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Friday 10 April 2015

PIP for Genius Hour

Do you use Genius Hour or Personal Interest Projects in your classroom?  We have been doing this in my Year 3 class this year and the kiddo's are loving it!

So what is a PIP? 

A Personal Interest Project (or PIP) is essentially exactly what it says it is!  Students are able to choose a topic they have an interest in or want to know more about and are given time in the classroom to research and present their findings.  This has been so great for my kiddos who need extension and also for those kiddos who need to work at a slower pace as it really is self paced learning.  
One of the proudest moments I have had this year is when one of my kiddos who struggles with writing has produced a poster all about the Mona Lisa, he was so fascinated by the painting and the artist that he would ask to work on his project before school and in any spare time he had.  I did need to help him with reading the information but he was able to tell me what he wanted me to write for him and to produce a poster FULL of information.  This poster is proudly displayed in our classroom and he has pulled in his Mum and Dad to view it.

If you are interested in starting PIP's in your classroom just click here or on the pic above to get a pack that will get your kiddos started on their own Personal Interest Project.

In my new file I have included ALL the templates you would need to get started in your classroom, including different templates for recording questions and answers.  Students are able to choose the template that would suit their particular questions, depending on whether they need to include a diagram and text or just text.  
Students are encouraged to write down information they already know about a topic, however have to show proof that the information is correct.
Also included in this file is 

o             Instructions on how to implement a PIP in your classroom
o   Mindmap templates
o   Topic list
o   Templates for recording questions, including templates for diagrams/pictures
o   Templates for recording information already known and proving that the information is correct.
o   Template for recording additional information.
o   Templates for a Presentation plan, including a template with a diagram
o   PIP checklist
o   PIP Register to record what the students have achieved in each session
o   Reflection sheet for the student
o   Marking Rubric for the teacher
      Before you start a PIP with your students make sure you have access to technology and books that your students will need to research their topic.  In my classroom we use a block of our Computer lab time to research on the internet and students are also required to check out  2 books from the library on their topic. We also have one afternoon a week in the classroom to work on this, during this time I have several students who go to choir and instrumental practice which means that I have quite a few kiddos in and out.  This was one of the reasons we started using PIP in our classroom.  During the afternoon session students have access to classroom laptops and ipads but are mainly using their books to research.  I have also let students bring in information from home but they must cite their sources.  If you have any questions about how to implement this leave a comment and I will get back to you!


  1. I absolutely love this idea and how you conduct it in your classroom Tania. What a great response from your student who is struggling with writing. I wish we could use this approach for more of our curriculum. Emma :)

    1. Thank you Emma! I think this is a great way for our kiddos to learn as part of a whole curriculum approach.