8 Essentials Elements of Project Based Learning

All Project Based Learning ideas need to contain the following 8 essential elements:

Significant Content- The project is focused on important knowledge, concepts and skills derived from standards (TEKS)

21st Century Skills- Students build critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and other skills needed for success in today's world (you can model, teach, and assess the first 3 if you are wondering how you will create grades throughout the process)

In-Depth Inquiry- Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, gathering information and developing original answers

Driving Question- Project work is guided by an intriguing, open-ended question (debate, intriguing topic)

Need to Know- The project creates an authentic purpose for learning, beginning with an Entry Event (Why am I learning this? It is the warm-up to the event. Begin with a field trip/field research. Give the students intent.)

Voice & Choice- Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create (It's guided voice and choice...you, as the educator, decide how much leeway to give them. It's amazing the ideas for final projects that students will come up with when they are given the space to think on their own and come up with their own ideas.)

Revision & Reflection- Students give, get and use feedback to improve their work and what they create (Use checkpoints throughout this process as methods of assessment.) check out www.JeffRobin.com for ideas and to see PBL in action. Jeff recommends that in the beginning stages of PBL, you should do the project yourself See how long it takes you and multiply that by 3 for students.)

Public Audience- Students create products for or present work to people beyond their classroom (have students present to community, do a gallery walk, showcase work with formative pieces from along the way, drafts, handouts. Often, students simply stand aside their final product, but none of the data and beginning stages of the project are even discussed. You could also present the project in a progressive manner, in which the audience is actually walked through the same process that the students followed and shown the final products in the end, It gives the audience more ownership and better understanding of the process as a whole For scientists and mathematicians, this is the part of the process that we value and MUST see.)

Here are a few additional resources to check out:

Media Saves the Beach video

The Birth of the Tubric - defining questions for a project (www.tubric.com or www.tubric.org)


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