I pushed the 4 classroom tables to the four side walls and filled the middle with the chairs, arranged in a semi-circle facing the smartboard.. I opened the Passion Project #4 folder housing the 8 slideshows. On the whiteboard, I wrote the header “Passion Project #4” and then listed the numbers 1-8. As students arrived, the room showed them that today was a different kind of day.
“Be sure to sign-up for when you want to present,” I announced as 7th graders entered my room last Friday. I saw B immediately drab the red dry-erase marker and write his name next to the #1. Next L wrote his name next to #8. Others filled in the remaining spaces.
“Can we have a few minutes to get ready?” a student asked.
“Sure!” and I set an electronic timer for 5 minutes.
Following this and for the next hour, I sat as tech support, displaying each student’s prepared slideshow on a topic of their choice. We listened and jotted down one thing we learned and one question we have. Once the expeert shared their passion, questions were asked, comments were made, applaud was given to celebrate the brilliance shared.
The day before, the class learned about a passion of mine – author Nic Stone. (Yep….I do the same assignments and model it.) Then this Friday, I sat and learned! I learned about pandas. I traveled to the UK and El Salvador, I now know the temperature on all the planets and how long it takes for each to orbit the sun. I learned all about the singer, Whitney Huston and about symptoms and treatments of anxiety. And I kinda want to play minecraft after learning all about this electronic game.
What inspired you to choose this topic? was a question asked. I heard these responses:
* It’s my favorite animal.
* My parents traveled to the UK last year.
* My parents are from El Salvador.
* I like exploring the NASA website.
* She’s my grandma’s favorite singer.
* I personally experience anxiety and it is something we should talk about.
* I really like playing it and watching YouTubers share tips.
Have you every, as a teacher, had your students chose and present a passion?
I find it my favorite part of teaching this Reading 7 class!