You’ve started using PBL in your classroom, and you are committed to doing it. You’re even on the lookout for ways to improve your PBL practice and engage your students. However, you’re probably facing some barriers and obstacles in moving forward. We get it! We are PBL facilitators currently in the classroom, and we have gone through similar PBL trials and failures. We’re ready to use our own experiences and those of the PBL community to help you tackle your problems and offer tools to overcome the hurdles along your journey. We’re calling you to spread the PBL revolution, develop confidence in your own practice, and talk about it with others. You can stay sitting on the bench or you can use the strategies of other PBL teachers who have gone through some of the same problems and come out on top. The PBL Playbook from Magnify Learning is meant to help you navigate your PBL questions and problems, build your PBL confidence, and add strategies for success to your own playbook! Visit www.magnifylearningin.org for more.
Season 3 Episode 4: 6 A's Series - Active Exploration
In this episode, Josh and Andrea continue their series about the 6 A’s of PBL project design, where each episode will focus on one of the A’s and its importance to the PBL framework. This week, they have a conversation with Emily Lavender, a 5th grade PBL teacher at Lemon Mills Elementary School. The three discuss the next A on the rubric: Active Exploration. The driving idea of the conversation is how to intentionally build in active exploration (such as labs, field work, etc.) into a project. Emily has some great ideas about how to keep students engaged in the exploration process of the project, as well as the importance of the relationship between active exploration and community partners. They also discuss how to manage this part of a PBL and keep it rigorous and engaging through all methods of learning, whether schools are in-person, hybrid, or virtual learning. See episode webpage for full shownotes and related resources.
PBL Blitz Episode 14: Brittany Tinkler - Agency: The Greatest Rubric
In the 14th episode of the PBL Project Blitz series, Southport Elementary facilitator Brittany Tinkler returns to share the Agency project that she completed with her 3rd grade class. Tinkler’s 3rd graders aimed to teach the younger students at their school about agency: What is agency? Why is it important? How do we show agency? In a year where the “normal” methods of completing this project are unrealistic and unavailable, Tinkler talks about how this project shifted due to eLearning and COVID-19 restrictions. In the end, she feels like this project evolved into something even better than it has ever been. See episode webpage for full show notes and related resources.
Season 3 Episode 3: 6 A's Series - Academic Rigor
In this episode, Josh and Andrea continue their series about the 6 A’s of PBL project design, where each episode will focus on one of the A’s and its importance to the PBL framework. This week, they chat down with 1st grade facilitator and familiar voice to the podcast Rachel Crawford from Babcock Neighborhood School in Babcock Ranch, FL. The three discuss the next A on the rubric: Academic Rigor. The driving idea of the conversation is how to keep a project rigorous and content focused, even when the process and product of the project are what keep the students engaged. Rachel offers some great insight on how to imbed the content and standards as a part of that process to make students really want to learn the content in order to succeed in the project. They also talk about scaffolding in such a way that pushes students of all levels to achieve beyond what they think is possible academically. See episode webpage for full show notes and resources related to this episode.
PBL Blitz Episode 13: Emma Cudahy - Learning from Failed Projects
Josh and Andrea continue the PBL Project Blitz series where once a month, they highlight a PBL project by veterans in the PBL classroom. In the 13th episode of the PBL Project Blitz series, Josh and Andrea chat with Irvington Community Schools teacher Emma Cudahy (@MissCudahy) about a podcast project she completed with her high school Government classes. This episode was a little different in that this project is not one that Emma feels is an example of the Gold Standard of PBL; this project highlight is an example of learning from failure when a project does not go as planned. Throughout the episode, Emma highlights meeting the students where they are, and offers some great advice regarding scaffolding and making a PBL fit for your students. This podcast often talks about being okay failing and using those as learning experiences, so our hosts were so grateful to get to chat with a classroom facilitator about how she did just that. See episode webpage for full show notes and resources related to this episode.
Season 3 Episode 2: 6 A's Series - Authenticity
To dive into the exciting content in store for season 3, Josh and Andrea are launching a series about the 6 A’s of PBL project design, where each episode will focus on one of the A’s and its importance to the PBL framework. This week, they sit down with English facilitator Joe Steele from CSA New Tech High School in Columbus, IN to discuss the first A on the rubric: Authenticity. Joe first gives his thoughts on what makes authenticity so foundational to PBL. He then outline what makes a project authentic, and why that is so valuable. From there, our hosts discuss with Joe some strategies for finding authentic projects (hint: they’re everywhere!). Joe leaves our listeners with some powerful advice about the importance of authenticity, and the difference it will make for your students. See Episode Webpage for full show notes and all resources.
PBL Blitz Episode 12: Rhonda Adamson - Hot Wheels Exhibit
In the 12th installment of the PBL Project Blitz, Josh and Andrea chat with Rhonda Adamson about a Middle School Math and Science project she did at Decatur Schools in Indianapolis, IN. Lining up with the annual Indy 500 race in Indianapolis, Rhonda’s classes partnered with the Indianapolis Children’s Museum to create a Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit to teach younger students about force and other ideas relevant to race cars. Integrating science standards such as forces in motion and math standards such as scale, Rhonda’s classes created their own Hot Wheels displays for the exhibit, which they got to present to younger students in Indianapolis during race week. As a popular toy, this project was a fun way for kids to learn and understand the application of these standards, and it is one Rhonda says has stuck with these students even years after completion. See Episode Webpage for full shownotes and all related resources.