Sunday, January 27, 2013

Genius Hour #1 Completed

For several weeks the topic of conversation in the class surrounded our trial of Genius Hour.  Students were excited about being given the time and opportunity to pursue topics of interest to them.  They LOVED the term - Student Driven Learning!

Most students had an idea right away - while others needed time to think and plan.  Some students decided to work together while others chose to work independently.  Some students would use the computer, while others would use different tools.

Our 'hour' began at 1:45 p.m. Students excitedly collected their supplies and went straight to work. The level of engagement was something at which to marvel.  For over an hour students were completely engrossed in their learning while they created comic strips on the computer, sewed a pillow, researched hedgehogs, experimented with volcanoes, created mazes from wood, researched a Brazilian Gospel singer, created powerpoints about dry ice, geocaching, created posters about WWII, the Model T and many other topics.
Poster about the Great Depression

Experimenting with a Volcano

When the bell sounded,  signaling the end of our school day and thus the ending of their Genius Hour there were audible groans and moans.  The disbelief that the 'hour' was up was clear by looking at the disappointment on my students' faces as many had not accomplished the tasks they set out for themselves.  They wondered if they could have more time the following day.

Appreciating the level of involvement in their learning I decided to give them some extra time the next day to 'finish' their Genius work.  When I announced it in the morning there were fist pumps and 'yays'!  When the time came, students again began to work diligently.
Learning about Pearl Harbor Attack

Over the next couple days there was time for students to quickly share their learning with their classmates.  Students listened intently and asked thoughtful questions. At the end students all wanted to know when to expect the NEXT Genius Hour.  This makes me realize the power of allowing and trusting students to follow their interests and passion.  Success in learning!

Genius Hour is here to stay! I am convinced in this first showing that students need time to pursue their interests.  I am convinced that allowing them time will further promote their curiosity.

Do you have any comments or questions about Genius Hour?  Would love to hear how Genius Hour was perceived at home.


  1. Genius hour was a lot of fun! I hope we do another one soon! If we do, I already know what my topic is going to be.

    1. Loved your information on Origami. Loved the origami projects you shared. My favorites were the giraffe & crow!

      What is your topic for the next Genius Hour?

      Thanks for commenting.

    2. My next topic will be a report on the Siberian Husky.

    3. Love that idea! They are beautiful animals and I'll bet you will learn a lot! I know you are a real animal lover so this is perfect.

  2. That genius hour was amazing! I never knew that there was so much more to learn about hedgehogs.

  3. Sam,
    Thanks to you we all learned so many great facts about the Hedgehog. The pictures you added to the poster added to your presentation. Good job!

  4. Thank you for letting us do a genius hour it was so cool and I even learned a little about volcanoes and why it erupts.For the next genius hour I think i'm going to do a report on how to make a football.

    1. Your volcano worked great - I can't wait to learn about how footballs are made! Great topic!

  5. the pictures look pixulated or something it is cool


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