project based learning

Why We Need To Abandon Subjects And Focus On Big Picture Learning


When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way. — Wayne Dyer I think we got it all wrong in education. Consider this. We always talk about connecting the classroom (the instruction, the subject area, the concepts etc.) to the […]

How School Kills Creativity And How To Fix It


First, we kill our students creativity. Next, we ask them to be creative and wonder why they have such a hard time. We always aspire for our students to move away from fact regurgitation and move toward higher level thinking and deeper understanding. When we ask students to brainstorm and generate ideas, provide solutions to […]

Why PBL’s Fail, and What You Can Do About It


The Power and Pitfalls of PBL’s Alright, lets just get this part out of the way first: I realize there are drastic differences between project based learning and problem based learning experiences, but for the purpose of this post I am going to hybridize the two concepts because the content of what you are about […]

5 Simple Ways to Give Students Feedback During Project Based Learning: #HackingPBL

Grant Wiggins defined feedback as, “information about how we are doing in our efforts to reach a goal.” A few specific examples he included were: A friend tells me, “You know, when you put it that way and speak in that softer tone of voice, it makes me feel better.” A baseball coach tells me, […]

Five Reasons Your Rubric Needs a Makeover: #HackingPBL


How will my students and I know they are learning what they are supposed to learning? How will I assess this? These are easily two of the more popular questions that emerge as educators make the shift to project based learning, and some form of a rubric (and its effective use) is usually a big […]

Inquiry-Based Learning’s Impact on Professional Development #HackingPBL

Admittedly, it took me longer than it should have to be able to make the distinction between professional development and training. In short, I now view professional development as the process of building capacity in participants (or attempting to do so), while training generally follows more of a rigid approach with several “rights” and “wrongs.” […]

10 Ways to Rethink Your Project Based Learning Directions #HackingPBL

Once you have a solid project idea, getting it down on paper and delivering it to your students can be a daunting task. At the beginning of the planning process, you often don’t have much more than a blank slate and a job that involves creating directions that will hopefully help to bring to life […]

5 Ways to Avoid Project Based Learning Fluff #HackingPBL

Marshmallow fluff

When I taught fourth grade, I was initially met with skepticism from other teachers when I started to regularly engage my students in project based learning (PBL) and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). I think much of this apprehension existed because some of my practices did in fact perpetuate the myth that PBL was fluff […]

Busting 5 Myths of Inquiry-Based Learning: #HackingPBL

inquiry learning

This post was written by Erin Murphy (@MurphysMusings5) and was originally published on her blog. The energy in Mrs. Bauer’s sixth grade science classroom is almost palpable. Groups of three to four students are out of their chairs leaning over their tables to get a closer look at a petri dish placed in the center. […]

Build Your School Makerspace for Academic Success


Thoughts and ideas on school makerspaces are ubiquitous in education circles online, at conferences, in print, and anywhere else people who care about K-12 instruction gather to talk shop. Hashtags have trended around the craze and an entire industry continues to grow solely to sell robots, computers, 3D Printers, digital and analog kits, manuals, and […]

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