Let’s get started on our final Passionate Kids Project post. Our student-led EdCamp was a blast!
We started by creating our session board. Each student was given an 8 by 8 piece of construction paper. Instructions were to create an advertisement for their session. Some students wrote their essential question while others focused on the topic. I made a strategic choice for the piece to be analog rather than digital. I wanted the personal connection. Students had so much fun creating their square. There was a feeling of excitement in the room. Because the EdCamp was going to be held in the cafeteria, we used one of the bulletin boards to display the session board. It turned out great.
The three sessions were color coded and numbered. My 6th graders were the presenters and our 4th and 5th grade GATE classes were the participants. The two classes were given an even number of red, blue, and green name tags. We used a traditional color rotation for participating students to pick their sessions. We really wanted to focus on equity and allow all students to have a first pick of sessions. Here is the rotation schedule. Tables were numbered to match the session board displays. Each table had two balloons on them with the table number written on the balloons. (If you know me, an event isn’t complete without balloons.)
Now for the EdCamp. We have a foyer leading into the cafeteria. We used this as our storage area. Our students were in teams based on their presentation table number. Each team was responsible for helping each other set up and break down their supplies. (We called this the “quick change”.) Can I say that I was one proud teacher?!? Each team was completely in sync. Because we run a student-led classroom, working together is the norm. Before each session began, students organized their tables with supplies for eight students. One student had her supplies in individual baggies. I will definitely use that as a tip for next year’s EdCamp. Take a look at some of the table set-ups.
The three sessions took about an hour to implement. With welcoming remarks by students, the 10 minute sessions, about 5-7 minutes for the quick changes, and closing remarks by students, the event ran smoothly. My students were so excited and exhausted after the event. We went back to class, debriefed orally, then had “free choice” for about an hour. (They deserved it!) We came back the next day and reflected in our digital journals. (Post here.) The responses were extremely positive. Many students thanked me for providing the opportunity to do passion projects.
As part of the grading process for student’s authentic piece and EdCamp presentation, I held one-on-one conferences. Prior to the meeting, students completed a self-assessment using a single-point rubric inspired by Jennifer Gonzalez. (Read her blog post here.) The purpose of the self-assessment was for students to articulate what they created for their authentic piece, consider how they can enhance the product, and defend why they thought they exceeded the standard. With the document in front of us, the student and I had a conversation about their product and determined their grade. I had students suggest their grade first, then we negotiated from there. It was actually really fun. We did the same for the EdCamp grade but centered the discussion around the participant rubrics. (Click here for the single-point rubric and here for the EdCamp rubric.) Everyone left really happy and satisfied with their grades.
If you’re interested in any part of the process, do not hesitate to reach out. I’m only a DM away! I would LOVE to share and brainstorm with you. I’d like to give one final shout out to Trevor for guiding me through this journey and to Rebecca that I met during the journey. The two of you are truly inspirational as you share your passion for inquiry and especially for showing us how to nurture all of our learners no matter the grade level. Readers, if you haven't picked up their newest book, Inquiry Mindset, pick it up here.
Have a great summer, rest up, and be ready to rock the 2018-2019 school year!