Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Designing a Project Based Learning Classroom: Where do I begin?


1. Is it possible to integrate the reading and writing workshop into a project based learning classroom?

2. What standards do I start with for second grade?  Do I begin with the common core for science and social studies?  Or do I wait until my school district creates its own template of how those subjects are taught and assessed?

Curriculum Planning
This is my conundrum.  I get a great idea, often based on philosophy and pedagogy.  Then I look at the students and standards to shape that idea.  Finally, I determine the materials available and the tools I am given by my school district.  I approach the year with all good intentions.  Then the reality of my team, my building, and my district's expectations water down my idea so much it morphs into something entirely out of context and meaningless.


I become frustrated because when I communicate these ideas to others, they often perceive it as "too much work."  And often it is.  One person, single handedly, designing, and implementing a completely authentic curriculum ever year.  Wow, that's daunting, to say the least.

Experience with Project Based Learning

Two years ago I worked with two other staff members to implement a project already designed to fit the needs of my students and curriculum: The Artifact Box Exchange.   The three of us, together wrote lessons appropriate for second graders with en emphasis that each lesson matched the outcomes as stated by our school district's curriculum.  We made a six to eight week plan, including parents in the classroom to help facilitate some small group work.

Feedback Needed
Is this the direction I should be going?  Anyone with PBL learning experience out there, please advise.  Is this really project based learning appropriate for primary learners?  Should I be facilitating smaller, more defined, mini-projects students develop themselves?

Let the conversation begin. . .

Students investigate characteristics of amphibians

No comments: