Saturday, February 21, 2009


“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it is going to be a butterfly”

Requirements for Today's World

To be successful in today's world:
  • students need to have the confidence that they know how to learn
  • students need to be able to deal with change
  • students need to have flexibility and creativity in the ways they think

I think that the type of learning and dicovering associated with Problem-Based Learning helps to create those qualities within students.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Student Observations

My 3rd Grade Girls are creating giant book covers and writing summaries based on what they have read so far in their novel. This is a project they chose and have developed the "guidelines" for, so I guess it could very easily be a problem or product-based learning activity. As I sat and watched earlier, I saw them figure out a problem and then discuss (sometimes argue) about what to do next. When they made a mistake on the gigantic bookcover they were creating, the girls just changed the picture a little to make the mistake work without needing to totally start over. The read through a whole book in 3 days and completed a project on it last week. They are close to finishing another book this week. I am having them focus on writing summaries and identifying similarities/differences (which are some of Marzano's High Yield Instructional Strategies). All the students enjoy creating non-linguistic representation also (another HYIS). The students got some large pieces of chart paper and are taking notes on what happens in each chapter and keeping track of the characters. I would like to take credit for this form of notetaking, but these students are very self-directed learners. I do remember giving the idea a while ago I think. Notetaking is another HYIS! These students are also working on 21st Century Skills while working on activities like PBL activities.

Differentiated Instruction

Monday, February 16, 2009

New PBL Project

New PBL Problem:
You are the author/illustrator of a new math book. It is your job to use designs, models, and/or computer graphics to illustrate and explain reflections, rotations, and translations of figures. Your part for the new math book is due in one week!

Results: After students worked through the PBL Process of what we know, what we need to know, and brainstorming a plan, they quickly got started on creating powerpoint presentations of their stories telling about reflection, translation, and rotation. I wonder if we should upload their ppt presentations to voicethread so they can add narration. I wonder if photostory would be better for this project?

Classroom Visit

Next week, someone from CERTL is coming to do a PBL Activity with my AG class!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

21st Century Skills

Retooling Schools to Meet 21st Century Education

As I was reading this blog post about the need for educators to teach and assess 21st Century Skills, I thought about how well PBL activies in my classess work on many of these skills.