We started the week with an interest survey. Actually, it’s the same interest survey that I gave at the beginning of the year, but this one had a PKP twist to it. (Click here.) Students were asked six questions, inspired by a talk given by Katie Martin at #EdCamp619 in Chula Vista this fall. Thank you Katie!!! Because the idea of passions may be new to students, the interest survey has students reflect on their own lives both in and out of school. Students took about 20 minutes to complete the survey.
We came back the next day and orally shared. The atmosphere was calm, relaxed, and respectful. Each question was presented one at a time. Students were given the option to stand up if they wanted to share. The attentiveness during this session was impressive. At one point, I reminded students that this is a safe environment and that we can trust each other with personal details. I was glad that I took the time to slow down and allow students to share. You could see students connecting with their passions and each other. Our Mr. Anthony even came in and took some videos of students sharing. His mind is ticking away on how he’s going to format the documentary.
I asked four students if I could share their PKP journey on my blog. I think it will be interesting to follow their process through the student perspective throughout the project. Click here, here, here, and here to view their interest surveys. There is an Answer Garden at the end that was completed by the 4th grade class and ours. If you’re new to Answer Garden, it’s a quick and fun feedback tool.
Side note . . . I had a conversation with Dive Into Inquiry author, Trevor MacKenzie, recently. He stressed the importance of making learning sticky. He used the term “velcro.” The videos, conversations, and brainstorming are hopefully providing something for student’s ideas to stick to.
As we launched into our “Find Your Passion” official lesson, students pulled out their index cards. We started the lesson introducing the essential question for the unit.
What ignites your passion and how can your passion make a positive impact on society?
Shout out to Joy Ceasar, our district GATE coordinator, for developing the essential question and providing structure for PKP district wide.
By this point, students had experienced the unit launch, completed the interest survey, and brainstormed their passions. I introduced the essential question to the class. Then, I told them that I wanted to share a story about a boy with a HUGE passion . . . Caine Monroy. We watched the infamous “Caine’s Arcade” video. Students were mesmerized. After the video, I walked the kids over to my office. This is what they saw . . .
Finally, I felt that students were ready to starting penning their ideas down. Students were asked to write down three passions, three concerns about their community or world around them, and connect a passion with a concern. Because of the “velcro” experiences before getting to this point, almost all students were able to make connections. Phew!!! I’m so glad I didn’t rush students to get to this point on day one. Students completed this doc, remixed from Meagan Kelly. View our four student’s work here, here, here, and here.
When students were working through their doc, I revealed more about the project. Students will be asked to present a proposal, research, keep a folder of learning evidence, reflect, backwards map a timeline of work to be completed, write an article review that includes two sources, create an authentic piece, and present at a student-led edcamp. With that in mind, there was a lot of discussion about where their topic could go. Although students are working on their own topic and research, the class is used to collaborating and know the power of sharing ideas and getting feedback from peers. That mindset was clearly evident as students worked through the doc.
Take a peek at how students connected their passions with a societal concern . . .
- "I believe that staying healthy and staying active is very important in order to do many things in life, such as play sports. Soccer is a good example, because if you practice, you are staying healthy, and at the same time, you are getting better at the sport. Also, playing soccer builds muscle strength, lowers your body fat, and it helps with your coordination. It also helps because of all the running and walking, and many other things, and a professional soccer player usually runs about 5 to 7 miles every game. If you aren’t active, you can get high blood pressure, you can have stiff joints, and you can become overweight etc. There are many ways soccer and any sport can help you with your health, and these are only some of the many reasons."
- "I can combine a personal passion with a problem in society by combining at with depression. I can do this because people normally get depressed when a series of events happen. Another way many people get depression is if someone is a perfectionist, have a tendency to worry a lot, or some just have low self-esteem. When someone makes art, they usually do something that appeals to them and they express their feelings on the paper. When someone makes an art piece, someone might make a positive comment on it and whoever made it might have a boost of confidence."
- "I can combine my passion of animals with the concern environments getting destroyed. These 2 work together because animals are struggling trying to survive because people are invading their homes. Without animals the food chain could not go on and other animals could invade human homes. Just like us humans, animals need food and shelter to survive. We are taking their homes and food by trying to make homes for people. Some animals are cute but are endangered because us humans cause then to lose so much. Environments getting destroyed means animals are in danger."
I can't wait to see where students go with their projects! Next week we will be going through the design process and begin creating games for the Cardboard Challenge. Additionally, students will be introduced to their curiosity journals. I'll be blogging next week about how I'm using gamification elements during our PKP unit.
Have an amazing week!
#MuchLove . . . Marilyn