#GeniusHour Chat With Guest Host – Hugh McDonald (January 2018)

On January 4, 2018 we had a great #geniushour chat! Our chat was led by guest host, @HughTheTeacher (Hugh McDonald). Hugh is one of the original 4 Genius Hour teachers that wrote the Genius Hour Manifesto along with Joy Kirr and ourselves (Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi) in 2013.

Here is our TweetDeck Collection archive
for the January 2018 #geniushour chat:

“#GeniusHour chat Jan 2018” – @gallit_z “https://twitter.com/gallit_z/timelines/1014939904235560960”

For this chat we had a wonderful mix of veteran Genius Hour teachers and newbies! They included:

@lcromley, @JoveStickel, @dubioseducator, @LeeAraoz, @mmdetrick, @AlexisSwinehart, @jenmoreano, @Liwirsing, @EduQuinn, @MrsUkena, @perickson22, @KylaLCameron, @djlanatron, @theTHteacher, @JJQuaglia, @jonogle1981, @lifeofmrsm, @mrsjjee, @MrsUkena, @Fight4Mizzou, and, as always, your Genius Hour chat moderators @mrsdkrebs and @gallit_z. 

A lot of great ideas were shared during the chat.

Here is a brief summary of some of the highlights:

  • @HughTheTeacher shared that “before, I used to just show them @mrsdkrebs examples…now we provoke wonder and curiosity in a number of different ways. Video, books, challenges, conversation, and outside experts” as a way to launch genius hour and gets students excited and thinking creatively. He also shared a link to a bunch of great videos to spark Genus Hour thinking.
  • @LeeAraoz shared that he’s been doing Genius Hour for 5 years now and that he has “structured the experience a lot more than when I first started. It has helped keep the students engaged and excited” and he shared the link to his site for more info on his 4 ways to do this.
  • @MrsUkena said that “to start, we will do lots of discussion and brainstorming. Students will complete a reflection page after each week to share what progress they’ve made, and I’m planning to add conferencing in as well. This will help me to really see which kids need extra support”.  We love the idea of weekly reflections. These could be in a journal, blog post, google forms–anything that works for you and your students!
  • @kylamcameron and @mrsjjee also both commented on how conferencing and mini shares really help the Genius Hour process. This is definitely a popular formative assessment tool for teachers doing Genius Hour!
  • @dubioseducator shared the link to Joy Kirr’s livebinder. This is a great site with tons of Genius Hour links and is curated by @JoyKirr.

And there really were so many other great ideas shared by participants. Check out the archive to read through more of our January chat.  And be sure to join our next chat–always hosted on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm Pacific/9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central. 

Gallit Zvi

Gallit Zvi is a vice principal and teacher in Surrey, BC, Canada who has taught 4th through 7th grade. Gallit has many years of experience mentoring both Teacher Candidates and experienced teachers and has coached many educators as they implement Genius Hour. She has also been a Faculty Associate in the Education Department at Simon Fraser University. Gallit blogs at Technology & Genius Hour: My Journey as a Teacher and Learner.