The end! (and the beginning!)

Well it is all over! My first jump into the world of PBL!! and (inserting drum roll here) I kind of loved it!! I definetly learnt lots about what I could do better next time and am really looking forward to trying my next PBL project – Music in Advertising and creating a jingle.  Here is a link to my resources, if you happen to think that you could use any of this please feel free, and let me know how you go!!

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B4ApzVee6cIhakdwdi1BWVhYR00&usp=sharing

Music In Advertising – PBL take 2!

This time I am going to try a slightly different approach with students either completing their own final product or in pairs.  I still want to encourage the 4 C’s – more conciously this time than last.  I am starting the term with a ‘skill blast’ which will have students covering very basic pitch notation including introducing them to Noteflight.  Then a small practice task based around a unit of work that I purchased from www.teacherspayteachers.com  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MUSIC-Music-for-Advertsing-Composition-Project-899738  They will use Garage Band on the ipads, and Noteflight to complete this.  Then we launch into the final project where my plan is to contact one or two local businesses and ask if they could be our ‘clients’.  Students will meet with them and create a brief/plan which they will then use the skills acquired in the ‘skill blast’ to complete an advertising jingle which they will present to the ‘client’ for final assessment at the end of the term!  The main problem I foresee at this stage is running out of time! So if some of the skill blasting takes a little longer than I planned, I will look at skipping or reducing the practice task.

I will attempt to write my updates regularly!!

Also a big shout out to www.bie.org The Buck Institute of Education – a fantastic site for PBL beginners like me!

Nearing the end!

Well Term 4 is here and despite all my best planning efforts to have my Year 7 PBL projects finished, uploaded to the wikispace and presented to the class by the end of last term, we are spending this week finishing everything off!!  I think the most frustrating thing, and some of the students that I have spoken to have agreeed, is that we only have single periods.  Some of the students seem to just get set up when it is time to pack up.

The highlights: I have LOVED seeing the students being enthusiastic and self motivated (well most of them!).  Learning from their mistakes and re-thinking a solution.  The questions!! and being a facilitator and directing them towards finding answers.

The lowlights:  Realising that having 10 different group projects happening in the one class at the same time was probably slightly ambitious of me!!  Not having made sure a website I was relying on was working before starting!!  Understanding the importance of scaffolding lessons, and realising that students may have created some more successful solutions if I had covered some topics to the whole class prior to starting (such as an audacity intro task, songwriting basics, keyboard/guitar basics).

I think it has definelty been a somewhat confronting learning environment to some students, our classroom has been very busy and active!! Often spilling out into our learning corridoor and any spare spaces around our classroom! I may have put too much responsibility and freedom on the students, something that I will change next time.

I have definetly enjoyed jumping in the deep end with this type of teaching.  (I think I was actually closer to it than I realised.)  Having said that I have learnt lots!! And hopefully the kids have too!

Next post I hope to provide a link to a google drive folder that has my desktop checklists, and assessment rubric and reflection survey….maybe even an example of some of the successful projects!

Next we are going to look at Music In Advertising, and what it takes to create a jingle.  My plan is to invite some local businesses to be ‘clients’ and the students will create an advertising jingle to their brief.  I thought that instead of giving the kids the choice of choosing who they work with that this and their topic, we would all work on the same brief and individually…to see the difference.