What would your students do if they had class time in art to focus on something they were passionate about? This summer I listened to teacher and author Kevin Brookhouser speak about he uses 20Time in his high school classes and I knew I had to try it. The concept is inspired by Google, which gives it's employees 20% of their time to work on any project they want to. Kevin does this with his students and the results are amazing.
My kids have quite a bit of choice in my TAB classroom, but it's mostly centered around themes and topics that I select. I want my students to have the opportunity to really focus on pursuing the things they are passionate about. I also want to give them a space to investigate how art can intersect or support other subjects.
I want my class to provide the type of learning experience that is remembered for a lifetime.
I decided on the following criteria for 20Time:
I was excited and a little nervous when I shared this idea with my Art 1 classes yesterday. Would they get it? Would they be able to come up with ideas?
I presented the information above and had them identify one of the three project categories that they connected with. I saw them sit up a little taller as I talked, eyes bright with interest.
Next, they got in groups based on the category they selected and did a brainstorming activity. I asked them to list possibilities for projects without considering the cost, feasibility or their ability level, to tap into creative, out of the box thinking.
Next, I had kids fill out this planning sheet on my website. Some chose to work alone, other in groups. I was amazed at some of their ideas. Here are a few I'm excited about:
Building a website for a current business selling used xboxes.
Worldbuilding for a novel being written.
Character development for a future graphic novel.
Exploring watercolor technique.
Designing a toy drive for a local animal shelter.
Writing a smartphone app.
And this was just week one! I'm very much looking forward to next Friday.
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I'm interested in creating a student student centered space for my high school students through choice and abundant opportunity for self expression. I'm also a writer for SchoolArts co-author of The Open Art Room.