Personalizing Education

What is the Personal Project? Part of the MYP’s focus is to make learning relevant to students’ lives by contextualizing it so they can see the connection between what they learn in the classroom and their local, national, and global communities. To this end, students participate in projects where they can explore a topic or cause that they are passionate about and use their content knowledge learned in school, as well as the skills they develop, understand this connection. Through the projects, students apply use the design cycle to learn how to manage a project independently and monitor their growth, as well as creatively solve challenging obstacles. They specifically focus on applying the Approaches to Learning skills they have learned in their classes in a new and unfamiliar context. These include:
  • Research skills
  • Organization skills
  • Social skills
  • Communication skills
  • Thinking Skills
  • Reflection skills
The Personal Project takes place the at the end of students’ freshman year through their sophomore year. Students receive support and guidance during their ELT sessions, but they are expected to be working on their project outside of school as well. Over the course of this time they work on creating a goal, researching their process, creating a product or outcome, and reflecting on their process. In the end they write a report which encapsulates all these parts; this report is then graded by staff and moderated by IBO.  In March, students show their work to the larger community at the Personal Project exhibition. How are all students included in the Personal Project? All students at Dundee Ridge Middle Academy, as students in the Middle Years Programme, participate in a capstone project of their MYP experience called the Personal Project. This project enables students to explore a topic of interest and take part in authentic learning, using the skills and knowledge they have acquired in sixth through tenth grade. Our goal is that all students will engage in this meaningful process. As such, our focus is more on the process and reflection, rather than the MYP mark they earn at the duration of the project. Please note, the completion of a personal project is not a district requirement for graduation; it is an additional 0.5 credit. The credits for graduation under the Florida Merit Curriculum have not changed. Students receive an A if they complete the project and submit a report in one of the formats approved by IB and noted below. If students do not complete these elements, they will earn an E. However, they can recover this credit working with our Personal Project coordinator. In an effort to support all students in completing the Personal Project, a number of resources have already been designed to help all learners, including, but not limited to:
  • Google Classroom online learning platform that syncs with student’s personal calendars
  • Outline of dates and materials needed for each deadline
  • Personal Project Bootcamp to help students determine their goal and begin initial research
  • Graphic organizers and timelines to help students organize their ideas and materials
  • Samples of student work and reports
  • Templates for writing/organizing final reports
For students that have the following accommodations noted in their Individualized Learning Plans (hereafter referred to as an IEP), specific supports and accommodations will be made:
  • Extended time -Students will receive an additional week past the due date to complete components of the project, as well as submit their final project. Personal Project Coordinator will work with students’ supervisors with an adjusted schedule.
  • Graphic organizers – Students will receive graphic organizers for each part of the project and composing their reports.
  • Project report options – Students may elect to present their report in a written report, video report, or oral report. Requirements for each type will be shared with students.
  • Verbal and/or physical help – Students who need a scribe or any physical assistance will be provided such assistance in completing the components of the project. The details of this assistance will be determined in conjunction with their caseload manager.
If accommodations outside of these are part of a student’s IEP, the Personal Project Coordinator, MYP Coordinator, and DRMA Teacher Consultant will determine the best approach to the supports and/or adjustments needed for the student in alignment with IB.   Where can I learn more about the Personal Project? ​ For more information about the Personal Project, please contact Kerri Collins.