3 Tips for PBL First-Timers

This school year, I’ve implemented a project-based learning curriculum.  As with trying anything for the first time, the students and I have been learning from our mistakes, but I can say without a doubt that it is worth trying out.  Students have been engaged and I’ve seen a marked increase in the quality of work I’m getting.  Here are some tips I have if anyone wants to try it out.  To help contextualize these tips, I’m using a project we did this year during the first marking period, the MyPhilly Project (scroll down to check it out). Continue reading

PBL Basics #1: Challenging Problems & Questions

114017bNote: This series of posts is inspired by Larmer, Mergendoller, and Boss’s (2015) recently released book, Setting the Standard for Project Based Learning.  It is a great book for anyone looking to get into or learn more about project/inquiry based learning.  These posts are just a small sample of the pedagogical tools you will find inside.  A full review will be up after this four-part series is complete. Continue reading

What Bloom Would Say About My Curriculum

Now that the school year is coming to a close, I’m starting to reflect on the year as a whole, what I will keep the same and what I’ll change.  This year was a big step forward for me in terms of curriculum development.  I created a standards-based curriculum in which I analyzed the learning anchors and devised units that would allow students to learn them one or two at a time.  As I look back on how the curriculum played out this school year, I find myself asking the question, “What would Bloom say about my curriculum?” (“What Would Bloom Do?” bracelets patent-pending.) Continue reading

Curriculum Writing for English

Last year, I found out I was going to have a job as a full-time teacher two weeks before the school year started.  I outlined my curriculum as much as possible, but these outlining sessions didn’t produce more than a few pages of random notes. With the school year quickly approaching, I fell back on the few curricular staples I had: the books.  I ended up dividing the year into three HUGE units based around the three full-length books we would be reading: The House on Mango Street, Things Fall Apart, and Macbeth. The issue I found doing it this way was that each unit was so big and overwhelming (for both the students and myself) that they didn’t feel organized into any logical structure. Continue reading