Building Real World Skills in a K-8 PBL School

17 09 2014

One of our PBL PLC participants at ESSDACK today used some of her time with the group to brainstorm additional ideas and strategies to tighten up a project she’s done before: a K-8 CoffeeHouse event where students are given a budget, do all the planning for the event, and perform a musical piece, a poetry reading, or display their art one evening at their very own “coffee house.” All students in the school, K-8, are involved in planning, building, and hosting the event, so it’s kind of a big deal to this small community.

The PBL PLC group came up with the idea of the teachers selecting four student leaders (four because there are four committees needed in this planning) who would spearhead the committees’ work. And while one teacher is coaching the leaders on how to be good big-project leaders, since it is early in the school year, the other students, grades K-8, are with another teacher and para support staff, applying for jobs on committees of their choice.

But how do you have a Kindergartener apply for a job? We started thinking what the real world skills and experiences are here that we want the kids to be involved in the learning. And we decided that yes, even Kindergarteners could start thinking about who they are, what they like, and what they’re good at.

Considering that technology isn’t always reliable in their school and time is of the essence for this project, paper might be a good choice for some of the younger learners. The middle level students will have more time to complete their resumes, which they will type and store in Google Docs, because this is a great seed for work to come later this year.

To smooth the process, we created guides to help 3 levels of students be introduced to job applications and resumes.

Here are our age-appropriate forms to help guide the students into their first jobs. Click on each picture to open a Google Doc of that pdf.

Middle School: Resume Practice

Middle School: Resume Practice

Elementary, grades 2-4

Elementary, grades 2-4

Primary: My first resume!

Primary: My first resume!

We’ll find out later how well this worked, but our hopes are high!
What’s the youngest you’ve been able to have kids start thinking and building their own resumes and job applications?

Thank you, Janine Addis, for posing this intriguing problem today!

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