The P3 Plays Out in Face to Face and Virtual Classrooms



There was this crazy moment on OnEdMentors two weeks ago. It was an episode on Creativity and Community in the Face to Face and Virtual Class, and several panelists spoke about their students' experiences of the The Personal Playlist Project (P3 for the classroom). Since my TEDxKitchenerEdTalk last year, I have shared this project with even more teachers than I had ever fathomed. Hearing first hand from educators in both settings about the power of this project is an affirmation that deeply moves me. The reason I share the P3 so proudly is because of what it can do for learners to build skill, autonomy, community, and connection.


It’s not just something I espouse. I love the P3. Last week, my grade 8’s finished presenting their P3’s in my virtual classroom. The thing about The Personal Playlist Project is that it is not only where I got the idea for my podcast (The Personal Playlist Podcast) with educators. It is a powerful way to personalize learning, build community, and make class a whole lot more musical, which also makes it more fun for many.


As I was reading my student’s reflections on their P3’s, it was hard not to get choked up. I never tire of this project, and it’s not just because I love music. This BOB project is a high yielding task for students, and a shared experience for the class who listens to and learns from each presenter. Because the students present their work to everyone, not just their teacher unless as an accommodation the whole class experiences the insights and reflections of their classmates, with no more than 3 presenters on a given day. It sends students on a journey selfward, and each person has their time to shine. They do so well on this project, that they have experience and build schema around what success in school looks and feels like. In addition, they get to know themselves and their classmates better.


Here are some of my student's (unedited) reflections on their P3's that illustrate why it’s such a rich task:


The P3 was a community building activity because we all got to know a bit more about each other. I liked sitting and listening to all the music that was played because I liked knowing what kind of music some of my classmates are into...I like watching and listening to these kinds of projects because they're not the kind that you would fall asleep during. They were all fun and I enjoyed them. Caiah


Its a community building activity because it teaches us about each other, and it also gives us insight on the persons taste in music. It also helps strengthen the confidence of the class knowing that the people around you are starting to learn more about you and understand you. I liked presenting because I knew people would be learning about me, and I also have an excuse to try and combat my stage fright. I liked listening to the presentations because i learned about my classmates, and was also able to have a bit of a break at the same time. Liam


I think that the P3 is a community building activity because I can learn more about others identities and what motivates them by the songs the choose which makes us have a closer class and a more open class. What I liked most about our P3 was that everyone had their own touch to their presentation. For some it was the backgrounds they chose, for others it was the songs that were in different languages and for me I added a touch of creativity. This makes the presentations so much more personnel and fun to watch! Rameen


Rameen gave me permission to share her P3 video


The Personal Playlist Project is most definitely a community building activity because music can be a self expression of your personality. The community (our class) for sure learned a bit more about their fellow peers and their interest especially from the identity song. The thing I most enjoyed when listening to my classmates' P3 presentations was actually hearing their personality and interests in their selected songs. Each song that was chosen represented something different for each person and told a different story. Lily


I think the P3 was a community building activity because it gave us the opportunity to learn more about our fellow classmates from the songs they chose and why they chose that particular song. It also gave us the chance to receive feedback so we can get better next time and to give feedback so others can also improve. Something that I liked about presenting my presentation was that I got the chance to play some of the songs I liked and to teach my classmates more things about me. Something that I liked about listening to the presentation was that I got to know a lot more about each person and it's very cool how each person presented their P3's. Each person had their own creative way of presenting it. Some people prerecorded and others presented live. Melissa


The P3 was a very good activity. I really enjoyed listening to others songs and learning more about them. From the songs people choose, I think you can learn a lot about a person like what music they listen to, if they are a more calm person or someone that likes high energy songs. While we are in virtual school, its hard to get to know my classmates so doing this project helped. In school and in virtual school I enjoy doing these types of projects. I really hope that we can doing another project like this and the What's In A Name so that I can learn more about my peers. Kaylee


I’m glad that Kaylee and the many others students from my class and across the classrooms where educators have adopted and adapted the P3 for grades 4-12+ enjoyed this and other projects. To answer her question, there are many more BOBs to come including:

Healthy Start 2

Master Storyteller

News n’ Schmooze

TTalks for Impact

T4 (Tech Tips, Tricks and Tools)

History Beats

Photosynthesis (the culmination of weekly Friday Photo)


If you want to learn more about Building Outside the Blocks projects check out the BOBs page of my website.


If you want to learn more about why BOBs build class community, register for free for my upcoming Responsive Presentation titled Creating Community through Building Outside the Blocks (BOB) Projects on January 26th as part of The Mentoree’s Conversations to Build Capacity.