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The 4 essentials of a successful Genius Hour

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? 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.

What Is Genius Hour? - What Is Genius Hour? by TeachThought Staff Genius hour is an approach to learning where students are guided by their own interests, background knowledge, and curiosity to learn. From the outside looking in, it is less organized, less formal, and less standardized than traditional learning. Genius hour is truly “open-ended” learning characterized by student self-direction, passion-based learning, inquiry, and autonomy. In public education, genius hour can be thought of as a response to rigid, test-driven, and “achievement-focused” climate that testing-based model of school improvement has encouraged in schools over the two or three decades. It has several unique characteristics that separate it from other approaches to education. Characteristics Of Genius Hour The image above provides 10 characteristics and 10 non-characteristics of genius hour. Characteristics of Genius Hour Genius hour is… Non-Characteristics of Genius Hour Genius hour is not… One Approach: 3 Rules for Genius Hour

Starfish Education: The Brown Bag STEM Challenge- Pom Pom Cannon What could be more fun that making cannons and firing pom poms around the classroom? In this high-interest activity, students construct a modified torus cannon (sometimes called a smoke ring cannon) to examine how air moves and experiment with payload sizes and distance. Materials: 16 oz paper or Styrofoam cups12" balloons or latex gloves*Masking tapeScissors3 Different sizes of Pom Poms *Be aware of students who may have allergic reactions to latex Students will work in pairs to construct and test their own modified torus cannons. To construct their pom pom cannons, students will cut a small hole in the bottom of the cup. Then, students will cut the "stem" off the balloon (or cut the "palm" out of the latex gloves) and stretch it across the lip of the cup and tape the edges with masking tape. When the cannon is complete, students should select one of each size pom pom for testing. So, what did we learn?

Creative Classroom Tools: GENIUS HOUR After much research and planning, I am thrilled to introduce my 5th grade reading group to GENIUS HOUR! Genius Hour is a project-based learning activity that allows students to explore their own passions; it encourages creativity in the classroom and promotes inquiry, perseverance, problem solving, and innovation, among other lifelong skills. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. Genius Hour has many roots, but is based on a business practice used by Google with its employees. How will it work? Over the next semester, my students will pursue a project of personal interest. 1. 2. 3. What Common Core State Standards does Genius Hour support and develop? Genius Hour nurtures the vast majority of the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading. • RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. Thanks for checking in!

Review: The Genius Hour Guidebook The Genius Hour Guidebook: Fostering Passion, Wonder, and Inquiry in the Classroom By Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi (Routledge/Eye on Education, 2016 – Learn more) Reviewed by Sandy Wisneski Young kids are naturally curious. They investigate bugs by digging up dirt and crouching down to get a closer look. However, as time passes, it seems many students lose this need to search out answers. The Genius Hour movement has spread throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad. Krebs and Zvi offer a plan for teachers who hesitate trying Genius Hour. Genius Hour begins with a basic plan. Step 1: Inspire Your Class – Inspirational videos and picture books are a great starting point. Step 2: Brainstorm with Students – Suggestions in the book include listing the things you love to do and learn, things you are good at, and things you wonder. Step 3: Create an Inquiry Question – The authors suggest taking time to teach students the difference between a Google-able question and a thick question. Letting Go

Paper Penny Bridge Posted on May 12th, 2015 by Mary Lord [youtube] Activity courtesy of North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering K-12 outreach program. Summary In this activity, student teams learn about the engineering design process and physical forces by building a bridge from a single sheet of paper and up to five paper clips that will span 20 cm and support the weight of 100 pennies. Grade level: 8 – 12 Time: 45 minutes for activity, 25 minutes for presentation. Cost per group: $1.50 Engineering Connection This activity is a combination of planning, design, teamwork, and cost efficiency, which are all keys components to any field of engineering, especially civil. Learning Objectives After doing this activity, students should be able to: Understand the process of planning and gaining approval for projectsUnderstand the importance of engineering in bridge design Standards Next Generation Science Standards E. Materials Steps

20%Time, Genius Hour and Virtual Communities. | Communicating Mathematically In 2013, I came across an interesting link on my Twitter feed. The link led to a list of must read books related to education – one of which was Daniel Pink’s, Drive. I ended up reading the book during my winter break. Pink describes Google’s 20% policy, where employees are encouraged to spend one day a week pursuing projects not listed as part of their job description. As a result, innovations such as Gmail and Google Teacher Academy were created. Eight months after reading, Drive, I began my new position as a Math TOA/Instructional Coach. Recently in my Twitter feed, I came across #20time. Once I felt I had enough information to start and sustain a Genius Hour project, I pitched the idea to a team of teachers. The Team: Peytra, Natalie and Sharidy – Along with Special Ed Teacher, Mrs. The Students: Three 6th grade elective classes. Week 1: I Wonder … During the information gathering phase, I read many genius hour posts from education bloggers. I started with a poster with “Hmmmm…. Mom.

Algonac students given 20 percent of class to explore innovations - Life By Jeri PackerStaff Writer It’s Friday and Lauren Wummel’s class is working in the background, with Jacob Kapanowski, Jessica Brockley and Riane Presbyterian in the forefront working on their project. (Photo courtesy of LAUREN WUMMEL) Algonac Community Schools Teacher Lauren Wummel borrowed an idea from Google to create an interesting challenge for her high school senior English students. “What I have done is incorporate the idea of 20 percent time into my class,” she said. She decided to try it in her classes, hoping it would get similar results in “student motivation and creativity.” Since then, students get Fridays to work on a project of their choice that ideally works to solve a problem, she explained. “Back in September, Jessica, Riane, and Jacob began to question what could they do to help people locally who are facing economic disadvantage and hunger,” she said. “We have been doing these projects called ‘Genius Hour’ projects since the beginning of school,” she said.

Activity: Paper Bridge Educator Ideas Activities Index | Handout | Educator Ideas Time 20–30 minutes Materials (per group of two) • plain paper (such as photocopier paper) • 5 paper clips • ruler • 2 books or blocks • at least 100 pennies, metal washers, or other small weights • scissors Video Connection After the activity, show "Environmental Loads" from Bridges to spark kids' ideas for modifying their bridges. (Check the Program Description to locate the show segment.) Try the Shapes Lab. For more information, see Additional Resources. Introduce the Activity Hold up a single piece of paper. Lead the Activity • Ask kids questions about their designs. The Big Idea Changing the shape of a material can change the way it resists forces. Make ConnectionsSocial Studies Have small groups of kids each choose a bridge featured in the video or another large bridge.

Books Genius Hour Teachers Love | The Genius Hour Guidebook Since starting teaching with Genius Hour, we have read so many inspirational books that have changed us and our pedagogy. With the help of my GH friends and fellow contributors – Joy Kirr, Hugh McDonald and Gallit Zvi – we have compiled this list of books that we know Genius Hour teachers love. Of course we know it is incomplete, as we haven’t read all the great books out there, and new books are coming out regularly. We hope you will add to this list by sharing your favorite book in the comments section. ► Barnes, Mark. We had been doing Genius Hour for two years when I read Mark Barnes’ book about a Results Only Learning Environment (ROLE). ► Brookhouser, Kevin. Kevin wrote The 20Time Project for teachers and funded it through Kickstarter. ► Dweck, Carol. The #geniushour Twitter chat read Dweck’s Mindset and discussed the importance of giving students the gift of a growth mindset. ► Harvey, Stephanie & Harvey Daniels. ► Johnston, Peter. ► Juliani, A.J. ► Maiers, Angela. Related

How Genius Hour Benefits The Entire School Community – A.J. JULIANI Have you ever met an adult who doesn’t really love what they do, but just goes through the motions in their job and everyday life? Have you spoken with men and women who constantly complain, showing no visible passion for anything in the world? I’m sure that, like me, you have met those people. I’ve also seen the making of these adults in schools across our country: students who are consistently being “prepared” for the next test, assessment, or grade level . . . only to find out after graduation that they don’t really know what they are passionate about. These are the same students who are never allowed to learn what they want in school. Enter Genius Hour. What Genius Hour allows students to do is pick their own project and learning outcomes, while still hitting all the standards and skills for their grade level. With Genius Hour and 20% time, we can solve one society’s biggest problems by giving students a purpose for learning and a conduit for their passions and interests. Students

Make This the Year You Launch Genius Hour By Gallit Zvi and Denise Krebs Have you heard of Genius Hour? It’s inquiry-based and passion-based learning all rolled into one and students love it! We are firm believers in this kind of student-centered classroom experience. If you haven’t given this learning idea a shot in your class yet, we think you should consider making this the year you launch Genius Hour. The Genius Hour movement was born on Twitter and we continue to host a #geniushour twitter chat each month. Preparing for a Genius Hour launch First we asked these teachers, some of whom have several years experience in Genius Hour, questions about what happens in their classrooms before they launch Genius Hour. Justin Greene and Carli Padgett each said their students will have conversations about their passions, likes and dislikes, and what they are wondering about. Laurie Davies, Jennifer Abbey and Cristal Edwards suggested community building is key. We love the use of a Wonder Wall in the classroom.