Over the last two days, I have introduced the Playbook to my class. I started on Wednesday with a group of seven or so kids who were ready to move on. They took to it like bees to honey! On Thursday, I had a couple of kids from that initial group share it with the rest of the class.
Like most things in my class, there was a large spectrum of engagement and interest. Some saw it as a chore (“Do we have to do the whole thing?”), some were inspired (“Can I start now? Do I have to ask you to do the next play?), others wanted to share the love (“Can I take one home for my dad? I know he would want to do it with me!”).
My initial reaction:
they like that it is different and that their responses are going to be unique to them
kids do a way better job of inspiring kids than I can!
when left to their own devices, it is quite inspiring to see what they will create
this is what school should be like – a journey of self in which learning is intrinsically built in
The Playbook ‘plays’ are split into five categories. As they progress through the book, your kids will be:
The skills they will be ‘forced’ to use will stretch their thinking and challenge them intellectually, socially, creatively and emotionally. They will make connections across different subject areas and in different parts of their lives inside and outside of school, humanly and digitally.
Here are some examples from the first play in the book:
These manifestos are popping up all over the school. One of my kids, without prompting, wrote his manifesto and posted it at the place he takes after-school vocal lessons. Inspired by him, I have challenged others to post an additional copy of their manifesto somewhere outside of the school in the spirit of “putting themselves out there”.
It’s only in it’s infancy, yet the Playbook is moving up the ranks to one of my favorite things.
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