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Genius Hour

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What is Genius Hour? An Overview of Genius Hour and 20% Time in the Classroom. 12 ways to really make Genius Hour work in your class. Genius Hour empowers students to do something meaningful with their passions.

12 ways to really make Genius Hour work in your class

Here are 12 ideas you can use in the classroom from an expert in innovation. (Public domain image via Unsplash) Lots of schools and classrooms are making innovation a priority and changing how day-to-day school is done. Don Wettrick’s students take it to a whole new level. Don teaches “Innovation Class,” where students take on a project that connects with their passions. It’s a class unlike anything you’d see at almost any school. Genius Hour is the idea of giving students 20 percent of their class time to pursue projects related to their passions. (In the past, I’ve written about reasons to try Genius Hour this school year, ideas to consider in Genius Hour, and tools to try with Genius Hour.)

At a recent conference I attended in Indiana, Don gave a keynote speech on innovation in schools and a breakout session on how to make Genius Hour work. His breakout session was where the rubber met the road. What Students Think About #GeniusHour Part 2: Data. Last week, I wrote about my students’ written reflections and self-evaluations for their #GeniusHour projects.

What Students Think About #GeniusHour Part 2: Data

Students evaluated themselves on a rubric and answered a series of questions examining their growth, process, and project. Read #GeniusHour: What Students Think to learn all about students’ perspectives on passion-based learning. The last step for the reflection was a brief Google Form, evaluating the project itself--basically evaluating my planning and instruction. I wanted to use a Doc in Google Classroom for the reflections to focus on qualitative writing but decided to split the project evaluation into a Google Form grid for some quick analysis. This qualitative data is really interesting for me. Find more of my recent writing on Genius Hour with Redesigning Learning Spaces, Sharing Students’ Genius: A #GeniusHour Reflection, Developing Genius: Reflecting on Choice, Passion, and #GeniusHour, Teaching Students to Conduct Action Research, and My Questions About #GeniusHour.

Top Designers Share Their Secrets to Beating Creative Block. Sometimes, being creative just feels impossible.

Top Designers Share Their Secrets to Beating Creative Block

With some projects, it’s getting started that’s the problem. With others, it’s smooth sailing for a time, but then you get caught on some small detail and everything comes grinding to a halt. Both of these situations could be described as creative block. The 4 essentials of a successful Genius Hour. Genius Hour projects may be open ended, but there are still some ground rules What are you passionate about?

The 4 essentials of a successful Genius Hour

What do you want to do more than anything in the world? Well I hope you said what you are doing right now. This is not always the case. Some people hate what they are doing. As educators, we can help our students find and explore their passions. Genius Hour isn’t new concept. However, even with all this freedom, we still need some rules. Let students explore their passions – First things first: make sure kids have enough time to explore what makes them passionate in the first place. Create a project proposal – After being given time to explore their interests and discover their strengths, the students are ready to propose their project to me.

Do research – The research phase is usually where kids start moving at their own pace. Present and create – It’s important for kids to know they can present in any way they want to. My collection of resources on #GeniusHour - Angela Maiers. Four years ago, we imagined a classroom where passion driven work was the norm; one in which students were invited and expected to experiment with ideas, discover possibilities, and make epic things happen.

My collection of resources on #GeniusHour - Angela Maiers

This dream is now a reality. When we create a time and space for our students to strive audaciously and connect and collaborate with others, their genius is liberated, and learning, lives and worlds change. Below is a host of resources to help you launch #geniushour in your classroom. Liberating Genius in the Classroom is a free, day-by-day lesson plan for the first 20 days of implementing genius hour.

Soon we will also offer a student “Genius Notebook” so students can record their reflections on the lessons and easily share them with each other and you.