Passion projects on display!
Each quarter, students in Grades 3–5 work on a special kind of home learning: their inspiration projects. In the ASP Lower School, homework looks a little different than it did even 5 short years ago. Student-centered learning means that our educators are creative, engaged, and thoughtful about learning that develops students' curiosity and intrinsic motivation. This instills a love of learning in students that lasts a lifetime, and the inspiration projects are quarterly examples of how passionately our students take ownership of their learning!
Rather than assign specific projects, or dictating a class-wide assignment, students work on Inspiration projects based on their own interests, in addition to both personalized homework (i.e. one student may need more math practice, while another may need more time working on persuasive writing) and a regular reading goal.
Inspiration projects are dictated by students interest, within a series of guidelines that ensure students are practicing their researching skills, learning about how to discern between trustworthy and untrustworthy sources of information, and showing their creativity in deciding how they want to present their learning to their classroom community.
The result is an event that is part science-fair, part art-walk, and all fun! Students create displays, dioramas (or small-scale ships!), build games, program robots, and create videos and other digital presentations to share what they've learned with their peers.
While Lower School students are a few years way from essays reflecting on epistemology, the inspiration projects are an amazing way for students to take something they're really interested in, and to learn what we know about that topic, how we know it, and how we share that knowledge with others.
Great work, everyone, we can't wait for the next showcase!