Exciting lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and reproducibles in a daily blog by teachers

Alycia

I live in New York

I teach third grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach sixth grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach second grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach PreK-K

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Genia

I live in Michigan

I teach third grade

I am seriously addicted to all things technology in my teaching

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach fourth and fifth grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach fourth grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Top 10 Reasons to Use Authentic Learning

By Shari Edwards on May 1, 2013
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

Every time I use inquiry- and project-based learning (PBL) with my students, I am more impressed with how powerful this type of learning truly is. My students and I leave the classroom energized and thinking about what we’ve learned, and we return the next morning with a sense of anticipation that drives us forward into new discoveries.

If you have never used authentic learning projects in your classroom, please allow me to convince you to try it, with my reasons and examples from The Uncle Reuben Project.*

 

My Top 10 Reasons to Teach With Inquiry- and Project-Based Learning
 

10. PBL encourages creativity in students and their teachers. Planning the project and experiencing new learning is fun and exciting because of the interdisciplinary nature of many of my projects.

* The Uncle Reuben Project includes map skills, 1920s slang, music and lyrics from songs from the 1920s and 1930s, ledger math with calculator practice, and much more.

 

 

 

 

9. PBL is open-ended and encourages problem-solving skills by its nature. Students use higher-order thinking with PBL. Students create ideas and findstudent in discussion answers instead of choosing from teacher-generated lists and multiple choice options.

* Students: Mrs. Edwards, we can’t tell if Uncle Reuben wrote a 3 or a 5 here on his ledger.

Me: How are you going to figure that out?

Students: I don’t know. (walk away)

Students: (coming back) What if we added the column like it was a 5, and if we don’t get the same answer as Uncle Reuben did, we can try using a 3?

Me: Let me know what you find out.

Students: Mrs. Edwards! He wrote $36, not $56! We got the answer!

Me: (big smile)

 


8. PBL is often interdisciplinary. Units are easier to find sample planning sheettime for and finish because parts of them can be taught or worked on during other subject blocks. I start out with a two-page website and start adding resources, skills, activities, and whatever else I think of that I would like to bring in. My project planning sheets, as well as links to some great online aids, are in the resources section at the end of this post.                                                           

* Here is a photo of my Uncle Reuben Project planning sheets.

 

 

7. PBL offers unlimited possibilities when it comes to topics. There are many project ideas online and around you all the time. Some resources to help get you started are at the end of this post.

* Uncle Reuben is my Grandpa’s youngest brother, Reuben Johnson. My dad and uncles possessed several artifacts from his life, so all I needed to do was go through them, and the ideas just started flowing! I’ve made all of the resources and primary documents available online just in case someone wouldthinking student like to replicate my project.

 


6. The autonomy that occurs during PBL for students and teachers is a huge motivator. Students feel in control of choosing the topics, skills, length, and depth of a project.

* My students love to make their own choices and decisions. During the Uncle Reuben Project, they will have many opportunities to choose for themselves. They buy in quickly when I don’t direct their every move. Sometimes they choose to copy me and other times, they see another way of doing something and accept the freedom I give them.

 


student with house model

5. PBL and the inquiry process are moved along by realia (a real object, known or unknown) that is brought into the classroom. Some artifacts we treat as museum pieces, but others are durable enough to handle. When people hear about the current project, they often offer something for me to borrow and show my class.

This week I brought in Uncle Reuben’s farm ledger, which I have been taking some of their math work from. (I have them check his addition and multiplication!) They have also held his travel journal and a metal model of the house he grew up in that my grandpa made many years ago.

 

 

4.  PBL supports, and is supported by, Common Core Standards. Working with open-ended problems and complex text is emphasized many times in CCS. My students are becoming confident and comfortable students with notebookswhen thinking for themselves on assignments and future assessments, as well as in the real world.

* In the Uncle Reuben Project, we are using primary documents such as pages from one of his travel journals written in the 1940s. My 2nd graders step right up to the challenge of reading the words he wrote, which actually measure above (940L) the 2nd/3rd grade text complexity bands set out by CCS. Sometimes I’m caught off guard when I watch them tackle the difficult text with such enthusiasm, but they are so interested, they push through without a complaint. During those times, I am always nearby to offer support to those who might need it.


measuring the map3. PBL feels real to my students. They are interacting with the real world and that makes their work seem much more important.

* Map work is fun for 2nd graders already, but my students persevere even when it's difficult to measure the thousands of miles that Uncle Reuben traveled around the country, because of the importance that is put on it by the project.

 

 

 

2.   PBL and inquiry cause lasting student engagement. My students are never so focused as when they are in the midst of a project or inquiry.

* Pictures are worth thousands of words!           


 

And the  #1 reason to try PBL and inquiry in your own classroom...

smiling girl

It’s Fun!
PBL creates such enthusiasm in my students,
and it can’t be squelched! The rewards I get from taking my students through projects more than makes up for the planning and work that go into each project. I get to watch my 7- and 8-year-olds exceed my high expectations every day!

* My students enter the room asking if we will be working on the Uncle Reuben Project every morning. They are having fun, I am having fun, and everyone is learning!

 

 


 

Resources to Help Get You Started

Resources for the Uncle Reuben Project

Resources for Learning More About Project-Based Learning

 

Comments (5)

I lean more towards Problem-based learning than Project based. Too often the aim of education is business based...

Hello!

Do you recommend a beginner with PBL using the book Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry? How is Wichita? I now live in NJ, but grew-up near Wichita and then taught there 5 years before moving out East. I actually loved it there.

Thank you,
Raylene

Check out the resources above. The Buck Institute site has many projects written in detail with many resources to help you get started. Sometimes Project-Based Learning can make you feel a little off guard because the teacher isn't the only decision maker in the room when it comes to the direction students take the topic. Try very small 2-3 day projects and work your way up if you are truly wanting to use PBL.Agen Texas dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya | Master Agen Judi Bola Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya di Indonesia | Agen TexaS dan domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya | bola pelangi agen bola sbobet ibcbet casino 338a tangkas togel online indonesia terpercaya | Olb365.com Agen Judi Bola Online, Agen Judi Casino Online Indonesia Terpercaya | Agen Ibcbet | SBOBET | Agen Bola Terpercaya | Agen Bola | Judi Online | Judi Bola | Judi Bola Terpercaya | Sbobet | Ibcbet | Judi Bola Terpercaya | Rajamerah.com situs judi online terbaik terpercaya

What I need is a lesson with all the resources provided (the basics at least) that I can start with and get a handle on the flow. I feel like when I do project based learning I am caught off guard and haven't done enough planning. It's really frustrating.

Check out the resources above. The Buck Institute site has many projects written in detail with many resources to help you get started. Sometimes Project-Based Learning can make you feel a little off guard because the teacher isn't the only decision maker in the room when it comes to the direction students take the topic. Try very small 2-3 day projects and work your way up if you are truly wanting to use PBL.
Thanks for your comment!
Shari

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
Back to Top