Genius Hour is REAL Learning!

Pictures say it all!

Round 2 of Genius Hour/Passion Projects

Our planned, morning, school, activity was cancelled today which gave us some extra time to work on our passion projects. We also had access to tech (iPads and some old laptops) For some reason, no one wanted the iPads and so we had them all day! As I walked around the classroom and took pictures of the kids researching, I realized that the pictures were telling a story. Kids were in complete control of their learning. They were engaged! Labels that I've heard from others about my students (low ability learner, hyperactive, trouble-maker, lazy, etc.) did NOT APPLY! There were NO behavior problems. There were NO students off-task. There were NO students sitting and doing nothing. The students were highly engaged and there was a hum of activity. Kids were researching, building websites, powerpoints, Glogs, learning HTML, engaged in Scratch, making Thinglinks, etc. They were happy! They were comfortable! They were collaborating! They were talking about how to make their presentations more like how a PIRATE would make one. Yesterday, they skyped with Dave Burgess and so they had plenty of ideas of how to add some mystery/engagement to their presentations.

I completely changed the schedule to fit their needs. They wanted more time and I gave it to them. Energy in the room was palpable! Everyone was enthused, excited, and eager to learn. They were learning about a topic that they chose. And...when it was time to go home, there was a little audible groan because they had to stop working. Many made plans to connect and continue working at home.

The sunshine was out today and so when we needed a break, we took our brain breaks outside. For one break we walked around the whole playground and while we walked, kids were STILL talking about their projects.

Today, I stayed out of their way. I was available for help and support. I had TIME to walk around the room and talk with the kids about their passions. Relationships strengthened. All parts of the puzzle that I've worked so hard to develop this year came together. Kids were creating, collaborating, communicating, problem-solving, and loving it. We weren't worried about time, tests, or tech problems. It was blissful! Today was a teacher's dream!

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