Question Valet

PBL clarifications

Driving Questions

What is an effective driving question? (Driving questions can be a beast~you're not alone. I've assisted in building hundreds of projects and the driving question is the always a challenge. It is normally written, scratched out, then rewritten.)

  • Driving questions are just essential questions that are high on caffeine. They demand authenticity and rigorous problem-solving.
  • A DQ helps to initiate and focus the inquiry.

How does the driving question guide the product? (The DQ sets up a question for the students to solve. A students culminating product will answer the driving question.


How has immigration affected the United States?
How does the design of a rocket influence its speed and maneuverability?
How can we help our community understand the health risks of overeating?
How is geometry used in the real world?
How can we impact the environemntal issues that affect our community?
How does reading affect our lives?
What responsibility do we have to the overall health or our environment?
How do changes in the environment affect animals and plants?
Who are we and how do we affect our home and class/school community?
How can the food we eat impact our lives?
what role does math play in our daily lives?
Why should we care about what we eat?

Wing Project: Crafting a Driving Question

Time Management

How do you know how much time a project should take? Looking at your scope and sequence will help with the amount of time the project will take. For Boulter CScope will dictate the time given to certain units.

TIPS: middle school students lose interest after three weeks. Two week projects are ideal. Again scope and sequence will dictate this arrangement.

How can we plan deeply and effectively with limited time. Delegation list are important. If you have a team plan with them as you are doing in training. Once you have project overview complete create a list of who is in charge of creating what parts of the project. This is an accountability piece for the team and will force team to work collaboratively.

Does set up and prep time get easier as you get used to it? Definitely! After a couple years and 8 projects under our teachers belt they need no coaching in the building as it comes second nature.

Question to be answered today....

How do fit in workshops?

What is critical friends?

What is the difference between a PBL and a standard project?

Can we see more end projects?

What is a final product?

Should PBL be a preview or culminating activity?

Special Education Accommodations within PBL

With inclusion the regular education teacher must be cognizant of the grouping of students with special needs. Every day and in almost every classroom all students are working in groups and building projects. Student accommodations must be met therefore when building projects remember to differentiate.

Specials play an active role in every project, and projects that have been modified somewhat are engaging and will build confidence in students. Remind me to tell you the story of our resource bullying book.

A student with a special need that has a problem working in groups can be given the project to work on independently.

Student choice

Giving students choice rather than assignment is the goal. Instead of creating a poster the students could use a form of technology (of their choosing) to display their culminating project.

Laura M. Carr M.Ed

Project Manager/Coach

Boulter Engineering Prep

Ingenuity Center

University of Texas Tyler