Passionate Kids Project is a new twist on our district’s Phi Kappa Phi young scholars group. In the past, GATE classes researched and presented topics revolving around a particular theme such as conflict, resilience, and social influence. Academic rigor, collaboration, and presenting to an authentic professional panel were hallmarks of the program. Although it was a winning format, we were ready for a change.
This will be our first year to implement Passionate Kids Project, PKP. The format will be different, but the rigor will be just as high. The main difference is bringing in relevance to our students. Instead of being given a theme, students will focus on a passion.
I’m excited to say that we will be using Trevor Mackenzie’s “Dive into Inquiry” book and inquiry process as our guiding force. I read Trevor’s book last summer. (My initial book annotations say July 3, 2017.) I was enthralled by his powerful connections between relationships, passions, content standards, student agency, and inquiry. I highly recommend the book to any and all educators. Details here. Trevor’s insight will inspire you to let go, tap into student’s natural interests and capabilities, and build strong, positive relationships with your students.
Mrs. Segura shared videos that focused on the concepts of bringing student’s passions to school, what passion is, and what passion projects look like. Discussion was built into the video session and students also reflected on this reflection sheet. Take a peek at the video presentation here.
Mrs. Whipple focused on the first pillar of the inquiry process: Explore a Passion. For her session, Mrs. Whipple used the Question Formulation Technique, or QFT, to formulate and categorize questions about possible student passions. Read more on the technique here. To conclude the session, students reflected on a Padlet.
For my session, I introduced our students to the inquiry process using Trevor’s inquiry map. I walked through the map then spent time having students brainstorm possible authentic pieces. I focused on the shift of teacher’s telling students what to research, study, and create to choosing their own topics and display of learning. Students jotted down ideas on this note card and added their ideas to a collaborative poster. Take a peek at the presentation here.
We had a fantastic morning sharing our new vision of PKP with our students. As students began understanding the concept, their interest grew. By the end of the morning, sparkles of excitement were in our student’s eyes. Next week, students will complete interest surveys and begin the process of narrowing down their passion. And . . . I’ll be introducing a game board as I try my hand at gamification during our PKP unit of study.
See you next week . . . Marilyn