Taking cues from each student’s developmental readiness, teachers and parents use these guiding strategies to support the life-skills practice of creativity, confidence-building, problem-solving, and perseverance.
Acorns: Students are exploring and beginning to find what they are passionate about. Students are often trying out new skills and experiences. Students may have passion projects that look more like “maker space” that can last a few days. Facilitators support students in confidence-building and dreaming big.
Nature Growers: Students may have skills and interests that support long term projects. Students are more aware of who they are and what they like. Students choose to commit 1-2 weeks to their passion project and do reflection at the end of each “project.” Some students may be in the “maker space” capacity. Facilitators support students with reflecting on their successes and failures as complementary parts of the experience.
Redwoods: Students have solidified many skills and can work independently. They are deeply passionate about their interests and can foresee more about what they want to get out of it. Students choose to commit at least 2-3 weeks to their passion project. Facilitators try to encourage students to extend the length of their commitment and choose “solution-based” projects as well as encourage supporting work/research outside of their time at school.
Evergreens: Students are more capable of project managing, pushing beyond current skills to learn new ones and being supported to focus on depth and quality. Students choose to commit 4-6 weeks, in class, to their passion projects well as some time outside of the classroom.
How the Triangle (teachers, parents, students) supports reflection & metacognition
1) Documentation – Facilitators can take notes and photos to provide documentation of the project’s evolution. Socratic questioning supports expanding creativity, solving problems and developing grit. See our blog post, “When A Question Helps You Learn.”
2) Personal Rubrics – Influenced by the original creative work model – the scientific method – students are encouraged to set goals, plans, and personal measures of accomplishment, that can be reviewed in a cyclical model of experience & learning.
3) Consultancy – Mentors, like parents, are invited to visit during passion project time and offer consultant services during passion project time. You could roam or be in the studio to offer more questions to theirs! Parents at home, encourage students to pursue resources and tools to support their projects.