Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Essential Elements of PBL include:

  • Significant Content - At its core, the project is focused on teaching students important knowledge and skills, derived from standards and key concepts at the heart of academic subjects.

  • 21st century competencies - Students build competencies valuable for today’s world, such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity/innovation, which are explicitly taught and assessed.

  • In-Depth Inquiry - Students are engaged in an extended, rigorous process of asking questions, using resources, and developing answers.

  • Driving Question - Project work is focused by an open-ended question that students understand and find intriguing, which captures their task or frames their exploration.

  • Need to Know - Students see the need to gain knowledge, understand concepts, and apply skills in order to answer the Driving Question and create project products, beginning with an Entry Event that generates interest and curiosity.

  • Voice and Choice - Students are allowed to make some choices about the products to be created, how they work, and how they use their time, guided by the teacher and depending on age level and PBL experience.

  • Critique and Revision - The project includes processes for students to give and receive feedback on the quality of their work, leading them to make revisions or conduct further inquiry.

  • Public Audience - Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher.

(Taken from bie.org which has trained all of our staff in PBL)

Most of our teachers are already comfortable with PBL and are using it frequently in the classroom.  They are able to get assistance from our in-school PBL coach, Ms. Gaudet, who has a bit more experience and training behind her.  She goes into classrooms to assist, and helps teachers with planning of thier project units, providing feedback and suggestions.  As a first year implementation we worked together on a school wide project of an Outdoor Classroom to practice the process of Project Based Learning.  We  raised almost $5000.00  for our outdoor project, received a generous donation of $5000 from Nexen and worked with our partners:  Dunvegan Gardens, Burnco, Rona, and Crystal Carwardine to design and create this space! We recently harvested potatoes that we grew!

Spring is usually ramp up time for any projects related to the Otudoor classroom and this year proves to be no different.  We have many plans for the space as we continue to grow and develop it every year.   Grade 5 is working on a medicine wheel garden area, Grade 3 is developing their sound garden, Kindergarten is working on an outdoor kitchen and Grade 6 is improving their sundial.  With the assistance of Prolific Concrete, we plan to deveop seating areas.  So much to look forward to!