Celebrating Passion, Wonder & Inquiry
Welcome. We are happy you are here!
Thank you for your interest in The Genius Hour Guidebook. We are so excited that it is now available, thanks to a partnership among ourselves, Routledge/Eye on Education and MiddleWeb. This book was written to help you understand what Genius Hour is (especially those of you teaching in the middle years), why we are passionate about it, and, of course, how to take the steps to implement it in your classroom.
We (Gallit Zvi and Denise Krebs) have been learning about Genius Hour since 2011. We’ve shared with colleagues at our own and others’ schools and at conferences in three different countries. Mostly, though, we’ve shared with our students – students from kindergarten through college level. Students who are becoming fearless learners, ready to tackle problems and make the world a better place.
We love Genius Hour for students because it’s the kind of learning needed in our world today. No longer is the teacher a dispenser of all knowledge, but students must be entrusted to make learning their own. Students need to do the hard work of critical thinking, creating, and contributing.
We, and the Genius Hour community, have discovered that Genius Hour is a powerful tool to help construct a positive climate of learning. Every aspect of our classrooms began transforming as we gave Genius Hour a go.
We would love for you to take the plunge too. Become the chief learner. Embrace the joy of learning in your classroom.
Our book contains a lot of ideas from our friends implementing Genius Hour in their classrooms and we are grateful for their input! We recommend you follow these fantastic educators on twitter. You will find their Genius Hour tips throughout our book and we’ll be promoting their voices here as well.
Joy Kirr @JoyKirr
Hugh McDonald @hughtheteacher
Sherri Edwards @grammasheri
Robyn Thiessen @robynthiessen
Something happens whenever a book goes into production. In the months before the release date, the conversation between authors and editors has to stop. The author finally has to say to the production team, “OK, we are finished. You can take it from here.”
Though the content of The Genius Hour Guidebook took a breather while it was being printed, the conversation within the amazing Genius Hour community has not stopped. That’s one of the things we love about Genius Hour – it is the beginning of a lifelong professional conversation. Genius Hour teachers continue to grow and develop, seeing student learning blossom in their classrooms, and forming PLN’s to support the work.
We want to keep the conversation rolling for the readers of our book as well. That’s why our super publishers helped us create this GeniusHourGuide.org website. It can be a place for us (Gallit and Denise) to share those things that we kept wanting to add when our editors had to tell us, “It’s too late. Remember, you said you were finished.”
Besides the additional information we will post here, there is something more important going on. We want this website to be a place for further discussions about Genius Hour. We hope you will join in by leaving a comment or question or by sharing your stories with the community. You can comment on any post you see. We’ll be listening. Together we’re smarter.
Please subscribe to the website and also engage with us on Twitter: Denise tweets at @mrsdkrebs and Gallit (rhymes with delete) tweets at @gallit_z.
We hope that both The Genius Hour Guidebook and this companion website will help you introduce and implement Genius Hour, as well as lead you to new and exciting learning experiences for you and your students.
Thank you for joining the Genius Hour movement!
Denise and Gallit
I love that you are keeping the conversation going about Genius Hour! I successfully implemented Genius Hour last year. Some of my students, with the lowest self-esteem about school, found a new confidence through the Genius Hour process. I have been scared to start the process this year (for many reasons that cannot be disclosed here) but continuing to hear the positive conversations about Genius Hour gave me the courage to start again in January. The kids deserve it! Thank you for your work with Genius Hour!
Thanks for the comment. Your comment actually encourages me too! I find myself in a teaching situation this year where it’s more difficult to do Genius Hour than it has been in past years. Your courage is contagious. Thank you, and I hope the process proceeds well for you and your students in January. You are right, “the kids deserve it!”
Congratulations on putting your ideas into print! I remember how excited the students always were about participating when we taught together, Denise. The concept of students taking the lead in their learning is the most exciting thing about genius hour — they actually become involved, rather than the teachers having to drag them through the “swamp” of going to school everyday.
Oh, Judy, your comment means so much! I surely do miss teaching with you! (We usually need a new English teacher at our school each year. Maybe we’ll teach together again.)
Your comment about dragging them through the swamp of going to school made me laugh out loud. Please give my greetings to my lovely seniors, juniors, and sophomores! I can’t believe how they are all growing up. God’s blessings to you in the New Year!
Happy New Year! I will certainly pass on your greetings to “our kids.”
Congratulations on the publication of this book. Putting all the information and guidance in one book will be so very helpful for those wishing to get started as well as a great ‘go to’ place for those who have already started genius hour in their classrooms.
Thank you, Anne-Marie! Happy New Year!
“…it’s the kind of learning needed in our world today. No longer is the teacher a dispenser of all knowledge, but students must be entrusted to make learning their own.” These are the words that all teachers must embrace and apply in their classrooms. Learners learning to love learning through the genius of their own creations. Kudos to both of you!
Thank you, Ragini.
I love the way you put it: “Learners learning to love learning through the genius of their own creations” YES!
Happy New Year, my friend!
The comment, “The kids deserve it,” really rang true with me. As it happens, this is a year that I feel would be a good time to implement this idea. It would be fun to see where they would go.
Fantastic news…please update us about how it is going! Also, we have our monthly #geniushour chat on twitter. Please join us at 6 pm pacific/9 pm eastern on the 1st Thursday of each month to discuss Genius Hour.
Can’t wait to hear about how it goes with your students!
I am very interested in implementing Genius Hour in our sixth grade language arts classroom. I guess my hesitation is not being really confident about having a good grasp on the key components that create the base of the program – what is needed to be in place before introducing Genuid Hour to my students?