Friday, October 31, 2014

Blog Post #11

The videos that we watched this week all revolved around teachers using Project Based Learning in their classrooms.

In Brian Crosby's "TEDx Talk video", he talks about the project that his 4th grade class conducted. They learned about hot air balloons and all he science and dynamics that go into them. They even made a little hot air balloon to send up into the sky. The amazing thing about his class, however, is that they are mostly Second Language Learners, meaning in this case that they speak Spanish fluently and are just beginning to learn English. Also at the end of the video, Crosby reveals he also has a student that comes to class via video chat because she has Leukemia and can't leave her home. Crosby helps his students with the English language by having Wiki's and blogs that the children have to use. They learn how to write in English while simultaneously talking about what they've done in class. In addition, they speak to other students around the world and learn about other cultures as well. After watching this, I see that with some determination and dedication we can easily teach kids that may normally be looked at as a challenge, and even go above and beyond what you would usually do with them.

Paul Andersen's video, "Blended Learning Cycle", mentions "the power of the question." Andersen explains that blended learning takes mobile, online and classroom learning and combines them, while the learning cycle starts with engaging, then exploring, explaining,
Boy with spy glass
expanding, and evaluating. The blended learning cycle is a mixture of all of these concepts. His version of a blended learning cycle has six parts: questions, investigation, video, elaboration, review, and summary quiz. This cycle is all based on the power of the question, though. Without a question, students wouldn't know what to investigate or explain. Andersen shows that there are many steps in the learning process that should all be covered while we're teaching.

A 5th grade teacher, Sam Pane, has a video about teaching internet safety. He begins his lesson with a quote from Spiderman, the students then discussed the power they have on the Internet, then created their own "digital safety superhero" with a comic strip involving their superhero and themselves. Projects like this are great for kids because it is fun and educational for them. Something like making a comic allows them to be creative while still displaying their ideas and what they've learned in the lesson.

The video "Project Based Learning" by Dean Shareski is about a group of teachers that have worked together to turn History, English, and Information Processing into one class by using PBL. The students use computers, the Internet, videos, blogs, etc. to do work based on English and History. As an elementary school teacher, it will be easy to integrate different lessons because I will be spending the entire school day with them. This video gives me ideas to do something such as teach an English lesson about proper nouns, then a history lesson about their state government, and then allow the students to make a PowerPoint presentation about the government while correctly using proper nouns. Children are able to easily learn a couple different concepts at once, and then apply them to one larger project.

The last video, "Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program" is based in an elementary school. PBL in elementary schools is always interesting to see because the students are so much younger.
Kids at work sign
This video also interviews parents and shares their thoughts about PBL in their kids' classrooms. The parents all seem really excited about doing this in the classrooms because it helps them begin learning about real-world experiences, such as public speaking, at an early age so that they are used to it by the time they become adults. This video is proof that as teachers we shouldn't underestimate our students' abilities and as learners we shouldn't underestimate our own abilities. There are many ways to incorporate PBL into lessons in the elementary school setting.


  1. Yes, very good post, Laura! I thought it was very thoughtful and specific.
    PBL is extremely interesting to see in elementary schools; I think all kids are capable of much more that what society, and some teachers, expect of them. If shown the "right way" to learn, or the more effective ways, we will allow the kids to really blossom in their academics.

  2. Hey Laura,
    I think you did a nice job summarizing the videos. You went into great detail explaining which video discussed. Don't forget to mention what you can learn from these video, though.
    Thank you,
    Cortnee Meyers