Starting My Classroom Experience

This past week, I met with my sponsor and a teacher from one of our local elementary schools. Up until now, I have focused mainly on reading through as much source material as possible. Although I am still a student myself, I have not recently been a student of education. I had to start this journey by researching different pedagogies, how to teach science, and all about project-based learning (PBL). Next semester, I plan to start working on the next part of my project. After meeting with the local teacher, she agreed to let me be a part of an exciting new project her second grade class is conducting using a PBL model.

Here in Putnam County, IN there is a non-for-profit organization called The Castle. I have attached a link at the end of this post if you want to check it out! It’s an awesome organization that provides support and partnership for indivudal teachers or school buildings who want to start using PBL and arts-integration to enhance their curriculum. This year, the Castle has started a new project in a partnership with the Putnam County Museum. They reached out to teachers all over Putnum county to see if they would be interested in creating an exhibit for the museum with their students. At the bottom of this post, I attached a link to the video co-created by the Castle and the Putnam County Museum all about the project! It started with a training session on PBL and a list of resources for teachers to get started on brainstorming their project and their future community partner(s). The training also outlined the tentative timeline for the project. Opening day for the museum exhibits is set around May 2nd, and the teachers have until then to get a community partner, launch the project to their class, and then get to work creating the exhibit with their classes. 

Last week, I met with the teacher I will be partnering with for next semester. Beth was also in the meeting as my sponsor and as a member of the Castle board. We started the meeting talking about what needed to happen next in the planning for her specfic class. First, we need to find a community partner. Next, we need to think of a whole-class project that can be turned into a museum exhibit. At first, we came up with tons of ideas about motion, water movemnet, and animal habitats; however, we then started to thing about all of the constraints that come with designing a chilren’s exhibit for a museum. Already, I was working through some of the barriers that come with starting to do PBL. I also learned how helpful it is to have multiple minds working to create the idea. One of the main goals of the Castle when they started this project was to be as much of a support system as possible for these teachers embarking on their PBL journey. Having Beth at the meeting was extremely reassuring. 

So far, we have just started the delve into the creation and planning behind authentic PBL! Even just this first meeting has gotten me thinking about all that has to go into this semester-long project. We first need a good project! If you have any ideas about a science exhibit to make in a second grade classroom, comment down below!

Link to the Castle website:

Link to the Museum Project Video:

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