Thursday, June 14, 2018

PBL Highs and Lows

Essentially the final weeks of the school year have been the Project/Problem Based (PBL) learning weeks as students performed a wonderful musical, created a human timeline of notable global change makers including written reports, timelines, posters, portraits, and acting in character, and engaged in the Global Cardboard Challenge. We have one more project to go which is our River/Wetlands Exploration project.

With each of these projects we started with great enthusiasm and excitement, and similar to all projects about midway the students and I dipped into that area of trepidation where questions such as these arise:
  • Can I do this?
  • What will go wrong?
  • How can I inspire myself and others to do well?
  • Will people like my creation or performance?
  • How will my project/performance measure up?
At this bottom of the upside down bell curve, there is a lot of doubt.

I explicitly taught students about this when we reached this stage for each project. I wanted them to know that this is a natural step in project/problem based learning and they can successfully move up from this space by doing the following:
  • Try a different way
  • Take a step back and think
  • Be willing to fail and learn from it
  • Ask for help, look at what others are doing
  • Sleep on it as when you do you'll likely come back with the right answer
  • Research and study more
  • Positive self talk and perseverance
  • Belief in yourself, your idea, and your potential
Just letting students know that with every project there is a low point, and when you tackle that low point with good effort, there is lots of sunshine and happiness on the other side.