We recently finished independent research projects in one of the fourth grade classrooms. You can read about that in this post. The teacher and I wanted to hear what the children thought of the process and the opportunity to explore a topic of their own choosing. As the teachers, we know what we thought about the process but we wanted to hear form them. Here are some of their responses:
I enjoyed the fact that other people would be reading my work. I like the feeling of getting other people excited about the next section of the story. I always enjoyed writing, but when I blog I get detailed feed back on my story, and sometimes the readers know more about the topic than I do! They can comment and tell me all of their knowledge, for the story and for the topic.
I loved this project and bloging. I can’t wait for the next time we can do an IRP again. I think this is a great learning project. It’s great to focus on one topic that really interests you.
I love feeling like a real writer
It allowed me to show my creative side through things that I like a lot.
Because it allows me to have some time to do things I like.
I liked that you could chose what you wanted to learn about.
That you got to learn about everyones when they presented it.
Set Godin, in his manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams writes,
“We can amplify each kid’s natural inclination to dream, we can inculcate passion in a new generation, and we can give kids the tools to learn more, and faster, in a way that’s never been seen before.”
As you can read from the students’ responses to the project, if given the time during the school week, the freedom to choose their own learning and the chance to pursue a passion, they can rise to the occasion and go beyond the status quo.