This year, eighth graders have begun a highly beneficial project called Your Choice. In this project, students can work alone or with others to address a certain need. Then, they will create a final product to help them address that need, such as a video game, a short film, or a community service project. They will then present those products at the student-led conferences in June.
In previous years, the project was called Being Human, and students were given a limited amount of topics to choose from. However, students and teachers felt the project was based on the service learning elective, and students wanted more choices for the topic of their project.
The project begins with each student filling out a form that outlines their need and their initial plans for a final project. Once Mr. Bullard approves the project, they are assigned to a classroom where they will work with minimal supervision.
Then, students will be able to work at their own pace, as long as they finish their project by the end of the year. At times during the year, students will have the opportunity to present their projects to the grade, but other than that, the work will be individual. Then students will present their projects at student led conferences on June third.
Additionally, the project inspires large amounts of creativity from the students. “I like this year’s format better for those students that have a passion and know what they wish to do for the project,” said eighth grade math teacher Wendy Kraft. “[Being Human] was great for those students who didn’t really have an idea of what they wanted to do with their project… This year’s project inspires a lot of creativity.”
The projects allow students to choose a variety of ways to address their specific need, which helps create a large amount of creativity.
These refreshing projects help spice up advisories with brand new projects. Normally in advisory, students either do whatever they want, or take part in guided activities about privilege or friendship. Now, the project helps widen students’ friend groups by having them work near other students who are not in their advisory. Mrs. Kraft said “It’s really been great because I get to see a lot of…creativity…[and] meet students who I don’t necessarily teach.”
Also, because of the project, students are given a chance to improve the school and/or create something completely new. Since students are required to create something for the student-led conferences, but are not specified what they create, they could create whatever they want. This gives the students the choice to make a community related project, or a more personal one like a video game. As eighth grader Faris Fakhry said, “I feel like the Your Choice projects can be really good if students choose projects good for them.”
Since the students work for a full semester on this project, they get enough time to fully complete it, and are able to put their full attention onto it.