Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Passion Projects & Values

Mr. Stevenson & I are teaming up to engage our 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in passion projects.  This endeavor comes from the idea of "Genius Hour."  When students (or anyone really) are given time to fully explore & go deep in to a topic that they are passionate about, great things can result.  Students learn a great deal about their chosen passion but also learn valuable transferable skills like problem solving, critical thinking, clear communication, & research skills.  This philosophy is followed by big companies too create innovative products & ideas as well as increase productivity.  Google does this and many of the products we now use regularly are the result such as gmail.  We are excited to see what our students explore!

Before we dive right into our Passion Project, we are going to be exploring identity.  We are doing this so that students can get a good handle on who they are, what motivates them, and what they are passionate about.  To start we are exploring values and identifying what our core values are and why they are important to us.  

Here is my own example:

Mrs. Wood's Core Values:

1.  Compassion:  Kindness.  Caring about the well-being of others.                                                                                                                       Why?  This is important to me because I feel that we are all part of the world.  We are all human and deserve the same amount of respect.  Everyone is fighting a battle and we need to try to shed a little more light in the world.  It makes others feel good but it also makes yourself feel good.  

2.  Curiosity:  A strong desire to learn or know something.  Imagination.                                                                                                                       Why?  I love to learn!  I like to learn about something new whether it is about dark matter or dog training.  I also like it when other people inspire me.  This is how I got into learning how to code!  Students showed me what they were working on and it made me want to try!  Also imagination and curiosity are the traits I admire in my heroes.  They are the traits that helped our world develop awesome improvements like the internet & space travel.  

3.  Nature:  Respect for all living things.  

Why?  I grew up with the woods in my backyard.  I loved going in there to explore!  When I feel stressed out, I go for a hike in the woods and it helps me feel centered.  All of nature is connected and I love being part of it and protecting it.  

Red Clover Day & Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

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