Spend 15-20 minutes (or longer if your group is finished with other tasks) reviewing the website and associated links
Then write a reflection about new information or ideas you picked up from the website. If you can specify where on the website you found the ideas, it will help others find it.
I think the most effective and useful part of this website is the ability to use it as a practicing tool. Under the five principles, it includes scenarios in the Practice section to help you practice using that principle, which I think is really useful. For example, under the Assessment Principle, you can Practice making a balanced assessment plan for a "Coming to California Project" for a humanities class. It is helpful to see an example of a previous project and what was done in their situation for assessment.
I think this will be a good resource throughout the year to use for guidance and for when we get stuck and don't know what to do next.
The part of the website that I really appreciated was the managing the project information. I am not a very organized person (I may have already mentioned that) and management is my weakness. I get sidetracked and forget to revisit old goals, etc. The tools for project management will be really helpful for me and my students to keep me on track. (http://pbl-online.org/ManagetheProject/ProjectPlanningTools/PlanningTool...).
I feel like I am still not very clear/comfortable on how I will assess my students' success in this project. Reviewing the PBL website has helped give me some guidance about this task. I think the guiding questions provided in the Overview section will be very helpful as I try to craft the assessments for the individual pieces of the project (i.e. the tasks that I will have students do in my classroom). When it comes to creating the rubric for the overall project, though, we will have to collaborate and come up with one piece that encapsulates aspects of each discipline. I expect this will also include criteria specific to individual subject areas, yet some criteria that apply to interdisciplinary aspects.
If we can focus on content, skills, and application of knowledge/skills, we should be able to capture the essence of what the assessment needs to do. The biggest challenge, I think, will be in the demonstration of skills. How do we define mastery? How long do we let students practice before they master the skills? If a student doesn't master skills at the time of the assessment, do we let him/her try again (of course)? But, how do these questions inform our assessment practices?
I liked the Assessment piece of each "Module" or "Principle". The assessments used real-world examples of projects and how they can be managed, assessed, crafted, etc. In fact, the projects that you're supposed to answer questions about are great ideas, and could be incorporated into the classroom. I really liked the "Would I be a Different Person" project under the Assessment Module.
This can be a great tool during the year when I have questions about how to teach the project to my class.
What I liked most about the site wasn't so much a new idea, but the explanation of one I know works really well. On the main page of the website for standards focused projects, there's a model for a wonderful strategy. In our teaching credential program, we called it 'Backward Planning' and it is an invaluable tool. It's much easier to reach your goal if you start planning at the end. As the model illustrates, you should begin with the end in mind. The next step is to ask the driving question. After that, you plan the assessment - figure out how you're going to judge and assess. And of course, you manage the process in order to achieve the outcome you're hoping for. This is a simple idea, but it is very helpful, valuable and effective.
I have done some pbl before but I always struggle on how to assess projects and write rubrics. This is not something that comes natural to me. This site was useful in that it gave us real examples of not only projects but also the rubrics that were created to assess each piece of the project. I forsee using this resource this year to help me breakdown my project components and write affective rubrics.
As I reflect on how I will implement this project based learning activity in my own classroom, I feel confident that I have a good grasp on the following steps: beginning with the end in mind, crafting the driving question, plan the assessment, map the project. But I am not feeling as confident about managing the process of the project. This is why it made sense for me to explore the link “Manage the Process”, located on the “Explore” section below the “Designing Your Project” tab. Because our nutrition project will be yearlong, I learned that I have to give continuous, explicit feedback to my students regarding their progress in the project. One of the key ideas that I read throughout the website, was that students need to drive the project, not the teacher. I am worried that I have the tendency to ‘fix’ what the students do and then end up doing the project for them. I need to unlearn this tendency and allow the students to work with less of my supervision. Also, what I learned by exploring the website is that a lot of the work that I thought I would have to do is already done….most of the worksheets, rubrics are there for teachers to download and print. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. That’s great. I will surely use the website throughout the school year. One totally new idea that came to me as I was exploring the San Fernando High School Multimedia Project, is to have the students create and format their own Food Label. How would they change the current food labels? What things could they omit, add, emphasize? Along with this, they will have to present to their classmates a convincing written and oral argument of their new food label. They will also have to design evaluation rubrics to make sure they are on the right track throughout the process. The possibilities are activities are truly endless. I am excited about going into the classroom and just hammer out some of these ideas.
After the exploring of the recommended web site, I was able to get a number of ideas. For example, the page walks the viewer through the whole process of coming up with the project and has many answers to typical questions.
This is going to be useful in keeping on task - it can be daunting to set up a project and watch it take off in many directions. This model can keep us focused.
I enjoyed the videos and want to spend sometime looking for schools with our demographics as a contact. I also entered "food" as a search and enjoyed reading some of the results. I definitely need to spend some time entering our topics and my subject matter topics for some "brainstorming" ideas.
I found it interesting that the definition of PBL varied. In one of the papers I perused, 76% of the students had done a research paper for their project based learning.
At this point, I am overwhelmed with all of the wonderful people I have met and the assets offered to my students. It is going to take sometime to process but I am excited about next year! Thanks to all of you.