Eighth Grade Science Teachers, Regan Roach and Candy Wyatt, created a PBL which brought in the AJ Police Department and AJ Fire Department. The Fire Department helped students connect the real world application of Newton’s Laws of Motion regarding motor vehicle accidents.
The Police Department created a mock CSI crime scene involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle. Students had to apply Newton’s Laws of Motion to draw conclusions of the “incident” resulting in the culminating activity of presenting back to the Police Department and the public with a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to inform others about the dangers of bicycling and the importance of safety, with the application of physics in everyday life.
To further student understanding, they also built model cars to test Newton’s three laws of motion.
Below is the winning student created presentation:
The Fire Department then took this student video, found in the Prezi above, and remixed it to create a PSA to share with the public.
The impact of the PBL on student learning showed tremendous growth:
Ongoing Professional Learning through Instructional Rounds
The AJHS Collaboration Coaches focused on professional learning about the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) students engage in through Instructional Rounds. They wrote their reflection here. Some of the key points were:
- As a result of analyzing the Instructional Roud data, the team decided to focus on Costa’s levels of questions.
- This ongoing, job embedded professional learning raised their awareness of the DOK their students engage in, and aware of the responses students gave. It also helped them focus on creating engaging, relevant, and rigorous tasks.
A journey into PBL
Collaboration Coaching at SMES focused on PBL. They started as a book study with the principal three years ago; and then last year they brought it to the teams. This year, the goal was creating collaborative PBLs across grade levels.
Moving beyond the tools
One elementary group pushed themselves by trying new tools in the classroom with their students. As they talked about it, they shared that it moved beyond the tools to the learning that occurred through the use of the tools. They started thinking about the DOK with the use of the tools, and the power of collaboration.
The professional learning time was built in for our Collaboration Coaches to reflect and create these products. As I step back and look, I’m encouraged because Collaboration Coaching does not look the same across the district — it’s different at each site, showing that it is focused on site goals. Win-win!