The last couple of weeks have been such an adventure! I have never fully jumped off of the PBL cliff before, doing the majority of my work before the project started and then letting the students drive the work from then on. This is of course not to say that there wasn’t lots of support work to do, but the students and their interest and goals became the focus of each class. They continually amazed me with the commitment to the work and their determination and focus during the class periods where they were establishing the tasks for themselves and their group.
The larger groups, with 8-9 girls in each one, worked well. This was especially true for this because of its size. It meant that no one or two students had to carry the ones who didn’t want to commit to the work of the project. There were a few girls for whom the degree of independence led to distraction and a lack of work. (An area I really need to think about for the next project!) For the majority of the students, the larger group created a rich sense of comaraderie as they worked together to accomplish their work. They took their individual roles seriously, working to accomplish their specific task and to make sure that it connected with the work of their partners. The interior store signs needed to match the exterior; the business cards needed to have the same logo as the advertising. It was great watching them discuss and deliberate over what would best represent what they had learned and what they were creating.
Some of the highlights included a girl who researched Guilds and created a game of “Guildopoly,” complete with a board and figures, to represent the tasks of becoming an apprentice, journeyman and master.
It was an amazing day, watching them create their stores out of all of the pieces that they had been making over the last two weeks. The final step is the Grand Opening this afternoon. Students, teachers and administrators have been invited to visit the shops. The girls will be talking to people, using the sales speeches that they wrote, trying to convince people to choose their item and their shop. I have strips of 6 stickers that the “shoppers” will use to identify which items they would like to “purchase.”
The shop with the most stickers will be declared the Winner!