Wonder Wednesdays: Early Parental Data (genius hour)

If you've been wondering how we are doing on our passion projects - well, we missed the last Friday due to the Lunar New Year assembly last Friday. However, there was some data collecting going on. Read on!

So far I have been trying to get the students to take a look at themselves and who they are.  We have made "passion pockets" to hold all of their things they may collect. Students have answered some questions about what they are good at and are now choosing topics for their projects.  In the scheme of things, we really haven't spent a whole lot of class time on this yet.  I have sent newsletters out to parents.  Last Friday when we couldn't work on our passion projects due to the assembly, I thought I'd dabble with data for the first time this year with parents.  I wanted to know what they thought about the initial idea of these projects. We will be creating an inquiry project.  Do the students know what this is yet?  Nope.  In fact, many of the parents may not either.  This is all so new to everyone.  It's all part of our 21st century learning initiatives and I am so excited to be part of it. I'd love to know what you are doing if you are doing #geniushour or #passionprojects yourself.  I have a lot to learn!

Here are the questions and responses I have received from parents so far.  Slightly over 50% of my parents have responded so far in these early stages.

Q2 I liked the fact that parents are happy their child will be learning about something that their child is interested in.  I'm sure they have questions - like "How on earth are you going to do that?"

Q3 A couple of years ago when I did these personal learning projects, they did them in the last month of the school year.  The ideas were generated at school but the projects were worked on at home. The projects did not go towards school marks.  Parents had indicated they loved them but wished they had been started earlier so that they could spend more time on them. (I agreed for sure.  It was a decision to try it out so I could go forward more fully the next year.  Unfortunately, I had "one of those classes" the following year which made it impossible to learn about and teach. Here, parents clearly love the idea that they can help at home.  There will be more emphasis at school on the recording of information or creating but the some of the discussion and research can definitely be done at home.  the parents seem to be enjoying the Home Reading Projects (Part 1 and Part 2) that have been on going all year so this is a natural transition.

Q4  I was happy about the result here as we really haven't drummed up too much excitement today for the actual topic the students will be learning about.  I would expect this to be a bit higher later but I am pleased that almost 70% are excited and talking about it at home.  What it DOES tell me is that I need to make sure I include some communication back and forth to promote discussion at home. I often will write "Ask me about...{include learning topic here} for students to write in their planners and for parents to read and discuss with their child later that night.

Q5  I expected some questions or inquiries on this one as I haven't covered this topic yet.  With the exception of the typo {a inquiry question = AN inquiry questions grrrrr...) I was pleased with the answers here. I was a little surprised with the top answer that parent feels that "so much time " is being spent. It's a hour a week and there is NEVER enough time!! I'm sure they will see how much learning will be accomplished.

Q6 I will be welcoming parents in once we are up and running more.  It will be welcome help!

Q7 It's funny how this was the most skipped question.  Why do you think?
I'm interested to see who the YES is.  I also suspect that many more parents have wonderful skills that would benefit children in the class. I bet they just don't know how helpful it would be. :)

Q8  Perfect!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this data and can use it in your own classroom to inform your teaching.  Check back to see more on our Passion Projects.  This Friday we will continue picking topics and I will be conferencing with students on their topic of choice and what skill they will be emphasizing as they work.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I am interested in starting a passion project with my kids. I am just looking for a beginning step as I am slightly intimidated with the idea.

    1. Hi Sara,

      Thanks for stopping by. I was nervous too! Search all my Wonder Wednesday posts by the label on the side of my blog for all the steps I did for set up. I have a starter kit in my TPT shop and I will continue to update the process. We had a great hour today so I will be posting about it next Wed. If you have any questions email me and I'd be happy to help.


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