Linear Equations and Remulching the School Garden

What was your driving question?

How do we determine the best company to partner with to mulch the garden?

Grades Involved

9th – 12th

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

Students needed to research and contact local landscaping companies to get information on types of mulch and pricing.

What PBE principles were highlighted in this project?

Project Description

Greg and I had been brainstorming about ways to better engage students in authentic learning by identifying actual real-world problems for them to engage in solving. We realized that in order to mulch the garden, not only would students need specific content in both Algebra and English, but they would also be practicing our district’s transferable skills. We designed this unit to be interdisciplinary, student-centered, and to use the community as our classroom.

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

The work will be presented to our school principal and shared with the school community as a whole through a webpage that is currently being designed to highlight place-based learning.

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

The biggest challenge that we realized right away is that we needed to spend some dedicated time building our classroom culture to support this type of work. Our students knew each other to a certain extent but didn’t as well. We had to create class norms, review these, establish roles, protocols, etc. It took time, but once the work actually started, this paid off and kids were able to complete the tasks they set for themselves.

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

Plan to go slow at first in order to speed up later.