Timothy Jones started a dialogue with his secondary language students at his Art College around student’s favourite artists. Learners are busy exploring their prominent pieces of art, and what makes them so legendary. It’s ignited a curated exhibition project where learners will re-create the pieces, and deliver persuasive presentations as to what makes their artist the ‘greatest.’
Joe Simmerman started a dialogue with his middle school math students around troubling statistics in the community they lived in. Learners gathered statistics, shared them with classmates, and explored the data and people behind them. It’s ignited a project around using the constant rate of change to generate thoughtful solutions.
Project-Based Experiences are far more manageable when we involve learners in the discussions that create them.
What DIALOGUE might you spark with your students after the break?
And if you need a sounding board for creative ways to start that discussion, I’m just a short email away!
Below is a simple visual that might provide a good starting point…
Have a wonderful Spring Break.