Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

key concepts of project based learing written on blocks that are surrounded a cartoon baby

1. Seven Essentials to Project Based Learning
After reading this article I discovered seven important essentials about project-based learning. The first being that "a project is meaningful if it fulfills two criteria...students must perceive the work as personally meaningful, as a task that matters and that they want to do well...fulfills an educational person. Well-designed and well-implemented project-based learning is meaningful in both ways." The article then further breaks down the seven essentials. The first essential is an "entry event." This is a fun, engaging way for students to be introduced to a project. It creates conversation and peaks students interest. The second essential is a driving question. A driving question "captures the heart of the project in a clear, compelling language which gives students a sense of purpose and challenge." A driving question should be open ended and linked to the core of the project. The question does not have to be concrete. It can be an abstract question or a problem solving question. Driving questions give reasons to a project. It's not longer just about creating a poster, but it's the information that's going on to the poster that students are interested in. Third, don't be a stick in the mud. Don't limit your students options. Give them enough room to create something they want to create. Set some guidelines, but let them set the bar. Don't tell them what you are expecting from them. It's the 21st century. The fourth essential is to use that to your advantage. Collaboration and communication are easier in the 21st century. Technology is a great tool to use to help hone these skills. Fifth, don't lay out a straight path for your students. Encourage curiosity and help them answer their own questions and then create new ones. The sixth essential is feedback and revision. This helps students learn that revision is important to create the highest quality of work. Rome wasn't built in a day and the perfect project won't be built in a hour. The last essential is provide an audience. Students will get more out of the project and they'll take ownership of their work. They'll want to provide the highest quality of work to show off.

2. Project-Based Learning For Teachers
We, as teachers and students, should not be asking "what" but "how". Project-based learning inspires students to be learners and creators. They answer a driving question that is open ended and thought provoking. Compared to the Common Core Standards, which are restrictive and focused on memorization, project-based learning is customizable and promotes individuality.

3. PBL: What Motivates Students Today
After watching this video, I discovered a pattern. Students were focused on grades. I know this is video is about what motivates them, but none of them answered learning. A student said she wants to be a veterinarian. However, it was the grades that motivated her. Shouldn't it be her passion to become a veterinarian? The new question is "Are students today too focused on grades?" I remember getting rewards for doing good in the classroom and that definitely pushed me to do my best. As a future educator, I want to motivate students to learn because they want to. Rewards are good, but I don't want my students to expect an award every time they do what they should be doing.

4. High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation
Project-based learning is applicable to all subjects in school. The unique thing about project-based learning is that it can change its form. There is not right or wrong way to apply project-based learning. There is no cookie cutter mold for project-based learning. If you attempt to apply the same project or the same ideas to each and every subject, you're going to find that it doesn't work. As a teacher you have to assess the situation and go from there.

5. Students Solve the Problem of Watery Ketchup by Designing a New Cap
This was an interesting article to read. One, I hope someone picks up this and these students get the attention they deserve. Watery ketchup is the worst. Two, this is a great example of what students are capable of. Richard and Thompson seemed to thoroughly enjoy the process of creating this ketchup cap. The driving question of this project was "it really bugs me when." This is a perfect example of what a driving question should be. It does not limit students to one idea.