I’ve heard of a PBJ… But what is PBL?

In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through a planned process that helps them answer a driving question, problem or challenge. While allowing for student “voice and choice,” rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn important academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations for real audiences. – Buck Institute

Two summers ago the third grade teaching team worked through a series of classes to become PBL certified teachers. We are excited to use this approach to teach our science and social studies along with covering many of our reading and writing areas with this method.

We have 4 projects currently scheduled for this year and we have recently started  the first one called Caine’s Arcade. It’s driving question is “What good is a cardboard box?” This project is covering our force and motion science objectives and some of our writing and reading. I invite you to look up the story that inspired this first project. These two videos will give you an idea of what we working towards. Stay tuned for more posts to keep you updated on our progress.




Amelia’s Way

This week in math we have been working on adding numbers that have a sum less than 1000. In the old days, we used to be content with students showing us the traditional way of finding an answer. Being a thinker in the 21st century requires much more creativity and brain power. Not only did the kids have to show me the traditional way of getting an answer but they had to prove 3 other ways that worked as well. While all the kids did a great job tackling this new found thinking, my friend Amelia just made me smile when she looked across the table at me and said “Hey Mrs. Sikma, look at Amelia’s Way”! Not only did she explain her thinking to me, she also was able to catch her own accuracy error and fix it (Yeah for successes and failures in Room 32!). Thanks for thinking Amelia!