#Geniushour Takes Over :)

In my week and a bit of immersing my class in Genius Hour (Genius Time as we call it) I’ve learned surprisingly much more about it then I initially thought I would just this far in.  Some of the things are shocking to me.  First of all it’s really taken a life of its own.  Many of my students are living and breathing it.  It’s what they talk and think about.  I even had one student ask me today if when she was done eating her lunch if she could work on planning out her project.  Two other students asked the teacher librarian if they could have time next week to come down to the library to do some research, they did this own their own! My most reluctant students are doing it without hesitation.  They’ve come up with some fantastic ideas like “how can I make a driving lego car”, and “I want to make cupcakes.”  Genius Time is by far our favourite time of the day they are invested already and the real fun hasn’t totally begun!  

I also didn’t expect to be so passionate and invested in it so early into the process either.  I mean look at my last 3 blog posts they’ve been about GT.  I’ve spent hours following and asking questions and even answering a few on the #geniushour feed on twitter.  Watched youtube videos to inspire the students and help us hone our ideas.  I think I can feel this way about it because already, based on the student reaction I know it’s going to be great.  Really it’s a total game changer when it comes to my teaching practice. 

You know what I also know?  And this is going to be so hard for my “everything has it’s place” personality.  It’s going to be messy.  Like stuff piled on the back counter, scraps and bits all over the floor kind of mess.  I’m dreading it.  There I said it.  I’m an organization freak and GT is creative chaos.  But I think maybe it’ll be therapeutic for me and teach me that sometimes I need to relax a bit.  



9 responses to “#Geniushour Takes Over :)

  1. Man, is it messy.
    But boy, is it worth it! Last year was my favorite year because we had finally implemented Genius Hour for the entire year. I felt it was very successful, I had happy children in the room, and everyone learned something new that I DID NOT TEACH THEM. Plus, they were PROUD of themselves!! What more can you ask for?
    Enjoy the mess – it’s good for them!
    Best of luck to you and the students.

  2. I having starting having Genis Time this year too. I love the level of student engagement and the happy looks on their faces. We call ours passion time. I had a student ask the other day, “Can I keep working on my passion when I go home?”. It is so exciting to see what happens when kids become passionate
    and do something with it.

  3. Question for you. Should the kids work on something that they don’t know much about? For example, I have a student who is seriously passionate about Lego and I anticipate this is the direction he will go in…is this a good direction or would you suggest something a little more unfamiliar? Or does it matter?

  4. Lisa I have both scenarios going on. Kids following what they are really interested in already and kids who are learning something new. I too have some Lego lovers and one of mine is going to figure out how to make a working Lego car! I say whichever direction they choose works!

  5. Thanks for the advice!

  6. Genius Time is wonderful! This year at NorthSciTech, we are building our program (as much as we can) around this idea. We are integrating tasks that allow students to continue to dig deeper into their project in almost every subject area. This is a lot of work for the teachers because we are re-tailoring the tasks to support the students interests but our drive to do this I believe comes from student enthusiasm. For example, all of our students are interested in robotics and love lego, so we’ve entered teams in the Peel First Lego League. We also needed to acquire parental support as team coaches, so they needed crim checks done (the board forms have changed this year by the way – there are 2 required forms).
    Anywhoo, thanks for sharing and keep following the students interests (while gently nudging them through the curriculum) 🙂

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