Sunday, June 29, 2014

Driving question for Problem Based Learning

In the What is Project Based Learning (PBL)? article on, an essential element for Project Based Learning is the driving question.  This question will be understandable, engage the learning as well as connect to content standards.  

In the Driving Question element of the Project Design Rubric found on BIE’s website, these indicators are listed for best PBL practices in a project:
  • The driving question captures the project’s main focus.                
  • The driving question is open-ended, it allows for more than one reasonable, complex answer.
  • The driving question is understandable and inspiring to students.
  • To answer the driving question, students will need to gain the intended knowledge, skills, and understanding.
My overview of Spending, Saving and The Rainy Day explains my driving question and my subquestions.  My purpose is that the children discover an importance of financial literacy and go out into the world and share their knowledge to parents, important community members, the Rotary Club and the Colorado Department of Commerce to increase awareness.  The focus of this entire project is Financial Literacy.  The driving question should embed the focus of the project.
In my project, the essentials of PBL are incorporated within this driving question and subquestions.  There is a need to know about financial literacy and our spending and saving habits.  These are life skills.  There is a purposeful and authentic audience as I've chosen various platforms to share our PSAs.  Every year, Junior Achievement comes into our school for one day and does an incredible job in the teaching of financial literacy.  When I was thinking of our project, I wanted something that didn't just have to end.  This project could be continued at various levels depending on the opportunity the message gives these students to continue with it.  
In 2nd grade, students still need background knowledge and explicit expectations of team-work, inquiry, as well as a decision making process.  So the subquestions, or mini-lessons that I will need to teach are important in the development of our classroom community.  I believe that this project will encourage inquiry and excitement as they discover the virtual money world around them.  The 21st Century skills will go hand and hand with this project as they are researching and discovering how computers has changed the financial world.  
Here is my driving question:  Is saving money important to my future?
But I am thinking about changing it to:  What should we spend our money on?

All subquestions relate to both.  However in thinking about the students learning about production, good and services, etc... and reading an article about buying in America, made me wonder about the children. Do they need to be thinking about their spending as much as their saving.  Also, I could get into other countries when looking at production and practices, advertising, etc.  I think that there is more of a story with the 2nd question.  But I would like to keep them both.