Digital Teaching Resources, Genius Hour, Uncategorized

Genius Hour

When our SAIL (Gifted and Talented) teacher came to do a lesson in my class a few years ago, we ended up team teaching and literally finished each other’s sentences. Since then, we’ve been collaborating on a variety of assignments including Exhibition. (She’s an IB wiz). Most recently, she was assigned part-time to another school. On Thursdays, she is only at our school in the morning so we have both been thinking/talking/stashing away ideas about Genius Hour. We decided to use Thursday mornings as our designated Genius Hour time.

Week 1: We started by showing the students a video clip on YouTube.

School in the Cloud

Then we posted ten questions on the wall with sticky notes. Each one had a question on it that could not be easily “googled” and some research would be required. We asked the kids to use 50 minutes for research, then have a short presentation where they could share their learning with the class. Some students opted for posters, others Google Slides, etc. All of the students were completely engaged and excited, asking when we could do Genius Hour again.


Week 2: We asked each student to come up with a question to be researched and to place it on the wall with the questions left over from week one. I already had a “Burning Question Wall” with post-it notes from our class discussions, so when we added to them, we had about 50 questions. The procedures were the same as week one: 50 minutes research and a short presentation.

Week 3: The students were still required to develop a new question or take one from the wall, but this time, they had a reflection sheet to fill out on a Google Doc. This included things like:

1.What new information did you learn during Genius Hour? How did you complete your research?
2. What struggles did you encounter while completing this project?
3. What took a majority of your time today? Was this a success or do you need to rethink your ideas/partner/time management?
4. What new ideas/questions did you think of for next week?

I will be sharing more about Genius Hour on Wednesday’s blog!


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