Monday, June 03, 2013
Guided PBL: A Journey of Unexpected Twists and Turns
How many choices?
How many materials?
Time for edits?
Time for coaching?
Keeping peace through the highs and lows?
Our class is in the tough stretch of PBL. The easy facts are completed, but the difficult questions are left unanswered. The design plan is created, but the actual creation is meeting challenge--how do I really make that diorama, paper sculpture, biome scene, puzzle, or movie? The projects are ready for edit and review, but the ratio essentially remains 25:1, student to teacher so while I edit with one, 24 are working independently and it's rare that 24 students work with consistent quiet, enough quiet for a good edit.
Hence, the challenging week of PBL.
I planned the challenging week for two weeks prior to the end share. That means that once we get through with the scatter this week brings, we'll move into the joyful creative week of designing backgrounds, exhibits, and the final touches on the films.
Then a couple of days until the Endangered Species Multimedia Museum Premiere for parents and friends.
How much to push?
When is good, good enough?
When to stop, and when to keep going?
What are just right expectations for each child?
PBL, like any creative, thoughtful endeavor, is essentially a path with a somewhat predictable start and finish, but the journey itself is set with many unknown twists and turns. No two classes ever pace the path the same. The key is for teachers and students to travel the journey with thoughtful intent, care, and our best work. Onward. Stay tuned.