In May and June of last year I wrote two posts (How to make a new PBL school (part 1) and How to Make a PBL School (Part 2)) about my working at Decker Middle School and transforming it from a conventional school to a New Tech Network middle school with PBL as the primary mode of instruction.

PBL teachers should always review their Knows and Need to Knows each day. And in keeping with that practice, I took a look at my “Need to Know” list from those posts. I’ve updated the list, here, with strike-throughs for those things I now have an answer to.


There are many more questions that come to mind and this is the point in the process where we would add those Need to Knows to the original list. These new questions are ones that have come up because of my exploring the project.
Just like students in a project I am now focused on what needs to happen in “Year Two” in this journey we started.  And, even though I have been beating myself up about not getting anywhere during the first year, I can see that there has been progress. Just like students, again, I can take pride in my increased knowledge.
And now my Next Steps – (1) I’d like my teachers and administration to see the original posts and my update. That way they can see where I was coming from in May/June of 2012, where we are in June of 2013, and where we need to go on this trip to become a school that is recognized for quality instruction in the New Tech Network and in our district/state.  (2)  Create a new Need to Knows list with updated items needing answers and have it posted in a prominent spot for all to see. Then visit it periodically and not just in June 2014. (3) Create a “plan of attack” to answer the items on our new list.
DMS is no longer in its infancy in this process but we are still holding on to the table as we walk around the room. It’s time to let go of the table and go off on our adventure.

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