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I enjoyed reading this

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I enjoyed reading this article! Project based Learning is an important tool to use as teachers. I really like Laura's comment about dividing in half whatever we decide. It is important that we give our students time to learn and not give them assignments that would be overwhelming.

It is an excellent idea to collaborate with colleagues about PBL to develop a system together. Each person has different ideas. Sharing the ideas with one another can be helpful to come up with the best choice. It also ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

I often see teachers who are

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I often see teachers who are overwhelmed when trying to change classroom practice, be it PBL, Differentiation, or something else. I encourage teachers to remember that, which they're students are learning new content and a new way of learning, they themselves are learning a new way of teaching- so the same learning cycle applies. We talk about there being a student learning cycle (in which students engage with new content, exhibit their learning, and then debrief), and a teacher cycle (in which teachers design learning experiences, coach, gather data, provide feedback). Both groups, however, need time to reflect and to transfer their learning to the next design/ engagement cycle.

We encourage teachers to start small and be mindful of their own comfort zones and teaching preferences and to realize that, over time and with experience, the complexity of the problems they ask students to solve will increase (as will their skill at figuring out new challenges). We also ask them to be clear with themselves and their team at the outset around what "successful implementation" will look like. Is it 2 big PBL units a year? 1 small project a week? (Point of reference- we say that if you are working towards 3 Challenges a year in your first year of implementation, with the goal of adding another 3 year the following year, you're on pace. But that's just us- you know your kids and your colleagues and you can be a better judge of what's appropriate.

A word of advice, though? Whatever you decide is appropriate? Divide it in half. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Good luck!

So thrilled for you! PBL does

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So thrilled for you! PBL does have many, many advantages, but the initial work can be overwhelming. I, too, have two different experiences, but they have occurred at the two different schools where I teach. They are in the same district, but have vastly different populations. One school has embraced PBL with open arms and the other views it as "noisy" and "confusing". (These are comments repeated to me by students that have heard them from the Admin.) Sadly, this comes from the top down and is a very frustrating experience for me.
I see the students at the 1st school blossoming and growing and the other school has devolved into unmotivated students who have absolutely no buy-in.

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