What to expect for a project
Authentic connections with real-world professionals make huge contributions toward positive students outcomes, so we're excited and humbled to help you bring them to classrooms.
A Sidekick project can include 5 connections with a real-world partner, 1 prior to the start of the project and the rest during the project. Not every project includes every connection, depending on teacher and partner preference or availability.
We tried to design this process for changing schedules. Except for the entry event, these connections occur online with flexible timing. Like everything else in a Sidekick project, treat these connections as starting points. Feel free to skip a connection and coordinate your own.
We've found a short conversation between the teacher and the partner is essential to successful project connections. In a short amount of time the teacher and partner can solidify the partner’s role in context with what is going on in class, what to deliver at the end of the project, what to expect from the kids, and the day’s schedule.
Partner time commitment: 20 minutesTeacher time commitment: 20 minutesTiming (for student submission): 1 week or less before the in-person entry event
Not every project incorporates an annotated expert work sample. For the ones that do, this is potentially the first "interaction" students have with partners. Students get authentic, credible insight into how a professional thinks about work like what they're doing. Connections like this may be fully online yet some of the coolest ways students connect with the real world.
Partner time commitment: 20 minutes
Timing: 1-2 weeks before the project start date
This is the richest interaction students and partners have with the students, meant to boost student engagement in the upcoming project, build a personal rapport among students and partners, and allow partners to point students in the right direction from the start.
Partner time commitment: 1 dayTeacher time commitment: 1 dayTiming: Near the day the project starts
This is like the expert work sample but in reverse! Feedback also ties the classwork students do and their connections with partners into one coherent project.
Partner time commitment: 40 minutesTeacher time commitment: 40 minutesTiming: soon after the halfway point of the project
At the end of projects, students present the work they've done to the partner under the pretense that the partner has an interest in what they've produced (in education-speak this is called an "authentic audience"). The partner then records a video message as a response.
Partner time commitment: 20 minutesTeacher time commitment: 20 minutesTiming (for student submission): near the day the project endsTiming (for partner response): 1-2 weeks after the project end date
The following connections are often valuable additions.
Especially during projects with long stretches between partner connections, we may ask to hear just briefly from the classroom on how things are going. Think of these as the project's weekly newsletter, blog, or journal entries. Teachers familiar with apps like Remind, Seesaw, or ClassDojo know the drill.
Teacher time commitment: 5 minutesTiming: once a week (recommended, not required)