PBL News from OCM BOCES Instructional Support

PBLNY February 2014

Patrick Shaw

Patrick Shaw
Staff Development Specialist, OCM BOCES – Syracuse, NY
Trainer for Project-Based Learning & Standards-Based Planning

Joanne Keim

Joanne Keim
Network Team Coordinator
PBL 101 Trainer
Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES

Denise Pawlewicz

Denise Pawlewicz
PBL Trainer/Coach
Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES

Randi Downs

Randi Downs
PBL Teacher Trainer
Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES


ImagePBL 101 Regional training slots are still available for the following dates:

(for secondary educators only)


Click on a link to register.

PBL Trainers are coaching in the following school districts:

  • East-Syracuse Minoa School District
  • Salmon-River School District
  • OCM BOCES Student Programs
  • Center for Instruction, Technology, & Innovation
  • Solvay Union-Free School District
  • Liverpool Central School District
  • Marcellus School District
  • Chittenango School District
  • Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District
  • Southern Cayuga School District
  • Westhill School District
  • Cincinnatus School District

The purpose of PBL coaching is for the coach to work with teachers to…

  • facilitate collaborative relationships with peers, students, and community members
  • translate PBL principles into instructional practices
  • align instructional practices and assessments to Common Core Learning Standards and other standards
  • use protocols to collect data from student work to drive instruction and assessment planning
  • establish common PBL vocabulary and background knowledge
  • facilitate the reflection process with project design and implementation
  • plan and implement high-quality, authentic and rigorous projects

The results of PBL coaching are to increase or improve student engagement and student achievement using best instructional practices in a PBL framework.

Additional, benefits of PBL coaching include:

  • Professional Support
  • Professional Learning and Development
  • Collaboration and Sharing of Ideas and Strategies

To learn more about coaching options, contact Lynn Radicello at 431-8596 or email her at lradicello@ocmboces.org.


PBL & Activating the Desire to Learn

21 Simple Ideas To Improve Student Motivation

ImageClick on the image or the individual links to read about 21 ways to motivate your students.

  1. Give students a sense of control
  2. Define the objectives
  3. Create a threat-free environment
  4. Change your scenery
  5. Offer varied experiences
  6. Use positive competition
  7. Offer rewards
  8. Give students responsibility
  9. Allow students to work together
  10. Give praise when earned
  11. Encourage self-reflection
  12. Be excited
  13. Know your students
  14. Harness student interests
  15. Help students find intrinsic motivation
  16. Manage student anxiety
  17. Make goals high but attainable
  18. Give feedback and offer chances to improve
  19. Track progress
  20. Make things fun
  21. Provide opportunities for success

Project-Based Learning Motivates Students to Learn

Project-Based Learning: Real-World Issues Motivate

Concrete, authentic project-based learning helps students illustrate core knowledge.
Read more here:

Three Good Reasons for PBL

StudentsEeva Reeder, a former math teacher who led a high school geometry project on designing a school for 2050, says she started project-based learning for three reasons: First, her students were not learning concepts deeply enough to apply or even remember them for a long period. Second, a growing body of research upheld the view that concepts are best understood using concrete examples constructed by the students themselves. Third, while taking a break from teaching to finish a master's thesis, Reeder took a job at a bridge-design company and realized, when she was asked to do a task, that she had never applied her knowledge of mathematics in a real-world situation.

What Keeps Students Motivated to Learn?

blog by Katrina Schwartz posted on MindShift about the how keep students motivated to learn by treating like adults, with hands-on activities, and students knowing that teachers care. Mind Shift Logo

Motivating Students to Read through Project-Based Learning

Read the research here about how PBL motivates students to read, written by Kelly Walsh. Walsh reports, “This study examined how Project Based Learning (PBL) motivated students to read content area texts. Data was collected though observations, student questionnaires, recordings of student presentations, and student created artifacts. The data shows that students were motivated to read content area texts because they were allowed to work collaboratively and given choices through PBL. Not only were students more motivated to read, they also used a variety of literacy skills such as comprehension and discussion throughout the process of creating their projects.”

ASCD Book Collection

ASCD ImageYou will find the following chapters in this free, downloadable book that aligns perfectly with PBL principles and practices (username and password: ocmboces).

Elementary School

Middle School

High School

Upcoming PBL Events:

PBLNY 2015 - August 3-5, 2015 - Liverpool NYimage

2015 Regional Training Sessions

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PBL Social Media Connections


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