Categories: Problem-Based Learning, teacher action research, Why Learn?.
“Ahhh, we have to do stuff on computer today?”
“[I prefer to learn] on my own, taught by a teacher on the board. Not Group Assignments!… because I learn things more indepth when learning by myself.”
“I feel like we waste time. I understand the concept, so move on. I understood it more [after the PBL]but I’m worried about cramming other stuff at the end of the year.”
This student does not like computers, Prezi, or group work. This student likes to take neat notes, color code, sit quietly, and learn in a traditional setting.
After talking to the student she said she understood the concept more after the PBL. Meaning it did benefit her. She expressed concern for how much material will be covered over the course of the year and that doing PBL seems to be wasting time. I tried to reassure her that I am on the same time line that I have followed in past years even with PBL included. This seemed to ease her mind a bit. I also hope that with PBL a deeper understanding of a few concepts will go a long way in the end, especially when it comes to problem solving.
While perusing the next chapter I came across an open ended prompt and explanation on what type of answer would give you a 4,3,2,1, or 0 on the PSSA. To my surprise, or maybe to my enlightenment I realized that the explanations and presentations my students are giving for PBL will help them learn how to explain their mathematical thinking more fully and clearly. Helping them score a 4 or 3 on the PSSA open ended prompt. So next time my principal asks what I am doing to prep students for PSSAs I’ll tell her PBL presentations.