PBL Workshops

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Learning the Ingredients of PBL

half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, administrators, students

Project Based Learning is more than simply letters in the educational alphabet soup. PBL is a tried- and-true recipe guiding new and experienced chefs as they learn to excite their learners, create a caring classroom environment, and keep students asking for second helpings of learning! We’ll learn the difference between projects and Project Based Learning and how to incorporate required standards, as well as play with a few essential collaborative technology tools. If you’re looking for an active learning experience at the beginner’s level this is the session for you.

Building an independent mindset for students, educators, and community that enhances our PBL practice

full-day workshop

Audience: teachers (4-12), administrators

When implementing a PBL environment, students, teachers, and community go through a radical shift in thinking about teaching & learning that is not an overnight process. Both educators and administrators support a gradual shift from teacher-directed learning to more student-directed learning. This workshop will outline 10 practical pitfalls and parachutes to help our entire community balance and embrace the shift to independence.

Workshop goals: Participants will identify trouble spots for potential misunderstanding in their own communities with students, colleagues, administrators, parents, and beyond. Specific strategies will be shared to help students begin to take the reins of their own learning and how we can help the wider community ease the process. Each will leave with a community action plan where they can begin to affect greater change for their students.

Leaping Forward with Project and Problem-Based Learning!

half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, administrators, students

You get what PBL is; you understand the philosophy and buy in to the basics of integrated, real life learning that looks and feels different than a traditional classroom. You’re ready for the details of how to get this meal to the table! In this advanced-level session, you’ll see the prep, the launch, and the work from a learner’s point of view. We’ll focus on important topics such as time management, grouping assignments, and fostering independent and responsible learners, as well as creating community buy-in.

From Projects to PBL: small shifts that lead to big learning

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, administrators, students

So you’re using PBL and you’re on the hunt for more project ideas, but your online searches lead to a ton of projects with zero PBL. This session is focused on how to find (or use your own) great ready-made projects and shift them to phenomenal PBL units. The shifts are often more simple than you think, but are essential to create the environment ripe for student-centered learning.

Learning by Doing: The Big 5 Must-Have Tools for Learning by Doing

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: K12 teachers, administrators, students

As we move from sit/get lessons into more active and authentic learning projects (a la Common Core), EdTech tools will be leading the way! Come learn about the “Big 5” must-have tools for a stellar Project Based Learning classroom! (this is a broad view of 5+ types of tools, with many options for each type: video conferencing, collaborative documents, social networking, Google Alerts, blogging).

At the Intersection: Project Based Learning, Standards, and Soft Skills

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: admin, grades 5-12 teachers, instructional coaches

In this session, participants will explore the crossroads of Project Based Learning, our required learning standards, and the desires soft skills we want our students to practice and embrace. We’ll create a plan that helps take advantage of these commonalities for the benefit of our schools and each of our students.

Getting Busy With It! Learning by Doing in a Modern Learning Environment

1 hour keynote, half-day workshop, full-day hands-on workshop

Audience: elementary & secondary teachers, administrators, parents

We know that in today’s world, it’s less about knowing all the facts and instead, being able to ideate, prototype, build, grow, learn, and improve. And there are many ways to help students master and internalize that process, no matter where they are. We’ll take a look at the exciting things that can happen as kids get excited about learning…and doing school in ways they never thought were possible.

PBL for Cognitively-Diverse Students

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: administrators, K12 teachers, curriculum coaches

One of the questions I get frequently is, “how does PBL work for my ____ students. If I’m in a gifted ed crowd, they wonder if PBL is academically rigorous and flexible enough at the same time to meet their students’ unique asynchronous needs. If I’m in a group of regular education teachers, they often assume PBL is for the gifted learner and that students with learning disabilities won’t benefit. This session will dispel both of these myths (and more), as we dive deep into how well-planned PBL structures help all students build academics, interpersonal skills, and resiliency in a trauma-responsive classroom.

This session is great for teachers, administrators, and parents!

From Amygdala to Prefrontal Cortex: PBL Rewires Brains for Healing

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: administrators, K12 teachers, curriculum coaches

Children who have grown up in poverty and/or with significant traumatic situations have brains who have trouble communicating out of the fight/flight/freeze amygdala part of the brain into the rational, executive functioning prefrontal cortex of the brain. And how that manifests in classrooms and life is often a frustration for all. But the very framework of Project/Problem Based Learning helps move those children’s (and adults’) brains forward, literally. Come learn more about how we can do non-invasive brain surgery to repair and heal the damage for a more satisfying life.

A Problem of Passion within PBL

Why aren’t all educators embracing authentic learning-by-doing and project/problem based learning? And what, if anything, should we do about it?

1 hour, half-day, full-day

Audience: PBL veteran teachers, administrators, students

Across the US, teachers are creating vibrant Project Based Learning Environments in their own classrooms. They report that students are excited to come to school to dive deeply into not only the required content, but even more! Both students and teachers are finding ways to connect their learning with other content areas and with the world outside of school.

However, not all teachers are embracing this dynamic approach. Why is that? You’d think more teachers would be clamoring to leverage the individual learning strengths of their students within a PBL environment.

Join Ginger as she explores what some of the reasons for this disconnect might be and then work with other education stakeholders to develop real plans to help our colleagues adopt Project- Problem- and Passion-Based Learning.

Building PBL Coaches

This is an intense 2-day clinic for elementary and secondary curriculum & instruction coaches who want to to better support their teachers as they begin implementing long term Project and Problem Based Learning and civic engagement opportunities across schools and districts. Many coaches, while understanding the basic concepts of PBL may never have taught in a PBL classroom and find themselves struggling to answer some of the typical beginner-level questions from teachers. 

Some of the questions addressed will be: 
*Where do new-to-PBL teachers stumble? 
*What are the big questions teachers are left with when facing kids and a blank lesson planning document after a quick 2-day PBL training? 
*How can we support a teacher trying to shift a favorite “project” into a “PBL?” 
*Giving and receiving feedback for growth. 
*Encouraging content integration. 
*Shifting teachers from more content-driven to more universal skills-driven learning. 
*Encouraging and helping to coordinate/facilitate collaboration between classes across school, district, state, nation, world-wide and between various age-groups. 
*Moving from more school-flavored PBL into more outside world PBL. 
*Moving from more teacher-ignited PBL to more student-ignited PBL. 
*What happens when we need to communicate to parents what & why we’re doing school differently? 
*How do we evaluate their progress not just for coaching, but also for supporting our administration in their teacher-evaluation process? 
*What are top suggestions when a teacher is reluctant in moving forward? 
*How do I start to support PBL-style professional learning? How do I role model what I’m coaching? 
*How can we start advocating for a better system structure that reflects learning instead of the old-style structures of “school?” ie, bell schedule? Grading system? Report cards? Grade-levels based on age? Adequate tech supports to enable student-centered learning? 
*And more, customized to the needs of the coaches attending these trainings. 

NOTE: this is not a PBL-training. Before taking this course, it is highly recommended that each participant have had some form of in-depth PBL training for educators. 

All attending coaches will be expected to understand the basic “what & why” of PBL including at least 8 of the following concepts: 
*What is PBL and how is it different from “doing projects.” 
*Which of our students are greatest affected by PBL? 
*What’s the basic structure of PBL? And what does it feel like from a learner’s point of view? 
*Why do we want to build that environment of optimal ambiguity? 
*What skills are enhanced with this approach? 
*Soft & Hard deadline structure with constructive peer feedback in the process. 
*Basic tech tools for collaboration, connecting, presentation, & publishing. 
*Content and age collaboration. 
*Basic unit planning structures.

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