Empowering Teachers to Bring PBL to Classrooms Faster

  • The School: Lake Elementary, Vista Unified School District
  • The Challenge:
    The principal of Lake Elementary was eager to leverage the NGSS roll out and the rise of project-based learning (PBL) in creating more meaningful learning experiences at the school. Although the school’s teachers were familiar with PBL on some level, they required more personalized support and specific guidance to get started planning their first projects for introduction.

    How could they efficiently train teaching staff at all grade levels to confidently implement PBL?

  • The Solution:
    As always, our first step was to discuss the unique concerns and considerations for the school, to develop a customized training solution. From there, we prepared to dive in immediately:

    • We would deliver hands-on training for approximately 30 teachers, assisting them in designing their first PBL project for execution.
    • We would schedule two (2) hours with each grade level’s teacher during their collaborative planning time, over the course of 6 days.
  • The Results:

    • The Principal observed the impact of brief, effective workshops that strengthened the teaching staff within time and budget constraints.
    • The Principal noted the rise in self-assurance of the teaching staff with relation to PBL.
    • Teachers each received highly personalized attention in private workshops, addressing their interests, concerns and curriculum goals.
    • Teachers completed their first PBL project plans under professional guidance.
    • Teachers developed projects that were interdisciplinary in nature but driven by Next Generation Science Standards first, further supported by Common Core ELA and Math standards.
    • Teachers received assessment tools, project calendars, and access to an additional library of numerous additional resources to support them in bringing PBL to their classrooms.
    • Teachers provided overwhelmingly positive feedback that they felt fully supported, and had the complete resources they required to roll out their first project. Some teachers said this was the first success they had felt with Professional Development.
    • Teachers were thrilled that the administration had provided attentive, personalized training for them.
    • Teachers reported high levels of confidence as they approached PBL
    • Teachers immediately implemented PBL; each rolled out their first project in winter of 2017/18!

“Jenny is a legit SUPERSTAR on our campus. Bringing her depth of knowledge and amazing ability to share her expertise, Jenny listens with care and facilitates powerful, productive collaboration. With her leadership, we’ve efficiently moved leaps and bounds because of her dedication to empathy, connected communities and thoughtful ideation. We will continue our work with Jenny because it matters for kids. They are benefitting from a beautiful change in their learning experience.”

– Love, Everyone at Lake Via Krista Berntsen, Principal, Lake Elementary