Out of the Gate Project

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the first Out of the Gate Project Newsletter!

The purpose of this quarterly newsletter is to spread the word about the innovative work of Out of the Gate: Preparing Preservice Teachers to Use PBL Through PBL (Out of the Gate). On these pages we will share successes, reflections, and experiences of participants, lessons learned, and research results from the four teacher education program (TEP)/district partnerships participating in this project. This newsletter is for Out of the Gate Project participants, members of the partnership communities, as well as the broader K-12 and higher education communities. Please join us in our effort to transform teacher education by sharing this newsletter with others.

Read more about the project here.

Inside this edition

  • Highlights from each PBL Symposium with lots of pictures
  • Reflections by an Out of the Gate project participant from each partner
  • New projects and strategies on bie.org/ootg
  • "Scaffolding the PBL Shift" from BIE's blog


The successes of this first year of Out of the Gate implementation were celebrated during PBL Symposia events hosted by each partner. The goal of these annual events is for participating faculty, cooperating teachers, and student teachers to share their lessons learned, deepen their understanding, and cultivate support for high quality PBL among stakeholders within the university and school and district partners, as well as across the region and state. Each TEP/district partnership planned their event making each one unique. They also had a few key things in common:

  1. An exhibition of the projects created by Out of the Gate faculty, student teachers, and cooperating teachers
  2. A brief program to share selected aspects of their PBL journey

<<To see highlights from each of the events, click the university's name below.>>

Student teachers, cooperating teachers, K-12 students and parents tour the projects on display.

Marissa Ortiz VanDrunen shares her project with audience members.

Student teacher Alyx Davies and cooperating teacher Linda Amici offer insights on their PBL experience.

President Monsignor Shea welcomes Out of the Gate participants and the community.

As part of the Out of the Gate project, BIE created two sets of resources to support PBL design and teaching for teachers and faculty to access during the project and beyond--model projects and teaching strategies. Go to bie.org/ootg to explore

1) Projects

Several NEW PROJECTS have been added. Check out the revised and streamlined template.

2) Strategies

There is a whole new section with specific and detailed STRATEGIES for project based teaching to build a PBL classroom. Examples include:

  • Generating Need to Knows
  • How to Structure Work Time
  • Using Rubrics Throughout the Project
  • Working with Outside Experts


BIE blog features PBL practitioners across the country with great ideas and advice on implementing projects in your classroom.

Scaffolding the PBL Shift

By Mike Kaechele

I remember my first year teaching freshmen Global Studies at a brand new Project Based Learning school. I was so excited to allow students to pursue their own paths in student-centered learning. I gave them open-ended topics like imperialism to pursue with little guidelines and no rubrics. I thought the students could research and figure out what interested them and what was important all on their own.

Fairly soon the students started coming to me and begging for guidance, and it wasn’t limited to struggling students. The most vocal students were the ones who had gotten all A’s in traditional classes. Some of their complaints were based on the fact that they had previously understood the “game” of school and PBL had changed the rules of what it meant to be successful. Instead of just regurgitating back what the teacher had said on the test, they now had to analyze and think critically for themselves.

Read more

Find more BIE blogs here.