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PBL as Entree, Not Dessert

Presentation for TCTELA 2012

Molly Adams

on 23 July 2012

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Transcript of PBL as Entree, Not Dessert

On the Menu Today....
I found that the recipes in most—in all—the books I had were really not adequate. They didn’t tell you enough… I won’t do anything unless I’m told why I’m doing it. So I felt that we needed fuller explanations so that if you followed one of those recipes, it should turn out exactly right. My feeling is that once you know everything and have digested it, then it becomes part of you.
Julia Child, Savory.tv
...a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks....
PBL is:
Buck Institute for Education
Project Based Learning Handbook, 2003
5 Components of PBL:
rigorous inquiry process focused on authentic problems
independent work with student voice and choice
in-depth understanding of academic knowledge and skills
21st century skills, highlighting collaboration, critical thinking, & communcation
public, high-quality presentations and performances
Buck Institute for Education
PBL Starter Kit, 2009
The more one knows about it, the less mystery there is, the faster cooking becomes… in addition, the more pleasure one has in the kitchen.
Julia Child, Savory.tv
Planning and
Implementing PBL

Here is my process:
look at scope and sequence; settle on my selections
examine and align with standards
consider ?s raised by literature, incorporate real-world texts, & identify 21st century skills that fit
develop 1-2 driving/essential ?s that promote inquiry but have real-world application (real-world app most important part!)
group products that remain open-ended so the learning is not prescribed or restricted
commit to release learning - LET GO!
develop rubrics that promote inquiry, don't regulate the end product, inspire creativity, & provide guidance for presentation
"Let’s be clear—we are failing too many of our children. We’re sending them out into a 21st-century economy by sending them through the doors of 20th-century schools.”
Barack Obama, 2005
“There is a profound disconnect between what students are taught and tested on in most high schools today and how they are expected to learn, versus what the world will demand of them as adults and what motivates them to do their best....”
Tony Wagner, "Global Achievement Gap"
BIE, 2009
So what's the recipe?
Let's cook!
With a partner or someone nearby:
Think about something that you teach, even something kids dread.
What standards are needed for that text, unit, or collection of activities?
What questions does the text raise? How can you make those questions have a real-world application? (this is the hardest part)
How can students work together to answer these questions? (teamwork)
What products could kids create that are open-ended and require an inquiry-driven process that you can't control? What 21st century skills could you foster?
What types of workshops would be required for kids to drive their own learning and answer the questions?
What resources would students need for this process to be more seamless?
How could you "grade" this work? What are you really trying to assess?
How will they show what they have learned? How will you know they have answered the questions and demonstrated their inquiry process?
Finally, how are you going to get them interested in pursuing these questions to begin with???
The Real Meal Deal
What does this planning look like?
Dystopian Unit:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Entry event/document is so important!
Put it into action - don't be scared!
If you don't learn new things, it isn't working. And the kids will teach you all kinds of new stuff!
and don't be afraid to make mistakes -
new learning always emerges!
It's the Entree, NOT the Dessert!
I think every woman should have a blowtorch.
Save something that has "wow" power!
Tips for Maximum Success
1. Know Your Role: Figure out what you have to do and get started (TEKS, skills, standards, etc.).
2. You Are the Real Creative Genius: Get an idea and figure out how it should end (follow it through to its logical conclusion, what should be completed, how will it end).
3. Why Ask Why: Develop a driving question with real-world application under which your curriculum fits.
4. Don’t Get Testy About It: Make sure the assessments you develop are valid and apply to the skills requirements and life application portions of the process.
5. Make Them Rue the Day: Make effective rubrics to fit the pieces of the project or various products.
6. You’ve Got the Magic in You: A little trickery to get them engaged never hurt anyone (so use engaging entry document methods, such as video clips, games, mock
documents, etc.).
7. Cut the Apron Strings and Let Go: Make sure the project is truly open-ended so student inquiry can be the central force (this is the most difficult part!).
8. There Is No I in TEAM: Design the groups so students can work together under any circumstances. (Assigning jobs and specific product development items help with this.)
9. Give Students the [Pointer] Finger: Let them drive the teaching, learning, presenting, publishing.
10. Celebrate Good Times, Come On: Publish, display, celebrate, praise them, and make a community connection.
11. Even Justin Bieber Takes Time to Reflect and Soul-Search: Reflect on the work, both of you.
The Best Test Kitchen is a
Outside In
Real World Texts
Team Teaching
Humanities Approach
Collect a Bunch of Good Stuff
Current Events
Tools for your test kitchen....
Buck Institute Web Site: www.bie.org
Understanding by Design: www.ubdexchange.org
TX HS Project (sites, training, etc.): www.thsp.org
21st Century Education: www.p21.org
Transformation 2013: transformation2013.org
PBL Online: www.pbl-online.org
Edutopia (George Lucas Found.): www.edutopia.org
#pblchat on Twitter: Tuesdays at 8 pm CST
My LiveBinders Links for PBL: http://tinyurl.com/pbl_notdessert
MetLife Teacher Survey: http://tinyurl.com/metlifetchrs
Final Thoughts on This Delicious Meal
One person can make a difference.
This is what the culture will feel like....
Remember the story about the man and the fish?
Well, this meal might not just feed minds, but souls, too.
I don’t think about whether people will remember me or not… I’ve learned a lot. I’ve taught people a thing or two. That’s what’s important. Sooner or later the public will forget you, the memory of you will fade. What’s important are the individuals you’ve influenced along the way.
Julia Child, Savory.tv
You carry the fire.
Pass it on.
Excerpt from "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
Well, I think we're still here. A lot of bad things have happened but we're still here.
p. 260
...You have to carry the fire.
I don't know how to.
Yes, you do.
Is it real? The fire?
Yes it is.
Where is it? I don't know where it is.
Yes, you do. It's inside you. It was always there. I can see it.
p. 278-279
Are you carrying the fire?
So, are you?
p. 283
Survival Project?
Natural Disasters?
Historical Component?
Scientific Component?
Technology use?
Products? Skills?
Interest? Engagement?
What do they really need to learn and how will they show it?
Hmmmm, how do I work TAKS in there????
PBL is the entree.
Not the dessert.
Let's toast to you - the new Iron Chef.
Thanks for your attention and participation!
Molly Adams
Blog: http://tinyurl.com/nest-here
Twitter: @finchgirl10
Collaborator Blog:
Handouts: http://tinyurl.com/pbl_notdessert
Global High T-STEM Academy
Longview ISD
Carrying the fire since 1999.
Julia Child, Savory.tv
Do you tweet???
Feel free to live tweet
during the workshop!
Full transcript