You are here

Keep It Real With PBL, Secondary

Keep It Real With PBL, Secondary
A Practical Guide for Planning Project-Based Learning

Additional resources:

January 2020 | 208 pages | Corwin
Let's Get Real About PBL

The book's companion website features an updated guide to help teachers integrate technology into PBL experiences for online and blended learning instruction.

Does project-based learning (PBL) feel just out of reach in in your secondary classroom? Is project-planning an overwhelming project in and of itself? Dr. Jennifer Pieratt, a consultant and former teacher, knows firsthand how challenging designing projects can be, especially for secondary teachers with large caseloads and short class periods to engage in meaningful teaching and learning.

In this hands-on, interactive guide, Pieratt supports secondary teachers through the iterative process of planning authentic project-based learning experiences. Using backward design, she gives teachers ready to use strategies for identifying the best concepts to tackle in PBL experiences, brainstorming realistic projects, facilitating meaningful learning, and creating formative and summative assessments. The book is visually accessible in style and features

  • #realtalk soundbites that tackle the challenges to implementing PBL
  • Tips and resources to support the project-planning process
  • Planning forms to guide you through planning your projects
  • Key terminology and acronyms in PBL
  • Exercises to help you reflect and process throughout your project plans

    Master PBL planning with this clear, efficient, and easy-to-use guide to creating enriching experiences for your students! 

    List of Resources on the Companion Website
    About the Author
    Letter to Secondary Teachers

    How to Use This Book

    Chapter 1: The Why and What of Project-Based Learning
    An Overview of Project-Based Learning (PBL)

    Why PBL ?

    Intro to HQPBL

    Chapter 2: The Role of the Teacher in PBL
    The Paradigm Shift

    Instructional Best Practices

    Adult Agency

    PBL Teacher Profile

    Chapter 3: Project Brainstorming
    Where to Look for Ideas

    Collaborative Brainstorming

    Chapter 4: Planning PBL for Your Year
    Big Picture and Big Ideas

    Make Content Connections: Planning Interdisciplinary Projects

    Pacing Your Project

    Chapter 5: Planning With the End in Mind
    Drafting Enduring Understandings

    Crafting Driving Questions

    Final Products

    Culminating Experience

    Chapter 6: Benchmarking Your Project
    What Is Benchmarking?

    Identifying Deliverables

    Chapter 7: Assessment in PBL
    Best Practices in Assessment Apply to PBL

    How to Build Your Project Rubric

    Planning for Formative Assessment

    Student Engagement in PBL Assessment

    Chapter 8: Planning Daily Learning in PBL
    Create Your Big-Picture Project Calendar

    Daily Learning

    Differentiating Project Plans

    Chapter 9: Classroom Management in PBL
    Establish a Central Location for Project Resources

    Make the Project Process Visible

    Use Group Contracts, Protocols, and Roles

    Consider the Workshop Method

    Chapter 10: Launching Your Project
    The Hook

    Project Guidelines

    The Knows/Need to Knows

    Project Groups

    Home Communication

    Chapter 11: Next Steps
    Prototype Your Project

    Keep Building Those Reflection Skills

    Seek Out Collegial Feedback

    Plan for Exhibiting Student Work

    Collect Community Connections

    Scaling and Sustaining HQPBL

    Appendix Overview
    Appendix A: Complete Project Plans
    A1—Sixth-Grade Humanities

    A2—Ninth-Grade Humanities

    A3—12th-Grade Entrepreneurship

    A4—Assessment Tips and Tricks From the Trenches

    A5—Sample Detailed Integrated Scope and Sequence

    Appendix B: Blank Project Planning Templates


    This is the book PBL educators have been waiting for! Whether you are starting out on your PBL journey or have been at it for years, this book is full of helpful ideas, tactics, and exemplars—the kind of book that never even makes it to the shelf because you are constantly using it. Jennifer Pieratt knows how to help educators realize their own potential to facilitate powerful PBL experiences for all students. This book is a window into her years of expertise and experiences.

    Emily Liebtag
    Vice President, Advocacy, Getting Smart

    For someone new to teaching or to project-based learning, this workbook simplifies the process without letting go of essential elements that make the project a valuable educational experience.

    Marcia LeCompte
    Retired Montessori Teacher
    Dufrocq Elementary School, Baton Rouge, LA

    This book is an excellent tool for any educator wanting to implement project-based learning in their classroom. It provides a step-by-step guide that takes you through the thought process—from posing the question for the project, to the planning that is involved before implementing the project, the process for implementing the project, assessment of the project, and the background resources needed to begin the process.

    Ellen Asregadoo
    Public School 190, Brooklyn, NY

    It is inspiring to see how our students can make a positive impact on our world when we as educators empower them through project-based learning. This book provides the necessary structures, supports, and encouragement to shift to these dynamic practices so that we can better serve all learners. I have witnessed firsthand the incredible transformation when educators shift practice to embrace the complexities of real-world challenges, and I am excited that this resource will help to spread these powerful learning opportunities to better serve all learners.

    Devin Vodicka
    Superintendent and Chief Impact Officer
    AltSchool, Oceanside, CA

    In her introduction to Keep It Real With PBL, Jenny Pieratt describes her commitment to be direct with teachers about developing engaging and strong PBL experiences for their students. She has done just that, combining her deep experience from varied perspectives—PBL teacher and colleague, coach, consultant—to provide a straightforward but detailed path to developing high quality PBL opportunities for learners. Jenny is at once optimistic and realistic, encouraging and pragmatic. While this book is designed for teachers just starting out in PBL work, experienced PBL teachers will benefit from the thoroughness of Jenny’s descriptions of planning and implementing strong PBL experiences—and will almost surely be introduced to useful new resources as well.

    Rick Lear
    Former Senior Director for School Design and Implementation, New Tech Network, Former Interim Executive Director, Envision Learning Partners
    Key features
    This is a practical guide that will provide simple and easy-to-use formats to aide in authentic Project-Based Learning experiences for secondary learners. Each chapter will focus on the context for each of the steps author Jennifer Pieratt has identified through backwards design. The guide will include vignettes and templates on the following: 
    • Brainstorming
    • Project Planning
    • Assessment/Rubrics
    • Benchmarking 
    • Student Self-Assessment
    • Calendar/Daily Learning (Pacing) 
    • Launching Your Project 

    Sample Materials & Chapters

    Chapter 1 - Keep it Real with PBL, Secondary

    For instructors

    Select a Purchasing Option

    Rent or Buy eBook
    ISBN: 9781544369419

    ISBN: 9781544369372