Today I introduced the concept of genius hour to my class. This is a fantastic idea that I have read about from Twitter and blog posts from my professional learning network online. Please click the link below to read a more detailed description.
Essentially, genius hour is an hour in which the students get to demonstrate learning about a topic of their choosing that they are passionate about and creating a final product. (Sample Ideas: Google Slides, diorama, HaikuDeck presentation, structural objects, Prezi, Powerpoint etc). Students should NOT come into school that day with a completed project!!!!! While students will be creating their FINAL projects during genius hour AT SCHOOL, research can and should be done at home. We will be spending a little time in school researching, too. That’s what this is all about. Students create an overarching, inquiry based question, research the topic, and create something of their choosing during our genius hour at school and present it to the class. Keep in mind students have to plan accordingly because they only get exactly one hour to complete their presentation. This helps with time management skills, too!
I truly feel this focuses on using student’s imaginations and engaging them in ways that allow for their voices to be heard and their creativity to shine.
For the sake of honesty, this is my first attempt at this activity this year, although I have done it in the past. Please understand there will be bumps in the road, but with those bumps and missteps, will be huge opportunities for my students, as well as myself to learn from. Some students are choosing to work individually or in teams of two. The choice is up to them. They have been encouraged to make sure if they are working in groups, that their partner needs to be equally passionate about the topic and reminded that the workload must be split equally.
Here are some photos of genius hour from last year at Springdale.
Genius hour will take place on Wednesday, December 17th. Presentations will occur on Thursday, December 18th and Friday, December 19th.
I can supply glue, paper, tape, and other common classroom materials. I have made it clear to students that they can buy supplies outside of school, but should NOT spend a lot of money.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’d be more than happy to answer them. I will be sending out updates as we progress through this “experiment” together.