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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 Quick Reasons to "Do PBL"

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It was like shooting ducks on the pond as my Grandfather used to say.  I walked in turned on Tweetchat to get ready for the chat on pbl (#pblchat) and there it was.  "MrsIsbellsClass RT @PBLChat: Anyone? Reply to=> @gavhays: Why do pbl? #parrapbl #PBLChat " 


   How could I resist that?  So I sent 3 tweets with a total of 5 answers to the question. 


 1.  Students more engaged = students less cranky  -   As students work on their projects they can really immerse themselves in their work.  This leads to a much more friendly and work-oriented atmosphere.  It's pretty nice. 


 2.  Teachers learn more because they learn with their students - quite often (at the high school level anyway) students will start researching a topic and they will get to a level that isn't immediately at the grasp of the teacher.  Sure, with a little brush up (usually), the teacher can quickly get up to speed and interject informative comments.  But when the student feels that they are learning with their teacher it brings learning to a new level. 


 3.  Students get to demonstrate their creative side - in almost every project there is some sort of end product that is shown to an expert panel or their classmates.  This might be a video, a poem, something actually built to demonstrate a process, or other item that was created with a students imagination and expertise. 


 4.  Students must face a panel of experts = must know their stuff - We don't always do a good job of getting outside panels but when we do the students really rise to the occasion.  Even when the panel is just a set of parents or teachers it means a lot to the kids and they prepare for their presentations accordingly. 


 5.  Teachers get to see their students grow with confidence and intelligence - It is really a wonderful feeling to see that shy student stand up and sing a song they have created to tell a story for their final presentation.  Or to see a student show the entire class that, yes, they do understand that very hard concept (that most kids figured he or she had gotten the rest of his group members to do while he sat back and did nothing.)   


      Those 5 reasons are reason enough but there are many more reasons to do PBL in your classroom.  If you ever want to see more come join us for #PBLCHAT on Tuesday nights at 9PM EST.  You might just be amazed at what you read.