Project Based Learning in 8th Grade


Your PBL Teacher Team:

Paula Andrews | Contact:

Christopher Bermudez |

Chris Ford | Contact:

Rabi Nabizad | Contact:  

Aileen Pagtakhan | Contact:

Erin Sandoval | Contact:

Top 10 Reasons Why Teaching 21st Century Competencies via PBL is a Good Idea!

  1. Our graduates will be better prepared for college and careers.

  2. Students will still learn academic content (and remember it better).

  3. Our students will be better prepared for the demands of performance task assessments similar to the new generation of state testing (SBAC)

  4. Your children will get better at managing their time and staying organized.

  5. Students will learn how to work together to get things done, just as they will need to do on the job.

  6. Students’ public presentations will be fun to watch, and give them a chance to develop communication skills.

  7. Your kids will be more engaged and take more responsibility for their own learning.

  8. Students’ creativity might lead to improvements in our community.

  9. You can share what you know as a content expert, guest speaker, or project consultant.

  10. Your kids will have interesting things to say when you ask, “What did you do in school today?”

What we know…

  • PBL builds readiness for college, career, and the responsibilities of citizenship.

  • PBL naturally leads to learning across disciplines as students investigate real-world questions that don’t fit neatly into content silos.

  • PBL makes school meaningful and engaging RIGHT NOW.

  • It’s not authentic PBL unless students are working together, thinking critically and creatively to solve problems, and sharing what they know with a public audience.

  • Students need opportunities to grow into the new set of competencies that comes with the territory in PBL.

  • As states move toward implementation of the Common Core, more and more schools and districts are focusing on PBL.

  • In depth inquiry is an Essential Element of PBL and the goal of the Common Core.

PBL Essentials:

  • Challenging Problem or Question - Students have a  problem to investigate and solve, or a question to explore and answer.

  • Sustained Inquiry: In PBL, inquiry is iterative; when confronted with a challenging problem or question, students ask questions, find resources to help answer them, then ask deeper questions – and the process repeats until a satisfactory solution or answer is developed.

  • Authenticity:  In education, the concept has to do with how “real-world” the learning or the task is. Authenticity increases student motivation and learning.

  • Student Voice & Choice - Having a say in a project creates a sense of ownership in students; they care more about the project and work harder.

  • Reflection- Throughout a project, students and the teacher reflect on what they’re learning, how they’re learning, and why they’re learning.

  • Critique and Revision-  Students and teachers will be asked constantly to give and receive feedback and use this feedback to better their product.

  • Public Product- making student work public is an effective way to communicate with parents, community members, and the wider world about what PBL is and what it does for students. When a classroom, school, or district opens itself up to public scrutiny, the message is, “Here’s what our students can do – we’re about more than test scores.”

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, & Success Skills - Important content standards, concepts, and in-depth understandings that are fundamental to school subject areas and academic disciplines. In good projects, students learn how to apply knowledge to the real world, and use it to solve problems, answer complex questions, and create high-quality products. In the modern workplace, as citizens and in their lives generally, people need to be able to think critically and solve problems, work well with others, and manage themselves effectively. Success skills can only be taught through the acquisition of content knowledge and understanding.

©2013 Buck Institute for Education. PBL for 21st Century Success.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT YOUR STUDENT Provide a quiet work space; check in with them daily about their progress on their project: have conversations with your students and ask to see what they are working on, what skills they are using, their task commitments, upcoming deadlines, their inquiry process, etc.

PARENT/EXHIBITION NIGHTS Will occur one to two times a quarter. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter in order to see your students in action as well as to get the most up-to-date information.


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Forbes Article- The 10 Skills Employers Most Want In 2015 Graduates