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Problem Based Learning
Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:24 PM
While learning more about our place in the world, my second grade students pondered a problem in Africa. How do you keep an elephant out of the garden? The students took on the role of the gardener that needed the food to feed a family. Perspectives changed as the students learned the many ways the elephants outwit the gardeners. The solutions were as varied as the students in the class.
5795 Activity Points
Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:05 PM
I like that you let your students explore something that they were interested in. Your students were able to explore and use their own observations to make their own conclusions. I actually do something similar with my students, but it’s hard for them to come up with their own conclusion. As the facilitator, I ask students what they think and help them out with their conclusions.
1405 Activity Points
Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:06 PM
Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:42 PM
I was hoping to include problem based learning into my classroom. Do you have any resources I could check out? Thanks.
40 Activity Points
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:07 AM
For problem-based learning, definitely get the Phenomenon-Based Learning Books (from NSTA Press) and, if you have funds for materials, accompanying materials (from Arbor Scientific). The activities can be done at any level, so your both your lower-level students and high-performing students can start from wherever they are and will get a lot out of them. Students work in groups like real scientists and, also like real scientists, they learn not by memorizing facts, but by exploration and discovery, as they puzzle out what's going on and then learn based on their own investigations.
You didn't say what grade you teach, but this link will get you to all editions — elementary (3-5), middle-school (6-8), and high school (9-12). If you click on one of those editions, you can then scroll down, and under “Details,” you’ll see a link for downloading a sample chapter. And if you click on that link, you get not only the sample chapter, but also the table of contents and the Introduction. The Introduction is quite informative in describing how to present the activities in ways that will be pedagogically effective for all levels of students.
The books are based on "Phenomenon-Based Learning" (PBL), which builds knowledge of and interest in physical science as a result of observations of real-world phenomena, in this case, some fun gizmos and gadgets.
If you want to see more about Phenomenon-Based Learning, you can look here: http://www.msb-science.com/PBL/
There are kits of materials designed to go with the book that are sold by Arbor Scientific. You can see them here:
http://www.arborsci.com/nsta-kits (Click on any book to see the kits.)
The kits are expensive, but they provide enough materials for dozens of activities and would be a great investment for any school. Or, if money is tight, the materials can be purchased individually instead.
150 Activity Points
Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:12 AM
Look at local newspapers, community issues or concerns, and incorporate those iinto yoru instruction sas problem-based connections or projects.
Bring in community entities that can help students understand the problem, issue, or topic and ways they (community entity) go about solving such issues.
Using case studies are examples of problem based learning: http://nativecases.evergreen.edu/ teacher resources and lessons for native american issues/concerns;
http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/ has many more science case studies;
I do not know your grade level but I used ChemCom-Chemistry in the community to begin with and used modified lessons from this textbook for Earth Science and Biology as well as Chemistry.
Hope this helps.
3320 Activity Points
Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:11 PM
NSTA Press has two books on Problem-Based Learning:
Problem-Based Learning in the Earth and Space Science Classroom, K-12
Problem-Based Learning in the Life Science Classroom, K-12
If you follow these links, you'll see a "Read Inside" link about halfway down each page on the NSTA website where you can download a sample chapter PDF with the table of contents for each book. These samples give a good overview of what's in these new resources.
475 Activity Points
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