I was greatly inspired by the work coming out of my former place of work, NIST (New International School of Thailand, in Bangkok). There is a blog for Exhibition teachers and through that, I came across a simple post: How Do We Assess the Exhibition? I really liked the style of the rubric and have used this as a platform for tailoring one to our Passion Project. It is still a work in progress – I have a couple more weeks before the big kick-off – but I want to put it out there in the hope of making it better. Click on image for larger view. Click to download PDF. Click to access Pages file.
We had the students reflect in a variety of ways last year. While I like this, I also like giving them some kind of structure to guide their reflection, should they need it. To that end, I created a student reflection sheet based on the Learner Profile. Click on images to enlarge – the first is a set of guiding questions for the student to consider during the weekly reflection. The second provides space for notes. Click to download a PDF copy.
In a few weeks, we will kick off our fifth grade Exhibition unit: The Passion Project. It was our first year doing this last year and over the summer, I put a lot of work into the Passion Project – it was (and is) my passion. In addition to pulling out the ‘tried and true’ of last year, I have been looking for ways to connect this project with my new class of students. They are different to my kids last year and I am different to how I was last year and the world as we know it is different to last year – so it only makes sense that the Passion Project be different too.
We are keeping our Passion Tour – a day trip around our city in which we meet people who love what they do and love how what they do, connects them to their community. Here are some other resources that we will be taking a look at:
The Future Project: Playbook
This became known to me this week (yesterday!) and I love it. The playbook is designed to be used over a couple of months which is perfect for our project. Every kid will have one and I will encourage them to take one for their family members as well – the more the merrier! What I like about the Playbook is that it is a way to inspire thinking about yourself, your passions, your possibilities. It looks at things from a different perspective and gives you multiple ways of tapping into what makes you uniquely you. Download the 60 page Playbook. Follow The Future Project on Twitter or check out their website for more information.
Inspirational Videos – Inspire My Kids
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is priceless. If you are looking for really great videos that show awesome kids doing awesome things, you really can’t go past the amazing website, Inspire My Kids. I can’t say enough about this site. Over the years I have seen it expand its content and the teaching materials/ideas/question starters that they offer are great. It is inspiring, well organized, current and uplifting. I was reminded of this website when a friend sent me the following video which I had first seen through Inspire My Kids. This website is packed with videos like this one that are perfect for showing kids what kids can do.
Short and Powerful
Another great resource is the Zen Habits Short but Powerful Guide to Finding Your Passion. It is great. Last year, I found it about two weeks after we started and I wished I had found it sooner. This guide won’t be comprehensive, and it won’t find your passion for you. But it will help you in your journey to find it. It does so by asking 10 questions. Read the full post to have these ten points explained:
What are you good at?
What excites you?
What do you read about?
What have you secretly dreamed of?
Learn, Ask, Take Notes.
Narrow things down.
Banish your fears.
Find the time.
How to make a living doing it.
Oflow – App
Oflow is a combination Playbook and Zen Guide – it offers over 120 tips for having more ideas and being more creative. From creating a mind map and drawing in the dark, to re-organizing your thinking and utilizing help from strangers, Oflow has enough creative methods to make sure you’ll be thinking like a creative genius. When you first open the app you’re presented with a random idea – a new random idea every time you open the app. From there you can browse the other creative methods, bookmark your favorites to use again later, email any of the creative methods to yourself or anyone in your address book, and create a note to store ideas or random thoughts. The app is created by Tanner Christensen, a creativity expert, entrepreneur, and author. He currently writes for the creative inspiration blog, Creative Something, and founded the creative ebook publishing house Aspindle. You can follow him on Twitter @tannerc or learn more about him and his work by visiting TannerChristensen.com