For those who are unfamiliar, this idea (as I understand it) is based on Google's "20% time" or "Innovation Time Off" which is a policy that allows employees to use 20% of their work time actually working on ideas/projects that interest them instead of just working on those that they are required to do. This practice has now found its way into classrooms and many teachers/students are taking part. I've read about teachers allowing their students an hour or so each week to focus their learning on whatever they are passionate about (hence the terms "Passion Time" and "Passion Projects").
After taking part in the chat, I was inspired to try it out in my classroom. The only problem was, I only had one week left in the school year! I told my students about "Passion Projects" the day after my chat and they said they would love to try it out. So, during the last week of school, we had a modified "Passion Time" where students were given freedom to work on a project that they were passionate about. I even had a few students begin their projects at home over the weekend. Hey, that's okay! That shows that they are definitely passionate about it!
I wanted students to work individually, but some shared the same passion and wanted to work together. I allowed no more than two students to a group. I had a pair of students who told me they wanted to learn more about ocean creatures (particularly sharks). They researched information online and used books from our classroom library to create a PowerPoint that showed what they learned.
It was amazing how quiet my classroom was as the students worked. They were so focused and engaged during this time and they enjoyed being able to present at the end.
I'll have to do more research on this activity over the summer and see if it's really something I want to implement next year. I still have a few questions about it.
Here are a few links to sites I've found helpful:
- http://psolarz.weebly.com/passion-time.html (Link to Paul Solarz's site--great resources)
- http://royanlee.com/?p=2755 (Interesting post--great questions)