I am having my 10th grade Honors Biology students keep a portfolio of their Project Based Learning activities this year. The portfolio is organized with a title page, an index of projects, an abstract page which provides the reader with a short paragraph explanatory excerpt of each project and, of course, the actual projects themselves.
One of my students, a particularly shy and quiet child, started his abstract page with a paragraph reflection of what he believed the purpose of our PBL activities are. I swear that his reflection nearly brought me to tears because he nailed it exactly. He fully gets the purpose of these activities and he is getting out of them exactly what I am hoping for.
“Project Based Learning is what happens at the end of most chapters in our Biology class. We are assigned a goal to accomplish with a partner, and can go about that goal however we like. These projects are like real world problems based on our learning in the classroom. They are preparations for the real world, where creativity is rewarded and recognized over only pure intellect. They allow us to explore subjects with our own free will and experience another side of science, the real side.”
I could never ask for more than this. My heart is smiling today 🙂