Monday, March 3, 2014

Embarking on the MESSY Student-Driven, Process-Centered Research (PSI) Journey

After much preparation on determining types of questions, exploring Bloom's Taxonomy, writing researchable questions, generating Google search key words, incorporating reflection into daily activities, offering peer feedback opportunities in many mediums, and more, I am beginning my PSI journey.

I am piloting PSI with a few others in my district. PSI is like Genius Time/Passion Hour/20% time, but (from what I've seen) PSI takes it a step further. PSI is a student-driven, process-centered opportunity for students to explore their own interests. Students have been given time to identify a challenge, problem, or question that they would like to explore. For two weeks, we are dedicating 90 minutes that allow students the freedom to think independently, take risks, and learn from their mistakes.

I'm scared, too. 

My ten commandments (so far) of surviving this process include:

  1. Model.
  2. Provide feedback. 
  3. Reflect.
  4. REPEAT. Constantly. 
  5. Accept that they will mess up.
  6. Accept that the process is more important than the product
  7. Allow students to learn from each other.
  8. Welcome creativity. 
  9. Try activities yourself, it's not easy!
  10. Laugh. Often. About everything. With anyone who will listen. 

While I'm sure I will have a melt down about these projects at some point or another, the laughing "commandment" has been a great coping mechanism so far. I decided to go through this process along with my students, researching about going to Australia on a budget and catering the trip to my interests. The teacher I am piloting PSI with decided that she wanted to research as well, and collaborated with our gifted teacher. I hope you enjoy the email banter as much as I did.

Other 4th Grade Teacher    Re: PSI 
And since I love Lauren's idea, now I have to come up with my own research question. (or just hop on a plane with Lauren.)  Think I can do something related to Bachelor???  It is a passion of mine. ;)

Gifted Teacher      Re: PSI 
You must pursue your passions.  Let me help you with some research ideas:
  • If I were to be the next Bachelorette, how could I plan the perfect group date and individual date in ________ country?
  • If I were Juan Pablo, how would I clear my image?
  • What diseases can be transferred from one person to another...or one person to multiple people?

Love working with these two, and can't wait to share more about the process!

Some resources are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, while others are scattered around my classroom website. Resources will be available in one location soon! I want to test them out before sharing.