I continue to wade in unchartered waters with Project Based Learning…but am LOVING it and so are the students! When you have a kid come up to you and say that this is “so much fun,” you know that learning is going on and they have NO idea! Not only are they learning the social studies content, but they are collaborating, being creative and utilizing technology in so many different ways.
I have a student who was trying to submit a video but he felt constrained to the thirty seconds provided by the app he was using. So I introduced him to iMovie by saying, “Give that a shot and see how it goes!” I helped him with nothing and allowed him to explore. He had a blast and has created a Crusades advertisement that is just so much fun and full of content. I think I have created a monster because he is using it for the next portion of his project…LOL! 🙂
When the students got to choose their next area of study I allowed them to choose from topics I had taken from the Middle Ages or they could come to me with their own idea, something they were passionate about learning more about. I want to make sure that they are invested in their learning. The ideas that came my way were AMAZING! I have some dancers who are learning Medieval dance routines, a student who is interested in cooking is making a recipe book and a sample of the food, a team that is interested in fashion and they want to learn more about the clothing from that time, students who are interested in how the armour was made, and so much more. I am excited to see what they do with these topics and how they represent their learning.
An area where I am struggling just a wee bit is in the assessment of it all. I need to generate rubrics so that I can assess their work. These rubrics will be simple and to the point. Once I generate them I will be sure to share on here in a future post. If you have any that I could utilize, don’t be shy and please share! 🙂 Any advice would be welcome! Because they are working in teams of two or three this makes it more complicated and an age old teacher problem arises…how do you assess fairly? When kids are in teams there is sometimes a student who chooses to hang back and not do so much. So in addition to the rubrics, I am going to have the team members utilize a Google form and give me feedback on their experience. I will also have the students assess themselves.
Oh…we have scheduled our “Knight at the Museum” and the kids are super excited to share what they have been learning with their families. We have a food service provided so parents don’t have to worry about dinner that night and hopefully we will get some proceeds back to our grade level team. If you are in the Tustin area and want to come and check this showcase out, please do!
That’s all from me for now and more on this adventure at a future date! 🙂