Edtech 542: Final Reflection



Now that my project is ready it’s time to present it to my team, skill specialist and administration. I hope to receive their blessing and implement it this year in my classroom. They are aware that I was developing it and were open and supportive. What would be outstanding is if another teacher in my grade level would join me and also implement it in their room. This would be wonderful to help bounce discussion off as we progress through the process. Continue reading


Edtech 542: Week Nine Reflection


Additional thoughts on Assessment.

The way a PBL is facilitated in a classroom actually allows for more personalization than would be normally found in whole group class instruction. By allowing the instructor to move about and help the students as needed the instructor is also able to make formative assessments or assessment for learning, as he or she is monitoring and moving about. This process also requires that students learn to ask for direction when they need it, part of being responsible for one’s own learning an important skill. The teacher has the opportunity to assess for learning and can use what she learns during facilitation to adjust instruction to meet the needs of individuals or the entire group. This formative assessment is used to guide the instruction and for meeting the individual needs and differentiation as the teacher sees necessary. Continue reading

Edtech 542: Week Eight Reflection


In an article by BIE Institute, Teachers as Guides and Facilitators, research conducted just 20 years ago, by Walter Doyle, found that learning elements that required higher order thinking, collaboration and freedom of choice and mobility require “more direct control and management”.In my classroom, I seek to provide exactly these elements but with less control and with facilitation that is nurturing and coaching and less managerial in nature. I want my students to learn to manage themselves, not be managed. Continue reading

Edtech 542: Week Seven Reflection

A great learning experience in a PBL elementary classroom is dependent on the skillful scaffolding of the teacher. Scaffolding in both the traditional elementary and the PBL elementary classroom are about the process of facilitating for success. However, in the PBL classroom by design, you must allow enough room for the student to have voice and choice so that it is not your project but is one the students have ownership of. It takes just the right amount of assistance. On the one hand, you wouldn’t just give the students a Driving Question and turn them lose. That would most likely only overwhelm the student and produce less than stellar results. However, unlike the traditional classroom where you might find – Continue reading

Edtech 542: Week Five Reflection


When I read the following

Seven Principles for Developing Performance Assessments

by J.S. McTighe

  1. Establish Clear Performance Targets
  2. Strive for Authenticity in Products and Performances
  3. Publicize Criteria and Performance Standards
  4. Provide Models of Excellence
  5. Teach Strategies Explicitly
  6. Use On-Going Assessments for Feedback and Adjustment
  7. Document and Celebrate Success

I thought this writer has hit the nail on the head for elementary students. We often want to step back and allow the students’ creativity to flow and this is true, but we must teach them first what our expectations are and show them what quality looks like. Then Continue reading

Edtech 542: Week Four Reflection

Is It Still PBL Without Authentic Audience?

Project Based Learning is when students are doing work that simulates work that could occur in the real world. It has a driving question that is purpose driven and has an audience outside the classroom. Since by definition PBL has an outside audience that students share with, I believe without it, you lose a critical component that drives the engagement. PBL audience gives students purpose. Their work is for sharing, teaching, calling to action, celebrating, seeking expert feedback, etc. You might find the perfect audience that helps ignite the process, or you might end up just sharing with your school and or parents. Keep in mind that school and parents are still authentic audiences as this IS real world to your students. Other options include posting to social media such as sharing to YouTube or Twitter. Continue reading

Edtech 542: Week Three Reflections.

PBL in a Diverse Classroom. Followed by a few comments on Driving Question.

This week, like so many others, I turned to social media for help. I joined a PBL Facebook site to learn more. A teacher asked the group for recommendations about how best to meet the needs of her diverse classroom. She went on to explain that her classroom has a wide range of cognitive ability, from special education to the gifted students. I love the famous Einstein quote “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Traditional learning does not offer as many choices to facilitate learning and assessing as PBL does.

Fish Monkey

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Edtech 542: Week Two Reflections


June 14, 2017

They use to tell teachers “Just shut your door and teach” and we did. I now realize how wrong this is. In a time when collaboration is increasingly important for students as we prepare them to work in the 21st Century it is also critical to the success of a teacher. No longer can we shut our door and teach information but we must remove the walls, open the door and connect. Continue reading

Edtech 542: Week One Reflection

Getting Started and PBL

This summer, 2017, I am on a transformative learning journey. I teach elementary math and science. I have a great desire to be a teacher who inspires. I want to create a truly significant learning environment and experience for my students. This goal has sent me down the path of being the learner so that I can be the teacher my students deserve. Continue reading