Blog for Newcomers: “An Adventure in Monmouth”

What was your driving question?

How can we create a resource for families in the area that shows them places to go and activities to do, especially for newcomers? This project came from the families within the school wanting a resource to share with new families, especially those that do not speak English.

Grades Involved


What PBE principles were highlighted in this project?

Project Description

This project started when Javier was having a meeting with a new family and was telling them about things to do in the area. The new family had no idea there were so many things to do in Monmouth. They also did not speak English and know how to get this information about what there is to do in the area. So
Javier talked with his students if they wanted to do something about this problem, and all of his students were very engaged, especially because they wanted to help the new student and family learn about the area that they live in.

The students started thinking of ways they could share this information, and after lots of brainstorming, they decided a blog in Spanish would be the best option. While creating these blog
posts, the students developed their research skills by looking for places and activities to write about. This project was completely driven by the students in response to the families’ request for this resource. The class approached this project from an interdisciplinary approach, combining ELA, social studies, math, and technology into one project. They had to think critically about what they wanted to include in their blog, and were free to be creative with these posts! They ended up including not only activities within Monmouth, but also other nearby cities and facts about Monmouth. The blog can be found at

Javier Reyes, teacher at Monmouth Central Intermediate School, working with a student

How did this project connect to your local or regional community?

This project is connected to the community because it is a resource all about the place that the students live. The blog highlights many things that Monmouth has to offer, and puts this information into one place so it can be easily accessible by the community.

How did this positively impact the community? How was it shared?

This blog was first shared by being sent to the families of the school to Monmouth College. It was also sent to the school’s administration team, and since has been shared throughout the entire Monmouth community!

Reflection: What was the biggest challenge? What was the most rewarding aspect of this project?

One of the issues the class is currently facing is how to keep the blog alive, especially with having to spend time on taking state tests right now. Even though the students have been very engaged with the blog, it can be hard to keep it active as the students begin to spend time working on other projects. The most rewarding aspect of this project was having the families share how much they have used the blog to visit different places and participate in various local activities. It was also very rewarding to see the students working together and applying many skills in order to create this product together. It was like the students came together and worked on this blog like they were employees at a company that works for the community.

Any advice for a teacher or student that is implementing a PBE project for the first time?

Be open-minded. Don’t be afraid of failing or being perfect the first time. It is an experiment and a way to grow. Fight through it and look for different solutions. It can also be difficult as a teacher if other co-workers are not bored with this project-based learning, so it is important to find others to support this type of learning.