In my new role as a professional development coordinator I have been busy planning and writing about project based learning, proficiencies and personalized learning plans. On a regular basis my brain is full to bursting with new research, teacher ideas, education articles, and more. So lately I’ve turned to illustrating concepts and ideas with sketches and doodles, kind of like in high school and college. I never really did stop doodling. This time, it helps me communicate information in a different way and improves my synthesis of information. So, I’ll be posting my new #edudoodles here in this new series.
I bet you have big dreams of creative, innovative projects and engaged students in your classroom. Students who are busy researching, collaborating, creating, and solving authentic problems they are interested in.
But this doesn’t happen without a strong community of learners.
Why build a strong classroom community?
Project-based learning, or PBL, is a wonderful way to engage students in their own learning. But if the community is not ready to feel safe, take risks, and be supportive it can fall flat. Here are some ways to build a strong, supportive and inclusive community that is ready to engage and be inspired by PBL.
During the planning for the first few weeks of school, it is so important to build trust, community and shared experiences. One way to do this is to schedule regular team-building activities. These are a fun break from hearing about expectations and instead doing get-to-know you activities because they are often physical and challenge different learning styles. See the link for ideas and grab a few that fit your schedule.