Middle School SIPs: deeper learning by student-designed projects

At Beaver, Middle School students are empowered to take charge in their learning. The next step in that process? SIPs!

SIP: Student Inspired Project

Student Inspired Projects aim to encourage students to explore their interests on their own terms. By choosing topics relevant to themselves, students will dig deeper into their learning by producing what they want to and assessing themselves along the way. Through SIPs, students will practice managing their time, build their inquiry skills, and have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers.

There are no limitations on topics or how a student’s learning can be presented. Want to explore the cosmos and produce a stage play about it? Read a book and create a podcast analyzing it? Write a song about a historical event? That is what SIPs is all about!

For students that may not know where to start, there is a SIP Finder that can help narrow down possible topics; it’s a document with pointed questions to help students determine how to translate their passions into a SIP. Of course, any expert at Beaver that may be able to give a helping hand will also be at each student’s disposal. SIPs can be a collaborative process with anyone in the Middle School and there are no limits to how many ideas one can explore; a SIP can last for as long as a student desires, as they will define how their success is measured.

“We are inverting education; we’re having kids provide the content instead of the teachers”

-Jon Greenberg, Middle School Humanities and English teacher

Students will have the opportunity to work on their SIPs during R-time; occasional work time will also be built into their schedules. Along the way, MS advisors will monitor students’ progress and connect them with anyone that may be of assistance.

As the year progresses, SIPs will push Middle School students to research, create, explore, and collaborate.

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