The athlete, the artist & the PLP

How Passion Projects can fire up a student-led conference

Julia is a student at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School, in South Burlington VT. She’s an athlete and an artist. So for her Passion Project, she found a way to combine the two disciplines.

And embracing these two important parts of her identity gave her a lot more to talk about at her student-led conference than in years past.

For her Passion Project, Julia transformed a photo of herself at a gymnastics competition and reproduced it using buttons. She took Tuttle’s button mural, depicting their new mascot, as inspiration. In addition, her parents had worked on a portrait of Julia using spray-painted pennies. This too served as inspiration.


Tuttle Passion Projects


Once she’d completed her personal button mural, she discovered that she had much more to talk about at her student-led conference with her family.

As Julia herself puts it,

“When you enjoy doing something, you want to talk about it.”

Several teams at Tuttle Middle School are taking a project-based approach to Personal Learning Plans to “hook” students into the goal-setting, planning, and reflection cycle. Check out Julia’s project reflection sheet, below. There you can see how she documented her journey.

Julia's planning document

How can you help students enjoy PLPs and student-led conferences?

Audrey Homan

Audrey Homan is a Vermont-based digital media producer, and producer of The 21st Century Classroom podcast. She's worked in non-profit communications for more than a decade, and in her spare time writes tiny video games and mucks about with augmented reality and arduinos, ably assisted by five dogs. Interviewing students and yelling in PHP are the best parts of her job.

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