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Top 10 To-Do’s to Wrap Up Your PBL Year

Top 10 To-Do’s to Wrap Up Your PBL Year

It’s that time of year when you don’t have time to read blog posts. So I’m keeping this one short and sweet.

Top 10 things to do to wrap up your school year in a PBL classroom 

You’re probably a couple of weeks away from the last day of school. PERFECT. This list is created with the important things first, with some of the items needing to be done while you still have kids. Especially number 2!

1. Breathe. You probably didn’t do all you wanted to this year. It’s ok. You’re not dead. You have more time. So celebrate all that you DID do. Each step forward is a step forward. Celebrate. Make a list of those things and look back at it 3 weeks after school is out when you can really, actually process it.

2. Love on your kids. Look back at the beginnings of your PBL efforts this year. In class one day, take a full class period to go through each student, one by one, reminding them who they’ve become this year. Do this out loud in front of the other kids, sharing the growth you’ve seen. Invite other students to help contribute to the growth-recognition and love! And be sincere (it’s ok if the love wells up out of your eyes as you’re sharing).

3. Make a list of wins & wishes. What did the class win at this year? What do you all wish you’d have done or done differently? Keep this list and look at it again 2-3 weeks out from the start of school as you start to plan.

4. Make a to-do list for your summer that is < 10% school work. Seriously. This is a great summer to-do list for you. See how many you can get to-done. And even more seriously, for those of you who have trouble letting the teacher life go,  book one whole week where you do NOTHING school-related. I get it…summer is important for planning. You are talking to someone who lives and breathes school. Do school stuff too. But be sure you do plenty of non-school stuff as well. You SO deserve it. And so do your kids.

5. Thank the teachers who helped you with your PBL this year, if only to help a sub not lose her mind… (this may be advice based on a true story). If you don’t have anyone to thank because you’re lone-wolf PBL’er, make a goal list of at least 2 teachers you will include next year!

6. Make a fun playlist (with your kids) around positivity, working, growth, trying, failing & trying again…challenge them to create their own list of 4-5 songs in this genre, then create a classroom playlist. Share this with them for next year. And of course you can use it next year with your new classes too!

7. Organize that ish! You’re a PBL teacher? You know you have piles of stuff everywhere. Bite the bullet and get it organized before you go crazy or you just forget it til August. Sooo bad. Ask yourself how your students can help you organize it. It’s not child labor if you work alongside them, talking, sharing, thinking, and making it a role-modeling and learning opportunity.

8. Have your students build an advice book/video series for incoming students to your classroom. My students always enjoyed this. Keep it low-stakes, but remind them that it is important.

9. If you have a couple of weeks and some time, encourage your kids to choose one of the units they’ve done this year and dig in a little deeper if they want. (thank you Katie Perez @perezhasclass for this idea)

10. Get way less worried about grading everything right now. Give them a checkmark, give them some words of encouragement, and move on. (thank you Glenn Wiebe @glennw98 for this idea) I would add that you could bookmark/Pin/post/open a tab with this link to research about self- & peer-assessment and read it when you have time to think.

That’s it friends. Keep breathing. Keep celebrating. Keep loving. 

What have I missed?
Or maybe you have a question.
Let me know what you’d like a little help with on the daily realities of Project Based Learning!

You’re looking to support PBL in your school and community? The daily practicalities are precisely the stumbling blocks where new-to-PBL teachers decide that PBL isn’t for them and with over 13 years of K12 PBL experience, I can help navigate and knock flat those pesky daily hurdles.

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Written by GingerLewman

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