Project Based Learning

For this week, I chose to research project based learning. Since I’m going to be an art teacher, this one seemed to be the most relevant to me. Project based learning is a way of teaching where the curriculum is centered around the students. Through working on projects, students gain knowledge while working through real-world problems. I found a couple blog posts from Edutopia that talk about project based learning, but I zeroed in on one in particular. This blog focused on the process of getting started with project based learning in the classroom and how schools can adapt to new teaching techniques.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Windmill building in Pltw <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/automation?src=hash”>#automation</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/projectbasedlearning?src=hash”>#projectbasedlearning</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/PLTWorg”>@PLTWorg</a&gt; <a href=”https://twitter.com/AllianceCSD”>@AllianceCSD</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/C2GbX2L3Nw”>pic.twitter.com/C2GbX2L3Nw</a></p>&mdash; Juliann Trevorrow (@TrevorrowPLTW) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TrevorrowPLTW/status/781555058672631809″>September 29, 2016</a></blockquote>
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When a teacher is using project based learning, the classroom is one big collaboration. All the students are working and talking to one another about their projects. The classroom may look traditional, but there are a million things going on. Teachers might use project based instruction to differentiate learning techniques, or they might do it because the school is pushing them towards new methods of teaching.

The number one point on this blog was to trust your colleagues. The project based learning method requires teamwork and collaboration between teachers or it won’t work. The second point also falls into being able to trust your colleagues. There needs to be room for failure in project based learning, especially right off the bat. If a

school is just starting to incorporate this method, there will be some kinks to work out. During this time, it is essential that teachers can trust one another. If teachers feel insecure around one another, they will be afraid to really try to make this work.

Another essential part of making project based learning work is planning. Project based learning is not meant to fit into a typical class period. This is when teachers need to coordinate with one another and figure out who has how much time with the students and when. Both teachers and students need to be flexible with this. Teachers will need to gt together frequently and plan their lessons out. The only way this can be successful is if teachers are willing to be flexible and willing to work with other teachers.

Teachers can’t forget to teach to standards. While project based learning is great, they really need to make sure the projects actually incorporate what needs to be learned. Also, not every project needs to be big. Most of the time, it’s going to be smaller scale projects.

The last major point this blog made was that not everything needs to be made into a project. That is just as overwhelming as sending a student home with three hours worth of worksheets for every subject for homework. Teachers need to find a balance and realize that it is ok to not have every single learning experience be a project. They can’t force something to work if it won’t fit the topic.

People to follow:

Angelique Moulton

Roger Francis

Liz Cho

Blog to follow:

Teachthought

 

Photo CC Krissy Venosdale

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16 thoughts on “Project Based Learning

  1. I liked that you added that not everything has to be turned into a project. Although kids love projects, it would get stressful if everything was one. Also, not every project has to be big was a great point. There are a ton of useful 20 minute projects or shorter to aid in learning. Great post!

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  2. I too thought planning would be an immense challenge with this project, but very doable. Checking in on the progression of student projects throughout the learning period would be key. Some groups might advance quicker than others, and it would be key to keep the classroom moving forward as a unit. I like this post because it clearly addresses the challenges associated with project-based learning, but insures that it is not impossible to implement the learning approach.

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    1. I think checking in on your students’ progress regularly is the only way a teacher can keep up with making sure standards are being met. If a student gets too far into their project without being checked up on, you don’t know that all requirements are being met.

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  3. I like your point that not all projects have to be big projects, that they can, instead, be smaller scaled. I know I tend to think of a “project” as something that will take me weeks, months, or even a year to complete, but that doesn’t have to be true across the board — in fact, that might be doing a disservice to learners. Small projects have just as much merit without the risk of overloading or overworking learners.

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  4. With big projects, I agree cooperation with other teachers is helpful. I ‘give up’ computer lessons to allow elementary kids to use their time in our computer lab to work on other classroom projects. My lessons can wait until later. It is good to work together when possible.

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  5. I think it is great that you brought the point that not every project has to be a BIG project. I always get a little stressed when I have a million big projects due, and it is more fun in class when you have a bunch of little fun projects that you can work on during the class time.

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  6. I chose to research project based learning as well. I like the idea of it to teach basic life skills such as opening a bank account, paying taxes, buying a house, buying a car, or any of the other things they don’t teach in High School.

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  7. I loved that you included the importance of teaching standards. It’s so very important. This is a great post. Very informative. And the photo is fantastic -I want to be in a classroom like that.

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  8. Art is obviously always going to be project based learning, and this is a great example of students enjoying it and wanting to do it. What kind of kid doesn’t like art class?? Everyone loves art class, because project based learning is so much more fun! Great post!

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