My AIG are kinda working on a PBL project in math. Before the holidays they started working on projects dealing with area and perimeter. One group began writing narractives to explain those math ideas. The other group started making crafts to achieve the same purpose. Some students worked on them over the holidays and are still working on them now. Both projects have gone far beyond anything I could have imagined from my pitiful assignment description. The story-writing group has included lots of other math skills that we have talked about this year. The story is up to 8 chapters now I think. I made a powerpoint and uploaded it to voicethread for them to record the story they have written. The other group is using my new flip video camera to record them using their creations to teach about the subjects.
I was recording some of the videos yesterday, and found myself thinking how much more I was able to see what they did and did not understand by doing these projects rather than a multiple choice paper test. I can see what I need to reteach and what they get so I can move on. It is amazing to me what the students can do when the teacher doesn't make them do things but just facilitates.
I do think it is kinda funny that I am so into being a facilitator rather than a teacher in direct charge of everything this year, especially with PBL and all the technology we are learning about. I remember telling someone a few years ago that although I liked the idea of literature circles, I wanted to be in control too much to let them happen the way they are supposed to. I wonder if I could approach literature circles from a PBL standpoint? I saw a neat way one teacher is integrating technology with her literature circles, so maybe I can try to combine both of those ideas?