Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 -- Discussions 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. Thanks! Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 I was particularly interested in the assessment part of the site, how to design a good assessment. In math, there are many skills that need to be learned, and it is often hard to assess these wide array of skills in a single project. It is easy to make a paper and pen test (do this problem, then that), but more challenging to have them doing this in a meaningful way. It was neat that there was a geometry video on the site (not that i would ever be able to do a 5-6 week review assignment, but nice to have a math example anyways). I would have liked to see them focus more on the assessment part, how does she assess the students? specifically, how does she assess the individuals in the groups? i find that it is easy to see with group projects that at least one of the students understood the math involved, but harder to see if all students understood the math involved. I like how she had real world context and used the 2d and 3d models of the schools. this is very similar to a project that i do (where they design houses) but taken far beyond, way to the next level. Gave me some good ideas. Jul 17, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 It’s great that they have a project planning form you can use to plan your own project. They guide you with a step by step process and explain each step of the process. Having examples that other schools have implemented is extremely helpful. On the left side, under Designing Your Project, click on Manage the Process. It has tips on the role of the manager of the project. Jun 27, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 So one of the apects of this websitethat I like is planning the assessment..I really liked the assess part of principle 3. It really has started me to think about how many assessments each step of the project might need, what I am going to be looking for, what do I think is the most important skill, content, etc. each student should have, will I need to differtiante assessment for students at different levels. In Journalism I have had a variety of range levels in writing abilities. Some students don't write at all but like to do the yearbook layout or the photography. What I have been doing has been assesing students on what have they contributed to the paper or the yearbook, what was the quality,etc. This website will help me to focus and help create assessments so that the students will know exactly what I am assessing them on. Jun 27, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 Because a project-based learning website that facilitates the process of designing a project plan even exists, that in itself is testament to the need for guidance and support for educators who are new at implementing such a non-traditional, instructional style…or even for veteran teachers who like to have the assistance of an organizing tool. This will definitely be a new teaching style for me as my theme-based curriculum transforms into a project-based curriculum. I will lean on my group members to help me fairly assess the students’ project, since that will always be an intimidating piece of implementing project-based learning for me. I am so used to basing benchmark learning on the point-value system that creating rubrics, although something I have done before, is always a monumental task. Plan the Assessment establishes that, even though students are building a project, they can still be assessed through objective means such as quizzes. In education, however, no matter what the means of assessment is, I need to take comfort in the fact that there is no one, surefire way of evaluating students that proves unobjectionable evidence that they have reached mastery of the content. Jun 27, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 When exploring the PBL website, I found the teacher reactions/advice section the most interesting. They discussed so many of the potential problems that I will need to plan and be organied to overcome. I'm fearful of grouping students together. I want to utilize groups of 4, but want to make sure that all students are participating. This was a common problem for the teachers also, but they suggested methods such as allowing groups to "fire" members, contacting parents regarding student progress, and having groups keep their own progress log. One issue that I did have, one that I'm constantly stuggling with, is the idea of pairing low achieving students with high achieving students. The teacher mentioned that when we do this, the low students are brought up, and the high students are not brought down. This seems unfair to me, and while it is no doubt helping to "close the achievement gap," we've got to strategize ways in which the high achieving students will also benefit from working with a lower-achieving student. Finally, I'm excited to have students craft driving questions during the beginning weeks of our project. I'm interested in seeing how this process unfolds, and understanding my students' interests before I tell them my interests and ideas for the project. I'm wondering if our ideas will vary much. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 Managing the Process – Making a Wing was one of the videos I looked at. What I took from this video that we will need to have roles for each of the members of the group projects. We need to have the groups develop team Goals and write them down and keep referring to them throughout the project. I liked the way the teacher did the questions that the students should think about before they choose their members of their groups. I need to think of these questions that I should make so hopefully the students will really think of them and the groups will really work out together and be successful. I also learned that it is very important to have a checklist like Donna gave us to help us check off if our students are doing a poor, good or excellent job on the processes of the project. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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? Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. ( Jun 26, 2009 Re: Friday Week 2 individual reflection summer institute 09 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. Jun 26, 2009