Friday, 24 July 2015

The Buzz of Excitement is Growing - Genius Hour Journey

Week 2: Genius Hour Journey 

I want to begin by saying thanks to the amazing group of educators who connect on a Sunday night at 2030(AEST) on Twitter through #AussieEd. You guys had me so pumped for this week of learning with my class.

Genius Hour has become a buzz of excitement in my classroom and among many of the parents.

With parent interviews this week I was asked many questions, which I was very happy to discuss. Spending the time explaining the educational validity and and the longitudinal positive effects of a concept such as Genius Hour, in my opinion, is vital. Parents can be your biggest advocates or your biggest road block and through my experience which one they are is up to you.

Success this week:

  1. Each student who was at school during Genius Hour has a preliminary investigative question.
  2. Most have an end in mind for the presentation of their investigation.
  3. All students were excited that it was Genius Hour day.

I have created a Google doc that all the students can access and modify, allowing them to both add their thoughts but also see others' ideas. It is also a great way for me to see what the overall goal for each student is, without making it hard for them.

There is a virtual classroom set up through Google Classroom for the classes Genius Hour. This allows the students to ask questions, share learning, share ideas and over time I am hoping that this is where I will have 'experts' or interested adults, such as parents, adding to the learning.

This week, with the start of the online classroom there have been a few comments made purely out of excitement and others who have got straight into the work. These students have used the forum to ask questions, surveying the class about their topic to add to their investigation.

It is excellent to see the response from my class community. If you are currently thinking about taking the jump into Genius Hour, take it.

Please share any thoughts or suggestions by commenting here or on my Twitter feed @HoskingJason. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Middle School Minds: Discouraging Genius: Is College Prep Killing Creat...

This is a great thought provoking article from a passionate educator, @MsMarshallCMS. Have a read!

Middle School Minds: Discouraging Genius: Is College Prep Killing Creat...: "Students know how to play the game, and the current game doesn't reward creativity, risk, or choice." From  Pure Genius:...

Genius Hour Intro

I introduced Genius Hour to my class and they were so excited! I built suspense by putting up just one small image on my board at the beginning of the week. The students where so keen for me tell them what it was all about. 

I followed the suggestions of Chris Kesler and created a multimedia slide show (below) that lead the students to get even more excited.

I want to say that while I am really keen to implement Genius Hour in my room, there is alway trepidation with these kinds of huge shifts in student learning. There is always the possibility that it will crash and burn. However, as @burgessdave said last night, "It (teaching) is not supposed to be easy, it is supposed to be worth it."

What a great Wednesday afternoon. There was so much brainstorming happening, it was pouring.

I am looking forward to next week when the students will begin putting their ideas into inquiry questions.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Genius Hour - Resources

I am keen to trial the Genius Hour format in my classroom this term and wanted to share some of the resources that I have found from greater minds than mine.

Crowd Sourcing Genius Hour