Presentation Slides on PBL

Making Standards Come Alive
through Project-Based Learning
Kevin J. B. Anderson, Ph.D.
CESA #2 STEM Education Consultant
Who are we and what are our goals
for the day?
Quick introductions and sharing of your goals
Agenda and objectives:
• What is PBL and how does it connect to
• Building PBL lessons – topics, learning
objectives, assessment and structures
• Create a PBL activity
What is Project-Based Learning?
Your ideas…
Definition – in your own words
Project-Based Learning is not…
Lecture or textbook-driven
An add-on activity
Done alone
Fact or one-right-answer based
Disconnected from life
Disconnected from standards
Isolated from today’s technology
Is my project PBL? Checklist…
Consider a recent project and answer these Q’s…
Why do Project-Based Learning?
Your ideas….
Research suggests:
1) Increases long-term retention
2) Better engages students and teachers
3) Develops critical thinking skills
“Project-based learning increases long-term retention,
improves problem-solving and collaboration skills, and
improves students’ attitudes towards learning.”
– Strobel, 2009
PBL builds 21st Century Skills!
Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking, problemsolving, decision-making and learning
Ways of working. Communication and collaboration
Tools for working. Information and communications
technology and information literacy
Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life and
career, and personal and social responsibility
How Do I Do PBL?
Going through an example – see template
How Do I Do PBL?
Begin with the end in mind…
Understandings – what are the most
important goals you have for student learning
this year?
Students will be able to…
PBL allows for authentic connections among
subject areas.
What are the important
practice connections you
see in these subjects?
What other connections
would you add?
What does this suggest for
your teaching?
Students will know…
Section for content connections of the NGSS,
CCSS and beyond
Nitty-gritty content ideas, unpacked from standards
CCSS = content standards
Could likely Google
Connecting CCSS and the NGSS
Foundations of Integration
1) Belief in the importance of doing it
2) Flexibility and openness
3) Plan out the goals for each subject and the
curriculum for the year, find the overlaps.
Acknowledge that math might be the least flexible.
4) Build from current units - start small!
Connecting CCSS and the NGSS
Connections - Context
• CCSS 6.NS.7b - Write, interpret, and explain
statements of order for rational numbers in real-world
contexts. For example, write –3 oC > –7 oC to
express the fact that –3 oC is warmer than –7 oC.
• CCSS 7.RP.2c - Represent proportional relationships
by equations. (e.g. Force = ma, Speed = d/t)
• CCSS 8.EE.4 - Perform operations with numbers
expressed in scientific notation, including problems
where both decimal and scientific notation are used.
Connecting CCSS and the NGSS
• Culture, people, place
• Math
Growth rate of plants
under different conditions
(in class, outside)
Color vs. temp of stars
• Unit rates
• Linear or nonlinear
• Quadratic
• Direct vs. inverse
• Strong vs. weak
Connecting CCSS and the NGSS
Connections – Modeling
• What is mathematical or scientific modeling?
• You’re making sense of a question or problem. It’s
active, not passive. It’s predicting, not reporting.
• Examples:
• WMC article
• Elements of a story
Connecting CCSS and the NGSS
Connections – Notebooking
• How do you use student notebooks?
• Structure:
• First 3 pages blank for your table of contents
• Number every page (upper right or left corner) of the
notebook except your table of contents
• Use pencil or colored pencil on both sides of page
• Date each page at the start of a project
• What do you know (claim) + how do you know that
(evidence) + why does your evidence support your
claim (reasoning) = explanation
Connecting CCSS and the NGSS
Connections – Talk
• How often do your students talk about science, math,
social studies, art, literature, etc. with each other?
• How often do they “argue with evidence” about an
answer or an issue?
• How often do they verbally share their thinking and
• Do they write research papers about ideas meaningful to
them? (e.g. water resources, texting & driving accidents)
Connecting CCSS and the NGSS
Connections – others?
• What other ways do you see the varying subjects you
teach connecting together?
• What challenges are there in making these connections
What’s going on in the world around us now that
could frame your unit? Or, what’s interesting?
Wolf hunt, human cloning, diabetes epidemic, mental
health, water monitoring data
Element 118 (and 117), nuclear energy safety (CNN),
football helmets, wind turbines, cell phones and cancer
NEOs, alternative energy, climate change,
typhoon/severe weather, mining or fracking, fossil fuels
Elections, stock market growth, Affordable Care Act,
internet hoaxes, “free speech” on Facebook, holiday
changes through history, Olympics in Russia, new
abortion legislation, drones, train engineer dozing
What is a good Essential Question?
The best questions are provocative and challenging,
accessible to students, open-ended with multiple possible
answers, and linked to important content. Can we fix
1) What are the characteristics of healthy soil?
2) How do architects use geometry?
3) How has technology affected world history?
4) How does the author use voice and perspective in The
House on Mango Street to reflect on his childhood and
Essential questions can build from
NGSS crosscutting concepts
Examples of subquestions:
1) Is there a pattern in which ponds, streams, and lakes make people sick
and which do not?
2) Why might we get sick (effect) if we go swimming in that pond (cause)?
3) What percentage of people get sick? What are the physical characteristics
of the ponds and streams that people are getting sick in (in terms of flow rates
and size)? What is the scale of the organisms within the water?
4) What are the important parts of this pond ecosystem and geological
system? How could we model this pond? What would be the limitations and
benefits of such a model?
5) Where does energy come from in this pond ecosystem and geological
6) What are the characteristics of these organisms and people that lead to
them making us sick? Consider their relevant body structures and our
relevant body structures, along with the functions that they have.
7) How has this pond changed over time, such as from the spring to the fall,
or in the past 40 years? Why do people sometimes get sick while swimming
in it, but sometimes they do not?
Essential Questions – How can you
connect to your community?
Take some time to share…
Taking a break, going on a walk - what PBL opportunities
are there
1) Within the school?
2) On the school grounds?
3) In the community?
4) In connection with community organizations
(government, community safety, non-profits,
businesses, etc.)
Work on your ideas….
• Share out…
• Would it be useful for me to walk through my thought
process with planning a specific PBL project?
Investigating a couple examples…
School garden at Northwestern Middle School
Soil superheroes at King Middle School
Which others can you find?
Assessing Project-Based Learning
1) What is the purpose of assessment?
2) What is your vision of a quality assessment? (in 30
seconds or less)
3) Research – what’s most important in assessment?
4) Key questions –
a) How does the assessment impact student learning?
b) What’s done with it afterward?
c) How is the data used?
Assessing Project-Based Learning
Who conducts and designs the assessment?
1) Students involved in assessment creation and goal
2) Peer assessment tools:
3) Getting experts and community involved
Open House!
Assessing Project-Based Learning
Assessment for Understanding
1) Performance assessment - presentations, do it, posters,
debates, reports, drama, build-test-redesign, revise!
1) Rubrics - examples
Presentation rubric:
3) Portfolios (or notebooks)
Assessing Project-Based Learning
Your time:
1) How will I assess the PBL?
2) Who will be involved?
3) Start creating it!
• How does it connect to the learning objectives?
• How are the practices integrated?
• How will students act on the feedback?
• How will you act on their scores (specifics!)
• Performance expectations (NGSS)
Supporting Activities and Learning
What knowledge do students need to complete their
1) Active learning: they’re searching for further information
so they can answer an engaging question.
2) Passive: they’re reading another section in a textbook
and answering Q’s at the end with no real connection to
a phenomenon (no hook).
3) Teacher directed (field trips, labs, debates, particular
sources) and student directed (online research,
planning labs, interviews, collaboration sessions)
4) Brainstorm!
Voice and Choice
In the final project, and in interim learning, what
choices do students have in:
1) Their partner(s)?
2) What the product will look like?
3) How they use their time?
4) What subjects they learn about?
5) Their goals?
6) How they’re assessed?
7) Dates for interim check-ins?
PBL and Differentiation
Essential goal as teachers – meeting the needs of all
1) Brainstorm: what are some things that you do now?
2) Explore a resource: Case Studies from the NGSS
(appendix D)
a) we’ll each briefly review one and share ideas
How can you involve experts?
Consider your resources:
1) Parents! Presenting, evaluating…
2) Community members – bring in your mayor or city
council! Local businesses, govt workers
3) Non-profit organizations such as environmental groups,
historical groups, museums
4) Universities – field trips, experts
5) Email and Skype (or Google handout)
PBL – How do we make it happen?
Managing the process – keeping it organized
1) Create a timeline for both your planning process as well
as project implementation –it will help you keep you
2) Refine the driving question - use other teachers and
students use each other to make it the best it can be
3) Develop a resource list of materials – both what you
have and what you need
How do we avoid plagiarism?
Ensuring good research
1) Don’t assume they understand
2) Practice summarizing
3) Librarian help
4) Explicit teaching on reliable sources:
Repeat: formative assessment is
arguably the #1 key to learning!
Students miss out on enormous learning possibilities if they
don’t revise and improve their work.
How will they demonstrate their understanding throughout
the PBL unit?
PBL – How do we make it happen?
Managing the process – have a student calendar
1) They know the learning outcome
2) They know the objective for each day and what the
deliverable for the day is
3) They know when each part of the project is due
4) Sample:
PBL – How do we make it happen?
Finding time
1) How does it fit in the schedule?
2) How can it fit in my already full curriculum?
Focus on big ideas and connections
3) Planning it takes a long time
Yes, but then it lasts for weeks…
PBL – How do we make it happen?
Ensuring all students participate
1) Consider a team contract
Example -
2) Multiple intelligences and growth model
3) Engagement through choice
4) Team building skills, creating culture
5) Self-assess, group assess and teacher assess
6) Virtual collaboration -, Google docs,38
7) Other ideas?
Guide students in self-reflection
Some possible strategies:
1) Personal writing to reflect (on learning, on group work)
a) open-ended vs. set questions
b) Questions:
2) Interview – portfolio, project, notebook review
3) Peer review/interview
PBL – How do we make it happen?
Finding support
1) Other teachers!
2) Online:
• Buck Institute for Education
• Edutopia
• Competitions provide structure: or “student video contest” or science fairs
• Service learning!
PBL – How do we make it happen?
Your work time
• Finish going through the steps within the template
• Caution: Don’t try to do it all on the first attempt and
don’t try to do it all by yourself!
Final Questions?
Three reflection questions:
1) What is one short term and one long term
plan for incorporating PBL?
2) What are your main takeaways from today?
3) What questions do you still have?
4) Other comments?
Thank you!
Feel free to email me with questions:
[email protected]

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