I traveled to Toronto to attend a Project Based Learning Conference with Peter Cobb and his associates.. I've been using PBL for some time, but I wanted to learn more about implementing this practice in our school.
Top 10 takeaways from the first session.
1. Intermediate deliverables help keep students on track. They are absolutely necessary in PBL.
2. Students need to learn how give helpful critiques no matter what age. Model and scaffold this over and over or you won't get the results you want.
3. Bring in mentors from your campus, your community, your world. When you approach someone, be clear with your expectations and how many times you would like to meet with them and how.
4. Rubrics can be formulated by and with the students. Should be student friendly, visual, clear and concise.
5. Digital portfolios should be embedded in the culture. Students should ask at anytime to take a picture, record something to upload to their portfolio.
6. When you have an audience larger than teacher or even the classroom, you create a high stakes event. Students rise to the occasion for learning exhibitions.
7. When creating projects with a global perspective ask "What kind of world do I want? And how will I contribute?"
8. When students come to you with ideas for projects, always respond with yes. Then coach, refine, and clarify their ideas.
9. Children discover their own efficacies and often rise beyond their own expectations.
10. We have to change what is normative. When you walk through the halls of our schools, you hear teachers teaching. We should hear students speaking more.
10 Questions for Project Planning