"Teachers are the thriving source that will change the world."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blog Post #9

What can teachers and students teach us about project based learning?

According to the article, Seven Essentials for Project Based Learning, I was taught what the essentials are for a good project. Projects should make students personally want to complete the task and should also fulfill an educational purpose. Elements of a good project:

1. A Need to Know

Start the day off with an “entry event” or anything that will get the students thinking about the topic. Many students wonder why they have to learn certain things in school. Do not let them wonder; show them why it is important.

2. A Driving Question

Gives students a sense of purpose and challenge. A driving question could be what you want students to learn from the project.

3. Student Voice and Choice

Give students freedom on their project, but make sure there are some guidelines. You want the project to reflect its educational purpose.

4. 21st Century Skills

The project should let students work on their 21st century skills such as: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and technology.

5. Inquiry and Innovation

Student should want to learn more about the topic of their project. Do not give students specifics resources where they will have to “burp-back” information. Give the students their topics and give them the freedom to explore. You might be surprised with what they find.

6. Feedback and Revision

Rubrics are a great tool for feedback. Teachers and students can both use this tool. Create a rubric for individual students but also, create a rubric for students to critique their peers.

7. A Publicly Presented Project

If students know that they will be presenting their project to an audience, then they will work harder on the quality of their work.

In Tony Vincent’s YouTube video, Project Based Learning for Teachers, the importance of PBL is shown through Common Core Standards.

·         Rigorous content aligned with college and work expectations

·         Clear and understandable application of knowledge

·         Evidence-based

·         Inquiry-based

·         Open-ended questions

·         Problem solving

·         Personalized

The bulleted Common Core Standards can be reflected in PBL. While meeting Common Core Standards, students also learn…

·         Collaboration

·         Communication

·         Critical Thinking

·         Career and Life Skills

Students take charge of their learning with PBL by using their creativity and having freedom to make a high-quality product to present.

Project-Based Learning seems to have been a hard transition for these teachers in High School Teachers Meet the Challenges of PBL Implementation. The teachers were not sure of what PBL learning consisted of and so they decided that it would be best to just do a trial and error and see what worked best for each subject. Most math and English teachers found that it was hard to use PBL on every topic of discussion, so they made sure to put PBL into the subjects where it would fit best. The teachers at Sammamish High School did not want to lose content because of PBL and so, they have regular meetings to discuss PBL. I learned that PBL is not a good tool to use with every topic, because important content can be lost. But, when PBL is used with the right topic, it can better engage students in their learning.

I love the video titled, Students Solve Old Problem With New Ketchup Cap. I have always disliked how water squirts out of the bottle first and ruins the bun or splashes onto other food. I did not know that someone had actually solved the problem. And to think that it was two high school seniors. We, as teachers, need to give students freedom to explore their creative minds; show the students how much they can influence the world just by simply thinking!

In the video, What Motivates Students, students talk about what motivates them in school. Students love to be complimented and told that they are doing a great job, students want to have a great future, students want to have a great career, students want to be able to continue with their talents such as baseball, charts that show progression, candy, working outside the classroom, interesting class material, food, new school supplies, class pets, stickers, dancing, and any type of reward. Students like to be shown what a wonderful job they are doing and I know that this will be my ultimate goal as a new teacher!


  1. Great Post Emily! I loved all of your pictures. The motivation video spoke volumes to me. I enjoyed how there were actual students saying what motivates them. The video was not a bunch of researches trying to guess what may ignite motivation in students. I also stated in my blog that when students are praised publicly-this is good! Additionally, motivating my students will be very important to me when teaching. I want my students to have fun while learning.

  2. Great post ! I like how you outlined the information from the videos. I agree that students like to be complemented. The kids I work with are always asking me if they are being good. And I usually give out stickers at the end of the day for good behavior. I always try to motivate my class to do their work and be on good behavior so they might get a surprise on Fridays.