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Journalist and PBL advocate

Getting Ready for an Audience

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Hi Erin,
You've hit on an important aspect of PBL. Projects tend to be more motivating when students know they'll have an authentic audience. At the same time, you don't want students to publish work that isn't polished and ready for the world to see. Allowing time before publishing for peer review, editing, and revision is one strategy that works well. If you notice that some students are making similar errors (i.e., struggling with grammar), try offering mini-lessons on specific topics.
Good luck with your publishing project!

Secondary English Teacher

I am attempting a smaller

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I am attempting a smaller version of PBL in my classroom this semester. One thing that I am finding is that students are hesitant with their publishing because they realize that their writing skills (specifically grammar) are not where they should be. As a result, they shut down. I am having to go back to the basics and focus on some of the "drill and kill" examples. As much as I know that such a practice may not be building critical thinking skills, it seems to be an important step to master before their comfort level is adequate to make their work public. What suggestions for strategies do you have for overcoming this hurdle? Thank you for any advice.

9-12 grade Welding Instructor

The Porfolio for college and employment

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A simple approach to PBL and integration of the course standards is to create an EXCEL file using W. Edwards Deming’s Problem solving steps (Total Quality Management) in a vertical column on the left of the spreadsheet, then put the basic standard descriptions across the top row in weekly steps. Mine is broken down from an 18 week semester course divided into (2) 9 week pages. As the project progresses, each week is represented in a colored cell. Target, or completion dates can be typed into each cell. The cell’s colors use the “Rainbow” pallet of colors for quick visual reference to each step of the project. An added bonus of the Timeline calendar/progress chart is quick reference for planning lesson plans. Using the “Tabs”, you can have your lesson plans formatted automatically in adjacent sheets with the cells for that week’s lesson addressed from the Timeline sheet. If you make adjustments to the Timeline Calendar, the weekly lesson format is automatically changed. I once used this for solving a "problem" for an evaluation. Printed in color, the Timeline, with project completion dates was eye candy for the boss. I also use the Timeline to show completion dates for implementing Common Core activities, such as pre and post tests for the Language Department's "Word Glossary" that I use as a class starter while I'm doing roll call. Being a CTE teacher, the Timeline also helps manage information for individual progress in the student's electronic portfolio. Each step of each student's progress is documented by a copy of a test or photo of their work for each step on the Timeline stored in their electronic file. What are the final results? Nobody falls through a crack in the system, work is documented, and at the end of the course, the students have more than a resume' to take with them. Tools? I use a an HD webcam on my computer for close up photos of welds and a high resolution camera for project documentation. All photos use a roll book number in the photo for ID and anonymity during classroom critiquing and feedback. This is something Tech Ed students may use to showcase their work to college teachers and employers.

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