Saturday, April 8, 2017

Passion Projects 2017 - Reflection #2

This week's major assignment in the world of Passion Projects was creating a 60-Second Pitch. Students presented their pitches to the class, and their peers had an opportunity to ask them questions and to assess whether or not they think that each individual is on the right track to begin their Passion Project.

In order for a student to get the "green light" for their project, at least 75% of the class has to give them their approval. I used ZipGrade and bubble sheets that were numbered 1-25 (each student was assigned a number in alphabetical order) At the end of each 60-second pitch, students either coloured in the Yes bubble or the No bubble for the corresponding number, depending on whether or not they thought the project was thought through enough. This app made it very easy to determine how many people had voted to approve each project - doing it all by hand would have been painful!

I chose to "yellow light" student #2 as I also had
some questions about his project. A short conference later
and his idea was clearer and ready for the green light.

This worked really well, and most students were given the green light by their peers. A couple of students got the yellow light (between 50% and 75% of peers voted to approve their project), and nobody received a red light (which would have been less than half of the class voting to approve) I was worried that students would simply green-light everyone, but that turned out not to be the case. I was able to have short conferences with those students who received the yellow light, and helped them to clarify their ideas a little more.

So far, I have seen huge amounts of motivation during this project. Students are conducting independent research, helping each other by asking good questions, arranging conferences with me as needed, spending time on the project outside of school time... All in all, a very successful start.

I do anticipate that some students will eventually hit a wall in their project, and I am hopeful that it will be a learning opportunity for them. If they can learn how to deal with failure, how to persevere, how to be flexible in thinking and planning then I will consider the project to be a success overall.

I am doing a Passion Project alongside my students. You can find my Learning Spanish blog below :

Week 1 - Why I Want to Learn Spanish
Week 2 - Progress So Far
Week 3 - Plateau