Play-based learning for younger children, project and problem-based learning for older children is not a new concept but, it is becoming more popular again. A pedagogical idea supported by John Dewey's "learning by doing", PBL (play, project or problem) allows students to work through complex problems individually or in teams by moving through multiple steps and using all the strengths of each child.
Irresistible Ideas is an amazing blog with hundreds of ideas for PBL in too many categories to mention here. Mostly focused on early elementary education many of these projects can be altered for older children, used by teachers as display pieces in their classrooms or as a way to connect a field trip back to the classroom.
The blog is well written, beautifully photographed and contains so many links to other amazing PBL blogs and websites it is easy to get lost in the ideas. I love the dot mad challenge. It could be used to learn about predicting, finding patterns or having a discussing about randomness. It's a simple, inexpensive project that can scaled up or down based on number of students, length of time or age. The dramatic-imaginative section of the blog has a few great ideas about how to create dramatic centers in the classroom. A home center is great for dramatic play and is usually what you see in a pre-school and kindergarten setting but if you are looking for something new or different check out this section and read about the camping and hospital centers.
PBL can take lots of time and preparation to set up but the rewards for the students are huge. Teaching students to share, to work together, to realize their own and other people's strengths, these are just the beginning of a list of skills PBL help teach.
How do you use play-based, problem-based and/or project-based learning in your classroom?