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PBL's for Standardized Science Tests

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Many computer-based standardized Science tests are beginning to use mini-projects embedded into the questions. Students have to use the results of an "experiment" to think critically and answer questions. In my mind, this strengthens the relationship between PBL and preparation for the standardized tests. In addition, why wouldn't you utilize a tool which is much more likely to engage students than a worksheet or quiz??

Sixth grade Language Arts/Reading teacher from OH via Stone Mountain, GA

Great way to Diffierentiate as well!

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I totally appreciate your insights on how to effectively incorporate PBL into Standardized testing. Often times we are so inundated with pacing guides, and benchmarks, it's just less stressful to teach the standards in a way that will yield the achievement gains school districts want. However, what I have found in my own teaching using this method, is an ability to experience great achievement gains with my below grade-level students, but not enough rigor for my students at or above grade-level, and this is totally disheartening! This summer will be spent incorporating more PBL opportunities that are student-centered, and student-directed, which will require students to use the higher-order thinking to contruct their own meanings. It's so simple to get students to buy-in when it's meaningful to them, and when they think they're running things. Thanks for this gem!

Emeritus Faculty in the School of Engineering / University of Connecticut

Well Stated!

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The commentary and the comment are right on target! The only complication would be misalignment of standards and standardized test topics. Even governments wouldn't be that cruel, would they? Assuming the answer is "no" to that question, the time lost is in administering the standardized tests (SS - hmmm ...). And I predict better scores with use of PBL.

As you said, there are key

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As you said, there are key objectives and standards on every test. That could be a 6 week benchmark or an end of year state standardized test. Those are the targets you aim for during your projects. And PBL teachers will be spiraling in objectives seen earlier in the year throughout the rest of their projects. Don't look at standardized tests as obstacles. Instead, look at them as focal points in your planning for projects.

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