This week on implementing the PBL model in our classrooms was very helpful. I was able to obtain lists, steps, outlines, great sites with acronyms like SAGE, and some wonderful examples. I have not done a PBL lesson yet, so I didn’t want to attempt it yet. But after reading through other examples and getting multiple insights on how to approach creating scenarios I came up with the following:
You are out hiking with a few friends and find that you have wondered from the trail in Southeast, Alaska. It is May, has started to rain, and the sun is beginning to go down. You have decided, as a group, that you will need to build a shelter and camp out for the night since your cell phones seem to have no reception. Come up with a design for a shelter using local materials that you can find in the woods. Don’t forget to think of other necessities for your survival.
I am sure this will bring up the thought of fire and food which they will have to also research, along with local foliage. After they come up with a representation on their shelter design I would then have them go out into the wilderness as a class and actually build their shelters. Another notch on their list for survival in the wilderness of Southeast Alaska.
This week’s posts reaffirmed to me how the PBL model is something that can be very beneficial to students in preparing them for adulthood. Collaboration, research, communication, reflection and presentation are all part of what we as adults need to know how to do when in our job settings. The fact that this process can seem messy and chaotic should not keep teachers from trying to implement it. Not all areas of study can facilitate this type of approach, so slower implementation is a first step for those who have never used a PBL model. Constant feedback, conferencing, and guidance are essential to the process so that you can catch any misunderstandings and help to facilitate their learning towards their goals. This model is great for differentiation allowing for differing opinions and solutions in a safe environment. With the teacher as the facilitator and the students as independent learners you have a strong foundation to grow on.