Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Post #9

We can learn about project based learning through many different resources, but learning from real teachers and students is one of the best options. For example, this article describes a project that a teacher named Mrs. McIntyre presented to her high school students about beach pollution. The article breaks project based learning down into seven essentials that go along with each part of her project. It explains that you must begin by giving students an introduction and driving question, then let them use their knowledge and skills to fully answer the question. At the end, it is important to give a public presentation so that students may take their work more seriously and in turn educate other people outside of the classroom.
Tony Vincent has a very up-beat and informative video that provides teachers with more background information and ideas about project based learning. He notes that students can be in control of their learning. He gives several examples of websites, apps, and other resources for students to use, many different possible driving questions, and all of the different skills they will use and gain. These examples prove that we can learn a lot from teachers and students because they give us new ideas and help explain things in a way that we can understand.
Student presenting a presentation to her class
In addition, we can learn how to bring PBL into physical education. Before reading this, I hadn't considered PE being a class that gives project assignments, but I learned that it is possible by giving them a question that requires thought about staying healthy and physical. This way, students are learning more about why they have a physical education class in the first place, while performing exercises and staying healthy themselves.
Another class that projects are not typically a part of is high school math. This video provides thoughts from math teachers that are trying PBL in their classrooms. The main thing I learned from these teachers is that project based learning is actually very challenging for teachers to switch over to. There are materials, lesson plans, and gathering of technology to do before a class can begin experimenting with project based learning. If a high school math class can accomplish this though, an elementary school classroom as well.
Students can also teach us how to teach them. Interviewing students is a great way to find out what they are interested in and how they stay motivated in schools. According to the children in the video, they stay motivated by receiving positive feedback and having goals to word towards. Most kids mentioned what they want in their future and how they needed to make good grades in order to achieve those goals. They also discussed rewards in their classroom. Rewards are also motivators, of course, whether the children realize it or not. We can take away from this video that it's important to choose projects based on topics that children would want to learn about. For example, it could be interesting and even beneficial to assign a project about what career they want to have when they grow up and the steps it would take to get that job.


  1. Laura,
    Very good post! I, like you, did not think of PE as being a class where you could incorporate PBL until this post. I think it was a great eye opening experience to read/watch all the videos and articles about PBL. I really enjoyed watching the video with the students talking about what motivated them. The only way to find out what children like is to ask them and talk to them! Great job and keep up the good work!

  2. Great post, Laura! I always knew that PE took planning but I never really pictured it as project based learning experience and the way they made the students come up with exercises and a plan for a PE class was a brilliant idea.