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November 2, 2017

We began our 3-part exploration of competition with our first post focused on competition in the classroom. Now, in this second post, we will explore how systemic use of competition affects students. While teachers have a level of control of how students are...

October 30, 2017

Healthy competition plays a central role in the way many systems motivate and develop excellence. The space race, sports, war; any situation where two or more opposing powers compete for limited resources has pushed humanity, on various scopes, to new frontiers. If we...

September 13, 2017

5 Common PBL Design Issues

Common PBL Design Issue #1: WEAK ADULT WORLD CONNECTIONS

Strong adult world connections can greatly enhance a project rather than be an afterthought. 

Strategy #1: Brainstorm, search for and/or suggest specific authentic documents, data and...

August 22, 2017

The first grade I ever received on a college exam was a big, ugly 65 percent. I was devastated. How I would react to this shock is a testament to my having been taught through PBL. As my friend Jess Sloan mentioned in a recent blog post, in PBL, exposing students to fa...

August 13, 2017

I had always been enthralled by STEM. Every type of science interested me: geology, astrology, chemistry, math, robotics, you name it. I saw STEM as a channel for creativity and passion to solve real world problems. A profound desire to serve humanity drove this fascin...

It was the week before our exhibition, and our project wasn’t working. In our Engineering and Biology courses, we had researched and built a 6-foot-long model of a neuron to imitate the Sodium/Potassium channels opening and closing and transmitting the signal down the...

February 28, 2017

While Project Based Learning can be a transformative pedagogy, it’s often misunderstood by educators. Here at PBLC, we often joke that PBL should just be renamed: “L(for Learning….) because when PBL is done well, it’s a lot less about the products and a lot more abou...

As teachers, let’s borrow from the branding successes of major companies who use storytelling to successfully brand themselves and their products. We, as teachers, can also tell stories to brand our classroomsas well as the learning experiences that will take place the...

September 21, 2015

Project Based Learning is a great model for unit planning and deeper learning. Some teachers are going further by anchoring a semester or a year in a unifying, engaging and provocative premise.

This helps them "brand" their classroom to better connect the dots betw...

Some of the best projects are anchored in authentic issues and problems. Students tackle them with original research and a problem solving approach. I love how Calista, a multi-age teacher in Alberta, developed this type of project called The Buzz on Bees. 

Title: The...

August 18, 2015

Companies use branding all the time when they push their products into the market. They want to influence the way you perceive them as a company and the products they put into the market.

Branding is about intentionally evoking a desired emotional response in a customer...

Another project idea from a team of teachers in Camrose, Alberta! 

Title: Learniture

Grade: 7

Type of Project: Design Challenge

Context: You are tired of the used up 60s furniture that your parents have given you for your room. You will design and construct an original, st...

Title: Builders Without Borders

Grade: 7

Length: 4 - 6 Weeks

Entry Event:

Viewing of “Junk Raiders” - a Canadian reality show that challenges participants to construct structures using upcycled materials on extremely limited budgets. Slideshow of recent tragic environmenta...

Another project idea from a team of teachers in Red Deer, Alberta! 

Title: Community Heroes

Grade: 2

Type of Project: Community Service

Context: There are many avenues in which to make a difference in our community. Many organizations within Red Deer rely on the gener...

Another project idea from a team of teachers in Red Deer, Alberta! 

Title: Creeping, Crawling, Flying

Grade: 2

Context: In response to a teacher’s camping situation, students will act as entomologists to research and identify a variety of bugs that are harmful and/or help...

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