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Friday, January 26, 2018

My Journey To 20% Time @ajjuliani @spencerideas @DonWettrick #Empowerbook #20time

Why am I doing this?
  1. I want my students to own their learning. I think the only way to truly do that is that the students need to be able to learn what they are passionate about. I also think 
  2. I want my students to be more than just consumers. However, critical consuming is needed. 
  3. I want my students to be chefs not cooks. What I mean by this is I don't want my students just to follow recipes but to be the creators of recipes. Check out this blog post on more on this concept. 
  4. After reading Empower (click here for my book review), I was ready to lunch. I was done thinking about, talking about, and brainstorming ideas. It was time to try something. 
I am doing this with my senior math class. The class is meant as bridge to college math and there really isn't any new concepts we are going over just review. The seniors are doing really well and have been doing really well in class. I also only have 7 students!

Note: I think others call this concept Genius hour, but I don't like that word. 20% time has more of an ownership feel than a label.

My biggest fears
  • What if my student's don't learn or achieve their goal?
  • How do I keep students motivated and on task during 20 time?
  • How to learn to change my role as a teacher to more of a facilitator?
  • What in the world am I doing? 
On Thursday morning I was starting to freak out. I didn't have all the details I wanted to figure out, couldn't get the link to A.J. Juliani's "Guide to 20% Time in education" E-Class, and just was having doubt about what I was doing.

I got this e-mail from AJ with the corrected link: 

 I also got some encouragement from twitter:

Flow of the project:
  1. Brainstorm
  2. Elevator pitch
  3. Learning and practicing project
  4. Reflect (weekly)
  5. Present to school/class. I would like to a TEDx style like event for final project.
Intro of the project
The last 10 minutes on Thursday (yesterday) I introduced the concept of 20% time and had  each student review and sign a contract to the rules of 20% time. I wanted to be very clear on my expectations.
  1. I didn't want them to be working on anything else during their 20% time. When we are doing 20% time we are doing our 20% time. 
  2. You have to have some way to reflect. I told them they have to journal, start a blog, video reflections, etc. 
  3. They will present to the class/school twice (contract is not clear on this part), once in an elevator type pitch explaining their project and the second time explaining their accomplishment. I wanted to do the elevator pitch, a 90 second recap of what they are doing and why, to help create ownership. 
  4. This is not graded. Have Fun. Pick something that you are passionate about. 

Inertial Student Reactions:

  • "This is cool"
  • "Anything" Yes anything, within reason. 
    • "Can I learn how to drag race?" Not sure that is practical. 
    • "Learn how to dunk?" Yes, even something physical is learning something
  • "I don't have time for this"
  • "I don't know what to do." Don't worry we are going to spend a whole day brainstorming ideas. 
  • "Do I have to do this?"

Brainstorming (Day 1)
Today we worked on brainstorming guide handout and for the most part all the students narrowed down what they want to do. We reviewed the outline of the project. I used this graphic from A.J. Julani.

I also explained to them that we will be working on this every Friday. I meet with the students for 200 minuets a week and for forty minutes EVERY Friday we will work on our 20% Projects. "That changes things, I thought we only had 20 minuets to work on this." I guess as their math teacher I need to do a better job of teaching percent. Today students were  energized to work on their projects and start brainstorming ideas. I was really impressed with some of the projects the students came up with.  

  • S1: lean to play the ukulele, will be able to play "La Vie en Rose" by Louis Armstrong
  • S2: Lean to play the Piano, and will be able to play the song IANAHB Instrumental
  • S3: Learn to journal ( I think its like sketch journaling or sketch noting), and wants to produce a 
  • S4: Learn to program (Python), and will be able to make a game
  • S5: Learn to be an apologetic, Wants to have debates and not having people upset at him and be able to persuade other people
*Some students are still brainstorming or where absent

Question's I have:
  • Do goals need to be measurable?
  • Is just building a game a good enough goal? Is it to vague? 
  • Should my student who want to be a better apologetic participate in a debate? Toastmasters? I am not sure how I will know how the student will reach that goal. 
  • Are some of the goals unrealistic? Will students shut down once the realize that it is too hard? 
  • How do I help the students if I don't know how to do ANYTHING that they want to learn?
  • Is one week enough time to do step 2, Pitch? Should I give them 2 weeks? That might help with the students that where gone today? Or the ones that are ready for their pitch can go next week. 
  • Does the reflecting piece of the project need to be done every week? Do I need to review their reflections? 
  • What questions am I not thinking of? 
Things I need to figure out for the students.
  1. Find a ukulele
  2. Figure out if I can get a Piano during class time (Our school has a whole bunch around but not sure if the student)
  3. Figure out how the student can practice the Piano at home without a piano? 
    1. iPad App? How much are keyboards? Can I rent one?
Action Plan:
  • Work on things I need to do for the students
  • Finish the online class from AJ Juliani 
  • Figure out when and how to do the pitch part
People who have inspired me to do this

  • A.J Juliani
  • John Spencer
  • Don Wettrick
  • Simon Sinek 
Podcast I listen to for motivation

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