Crash Course in Project Based Learning

Today I’m thrilled to be doing a PBL “crash course” for teachers at Olney Charter High School. This post is a landing page for that session, but it’s also a summary of the Project-Based Learning Inquiry to Action Group that I facilitated last February.

We started with the PBL introductory video, and then identified units (either already existing or planned for the future) that we would like to make project-based.

Here are the main categories we talked about, with the corresponding pages that have more resources:

Unit Design

Session 1: A review of the basic expectations of PBL, as well as an introduction to writing essential questions and the Understanding by Design framework from Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.

Session 2: A discussion of facilitating inquiry in the classroom and getting kids to ask relevant questions, with a detailed Q&A with English Teacher Matt Kay.

Project Design

 Session 3:  Some of the basics of project design.

 Session 4: Includes sample project write-ups and rubrics for math class, with a detailed Q&A about how to facilitate collaboration and group work on projects.

Assessment Design

Session 5: A review of project-write ups and rubrics for science classes, with a detailed Q&A on how to present projects to students and what common roadblocks you might encounter.

And for good measure, here’s the short video that I *wanted* to show at the start of the session. (It seems that YouTube itself, and not the school’s filters, got the best of me today.)

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