Gaston Middle School: Project Based Learning Training Day #1

Educators of America are back in Fresno, CA for another round of Project Based Learning training sessions at the Rutherford B. Gaston Middle School. We were originally here back in September of 2016 for our first round of training sessions, which was incredibly fun and informative for both the teachers and us.

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, check out our previous posts by clicking here. On our first training trip, we were able to spend a whole day training each 7th and 8th grade department on Project Based Learning methods while creating innovative project ideas for the students.

On our first day back, we got to spend our time with the always witty and ambitious History Department. Great group of teachers who have really taken to the PBL method and have all successfully passed the Educators of America PBL 101 Class!

As progress moves forward we continue to think and encourage others to wonder, how can I best apply PBL to my class? Today’s idea starts in a simple place and that is autonomy. When it comes to history students must understand the practice of learning about the past ensures a better future. Now we don’t mean you should give your students full reign over a project for 3 weeks but what we are suggesting is a project or presentation that encourages analysis of the past to better the future.

Children are dreamers, it’s a fact we cannot deny nor should we snuff out, so let them dream! Start with something that has no bounds, for example work with your class to create your own Utopian civilization. Start with the things that will easiest; gathering food, creating shelter, and developing a government. Task each student with working on a specific task or make groups for certain commerce groups. Then begin to work your way through your lessons, allowing your civilization to grow with your curriculum.

Give your ‘Class-Topia’ a thought in the coming days and see if this long-term project could work for you. Please join us here again tomorrow for a recap of our day with the English Department!



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