Whether you’re on the East Coast or the West Coast, March can be a frigid month. While we all understand that certain activities just aren’t possible in the winter, when it comes to Project Based Learning it’s important to remember; Engage your students with change and activities!
Where to start?
Depending on your subject this may be your most difficult task. If you’re thinking, “Simple, we can break into groups and do a discussion.” We’re here to burst your bubble. Your project doesn’t have to begroundbreaking but it has to be personal. We don’t mean personal as in, made by you but rather students should feel that this project was made for them. PBL is naturally more successful when students feel invested. Below we’ll jump into a few tips that will help you get past this last wintry month and into spring.
You’ve been inside with your students going through the motions for a few months now since winter, what’s on their minds? This is the perfect time to pick your students brains and engage them about their learning process and preferences. PBL is meant to be a long process so address your class with that in mind when deciding what project to take on. Even if nothing new is taught, if you’re able to help your students see the process behind successful learning, they’ll still walk away with a lesson worth knowing.
Use new technology
Trust us, this one will be a attention grabber. Try bringing a new technology, tool or methodology to your classroom, or bring your classroom to it. Young people have an burning desire to get their hands on new technology and learn about them, why not fuel that fire? Bringing in an approved technology or taking your students to, for example a 3-D printer will grab anyone’s attention but what will keep it? Having tools alone won’t make your project successful, it’s how you use those tools that will speak to your students.
Involve the community
Now that we’ve mentioned a 3-D printer, we bet you’re asking yourself, “Where can I find one of those?” And that’s the gist of our third point, seek out resources. It’s important your students find real world application in their PBL project. So perhaps it’s giving a presentation to local representative or finding a business to partner with. The way you connect with your community is entirely up to you and dependent on your class. I’ve you’ve successfully picked your students’ brains then your choice may be very easy, but if not simply consider your project. Follow the track of it until it reaches the real world and share that with your students.
This tips should be a solid starting point for your next PBL project. Try these in your classrooms in the weeks to come.