We wanted to share with you a snippet from this rich conversation between two of our Year 2 Passion-Based Learning (PBL) Community members as they get to know each other in the teams where they will be designing a PBL unit.

Cori, Love the focus you want to put on students developing their own projects. Am I right to understand that some of your goals are: student engagement, motivation, ownership of learning, project planning, design, and execution?

Whenever I provide this type of freedom to my students (same age) I always find the challenge is providing the right opportunities for them to discuss and develop internal rubrics for standards of excellence. How do they know what good looks like? How do they know what great looks like? How do they develop the motivation to exceed their own expectations? Thanks for the thoughts.

Sheamus Burns

Sheamus, My kids co-construct their own criteria. They think about and share what needs to go into their assessment and evaluation at every stage. Time to reflect on their evaluation tool allows them to think critically about their goal. This also gives them time to narrow their focus. Often, they tell me they want something to be evaluated and something to be used as assessment. Other times, they specify both.

For us, our year is focused on storytelling, mostly through performance poetry. We have shared with artists our own age, younger, older, in our classroom and outside the class. We have listened to the best of the best. It is important to note that story telling is different for everyone. It is the journey we honour.

How do we evaluate that? Through teaching others, the students look at how far they’ve come, how far they hoped to go and how much change happened along the way-even change in others. These experiences have pervaded the exemplars for students to be able to create and to understand the criteria for meeting expectations and exceeding expectations. Assessing and evaluating story tell craft is simple. The kids and I do this every day. It’s part of our  language: ok great hook, but what was the message?

Since our student are the same age, and both our classes our passion-base, how about once we get going, we Skype and have the kids co-construct criteria. The answers come from them?

Cori Sass

Curious about our Passion-Based Learning Community?

Passion FlowerOur Year 2 experience focuses on project, problem, and passion-based learning. We teach you how to use inquiry-based learning through the lens of social technologies. You’ll have provocative conversations and explore collaborative solutions to assessment. We work on re-envisioning classrooms and curriculum through hands-on, online, student/teacher collaboration. These teams will develop a cross-curricular project aligned with state standards and embedded with 21st Century skills and literacies. We look closely at how to scale learning while involving students in the PLP process. See an example of how our students and teachers saved the world through their problem-based learning experience.

Learn more about Year 2 and save your spot for the Communities forming now!

Photo credit: Flickr

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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

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