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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.