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Im tom duenwald. Im principal of sammamish high school when i first came came here as principal sammamish was in a place of declining enrollment. Things werent the staff came together and was thinking about well what could we do to take sammamish to the next level and really serve our students adrienne.
We have been fortunate to get a federal grant thats allowed us to move forward with re designing our school to be a problem based school wall to wall in every curricular area tom. Its a significant shift from what can be more of a traditional teacher centered classroom to more of a teacher facilitated learning process where we engage students in authentic problems high schools have been very resistant to change. I mean i think a lot of high schools.
You visit them and it could be fifty years ago. And i dont think it has to be that way adrienne so in eight days. The school year is going to start and before that we are getting together for five days of professional development led by sammamish teachers for sammamish teachers teacher how do i transform my class from being driven by me to students wanting to take ownership adrienne pbl in a classroom is students actively working together to solve a problem.
The problem can be big or small. It can be the type of thing that they can solve through discussion. It can be the type of thing that they build a product around but ultimately.
Its students trying to learn content through the solution to this problem. There is something to students. Having the opportunity to get together and deal with real world challenges that makes them hungry for the next challenge that desire to come back to the table and invest more of themselves in the outcome.
We want to grow that feeling in them over the course of these four years. Thats what gets them to stay involved in education jayesh. This idea that the whole school is focused on problem based learning is really powerful fifteen years of teaching here.
Ive seen quite a lot im good at what i do i would like to be better. I would like to be a more effective teacher adrienne for an entire school to go through this across the board is a big big change in what were seeing other schools doing across the country. Rob sammamish.
Has always been on the verge. Were a really good school and were on the verge. I think of always becoming a great school.
If theres something thats gonna transform our school. This is what its going to be adrienne. I want to congratulate you guys for being on time hold on hold on hold on slow down slow down the first day of school.
Were gonna have a brand new crop of freshmen coming into some brand new classes that weve never taught before were hoping that were gonna be able to get them engaged early on and help them see the benefits and positives of problem based learning. But im anxious about it rob so i have to tell you weve got five teachers teaching this class. Weve been working on it this summer.
So were really looking forward to it your feedback is gonna be important to us jayesh. The problem has to be authentic in the sense that it has a resonance with the students student. One of the problems in the ocean is that with the higher amount of co2 calcifying organisms are decreasing.
Were testing to see how well life other life in the ocean lives without calcifying organisms alejandra. I found out that corral reefs are being destroyed with high co2. It moved me.
And id like to change. That teacher does your gravel ever get green and slimy anna oh. Yeah.
Algae anna especially in science and math. I feel like the subject can get a little bit overwhelming. So thats why i like the project.
Its one step at a time jainxin at first. I thought project based learning was a plan by the government to increase the class sizes. So one teacher could teach more students.
But after i worked with it i realized it was a way for students to connect to the material and understand the material in our own way student. Okay migration patterns from rural to urban. We know that one all right rural is like farming agriculture right and then urbans kind of like where we live right now.
So you can like draw. A picture from someone like in eastern washington. Moving over to bellevue karissa at first.
I thought that it might not be possible to try to get all the content in but ive found that we can still find that balance where maybe one or two days out of an entire unit. I can kind of really lead them down the content and then they can take that and better learn from one another danielle i get moderate grades. But if its like you have a group project.
Youre gonna have other people who have other ideas besides you so youre gonna be like understanding it better than just reading something by yourself. Rosendo. Yeah.
I have a lot of friends who struggle with english because they either just came in like two years ago. Or just barely came so like if theyre in a classroom with a lot of lecturing not enough group time theyre not gonna learn english adrienne one of the ways that were empowering teachers is were giving them time during the school day to work with their colleagues on curriculum that make sense to them given what they understand about the best practices of teaching in their discipline. Were saying come out of that locked classroom come into community and lets find a way that we together can move forward.
David. Our project was to create a aquaponics system and we had several people working on it in my case. I was kind of the team leader we had to learn how an environmental system in the wild would work and then simulate that with the materials that we were given the whole creative process kind of went in steps.
Two members of my group who are kind of just like the thinkers that would think what if we could include this once those two came up with the ideas. It would go through another person. Who was kind of like the designer to figure out.
Oh. How would we make it and then it would kind of go up to me. And i would kind of be like the final decider jainxin.
I think its a great thing that students have a choice so when we do project based learning were allowed to teach ourselves the material in a way that we can understand rob well the current project is called the scramble for the arctic and as a result of the climate change. The arctic is getting smaller. And theres all sorts of resources in the arctic.
That will be available and the question. Weve posed to students is who should control these resources student. Were arguing about the northwest passage christine.
I know we need that too this would probably be faster than the actual panama canal. It helps you prepare for the future. It gives you like leadership and really good cooperation skills with your group members kyra.
I think its more interesting. I dont like just reading and having a test. Its not fun and you remember it for the test.
And then you forget it kelsey. We had someone come in an actual client come in and choose which one she liked the best client. I appreciated how thoughtfully you responded to sort of the clients needs.
My needs anna. Its not just for your teacher. Who sees your work all the time.
Its for a client whos deciding whether to build it and so you really strive to do well tom duenwald when the students know that what theyre doing in the classroom has an audience outside the classroom. It really helps them deepen their thinking on it and i think that is pretty authentic in terms of what the future work world holds kelsey. I wasnt realizing how much i was learning until the end of it im a better learner.
When i can actually get my hands on something and do it and ill just remember it better because ill have an experience to attach it with. Christine were preparing for like a un. Summit.
Just like portraying it and how they actually do it in real life. Rob. So you should say can i have these folks come up and then were gonna got to al jazeera al jazeera our first live media link rob these are hearings about who should control the arctic and what should we do when this territory opens up theyre playing the role of countries and indigenous people environmental groups multinational organizations.
This is a real life problem thats playing out student. Not only is oil drilling. Its extremely dangerous.
But oil recovery is nearly impossible in ice and this oil will not last for more than three years according to studies in the us geological survey. Its about standing up for environment and families and our future and i wont give up this fight student. Thank you delegate bruna do you understand that if i could have a trade route through the arctic.
My shipping to the us would be cut two weeks shorter so im sorry i will not be supporting you. Bruna i was the un. Ambassador to china so i was a big leader and i was totally into it i feel like if this was to happen in real life.
I could potentially change the world and thats the kind of stuff. I really like doing student. Even if there is a chance that what happened in the gulf coast.
Even if it wasnt by you guys or what happened in alaska from you guys could happen in the arctic. It could be devastating student. If everybody just suddenly decided to drop oil regular people do not like my parents and your parents do not have the means to just stop and go buy an electric car.
Natasha everyones really like pumped up and excited for it and like theres a lot of tension also because people are agreeing disagreeing. But i think thats whats making it fun student to protect oceania. We have the world wildlife fund.
We understand that you want to protect the natural environment of the arctic both nature and wildlife in the area. However. We do intend despite your beliefs to go forward rob.
That was great really im really proud of you rob. What we do in pbl. It builds on itself.
So that these projects become part of the culture and traditions of the school. We have a day where we look at the presentations of other students. We have a day where were going to debate what happens in the arctic.
The biochem folks they grow their own food and i know they as a class have some kind of feast thats great teacher. If you want some of the tilapia that we raised get a little plate and come over here rob. What that culture says to students is that what you bring to the table is valuable adrienne as teenagers.
I think often what they fight against is a sense that life is happening to them so we give them classrooms where they help to direct whats happening there they are important to this process. This is not a place that you can hide this is a place where we want the best of you we see the best in you now lets bring that out .
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