Monday, November 19, 2012

Having Fun with Problem Based Learning

I have continued with PBL and things are getting better.  Last week my students worked of a science PBL which I titled "Willy Wonka's Candy Challenge".  The premise was that New Line Cinema enlisted the help of Wonka's Candy Co./Nestle to market and advertise for their new movie, Journey to the Center of the Earth 3.  Students had to create a candy that resembled the structure of the earth and also develop a candy wrapper.  I used a few movie video clips to engage as part of the 5E model and I hooked them right off the bat.  As part of the research students used videos, a Powerpoint, and a Mentormob presentation. 

My math PBL for the week was on ratios and required students to determine a fairer way for Nike to price their shoes, than one standard price (sizes 7-23 = $160.00).  I wish that I could take the credit for this awesome PBL but the credit should really go to Mathalicious.  I must say that this is by far one of my best finds this year.  This resource provides teachers with a lesson guide, students blackline masters, and presentation tools which are aligned to the Common Core curriculum.  Each lesson takes 50-75 minutes which is perfect for what I want to do.  I have never been a teacher to buy teacher guides or spend money on resources because I have always written my own.  With that said, I signed up for $15.00 per month.  This may sound high but if you consider what you get in return and the time that it would take you to create something of the same caliber, you would also agree that it was money well spent. 

My next Mathalicious PBL lessons are on rate, unit rate, and proportions.  I found two that I really like which deal with hybrid automobiles and when they would be considered an ideal purchase.  The other is about the aspect ratios of movie and television screens.  I'm really excited to see how my students do with these.


  1. There are some great possibilities with PBL. I am glad things are going better. Mathalicious sounds neat.