Anthony Capps shared many important concepts and useful examples to understand how beneficial Project Based Learning (PBL) is in a classroom. He has shown 3rd graders how to use iMovie and his success proves that the PBL method works! The first two movies we were asked to watch, Part 1 and Part 2, shared the importance on how PBL should be implemented in the classroom.
~ Make sure the project includes the state content standards (Capp's example included Reading, Writing, and Social Studies).
~ And make sure the state content standards are represented in the project's standard/requirements.
~ Try to establish a project that the students can relate to/engage in (family, culture, leisure activities).
~ Include peer revision or even peer selection of the best work.
The first two points are pretty obvious why they are important to PBL, but the last two are the ones I want to focus on. When a teacher introduces a project the student thinks one of two thoughts: "I really don't want to do this." or "This might actually be fun." Our goal as educators is to create something so the student will enjoy learning. When the student can actively engage in the learning process and relate what they are studying to their own life that is when they are learning and retaining the most. Secondly, students also have the opportunity to learn when they critique their classmate's work. Every student will have a different opinion or idea about the subject, and by reviewing peer work the students are learning to be observant, open-minded, and maybe a little unbiased. I believe that when students acquire these skills they create the potential to expand their knowledge on any subject.
Capps opened my mind to what it takes to be a successful educator from PBL, to using iCurio, to establishing discovery education in the classroom as well. I want to share one of my favorite quotes from his commentary, "Never limit your students...give them the opportunity to exceed your expectations." This stood out to me when he said this because for so long children have been confined to a very small box that only accepts the correct answer from the text book; but now with methods such as PBL and Discovery Ed. the children can produce many different, and correct, answers.