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MIC09 Final Reflections

Answer one of the following questions as a "Comment" at the bottom of this page:


Your project is completed, you're uploaded it into the Project folder, and now you're ready to implement so that students will experience rich learning. Share you thoughts about this experience and what your next steps will be. Consider these guiding prompts for your thinking and writing...

  1. At first I thought of PBL...
  2. Now I understand about PBL...
  3. Here's what I plan to do with PBL...

Comments (22)

Erin Hansen said

at 6:20 pm on Aug 9, 2009

At first I thought of PBL... that it was just get out of your seat activities.

Now I understand about PBL... now I see that PBL is much, much deeper than just doing activities! It takes a lot of time to plan a good PBL lesson, but hopefully it will lead to deeper, meaningful understandings for students.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL... I will do this PBL in the fall, and I plan to do at least one more large PBL in the spring. I can also take what I've learned from PBL and use it in my everyday lessons... asking open-ended questions, letting students figure out answers on their own, using rubrics, using projects instead of tests as assessments, etc.

Jocelyn Farkas said

at 9:41 pm on Aug 18, 2009


I am so glad that you found out the real meaning of PBL. In your first statement, you said your first impression was just a "get out of your seat activity." I think that is often one misconception with PBL. I am also very glad that you found the critical question portion valuable. Once you start incorporating them into your unit plans, you will find that your lesson focus changes. Your students will also have a more authentic experience.

K. Sheldon said

at 6:22 am on Aug 14, 2009

At first I thought of PBL...That it would be easy and a quick fix to plan a lesson.

Now I understand about PBL...is very in depth and takes a great deal of planning and thought. For me, the lesson had to be built backward, starting with the end in mind and then forming my final open-ended question.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL...I plan to start out the school year with my PBL lesson, Simple Machines, reflect on how well the unit and question were accepted by students, then consider a possible PBL unit later in the year. I intend to rethink my questioning in class and will keep tabs on open-ended questions even in daily lessons.

Kate said

at 6:41 am on Aug 14, 2009

At first I thought....PBL was just activities illustrating a leaning goal

Now I understand PBL is.........a method that engages students in learning and skills through inquiry, authentic questions and carefully designed tasks which are carefully aligned to benchmarks and standards

Here's what I plan to do with PBL....I plan on introducing my project this fall to both the students and the other schools that I would like to include. First step will be a teacher meeting to explain the concepts followed by introduction of the project to the students.

Mary Jo Eid said

at 2:57 pm on Aug 14, 2009

At first I thougth....PBL was just a group of students doing projects based on one subject.

Now, I understand that PBL is....a learning experience that utilizes as many subjects as you want, collaboration with teachers (who are considered facilitators) and peers, and that the project IS the learning.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL... I want to begin with my original project and see it through. From there, I want my students to come up with their own projects and I want them to take some ownership fo their learning. I want them to also learn about their own learning! If that makes sense! I want them to take what they learn from PBL and use it in all of their subjects....perhaps teach their other teachers what it is all about!

Anna Henning said

at 9:15 am on Sep 12, 2009

I love the "pass it on" nature of your goals for your students! Teaching ownership can be one of the trickiest things. I'm glad you are discovering all the ways in which PBL can help encourage that kind of growth! I am sure that your students will recognize your genuine interest in their own creative, learning journeys and respond in turn. What an exciting year you have ahead of you!

Tiffany Olsaver said

at 10:31 am on Aug 15, 2009

At first I thought that PBL was simply hands on activities........ Now I understand that PBL requires a great deal of deeper thinking on both the teacher and the students parts.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL..... I am going to start this school year with my current project. I'm hoping that it will get the students involved day one and help have parents involved in the school process in a postive way. I'm also going to share the project with the other two first grade teachers and hope that they use it in their classrooms. .....then I'm going to start planning another social studies project to be done after Winter Holiday. I'll need the time in between to really plan the project fully.

Tracy Dex said

at 4:28 pm on Aug 15, 2009

At first thought..... students would be given a project to do with a teacher directed problem.
Now I understand.... the problem is a real world, engaging, and open ended. Students lead their learning based on the driving question, otherwise known as the problem.
Here's what I plan to do with PBL.... I plan to implement my current project this year. In the future I would like to look at my curriculum and try to add at least one PBL for each subject area. Eventually, I plan to use PBL as much as possible and where I see it best fits in my curriculum.

Lisa Overton said

at 10:57 am on Aug 16, 2009

At first I thought of PBL...as doing projects with the kids. I knew there would be recommendations of how to proceed.

Now I understand about PBL...has a more specific planning process than I would have thought! I now have feel more equipped to plan a deeper, thoughtful project. Project doesn't quite seem to be a big enough word.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL... I plan to begin with small, more directed projects and build as my kids gain skills and independence. I want to incorporate many science and social studies GLCES intertwined with math and science, so that learning is more meaningul and relevant to the kids, and so that they'll actually remember what they've learned! And I really want to remember myself the importance of choice on the part of the kids. I"m hoping that we'll work through several PBL projects, both small and large, over the course of the year.

Anna Henning said

at 9:18 am on Sep 12, 2009

Your desire to start small and grow with your students in the area of PBL sounds like a great idea! It will be exciting to see how their ideas about learning change as you provide them with choices, involving their questions into the fabric of the classroom.

I also like your observation that the word "project" doesn't quite sum up what PBL is really all about - you're right in observing a depth that goes beyond the traditional concept the word implies.

Pamela said

at 1:25 pm on Aug 19, 2009

At first I thought of PBL...as more of an activities based learning process. I wasn't aware of the driving question aspect to really help develop the rigor and relevance.

Now I understand about PBL...has a much more indepth planning component. It is not as simple as planning thematic activities, but recognizing and developing a real world context to what my students need to learn.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL...I look forward to implementing my first PBL project this fall and then look to see what other concepts I am teaching and how I can develop these real-world experiences for my students to gain a greater understanding of my content area. I would really like to implement more PBL into my repertoire.

Mrs. Kamps said

at 9:16 am on Aug 21, 2009

At first I thought of PBL...was just like other project based learning experiences I've learned about in other education classes.

Now I understand about PBL...incorporates rigor and relevance in a much different way than I have seen done in the past. It is also standards driven. Through the combination of those three elements, students are lead through a rich, engaging learning process.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL...work through my first experience with PBL and evaluate how well it worked. This is a new "feel" for my teaching and I know there will be bumps along the way. I'm looking forward to seeing where I can improve my plan and how I can adjust other units to this style of teaching.

Gabriella Meyers said

at 12:25 am on Aug 23, 2009

At first I thought of PBL...that it was similar to what I was already doing in my classroom. But I realized that I was doing a majority of activities that were culminations of the learning process.

Now I understand about PBL...it is a learning process where the learning in woven into the process. That the project is driven by the students and allows for individualized instruction.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL...implement my created project and slowly find ways to alter my current lessons and new ideas using the PBL principles, so that eventually my entire curriculum will be delivered in a PBL environment.

Cheryl Boes said

at 12:52 am on Aug 23, 2009

At first I thought of PBL...as a series of projects that teachers implement throughout the year to enhance the curriculum and create a deeper understanding of the learning standards.

Now I understand that PBL...is more than just projects, it is a paradigm shift in the classroom. The teacher is the facilitator and the students take charge of their learning and understanding in many different ways. The teacher is still very important for organizing the learning environment and creating a sense of excitement and urgency to answer the driving questions but the students are at the center of the learning.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL...I plan to start with this first project and learn from the experience before I start to build my next lesson. I will use this lesson for years to come and modify it and tweak it to make it even better each year.

julie kwiatkowski said

at 3:39 pm on Aug 23, 2009

At first I thought of PBL: I had two very distinct ideas about what pbl was. Because I am a mentor teacher at Westwood Cyber High School, which is a non-traditional year round program offering project based online learning based on individual student strengths and interests, I thought I had a good grasp on what project based learning entailed. I had a different idea about using project based learning in my second grade classroom. I include a project at the end of every monthly homework calendar that is sent home with my second grade students.
Now I understand about PBL: PBL will remain a safe way for my cyber high school students to take risks without fear of failure. Where I was using projects to assess my second grade students and encourage family support, I now have the format to create projects to offer my second grade students that same opportunity; to take risks without fear of failure.
Here's what I plan to do with PBL...I am excited about the resources that are now available to me. I plan to share these resources with my peers at the high school and second grade levels. I am also planning to stay in close contact with my PBL coach and seek the advise of other teachers that have shared this experience.

Debra Henion said

at 6:52 pm on Aug 23, 2009

At first I thought project-based learning was a project that was similar to a thematic unit related to a number of learning objectives.
Now I understand that project based learning is a process more than a project in itself. It allows students an opportunity to have in depth exploration, encourages collaboration and monitors learning and understanding throughout the process.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL...I plan to use this PBL project that I created this fall. I'm sure it will need some additional adjustments, but I am excited to see how the project enhances the learning environment in my class.

rourkek said

at 3:21 pm on Sep 19, 2009

At first I thought of PBL... as doing activities based on themes in your classroom.

Now I understand about PBL... is a process more than a project that starts with a deep driving question that will lead students to figure things out on their own, in their own unique ways.

Here's what I plan to do with PBL... I plan to implement my first project this fall. I hope to learn through the process what works best and what I'll need to do differently for my future PBL projects. I think project based learning will be a great opportunity to challenge my students to be deeper thinkers and give them time to collaborate and work as a team.

camorton2000@... said

at 8:12 am on Aug 21, 2010

1.At first I thought of PBL...I was unclear about how to develop meaningful projects that would engage students
2.Now I understand about PBL...learning is student-centered. If you set the project up correctly, with checks along the way, they will fall into place and find success.
3.Here's what I plan to do with PBL...implement in my school. My goal as a media specialist is to somehow connect with every teacher in my building this year--many of these connections will involve incorporating PBL into curriculum.

swordsk@... said

at 3:32 pm on Sep 19, 2010

1. At first I thought...this is going to be a huge undertaking. Can I do it? How do I do this well?
2. Now I understand...this is a lot of work, but it is a lot of work to teach poorly too. I know this is best for the students. I want to challenge myself as an educator. I understand with the right question, a solid plan, support and some wiggle room I can totally do this.
3. Here is what I plan to do...move forward with my project plan and continue developing new projects. I hope to be more creative with a few PBL successes under my belt.

elaine Zold said

at 3:40 pm on Sep 19, 2010

At first I thought PBL was the execution of culminating activities. I viewed projects as things to do- hands on type activities- that demonstrate knowledge.
Now I understand that the process of PBL is where the real action is. The process is far more important than the product. Synthesizing information and creating a project in a collaborative setting is how the learning really takes place.
I plan to move forward with increasingly complex projects and build upon both curricular progress and increasing levels of responsibility and ownership in the project process. My goal is to guide my students toward true inquiry. We are teaching kids to ask questions and find answers, not curricular benchmarks in isolation.

Angie Buys said

at 2:03 pm on Sep 23, 2010

I always thought I did do PBL, now I realize it's a little more involved and standards-based than what I ever did. Then again, I never really knew about the standards or how to teach so my students learned the meat of the standards. The things they don't teach you in college...could fill the Grand Canyon! I'm excited about the opportunities my children will have because of all the neat ideas that teachers have posted here.

Kathy Mihelick said

at 10:49 am on Sep 27, 2010

1. At first I thought of PBL... was that the process was overwhelming.
2. Now I understand about PBL...that it is a process and that each step along the way is purposeful.
3. Here's what I plan to do with PBL...I am part of a PLC (prof. learning community) and I plan to share my PBL unit with my colleagues to see if this could be something we could adapt as a group in our classes.

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