Genius Hour is genius!

Finally I have found the time to write about my first Genius Hour experience- it was excellent! My students were totally engaged, so was I. It was so exciting to see them all absorbed by the work they had chosen and planned for themselves.

I’m glad I had made time for two planning sessions before our two hour genius hour. It helped my students be very clear on what they wanted to achieve in the time, whether it would be achievable and what they needed to have ready for the session. I had a note that went home, on it students could ask for help from home (The note is based on @KirstenTP ‘Final Genius Hour plan sheet’ available from her great Genius Hour blog http://somewherefromhere.edublogs.org/2013/02/19/introducing-genius-hour-and-entrepreneurial-adventure/  ) Here is the note I used For my Genius Hour project I will be working with

I found the two hour session worked well with my students. It was long enough for the students to complete their projects. Oh, I tell a fib, the two students making a Pivot stick figure animation didn’t complete it in the two hours. At the end of the two hours the students had a criteria sheet to complete as a way to help them reflect on Genius Hour and how they used the time. It wasn’t a very successful way of reflecting, the conversations we had were far more useful as were the questions asked by the students of the other students during sharing time.

My students are still talking about Genius Hour and desperate for another. Many of them have already planned what they will work on next time. I am going to talk to the other teachers about Genius Hour with the hope that we can have a whole school Genius Hour. How cool would that be?

I’ve connected with lots of other Genius Hour teachers through Twitter #geniushour . My students and I love reading about what other grades are doing. You can check out our class blog to see some of our Genius Hour writing http://participate.global2.vic.edu.au/

I’d love to hear about your Genius Hour experiences and what you plan to do next if you are a Genius Hour regular. Have you used it in different ways? Have you had a Genius hour for your staff?

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4 Responses to Genius Hour is genius!

  1. Melissa says:

    Hi Carolyn. Sounds like everything went really well! You’ve got me intrigued now… What year level did you do this with? I’m now thinking how I could incorporate it as rich task for my Year 8 class who I have for English and RE.
    Melissa

    • crtavener says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks for the comment and tweet. I teach Grade 5/6. I think you could definitely do Genius Hour with older students and it would work having a single subject focus too. They could choose how to respond to a text you’re studying or choose a way to share a favourite book. I look forward to hearing about what you do.

  2. Carolyn,
    Genius! This is awesome. I love hearing your enthusiasm about genius hour. I hope you do have a school-wide genius hour. That is in my hopes and dreams, as well as having more and more of the school day be more like genius hour.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Denise

    • crtavener says:

      Hi Denise, I teach at a small school, 82 children, so the other teachers have heard my students, and me, raving about our Genius Hour. They are all keen to give it a go. I am getting daily requests from my grade for another genius hour so watch this space-won’t be long and I’ll be writing about pur next one. Thanks for sharing your genius hour sessions and info too.

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