Genius Hour!

What is Genius Hour?

Genius Hour is time set aside in class for students to study their passion on a new idea or skill. Genius Hour is based on Google’s 20% Policy, where employees are allowed 20% of their work time to spend developing their own projects based on their interests. The high motivation that interest and creative work time inspires has resulted in products we all know and use, including Gmail!

Why is Genius Hour Important?

Students take ownership in their own learning. They research something they want to learn more about. Genius Hour sparks curiosity, and students have an opportunity to become their own Genius. Genius Hour encourages life-long learning, imagination, perseverance, self-awareness, adaptability, as well as other life-lessons.

How will Genius Hour work in our classroom?

For the next SIX weeks, the students will be embarking on their first Genius Hour experience. After mini-lessons on what is appropriate, students will choose a topic to study, a "non-googleable" question, and a product to present. Students will be given time in class to work on the project with the teacher serving as a facilitator. The last week prior to Winter Break, the students must present their topic to the class. The final presentation date is TBD.


Later this week or next, I will send out a project list. Please take a moment and look at the list. Part of this experience is for students to not only research and read about these topics, but to use human resources if possible. If you able to lend your expertise to one of our students, please click on the button below and fill out our form. Even if you know someone else! It will be up to the students to utilize these resources.

I am excited to share this opportunity with your child! I am sure we will need to tweak things along the way as we embark on this new adventure in 3rd grade.

What Indiana State Standards does Genius Hour support?

3.RN.2.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

3.RN.2.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in processes or procedures in a text, using words such as first, next, finally, because, problem, solution, same, and different.

3.RN.3.1: Apply knowledge of text features to locate information and gain meaning from a text (e.g., maps, illustrations, charts, font/format).

3.W.5: Conduct short research on a topic:

· Identify a specific topic or question of interest.

· Locate information in reference texts, electronic resources, or through interviews

· Recognize that some sources may be more reliable than others.

· Record relevant information in their own words.

· Present the information, choosing from a variety of formats.


· Process Standards

o Make predictions and formulate testable questions

o Plan and carry out investigations

o Keep accurate records in a notebook during investigations and communicate findings to others using graphs, charts, maps and models through oral and written reports.

o Compare the results of an investigation with the prediction.

· Design Standards

o Identify a need or problem to be solved.

o Brainstorm potential solutions.

o Document the design throughout the entire design process.

o Select a solution to the need or problem.

o Select the most appropriate material to develop a solution that will meet the need.

o Test and evaluate how well the solution meets the goal.

o Evaluate and test the design using measurement.

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Andrea Beaty's Books

We will read several books by Andrea Beaty as a class to help us understand the Design Process! We will see through their stories that mistakes and hiccups are on many journeys, but a positive outlook and a lot of effort will allow us to succeed in the end.


We have many passions in 3rd grade!

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Research Questions from Past Years

I look forward to seeing the creativity from this year's kiddos!

  • What are atoms and matter and how are they made?

  • When will people live on Mars and how will they travel there?

  • How do you write a play and how can I make one?

  • How can I make a webpage and how can I make it world wide?

  • How do chemical reactions work and what process does it have?

  • What are the parts of a robot and how do you build one?

  • How do you make a submarine and a ship and what are their differences?

  • How do you create a video game by yourself?

  • How does a camera work and what is in it?

  • How did gymnastics start and why might it end?

  • How did people survive during the Civil War?

  • How are video games made and how can I make one?

Really?! We can research anything?!

Yes - within reason. We want to be mindful to the appropriateness of the research topic, so yes, somethings could be potentially vetoed. Also, I want to make sure they asking deep, thought-provoking questions. Their topics should not be answered in a quick google search or two. We are looking for YARD questions - not an inch or foot questions :)

Here are my three rules:

  1. Must be guided by a question (what, why, how)
  2. Must be researched (look into it deeply)
  3. Must be shared! (class, school or even the WORLD!)

How can I share my project?

It's up to the child! Here are a few ideas:

PowerPoint________Video________Diorama________ Model________ Book________Song

Puppet Show______Play ________Mobile________Blog________Weather Report ________Game Brochure ________Demonstration ________Website ________Terrarium

The ideas are endless!!