I have often said that the best way to teach our students is to teach/lead by example. I love being able to come into school and tell my students how much I enjoy a class that I am taking. Last night we were lucky enough to Skype with Ginger Lewman, Kevin and Michelle Honeycutt!! I was excited to talk to my kids this morning for a lot of reasons; one being that I have never Skyped! The biggest reason that I was so excited was who we were able to Skype! Keep in mind my students are only 7years old. When they see how excited their teacher is to learn, I hope that I can make them feel that same excitement!
We were asking our trio of experts about PBL: Project Based Learning. It was so amazing to have three motivating and innovative teachers answer our questions. Personally, I love the idea of PBL. I have tried little projects in the past that the kids have loved. These are the projects that Kevin Honeycutt would call the ones that aren't "time vampires." I liked that term because it's a simple phrase to show that you can do a project with the kids that is fun, and they are learning yet doesn't take up a lot of unnecessary time.
I think the biggest lesson that I was able to walk away with last night was that PBL will start to eliminate the question "why do we need to know this?" In PBL, the students are 'caught' up in finding the answer to their big question that they forget they are doing math, writing, SS, and/or science.
I have mentioned head fakes in a previous post. I think that PBL is the ultimate head fake! Not only will the students be learning one subject, they will be learning about multiple subjects AND learning how to use proper resources on their own! The kids will actually know how to be independent! Something that we all have been striving for our kids to learn!
So are you asking the same question we did? How do you assess? Easy! You talk with your students! You reinforce as you make them discuss what they are doing, again and again. By working with your students on a project, you will know what your students are learning! The best part, is the publishing part of PBL. Every project or assignment needs a culminating activity. Well, this is the best assessment yet! What if your students can give you more than just a regular poster? What if they can give you a recorded diolague on a Voicethread, or a video on Animoto? These are just a couple of the best example that your students can give you that they are learning!
Please share your thoughts and comments!