Working Less, Kids Learning More with PBL
I was sort of scared at the amount of planning and the level of chaos that PBL implies, especially after attending the Buck Institute conference this June.
I know many of my dear colleagues are scared of kids not getting the content learning they feel students need, standards or no standards. So that PBL seems to get in the way of that coverage.
Here’s what students have done and hopefully learned IN THE FIRST MONTH. Sorry for shouty caps but really, I was surprised as I’d been dragging around feeling guilty for having such a good, lark-y time with my students including Otter Pops, dancing to silly video clips, going outside and having interesting chats at their tables.
We have not been wildly planned ahead, more like in general where are we going, then week by week and even day by day. What topics are they going to need? What skills will they need? And the whole thing becomes fairly organic. Here’s our incredibly sophisticated planning tools:
And here is the evolving Project Board. Much more useful to keep us all on track than I expected. Hats off to my elementary colleagues and BIE.It’s really about trusting myself and Marshall to see opportunities to teach the standards as we aim toward a project deliverable.
Trusting ourselves, trusting our students a bit more each project.
Some famous educator said “Teachers should not be working harder than their students.” And now I am finally NOT making a worksheet a day, now I am finally not doing weekly tests, now I am finally not grading every single thing… I have the time and patience, interest and heart for each of my sweet 12 year olds.
And they are learning and seeming to love it. What a relief all round.