Problem Based Learning: An Inquiry Approach is a great book for teachers like me that need step by step guidance with implementing PBL. The strategies and examples in the book helped me to understand how implement it in my classroom and make it my own. It’s helping me to step out the box and share more with my students to start the inquiry approach and starting with everyday problems is helping my students to think differently. I had an aha moment reading the book because it reminds me of the Wonders and Quickfires in class with instructors at MSU and how I have developed over the past months. I hope to get the same results from my students. This book and The Dreamkeepers have similar connections to help me with phase one of my ImagineIT building community and allowing students to problem solve and show their creativity. The excitement that I see from students as they enter my classroom is refreshing.
I didn’t know what to expect from the student focus group. Students want to feel like their ideas matter and they are excited about the STEM activities they’ve learned and want to do more. They are willing to volunteer their time after school to help reach out to parents and community stakeholders to participate in the ImagineIT project. This was a good surprise. It’s a joy to see that they are ready to contribute and express their feelings about math in different creative ways. I’m glad that they are ready to take ownership in what they are learning in the classroom.
My colleagues have been supportive and their feedback helped me tremendously. I met with the teachers suggested and both of them were willing to participate. The school technology teacher collaborated with me on teaching students computer lessons on Google and creating videos. Though their are concerned about the participation of parents, I am going to take the advice from the book The Dreamkeepers and take responsibility for getting the parents involved. The support of my colleagues and administration has helped make a smooth transition for implementing my ImagineIT.
I’ve been implementing parts of my ImagineIT since the beginning of the year by building the classroom community and introducing STEM ideas with various lessons. I’ve learned that I must continue with team building assignments, team discussions, and implementing time for reflections are key components. Due to the time constraints, the school math curriculum, and network mandates I must schedule classroom activities accordingly. I’ve had to change some team members and add team leaders to each group. This helped students with collaborating instead of depending on me. This will also help with round two as we start building school community.