Exploring Project-Based Learning

April 23, 2013


In the Classroom

Project-based learning, or PBL, has gained popularity over the past few years as an active approach to learning. Centered around a specific, real-world question or problem, projects are usually collaborative endeavors intended to engage students deeply in a topic and help them develop critical thinking, creativity, communication, and other life skills. While there are many advantages to PBL lessons, actually implementing one in your classroom can seem overwhelming. These resources can help you and your students make the most of project-based learning.

1. Getting started  Edutopia.com is a great resource for accessing the latest articles, videos, and blogs on PBL. This article offers advice on how to get started with project-based learning. The first suggestion? Start small!

2. Building your PBL network  Pinterest offers a host of PBL resources in one place. Find tips, project check lists, and step-by-step guides to facilitating a PBL lesson, and connect with other teachers who have used the PBL approach in their own classrooms.

3. Sample lessons  For inspiration and lesson ideas, search the West Virginia Department of Education site. It provides PBL lesson plans for ELA, math, science, social studies, and the arts for grades 2-12.

4. Parent involvement  Besides being a helpful resource for teachers, Edutopia.com is also a great place for parents to learn about PBL. They’ll learn what it is, how it works, and how they can support it in their child’s school.

Tell us, have you used PBL in your classroom or, if you’re a parent, has your child participated in PBL? What was the experience like? Do you have any advice for other teachers or parents?

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