Genius Hour Classroom Connections
There was a buzz in the air. It was the energy of students engaged in what they wanted to do. Focused on what they wanted to learn. Students made notes, blogged and video-logged. If they were talking, it was to discuss how to play a guitar, or ask their teacher questions about ways to refine their research. It was focused energy time, as the students engaged on their passion projects. It was time for innovation, research and creativity.... It was time for Genius Hour.
Why Ignite the Inner Genius?
It's worth the time to let kids explore their interests or their passion projects. Finding answers to your own questions is what learning is all about. As teachers we sometimes feel the pressure to explore all the required curriculum outcomes with our students, therefore some may feel that there isn't enough time in a day to give students their own 20% of that time to explore their own project.
Genius Hour is not only about students exploring their own questions and projects, but asking questions then discovering their own answers. As students research, experiment, create, inquire and be innovative, they are engaged in time for reflection about their own progress and how they are will find the answers. By having students research, explore then reflect on their learning in a blog post, they are also engaging metacognition or thinking about their thinking. By sharing in this platform, they are inviting others to also examine their journey, the questions and ask further questions, thereby encouraging students to dig deeper with their learning.
Students Sharing Their Passions
Student Project "Vlog" Reflections
An example of how students can share their reflections on their progress for Genius Hour.
A big thanks goes out to Matthew Bresciani's grade 7/8 class who were willing to be interviewed and share their experiences in Genius Hour!
Students Inspired to Explore their Passions
Melissa Ratcliffe's grade 4/5 students are also exploring their big questions and their passions in Genius Hour. Read more about it in the blog post, Getting Inspired By Students as They Pursue Their Passion Projects.
Sparks of Genius
Students of Matthew Bresciani's class exploring their passion projects.
Teacher Perspective on Genius Hour
Why would teachers want to take 20% of their class time to engage in Genius Hour? It's inquiry learning in its purest form. Students are able to explore their projects and share their learning in a blog or video, thereby allowing for further collaboration.