Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Pursuit of Passion" is ready to roll

A few weeks ago I blogged about the many projects we had to finish in 4 weeks, and I am happy to report we have finished many of them so far and one in particular we launch tomorrow - The Pursuit of Passion project with year 7.

It has taken about 4 weeks of planning, collaborating and creating across Science, Math, English, Learning Development team and Humanities to create a 21 lesson intensive program on leading students through an inquiry process and associated skills while they inquire into something they are passionate about. They are leading the learning while we guide them through the most effective ways to connect and wonder, explore and investigate, make meaning, create and reflect. We will be introducing an inquiry cycle and practical tools to help them move into year 8 and they will be launching into another interdisciplinary unit starting within a few weeks of the new year.

I do realise this is not the most effective way to teach information literacy skills being out of context of their normal subjects, however we believe it is a start to get teachers and students to understand and be excited about how incorporating information literacy can assist in learning. We also hope it will help with the transfer of skills across the disciplines. It will be followed up in year 8 within their normal subject and if it works, we will be doing the same with year 7 at the beginning of the year.

About 100 hours have been spent creating a student booklet with many graphic organisers created in Comic Life 2 (based on some from the NY Fluency Continuum) and teacher booklets with detailed lesson plans so all teachers and students will be helped through the learning process. All English, Science and Humanities class times will be used for this program with a few Math classes toward the end. Each class will have at least 2 teachers in the room to assist and guide students, we have about 10 teachers involved. It is a pilot programme and requires buy in from everyone and is risky with so much that can fall apart. One of the most rewarding aspects has been the collaboration and dedication of the whole planning team - starting at school at 7am to get in 90 minutes of work before school started and even staying late after school to get the job done. It was very tiring but epic and exciting.

The students will be working toward creating a Glogster or keynote and 3 minute oral presentation to their peers about their passion and what they learned over the 2 weeks. Below is a tool list outlining what will be taught specifically with the students having an opportunity to indicate how they feel about the tool before and after the lessons.

We did a 50 minute launch of the project on Friday and the students were buzzing when they left the room. We hope to keep them buzzing in the last 2 weeks of school.

1 comment: said...

Looks fantastic Di. What a great initiative. I'll be interested in hearing from you how it all pans out. Good luck - looks to me like it will be successful. :)