The PBL Playbook

The PBL Playbook

You’ve started using PBL in your classroom, and you are committed to doing it. You’re even on the lookout for ways to improve your PBL practice and engage your students. However, you’re probably facing some barriers and obstacles in moving forward. We get it! We are PBL facilitators currently in the classroom, and we have gone through similar PBL trials and failures. We’re ready to use our own experiences and those of the PBL community to help you tackle your problems and offer tools to overcome the hurdles along your journey. We’re calling you to spread the PBL revolution, develop confidence in your own practice, and talk about it with others. You can stay sitting on the bench or you can use the strategies of other PBL teachers who have gone through some of the same problems and come out on top. The PBL Playbook is meant to help you navigate your PBL questions and problems, build your PBL confidence, and add strategies for success to your own playbook!... Show More

Welcome to the PBL Playbook, brought to you by Magnify Learning – where we put teachers back in their sweet spot. Make sure you follow us on Twitter: @magnifylearning, @askgiebs, @MissB103, #PBLPlaybook.


In this episode, Josh and Andrea conclude their mini series on assessment by chatting with Michael McDowell (@mmcdowell13), Superintendent of the Ross School District in Northern California and author of Rigorous PBL by Design about the use of standards-based grading (SBG). At 2:37, McDowell gives a definition of SBG and why it is a useful method of assessment. At 6:37, he talks about what SBG looks like in his own school district and what proof he uses to justify that this method of assessment is working. At 10:24, they discuss high achieving students who tend to “play school well,” and what concerns they raised based on this system of grading – as well as the value of SBG for those particular students. Here, McDowell also discusses the culture in his district and how a culture of learning and SBG go hand-in-hand. At 16:42, they talk about first steps for teachers who want to start utilizing SBG in their own classrooms. At 20:43, McDowell leaves listeners with some resources to begin their SBG journey. For these recommendations, check out the episode webpage on our website. Finally, at 22:38, Josh and Andrea finish out the episode discussing the ways in which SBG fits into a PBL framework.


Be sure to check out the first two episodes in the Assessment in PBL series, wherever you get your podcasts. 


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