Genius Hour Update #SOL

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Yesterday I met for a second time with my 7th graders who are participating in Genius Hour. The 45 minutes was the highlight of my school day.

This is what it looked like:

  • The students finished their analog planning on the sheets
  • Whip Around Share Out
  • Assignments were given for each group of what they need to do before next Monday – mostly research.

I am super excited about the projects and how they are shaping up!

Here is a sampling of the projects:

  • Two students are planning The Random Happiness Project
  • Two students are planning a motivational presentation to be broadcast for the entire school
  • One student is making a People of Michigan City presentation to show what our community really looks like
  • One student wants to raise awareness of elephant poaching and to give people 3-5 action steps of what they can do to help

Notes:

  1. It is interesting that one of the most talkative girls is having trouble narrowing her big picture idea to an actionable list. She wants to jump in with both feet and no plans! It is very telling for her process. A place I need to intervene.
  2. The buzz of work, while the time was clicking away, was energizing. You know that buzz when great ideas are flying around the room – THAT was what my room sounded like yesterday at 11a.m.
  3. Two projects sounded the same when they did their “elevator pitch” in the whip around but we unpacked it and came to realize the end results were different: one focus was truly happiness and the other was motivation. The audiences were different as well. It was a great discussion about focus and intent.
  4. I need to take some pictures of the students. We were so busy I forgot! They are so excited about this time and I hope to capture that feeling in their expressions.
  5. I am loving this process because it is teaching students to be lifelong learners which is a basic philosophy I have had since I started teaching.

What is exciting you about education today!?

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Are you a Genius? #SOL18

 

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#Thisitheyear

This is the year I will start programs for students.

I started Genius hour yesterday with a group of 7th graders.  My school moved to block scheduling this year which allows the opportunity for remediation and enrichment with students during an Impact time. I am taking advantage of this time opportunity!

I conducted a writer’s workshop a few weeks ago which was successful and took place during a consecutive 5 days. Genius hour will take place over 6 weeks. The group of 10 students meet once a week to work on their projects.

I introduced the concept to the students last week and they were able to sign up. No one had heard about the idea before I spoke about it but they were very excited it was inspired by Google. I told them a few facts and then listed several ideas of projects that could think about.

Genius hour is time for students to pursue a personal interest, make something, and share it with the world. It could be a program, a blog, a game, a video, or anything they imagine. It can solve a problem or showcase a study.

Yesterday’s agenda:

  • Video 
  • Brainstorming
  • Joined Google Classroom
  • Read aloud: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spears
  • Discussion about perseverance and making things that don’t look like what is in our heads
  • Students took 16 personalities test

 

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This is another video I found helpful about general concepts about Genius Hour.

Results of day one:

  • One of my students wants to make a motivational video to share because she feels it is needed. She is thinking about staging it like a TED talk.
  • Several students are thinking about starting programs or clubs for their fellow classmates
  • Several students are thinking about starting fundraisers for local community organizations
  • One student is thinking about a photography project.

They are all THINKING and wanting to CREATE! It was a glorious day and I cannot wait to see what the end of 6 weeks looks like!

What have you created today, no matter how small?