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For traditional teachers, moving to a project-based learning model can be a challenge. Have any of you faced such challenges learning a new way of teaching? If so, do you have any advice for overcoming those challenges or adjusting to this different model? I truly believe in it and think it is worth the challenges, but I do recognize that there is definitely an adjustment period. Share your thoughts, tips, stories here!

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I have been teaching project-to-project in a PBL High School for 3 years. Some tips from transitioning from a traditional to a PBL environment include:

1) Start small - recognize that if you are drawn to PBL - it's quite possible that your style is already evolving in that direction - so don't try and completely reinvent yourself to fit the model - first recognize what you have that is usable in this new method (examples: lessons based on inquiry, formative assessments, ...) and adapt it to this model

2) Start small for kids - train your kids! Students do not transform into self-directed learners, good presenters, good team players over night. Think hard about lessons, tools, and routines you can give your kids that can help them grow into these roles.

3) get feedback on your projects before you launch them - when you're creating a PBL unit - the more minds the better bcause many projects end up being interdisciplinary if the project challenges/problems are truly authentic

4) Make sure your Projects align with your standards as you create them - do not get so hooked on an idea that you forget your standards - do not do backflips to tie your idea to your standards if the fit just isn't there - your students can sniff a phony connection and if they don't believe in the connections between the project and your project standards & objectives - then they may learn something completely different from what you intended
Couple of good ideas here:
http://bit.ly/6cbKOC (The Secret to Student Podcasting)
http://bit.ly/8sxgz0 (A Worldwide Audience for Six Year Olds?)
http://bit.ly/7TsxXN (21st Century Educators Don’t Say, “Hand It In.” They say, “Publish It!)
How long do you think it will take for a teacher to shift to a PBL model?
However long it takes for the teacher to see a PBL model in action and working.
Does seeing a PBL model in action typically happen teacher by teacher or school by school?
For me, I was the first to embrace PBL as a teacher in my hs. Our new superintendent is totally on board and is pushing for the Model Schools framework to be embraced over the next few years. Bit by bit other teachers are trying new PBL units and the success that they are experiencing is catching on with others. It seems to be a matter of comfort level with being able to "let go" of the classrooms and allowing the students to become the directors of their own learning as the teacher facilitates and guides. I was able to jump in with both feet over the course of two years. For others, it may take longer.

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