Let's take a look at PBL at White!

Take a look at a PBL you plan to use in your classroom. Is it a unit or an activity?

PBL Process-Questions to ask as you design your PBL:

1. Begin with the end in mind: What are the standards/objectives/learning targets? What do your students already know? What pre-assessment have you done? What do they need to know or to be able to do? How will you know when they get there? How does this connect to the real world and authentic tasks?

2. What is your Driving Question (or set of questions)? Driving questions should:
  • Be provocative-sustain student interest and take them beyond superficialities
  • Be open-ended-should not have easy answers, and should cause the students to dig deep!
  • Go to the heart of the topic-could focus on controversies or debatable topics
  • Be challenging
  • Arise from real world dilemmas
  • Be consistent with curricular standards and frameworks

3. Plan the assessments: What major concepts, vocabulary and skills are needed? What formative assessments will you do along the way? How will you assess for learning and provide feedback to enhance learning? How will you assess for grading along the way and what will the summative assessment be for the final grade? How will you assess individual vs group participation?

4. Map the project: What teaching and guided practice will you provide? How much leeway will you give your students to determine their path for learning? What activities will your students complete? What choices do you give your students, in terms of learning activities and products? How will you differentiate for higher or lower abilities? What about multiple intelligences? How much time can be dedicated to the PBL?

5. Manage the project: Managing the Process:
How will you embed opportunities for teaching concepts and guided practice? As your students are working, you will conduct observations, use probing questioning and other formative assessments. Based on this, you will make decisions to address gaps in learning. This might include small group instruction, guided practice, and bringing in experts to address the class.
How will you pace the class?
How will you manage groups?

Here is a PBL Example: Green City Challenge for 5th Grade that Maxwell did last year!

There are two major components to this challenge:
1. Robotics-Students will complete training missions to learn how to program, experiment and problem solve. Upon completion of the training missions, students will accept challenging missions related to solving challenges of the Green City.
2. Research, problem solve and present a feasible solution to a broad audience-Students will research environmental quality and energy use issues in Montgomery, the State of Alabama and/or the United States. They will select one major "Green" problem to solve. Finally, they will present their solution to the problem at the Stemposium.