#BettPassion Project Genius Wall and Updates #youmatter #choose2matter

It is time to update our status on our BettPassion project.

Part of our process in this project is to help students identify who they are and what their contributions are to the world.

What was amazing to me and other teachers were how many students really don’t believe they have anything to offer. It really broke my heart as an educator. The students who sauntered the hallways acting the most confident were the ones lacking the most confidence in themselves.

We are not just working on helping the world and offering our contributions, but we now had another element to address by helping students find themselves. If you don’t believe in yourself, then how can you help others?

Below is a slideshow showcasing how we had our students declare their Genius using light bulbs. Please check it out! I would love to see what others are doing to help students declare their genius.

One of the major mental blocks students faced was the context of the term “Genius”. They connected this term with the “gifted” or “smart” kids. What we had to do was show them that we are talking beyond that. What is it that you possess that allows problems to be solved. When we have an issue on a certain topic, can we go to you?

The next big goal is to use these Genius walls as a resource. If I am stuck on video editing, who can I go to for help? I need to brainstorm, who can help me? This wall will be a living breathing resource that we can all go to. It allows students to help others as well as see their genius spread.

We are currently in a phase where we are allowing students to find out what they need on their own. Part of this project is to help students find their independence and passion. They must begin to own it! This is not about requirements for a grade. This is about helping students find out how important their voice and ideas are to this world.

Next week we will be asking teams to submit their group folders showcasing examples of their work and connections. I will share those soon. From there each group will present on their current status. A few will want to go further and so we are in the process of developing a Shark Tank from local business owners to gain community buy in and to help students learn how to sell their ideas. We are very excited for this and have some amazing things in development.

To see more about our project check out  my prior blog posts – http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/search?q=bettpassion

I have so much more to share and will do that soon. For now, let me know what you think, what questions you have, and what I can do to help  please let me know.

We are also seeking some funding for the student ideas so if you like what you see and would like to help out we would be forever grateful. We are slowly getting to the phase where funding will be needed to make some of the projects develop. 

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

Student Blogging Tips for #bettpassion project

I was trying to think about ways to help guide to develop their own blogs as they begin to document their journey for our #bettpassion projects.

We have developed a website that will operate as the main hub, but students need their own individual platform. 

We will be providing each student (about 175 of them) with their own http://kidblog.org/BettPassion/ blog.

With so many having their own blog for the first time I was trying to figure out the best way to deliver the goods. I tried to develop a slide deck, but instead went with this blog post so it can serve as a resource as they need to revisit the material.

As always we would love any additional feedback as well as taking time to check out their ideas and blog posts.

Idea #1: Your personal brand

For many of you this is your first time sharing your work and ideas out in social media and the real world. 

As we explore this tool it is important that you: 

  • Display who you are through your actions and words. This is not chit chat time where you talk randomness. Keep the vision on the project and learning, but begin to brand who you are and what you represent.
  • Remember what you share is there forever even if you delete it. Before you post and submit always ask yourself, “Is this the essence of who I am?”
  • Always write with voice. Have PASSION for what you do!
  • Proofread – don’t come across ignorant by using improper words, spelling errors, forgetting punctuation, etc.

Idea #2: Blog Post Topics

Your blog posts need to capture the essence of what you are trying to accomplish. Speak from the heart and share the joys as well as the issues that develop. We want to learn from you and hear from you. We need to make sure kids change the world before the world changes them. 

Idea #3: Blogging Tips
  • Peer review, revise, and edit before posting.
  • Don’t post copyrighted content including pictures.
  • I would suggest drafting your in Google Docs first. If you need help with searching for safe images and citing facts properly check out my blog post about how to use the Google Research Tool
  • Short paragraphs and simple sentences.
  • Use media, but not copyrighted!
  • Aim for around 200 – 500 words

Idea #5: Responding(courtesy of Shaelynn Farnsworth)


Publishing
We are sharing our blogs with students from other schools – make sure that you are proud of what you post. Edit your blog. Do not post anything that has not had at least one other person view and edit. All posts must be school appropriate!


Responding – Your response is just as important as the post. The best way to move a writer forward is by a thoughtful response. Here are some tips to practice:
*Address writer by name
*Point to something specific but do not try to include everything
*Relate it to own life
*Be careful of criticism or sarcasm
*More than 3 sentences is best
*Sign name and school


*If you ever receive a response that is inappropriate tell your teacher immediately !



So, remember
1. Stay AWESOME and PASSIONATE about your work and vision.
2. Sell yourself in a professional and positive way. Don’t post and submit things that could impact your image.

3. Use the hashtag #bettpassion to connect with our global audience

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

1 Step Back to Go 3 Steps Forward. Time to act! #bettpassion

This past Thursday we reconnected with students to begin to move their ideas forward. After planning how to get them ready to go beyond simply talking about things and actually doing we realized that we had to generate our ideas and then make things happen.

So, Thursday I opened up with this slide deck and worked with an Inside Out approach. I did some reading and researching how to best connect with the students. To be honest not all 8th graders are sold on this idea. As I told them during this slide deck I think they are hesitant because for perhaps the first time in their education career their learning journey and outcomes are solely dependent on them. Their learning is in their hands to mold and make what they want. They really cannot blame a teacher, textbook, worksheet, or any other easy excuse.

#Bettpassion Day 1: One Step Back to Go Three Steps Forward from Aaron Maurer

When I went through my ideas students had about 10 minutes to begin to brainstorm independently their ideas. Reading their reflections from the day with Angela we learned that students were

  • upset with students who just went with their friends
  • wish they had the courage to break away from a group to another group
  • had more time to see other ideas
  • wish they had the courage to go solo
  • came up with a different idea after Tuesday
We gave them time to answer Why? How? What? independently to offer us their real passion and thoughts. 
I typed up all of their ideas on a Google Doc and used this information for Friday. Friday students had to take one notecard and write their one idea. During class we sorted the cards while the students jumped online to search for people involved in their ideas and to see if their thoughts are really a problem. As they did that we pulled students up to talk with some of them about their ideas to gain a better sense.
After sorting all the cards this weekend you can see the final ideas. Our job now is to figure out how to possibly merge some of them into teams. Where I feel the essential piece in learning will take place is Monday when students have to develop their action plan(see below). Some of the ideas that the students chose are not going to work. I don’t want a teacher to tell them. The real learning comes from them realizing it themselves. I don’t want to be the one to shortchange their ideas. This is the same philosophy we use with our robotics team. We let the kids choose their path and then help them rebuild their thoughts.

Where we are concerned is how long do we wait for them to realize their ideas might need to be tweaked? More importantly, how do we keep them from giving up because they will have to go through the process again.

#bettpassion Action Template from Aaron Maurer

That is where we are with our #bettpassion project right now. I hope to have all action plans finalized by Thursday to share out with everyone.

In the meantime if you have suggestions, resources, guidance, or any sort of help please let us know. We are learning as we go along as educators. I really feel that we are on to something powerful and will help to bring education to a new level of learning.

Last, don’t forget to check out website – http://bettpassion.wikispaces.com/

We are slowly getting things loaded up to the site. It will really be rocking when all students develop their blogs next week as well. We are just touching the tip of the iceberg.

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

#BettPassion Project updates – Students are ready to tackle the world!

It has been a few days since I have updated everyone on the status of our #bettpassion project where we worked with Angela Maiers last week to kickstart our own Choose2Matter project. Students worked on answering the question, “What Breaks Your Heart?”

Since last Tuesday students have spent time in their language arts class doing some reflecting on the day. I have compiled just a few of the reflections to give you an idea of their mindset of day. Lots of varying ideas, but in the end the students realized that they do have a GENIUS and they do have the POWER to make positive change.

After reflecting students have begun to identify their own genius and really diving into thinking about themselves and what they can contribute. We are in the process of developing a Genius Wall in our hallway. We will also be sharing these geniuses on our newly created wiki page for this project – http://bettpassion.wikispaces.com/

I would highly encourage you to follow this site. There is not much there right now, but next week things will really start to develop.

Starting this Thursday I will be working with the social studies teacher and students to begin to really start the projects. Some students are already up and running, but we want to get everyone started and make sure we look at all aspects of the projects.

Here is a breakdown of things that will be developed and shared to our project page soon.

  • a #bettpassion logo to use on all our social media
  • students will complete an action plan for their ideas(template to be uploaded soon)
  • collection of resources and services that help aid us along the way
  • video documentation from the workshop with Angela as well as our journey(we hired a professional film crew)
  • Student/Group blogs to share their journey with everyone
When we kick things off on Thursday I will be working to cover the following topics

  • Rethink ideas and begin to move forward
  • Begin work on Action Plan
  • Problem vs. Issue
  • Issue Analysis(3 of these)
  • Group/Student blog
  • Social Media
  • Not asking for money or doing fundraisers(we want to provide a service)
What are your thoughts? We are super excited to get started and make this happen. We have big plans and want the world to help these students help others!
I will keep everyone updated until we get things really off the ground and running. Once we do that, then the students will be ones keeping you in the loop!
Backreading
8th Grade Students Heartbreak Maps. We need your ideas! #bettpassion http://shar.es/ic3qO
Ebb and Flow of #Genius #Passion & #Mindshift in Educators & Students #bettpassion  http://shar.es/ic348 
Adults don’t always understand vision of kids. Let them SHOW you! #choose2matter #bettpassion http://shar.es/ic3lR
What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

8th Grade Students Heartbreak Maps. We need your ideas! #bettpassion

On Tuesday of this week students worked with Angela Maiers to create their heartbreak maps and begin to develop an idea about what their genius is and what matters to them. I won’t go into all details of the day as you can read about it here, but instead what I want to do is ask for help, guidance, and suggestions.

Students are now in the process of identifying their genius and exploring the issues that really matter to them. It was a lot for them to take in all in one day so we are taking a step back to help them really dive deep into themselves as well as the world.

I have shared the slideshow of their heartbreak maps

As students slowly make their way online(some are already moving along just fine if you follow #bettpassion on Twitter) to developing blogs, websites, and Twitter accounts I would like for them to begin to gain some feedback.

If you have time I would love it(and the students too) if you could check out their maps, their ideas, and offer any resources, websites, hash tags, ideas, questions, etc. that they have placed on their maps. You can leave a comment here on this blog, email me, or type up some ideas on this Google Doc – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UVR_FOmMfP-tXN6REtPLeREsIW9jXG1CvHBA_e3PseM/edit?usp=sharing

I will then share these with the students as we continue to narrow down, define, and develop an action plan. Our goal is to provide a service to these ideas. We are not going to be fundraising, asking for donations, or anything that requires people to give. The only thing we want people to give is expertise which is why I am writing this post.

We look forward to your ideas and thoughts. As always connect with us and the students using the #bettpassion hashtag.

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

Ebb and Flow of #Genius #Passion & #Mindshift in Educators & Students #bettpassion #coffeechugPLN

I am sitting here at my desk after a very fulfilling and eye opening event yesterday. We had the luxury of working with Angela Maiers and Mark Moran at our school to help our 8th grade students begin the journey of discovering themselves, their passion, and their genius.

This would be the first time that we have ever attempted something like this. The first time always comes with a bit of nerves due to the unknown. The day was incredibly busy and very much fulfilling. It will be one that I won’t forget.

Angela had to try and squeeze about two days worth of content into one day. This is a daunting task especially with dealing with 8th graders. She did a nice job of giving students the time and space to let them begin to discover themselves.

Now keep in mind we are working with 8th grade so to have them think about personal issues as well as genius is tough for many. They have never been asked this question and many don’t believe they have anything to offer. It is natural to see a wide variety of reactions. Some jumped right in and really took off with ideas. Some sat along the edges of groups to see what was happening. Others were a bit lost because they really did not know the answer. Some tried to show off by doing everything but address the issue because…..well they are 8th graders and it is not always cool to show emotion.

As the day developed students were starting to ignite and find their voice. There are so many unique examples of moments that occurred during the day that I honestly don’t know where to begin. Perhaps I will come back to these stories as the students develop their thoughts and ideas.

I kept going back to the dinner we had with Angela the night before. Many of us were quite nervous and unsure of ourselves when were asked to share our genius. As students grappled with the question it was only realistic to see them struggle because we did as well and we are adults.

Now here is the key to this whole project and day. We are starting a mind-shift  We are asking kids questions that they SHOULD know the answers to, but they don’t. We have been so consumed with standards and skills that we have eliminated opportunities for students to develop their voice, their ideas, and real world skills. This project brings that back to the classroom. Not easy to do as you can ask any teacher involved. They are asking, “What’s next?” The answer is that we have to work with students to develop a plan that meets their needs. This is not a set in stone curriculum that sits in a binder or textbook.

This is the joy and power of project based learning and in particular this project with Angela. There is not an answer key. We don’t hold a binder with curriculum. We have to take steps – both forward and backward – to reach our goals. We have to learn to articulate our thoughts, adjust our ideas, be questioned, and learn to sell ourselves. Basically, everything we need in life to survive in the real world!

As students begin the path down this journey, our staff will be doing the same thing. This is causing a shift in a culture of learning. 

In the evening last night I was exhausted. I reflected deeply on the day and tried to make sense of everything that happened. It was a lot to take in and after some discussion from several people it was hard to get an overall read of the day. I personally thought it was awesome, but others did not like the chaos of learning. It goes back to the notion of learning is messy. Not all of us operate this way and I get that and that is okay. It is part of the journey for educators as well. I really believe that the educators were just as much out of their comfort zone as the students.

And then something amazing happened last night. I started to check my Twitter feed and become overwhelmed with emotion and passion for my job. I was given relief that what I am striving for so much as an educator is the right thing. I started reading tweets from students who just joined Twitter for the first time. They were creating Twitter accounts for their projects. I started reading Facebook pages of students creating their messages of their passion projects online. I was reading from parents. It was more than amazing and filled my tank right back up to keep fighting for changing how we think and teach in schools.














































I will post several posts over the next few days about the specifics of what I learned from this day. I think of it as planting a seed of change. I view the day as a pre-test to give us insight into what skills the kids need and what they hold in their mind and hearts. We were blasted by it all in one shot which can be a lot to take in, but extremely powerful.

Thank you Angela and Mark for one powerful day. I have more ideas in my head and more excited to engage with students than ever before. Without your help and day of passion and genius shared here in Bettendorf I am not sure we would begin to make the changes needed to prepare our students for being amazing citizens. It was truly an honor to work with you both yesterday.

Last, I leave with a message from someone who just passed away in our community over the weekend. It was very unfortunate for the event to occur and this  influential person lost their life too soon. However, this was shared online and I want to end with it here because I believe it speaks to overall message that we need to have students think about as they prepare for life. This was something that he wrote and shared to people that knew him.

This though has been flowing through me for this weekend . . . . . 

I was reading today and I came upon an interesting fact. The average person only lives 28,251 days in his / her life time. Even if you lived to be 100 years old you would have only 36,500 days. Not millions, not hundreds of thousands . . . tens of thousands . . . what does that drive you to do . . . . Does it revive in you something that has remained dormant, does it forever change that fate you thought you were destined upon, does it motivate you take action that you would have otherwise hadn’t  Don’t squander what you have left in hate, greed or gluttony . . . . in what you could have done or what you should have done. Live for the moment now . . . right now . . . Dig deep within yourself and find that drive you once thought dormant. But never . . . never forget that the one thing that remains and forever will remain the solemn and constant truth is that you will never be alone in this journey. I will always be there for you . . . through the terrible and the amazing, the horrible and the astonishing . . . I will always be there for you. 

Dedicated to all family, all friends and most importantly you!!!!

It is time to celebrate your genius and begin to find ways to pursue your passions.

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

Adults don’t always understand vision of kids. Let them SHOW you! #choose2matter #bettpassion #coffeechugPLN

My worn out shoes seen here in this post tell a story. A story that opened my eyes at a time that could not be more perfectly placed.
My daughter Ava is 2.5 years old and she struggles a bit with speaking and formulating words. It creates frustration for both her and us at times when we cannot understand one another properly. Yesterday, Ava and I went outside after she was having a moment that all two year olds have from time to time:). After finally getting outside she became angry because she clearly wanted something else. I assumed she was tired and just being a bit whiny. She kept trying to go inside even though we just came outside after she was throwing a fit to be outside. During this moment I was growing frustrated because I did not know what she wanted. She was growing frustrated with me because I was not helping her meet her needs. It was quickly becoming a lose lose situation very quickly. The reason was simply because I was being a typical adult.
I assumed everything wrong.
All she wanted was to go inside real quick to bring me my shoes. She wanted to put my shoes on so we could go play. 
I felt terrible. Here I was misinterpreting what she wanted and all she wanted to do was help! It was at this moment that it hit me!
Tuesday, we are blessed to have Angelia Maiers come to Bettendorf to work with some of our 8th graders. These students will have an opportunity to have their voices heard. Students who we don’t always give a chance to have their voices heard will be able to share their ideas and enact on a topic that they hold dear to their heart.
I wonder how many times our students/own kids behave a certain way to try to convey an idea or message to only have it misinterpreted by adults? The reason is because sometimes we just don’t know how to express what we need to get off our chest. If we can work to help kids help express their ideas and at the same time work with adults to help them not jump to conclusions how many great ideas could be enacted on?
Working on myself as both a father and as an educator I hope to work on my own skills of helping students get their ideas out. I think sometimes the hardest thing to do is to convey ideas that are vital to our own lives. 
Simon Sinek discusses in his book how “our behavior is affect by our assumption or our perceived truths. We make decisions based on what we think we know.” I wonder how often as educators we make improper decisions based on false assumptions?
All these ideas are swirling in my head and I cannot wait to put them to practice.
I am so excited to work with Angela and teachers of Bettendorf to help students find their ideas and passions to pursue. We will work very hard to help students broadcast to the world their ideas. We want all kids to share their ideas.
The biggest obstacles I see are the following
  • students not confident enough to share their ideas because they think their ideas are not worth it or important enough.
  • students stripping away the label and brand they have crafted for themselves as students. I really believe the best ideas to come forth Tuesday will come from the students who are considered not the best students.
  • students really working with others besides their friends. Diversity is key when it comes to brainstorming
I know that personally these are the three things I will strive to work on with the students Tuesday and throughout our semester long project. I know Angela will help to eliminate these issues through her workshop. I know that Tuesday students will not be the only ones learning!
My goals with this project are personal as well. I will try to be a better father and educator by looking inward and adjusting how I treat situations where I don’t always give people the proper time to share what they need to share.
I thank my daughter Ava for enlightening me at the most crucial point in time as I get ready to help students change the world!
What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

Choose2Matter: Bettendorf 8th Graders Ready To Change The World! Press Release #bettpassion #coffeechugPLN

Contact – Aaron Maurer, Bettendorf Middle School (563) 359-3686 amaurer@bettendorf.k12.ia.us

Choose2Matterhttp://choose2matter.org/

Media Opportunity

9 a.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Tuesday, September 3

Bettendorf High School, 3333 18thSt., Bettendorf

Contact – Celeste @ (563) 359-3681 ext. 3005 or (563) 529-2501

Social Media Hashtags – #choose2matter #bettpassion
BMS Students Learning that They Matter

& Working to Change Our World

Bettendorf Middle School 8th grade students are attending a day-long workshop on Tuesday, September 3 to learn about changing lives and our world through Choose2Matter.  Angela Mairers consultant, speaker and former elementary teacher and Mark Moran are coming to work with Bettendorf Middle School students and staff on the concept behind Choose2Matter – when someone believes that they matter, they see the world in a different light, and behave differently. When people realize they matter they approach life and work in a manner that understands that their actions can have a positive impact on the world.

During a 2011 TEDxDesMoines presentation, “You Matter,” Angela Maiers spoke of how these two words can change lives and change our world, if we understand them and we leverage them in the right way.  Students everywhere reacted powerfully to this call to action, completing jaw-dropping quests to address problems in our world. These range from:

·       Building a library in a rural village in Ghana;

·       Raising money to build wells for communities without water;

·       Starting and scaling non-profit organizations to support issues in education, environment and other social causes; and

·       Creating innovative support mechanisms to help others in crisis.

Bettendorf Middle School students and staff will begin work on their call to action on Tuesday. Through December they will develop an action plan, work with experts/professionals, review plans, and implement their plans. Students will be hosting an exhibition of their project and work on Thursday, December 12. This unique opportunity will provide students a chance to utilize the power of student voice and their ideas to make a positive change in the world.

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

Bettendorf Middle School Students Ready To Change The World!

I have big news! I mean BIG news.

This might be the biggest project undertaking I have ever been part of and I cannot remember a time I have ever been so excited.

On Tuesday, September 3rd our 8th grade students will have the pleasure to work with one of the greatest educators game changers – Angela Maiers

We are bringing Angela Maiers to our school system to kick off what is going to be one amazing project. The students are going to answer the question, “What breaks your heart?” Not only will the students be answering this question, but they will begin to come up with a solution to this issue that they hold dear to their hearts.

This is part of her cause, Choose2Matter. Last year we had students go through this project on a much smaller scale. This year we will be moving this to a massive first semester project where students will identify an issue in our community, develop an action plan, and attempt to put the action plan into action. Our goal is to give back to the community while helping students discover more about themselves and the community.

I speak daily about passion and living a life that speaks to what we hold dear to our heart. I feel blessed and honored to have connected with Angela and am even more excited to have her come to our school, in person, to reach out to our students. This is personally one of the biggest moments in my education career. I know that this will lead to even bigger moments when students realize their voices CAN be heard and they DO MATTER!

As we work furiously to pull this day of learning off to jump start a large semester project, I cannot help but give praise and thanks to my administration, teachers, parent link organization, and everyone involved in our building to help make this happen. The credit goes to our administrators here at Bettendorf Middle School for allowing us to take this on and to help come up with necessary funds, materials, and logistics. Lisa Reid and Jayme Olson have been very supportive in allowing us to take this project on and without their help and support this would never work. Our high school administrator Jimmy Casas has opened up the high school to allow a great learning environment for the students while our middle school is in the process of expanding and upgrading. The teachers of 8H1 and 8H2 have been awesome in allowing me to meet with them, work with their ideas, and willingness to change their approach to teaching as we merge this project into the curriculum and teaching of language arts and social studies. The rest of the teachers for being flexible enough to adapt to changes in schedule and ideas as we work to make this project successful. Our very own Parent Link has been awesome in helping make sure we have what we need to get things started as we work on grants and further funding and resources. In the end this has been a Bettendorf School District family project. Many other educators and building staff are excited as well and ready to see what develops.

This is what it is all about. We are seeing and feeling the power of our school district. People are invested even if not directly connected to the project……….yet! I feel empowered by this and it has not even started yet! The kids are the power source and once we get them going I can only imagine where they take us.

The unknown can be daunting. I am sure we will make mistakes, but as long as we learn and stay connected to one another and cause, then this is what education is all about.

In the end I want to say Thank You! Thank You before it starts because much work has gone into this quickly and I am ready to change the world!

Please follow our journey. I will be sharing here on this blog as well as developing a website directly connected to this project where teachers and students will be sharing out the journey.

The hashtags that we will be using will be #choose2matter and #bettpassion so please follow along on Twitter and Instagram as things develop.

Last, but not least, we would love to hear from you. If you could send a message via an social media outlet of your choice wishing the students good luck, message of motivation, etc. we would love to share this with them on Tuesday, September 3rd to let them know the world is already watching them. The more the merrier so please spread the word and I will collect all the messages. Just use the hashtags above or leave a comment here or email me at aarmau@gmail.com

Here is an article just published by Angela in the Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angela-maiers/students-changing-the-wor_b_3819467.html

Here are some links to things we developed last year at the end of the school year.

Passion Is Key To Education http://shar.es/zwDme (this blog post has links to all other links on this topic)
http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/choose2matter

Here are some links of the Choose2Matter movement taking place

Here is a good summary of Choose2Matter-there are several slide decks below with images and examples
Here are some of the passion/compassion projects
And BEST example–students actually changing the word:
Their perspective of what that means: Students created this!!
What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)

Passion Is Key To Education

Here I am in the summer. School has been out for over 3 weeks and I am super excited about the learning taking place.

Earlier in the year starting in April I had some students work with Angela Maiers on her Choose2Matter project which is all about students pursuing their passions in life.

As I have time to help out with my Storytelling team for this project I am so impressed by the students who are still working throughout the summer. It is not all of them who were working during the school year, but to see any student in the summer still working is so exciting to me! It gives me great hope to continue to push down the path of PASSION! I am reading the books of Angela and through my own various projects I continue to see how powerful passion can really be when it comes to education.

Over on the site you can see the projects submitted by students from all over the world including the awesome Bettendorf students(sorry, had to put a plug in for my school and students!)

Talking with some educators the other night I was thinking about how awesome this project has been for me. It has helped to reshape my focus on education. It opened up my eyes to how amazing students are no matter their background, intelligence, or grades. I have kids as young as 6th grade working social media like they have been doing it for 15 years. I have a 7th grader creating videos along with his very own published music showcasing his talents in multimedia. I have several students whose projects showcase a side of them that schools have never allowed them to showcase before. Going through the projects in the link above and working with the students who are part of the Dream Team behind the scenes making this project happen has ignited my PASSION for learning and teaching.

As I pursue a new job in the fall, one of the key benefits will be my scope and reach with so many students. I will be able to expand beyond just the gifted population and help all students find their passion and purpose along with teachers. I look forward to the opportunity. I look even more forward to where this Choose2Matter project will lead next. I really believe it has just begun.

Angela Maiers energy and passion is contagious. I have yet to meet her in person, but just through social media her energy and excitement permeates through the computer screen. She along with others has been a great breathe of fresh air to me this past year and summer. She has helped me find a new path in my educational platform and helped to fine tune my thoughts and ideas.

I really hope to continue to work with Choose2Matter because through working with this project my own passion has increased and my own project of expanding my reach to many students of all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds has just begun.

Please take time to check out the project links. They are really amazing!

Here are my prior posts about this project

1. Email to teachers
2. Teacher Reflection #2
3. Teacher Reflection #1
4. Crowdsource Video
5. What Am I Teaching?

What do you think of this post?
  • Awesome (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Useful (0)
  • Boring (0)
  • Sucks (0)