Now, I will say that for the last 2 months- during the testing rush- we left our pbl model. I felt the need to just get information to them about body systems. (I will fix that next year) So, when the students were putting together their keys, the number one question and/or statement has been: "is this what you want?" or "I don't understand how to do this." That was tough considering we worked all year on them asking the "right" questions. I kept repeating to them, "you are the scientist, how will you find the answer?" It was great. We tested our keys out today (now many missed our deadline or due date. They are revisiting protocol on that and understanding consequences.) We found that some keys worked easily. Some NOT AT ALL. It was great. In those events where it didn't work they understood why. We had been using examples since last week from my Symbaloo page and there was plenty of practice.
We even used "hot wheels" cars in class and did it together. Last week we did our shoes.
The biggest misconnect is when they group them the students get lost on assigning them to go to the next step. By doing this it did help us in understanding how our insect collection will work and how those are organized or categorized.
This has definitely been one of my most favorite units because the outcomes are so evident. Another plus was that my 8th grade son kept hearing about this project and decided to make a key while he was sorting laundry. (#realworldproblems) The students today were not penalized if their key didn't work, they were rewarded if it did. All students were given opportunities to fix theirs and will be retesting them tomorrow. Hopefully they have a greater understanding of it all....