Questions, questions, questions....they're full of them. Here's how it went down as students and I documented it on our class Twitter account @ratzel66. I'm using Storify to put it all together in a running narrative...or at least as much as I can remember.
People have been talking about how doing PBL is like peeling an onion with all it's layers, textures and flavors. Well, I've taken the plunge and so far the parts that I'm see are wonderful for my students and their learning. Engagement is high, excitement is higher and their smiles say it all. That said along the way I'm pouring in the content.
That's the part that keeps so many of us in falling in love with PBL. How to get the content inside these engaging activities? As we processing these questions, I'm weaving in the steps....refining our questions so they'll be testable as well as reviewing other parts of the scientific method we've already worked on.
We're building a class focus question by discussing what we're trying to find out as well as defining what information we expect to obtain. One of the big questions yesterday was if we were going to collect qualitative or quantitative data. You know they didn't ask this one on their own, right!!! I definitely prompted the initial question and asked them if they knew what they'd collect to answer the questions on the post-its. But they took the conversation over...and I gently kept reminding them to look back at their notes from our penny drop lab...to find relevant things we've already done and reviewed. It wasn't long before they were doing much better on this differentiating between data that was measured vs data that was described. And as we looked back on our steps of the scientific method, they were quick to point out that we were engaged in the first step of posing a question that is related to the problem and that can't be answered with a "yes" or a "no".
So I'm beginning to see how to interject my required content knowledge inside this engaging scenerio. It's working pretty well and if I can just stay on course with remembering what I will need to infuse, it will continue working.