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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Constructing a PBL classroom... the first weeks of school

Constructing a PBL classroom... the first weeks of school

Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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Hi, The beginning of the year is fast approaching! I'm new to PBL and a pretty new teacher and I want to start off the year strong. I thought we could share effective ways we start the year (curriculum, rules, activities, routines). How do you set up a PBL classroom? What rules and procedures/expectations/routines do you start setting up? What are your classroom rules? Here are the rules I'm thinking of (they're NOT finalized). I want no more than 3-4. Rules can set students up to develop their abilities to collaborate, communicate, create, and reflect. These abilities are fundamental to PBL. Here's my stab at creating rules that set up students well. I welcome your critique and wisdom. - Think from different perspectives - Speak your mind and listen to others - Do the right thing even when no one is looking - Communicate constructively - Take risks This discussion can become a resource for PBL classroom structure...

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Comments (68)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Rachel Pickett's picture
Rachel Pickett
10th grade Social Studies

[quote][quote]It's so great to hear how educators are developing the environment that will support PBL. I suggest that when developing classroom rules, teachers allow students to help construct the rules. They'll be more likely to want to follow them if they've had a part in creating them. Know what you ultimately want them to be but have the students help create them. Good luck.[/quote]

How much classtime should we allow for this stage of the process? Should teachers offer students ultimate goals for the project? HOw long should a PBL be?[/quote]

I think there should definitely be concrete goals to projects! In my experience it helps students know what is expected of them.

I spent 2 days on classroom agreements (student-generated) and community-building. I'd like to have spent more time, but we were supposed to start into content after that. What I'm now attempting is to integrate SEL, community building, and the classroom agreements into the content. I think PBL can be a great vehicle for this integration.

Rachel Pickett's picture
Rachel Pickett
10th grade Social Studies

[quote]I know I should know but... :-)[/quote]

Social Emotional Learning :) Thanks for asking. There's a community on Edutopia about it.

Rachel Barner's picture

Hello everyone,

After researching scholarly articles, I have come across PBL and I am excited to start incorporating this new teaching approach in my classroom. As a special education teacher, I lead a social skills group with children with behavioral issues every morning. Does anybody have any suggestions of how to incorporate a problem-based learning service project with a group of three students?

Sarah Binder's picture

We're launching PBL in our elementary school and I am looking for classroom teachers to communicate with Stratford Elementary School classroom teachers as they transition current interdisciplinary themes to a more project based learning approach. We're looking for like minded teachers who have similar themes as starting places. Sarah Binder

Sarah Binder's picture

We are a small rural school in central Iowa that utilizes multiage classrooms with co-teaching and lots of integration of technology as a tool for learning and sharing. We are launching Project Based Learning schoolwide (preschool-6). We are looking for teachers who have similar interdisciplinary themes as starting points for launching projects. We currently use interdisciplinary themes and we are learning how and transitioning themes to a project based learning approach. Current themes include: careers and our community, water, rebuilding our nation, and fire safety. Sarah Binder

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

Hi John,

I realize that your message was posted about 5 months ago, but if you receive this reply let me know here at PBL or via my Profile contact information. Then I can give you a free General Science Fun Curriculum about "The Engineering of Everyday Things" suitable for Middle School and HS: multimedia activities, writng across the curriculum, arts & crafts constructions, creating a Wiki for your Classroom etc.

Allen Berg

Teresa Ryan's picture
Teresa Ryan
HS Math Teacher/Academic Coach

I'm a high school math teacher, and have started using some project ideas in geometry. I have done things like using the vocabulary to create a story, rap song, etc., having students design a school, create a miniature golf hole, and design 3 holes of a golf course. The vocabulary project we do in the first semester, the rest have been culminating events for the course. I am attempting to incorporate more projects into the course for learning, rather than assessment. I keep getting stuck on the open-ended part. It appears that mathematics projects will tend to have a more solid answer. Is this correct, or am I missing something? Some of my ideas are to have students design a ferris wheel for the world's fair, we did design and build kites for a polygon unit, and design a living community. Would love feedback.

Riza's picture
9-12 Mathematics & geometry teacher, Project manager

Hi, I am going to start to teach secondary mathematics this year and I wonder whether there are good textbooks designed for PBL based math activities. Do you have any secondary school PBL based math textbook suggestions ?
I heard that Key Curriculum is good. Is it so ?

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