Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Today... I decided to show some of the TED videos I had wanted to. First I showed Natalie Warne (being young and making an impact - she wanted to help child soldiers), then I showed Birke Baehr (what's wrong with our food), then Arianna Huffington (sleep = success), and last, the child prodigy Adora Svitak (what adults can learn from kids). I wanted to get them interested in... In being INTERESTED in something. I wanted to revisit the purpose for this project - for kids to research their interests. The topics and books being read are so varied right now, I wanted to give them more guidance about the goal.

I also showed them the rubric Briana and I came up with for presenting to the class. She shared her research on bullying with my 5/6 class. They were wowed! She read off the screen, but her statistics about those bullied, those who bully, and bystanders were engrossing to the kids. So much so that they wanted her to tell the whole 7th grade at lunch! She accepted, and so I got the ball rolling by emailing admin about it. My other classes, hearing about this, got excited to also present something meaningful. Jillian finally decided she couldn't research Dance Moms! And Rachael now wants to research child abuse, and Yin was wondering if the government is doing enough to prevent global warming. (Side note: I gave John The Hunger Games and he likes it! Stopped reading Star Wars for one book!!)

1 comment:

  1. Joy,
    Thanks! I just bookmarked all these to share with my geniuses in the fall. I haven't taken time to watch them, but the value of explaining genius hour of the three young people talks are obvious. I saved the Ariana Huffington one too, about sleep, but I haven't watched it yet. I'll be curious to see why you also showed this one.