Genius Hour: The Buzzword
Helpful Resource Alert!
- Benjamin Franklin
Interested In A 50 Minute Presentation On The Ins and Outs of Genius Hour?
Time!! Where Do I Find The Time???
Below, I've included three different teacher interview videos, where each teacher explores their use of Genius Hour.
Interview 1: Paul Solarz: Start Viewing at the 6:50 mark
The second topic that I felt was vital from this video, is that Paul helps his students develop their “essential question.” The essential question is the question they will try to answer throughout Genius Hour. He helps them develop the question through their own passions and interests. It has to be a question that cannot simply be Googled, or researched within and hour or two. By helping them shape these questions, he helps them form projects that will go somewhere.
He mentions the hashtags #GeniusHour and #20time in the video. It might be worth a look on Twitter for some more ideas and resources.
Interview 2: Denise Krebs: Start Viewing at the 6:50 Mark
She also uses the KWHLAQ chart.
She has her students blog one time a month to reflect on their projects.
I liked her idea of going cross-curricular, and have the student reflections done in an ELA class, if you’re not an ELA teacher. It would make for some great cross-curricular collaboration and help tie it all together for students. Just an interesting thought!
Interview 3: Joy Kirr: Start Viewing at the 4:40 Mark
Each of the three teachers also has a different way of evaluating and tracking progress of students. It’s definitely OK to hold students accountable for their time. Each interview gives some examples of how they do that. Something that I read on www.geniushour.com that I think is an important key to keep in mind, is that for every day that you do “Genius Hour,” you need to have a plan and goal for the day. What should the students try to get accomplished by the end of the hour? What sort of “check in” will you have with them? Simply saying, “Work on Genius Hour today” may not be enough to keep them on track and focused.
Unleash The Passion In Your Students
Six Essential Keys for Personalized Education
The next resource for you is an Edutopia article that outlines six essential keys for personalized education - which Genius Hour is. A few of the main things that I took from the article was that the author has various requirements throughout the Genius Hour project to keep the students focused on a final destination. She has students create a video pitch for their idea, and at the end of the year, students have to create a TED-style talk about their topic. They also have to critique other students’ projects, participate in brainstorming sessions, and they have folders that indicate when they reach certain benchmarks of their project. She had a plan for her Genius Hour days, and that structure helped students streamline their passions into a way that made sense for school. It certainly brought up some interesting thoughts for how a Genius Hour could be run.
If You Are Truly Interested in Implementing Genius Hour Into Your Classroom, Take a Look at This Next Resource
The next resource is truly a doozie, and I would highly recommend going through this if you’re sincerely interested in incorporating a Genius Hour into your classroom. This resource is called a “Live Binder,” and you can truly think of it as a huge 3 ring binder on the internet. When you get to the website, the multi-colored tabs in the first several rows act like the tabs you would put in the binder. When you click on a colored tab, down below those tabs, several grey tabs will appear. Those are the contents that lie within that tab. I’ll let you do your own exploring on this resource. :)
I'll Leave You With The Following Quote, And Let You Ponder How It Can Apply To Genius Hour In Your Classroom
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
- Albert Einstein