2nd Edition

The Passion-Driven Classroom A Framework for Teaching and Learning

By Angela Maiers, Amy Sandvold Copyright 2018
    148 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    148 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    148 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    Turn your classroom into a thriving community of learners! In The Passion-Driven Classroom, bestselling authors Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold show you how to spark and sustain your students’ energy, excitement, and love of learning. This updated edition offers a new framework for changing your mindset and implementing a passion-driven classroom, where passion meets practice every day as students learn new skills and explore their talents. You’ll come away with specific examples of how to set up your classroom, how to manage it, and how to assign passion projects where students take the lead. With this book, you’ll be able to move away from prescription-driven learning toward Passion-Driven Learning, so you can make a real difference in the lives of your students.


    About the Authors



    1 Achievement Gap Or Passion Gap?

    Listening To Our Students

    Minding the Passion Gap

    Closing the Gap

    • Step One: Know and Show Your Passion
    • Step Two: Know and Show the Students’ Passion
    • Step Three: Know and Show the World Passion

    2 Let’s Talk About Passion

    Defining Passion



    Passion-Driven Learning Is More Than a Project

    What Passion Can Do

    3 The Clubhouse Mindset: Where Passion Meets Practice

    Our Very First Passion-Driven Learning Club

    The Philosophy: Clubs Are Passion Playing Fields

    What Makes Club Life Enticing?

    The Passion Discovery Continuum

    The Workshop Classroom: Driven by Curiosity

    The Role of the Teacher: Expert Learner and Passion Practitioner

    The Role of the Student: Apprentice Learner and Global Citizen

    The Resident Expert Wall

    More Than Fluff

    4 A Passion-Driven Classroom: The Essentials

    Essential #1: The Learning Clubs instead of Classroom Jobs

    Essential #2: You Matter Time

    Essential #3: Reflection

    Essential #4: The Task Board

    Essential #5: Good-Fit Tools And Technology

    • Good-Fit Technology
    • Remember to Include Books!
    • H.E.A.R.T.—A Strategy for Deep Meaning
    • The H.E.A.R.T. Technique

    Essential #6: Celebration

    • Doing and Being

    5 Organizing the Passion-Driven Classroom

    The Physical Environment

    • Meeting Spaces
    • Middle and High School Practices and Spaces
    • Grouping Students
    • The Students’ Seating/Desk Arrangement

    Passion-Driven Tools

    • Key Reflection Tool: The Student Thinkbook

    The Clubhouse Classroom Routine Sequence

    • 1. The Opening Message: You Matter Time
    • 2. The Daily Boardroom Meeting
    • 3. The Learning Clubs
    • 4. Content Connections
    • 5. The Closing

    Passion From Day One: Simple Changes = Big Impacts

    • Invite Students to Create the Classroom Environment
    • The Crucial Conversation
    • Rules or Manifesto?
    • Heart Maps
    • The Wonderful Gift Lesson
    • More Ideas to Explore

    6 Managing the Clubhouse Classroom

    The Three Phases In Action

    Phase One: Launching the Learning—Passion Discovery

    • The Opening Message Anchor Lessons
    • The Boardroom and Learning Club Anchor Lessons
    • Learning Clubs: Bringing It All Together

    Phase Two: Practicing Our Passion—Learning Is Thinking

    • The Opening Message Anchor Lessons
    • The Boardroom and Learning Club Anchor Lessons
    • Bring It All Together Lessons—Learning Club Tools
    • Closing Phase Two

    Phase Three: Sharing Our Gifts—The Passion Project

    • The Google Way
    • The Passion Project
    • The Opening Message Lessons
    • The Boardroom Lessons and Passion Project Work
    • Tools for Sharing Our Passion

    7 From the Trenches: The Voices of Passion

    Passion Still Matters

    New to Edchat?


    8 Closing Thoughts

    The Promise of Passion

    Closing Thoughts: Choosing Passion in Times of Change




    Angela Maiers is a leading education consultant and keynote speaker. She is the author of six books, and her You Matter talk at TEDxDesMoines has been viewed several hundred thousand times. Angela is the founder of Choose2Matter, a global movement that challenges and inspires students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems.

    Amy Sandvold is practicing her passion as a third-grade teacher at Highland Elementary School in Waterloo, Iowa. She has been both an elementary and middle school principal for an Apple Distinguished Campus for 1-1 technology integration. She has been an Education Programs Consultant for the Iowa Department of Education. She co-authored The Fundamentals of Literacy Coaching. 

    "Amy Sandvold and Angela Maiers provide an essential lesson: passion is not a subject to be taught or a behavior to be instilled into children, but a way of life for teachers and students alike.  While education policies and fads come and go, the fire-in-the-belly passion that the authors describe will sustain students and teachers in their learning journeys extending far beyond the schoolroom walls.  Too many advocates of student creativity reduce teaching techniques to the simplistic and unhelpful prescription too "think outside the box," while Sandvold and Maiers remind us that rigor and accountability are the hallmarks of the passionate and creative student and teacher.  Filled with real-world examples and practical advice, this book deserves to be the subject of collaborative by teachers in every discipline."

    Douglas Reeves, PhD, Author of The Myth of the Muse:  Supporting Virtues That Inspire Creativity and Founder, Creative Leadership Solutions


    "There is no question today that what students need is educators who create environments where innovation in learning and passion found are cornerstones. Angela and Amy have written a text that shows all educators and leaders what helping students find that passion means and how they can help students harness it to do amazing things for themselves, their learning and their world. Not only do Angela and Amy provide thoughtful examples; they provide guidance so that every student in every classroom can benefit from this passion-driven learning."

    Steven W. Anderson, Digital Learning and Relationship Evangelist, @web20classroom


    "Recent data on student engagement has shown that the longer students are in our K-12 system of education, the less engaged they become. Maiers and Sandvold share a roadmap and the mindset needed to disrupt this trend by addressing the "passion gap" head on, so that learners are empowered to unleash their untapped potential, and gain the skills, motivation, and direction needed for future success. Schools must liberate today’s modern learners, and implementing a passion-driven classroom will make the once unthinkable possible. Read this book to awaken a new reality in your school or classroom."

    Thomas C. Murray, Director of Innovation, Future Ready Schools, Co-Author of Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today