Here’s a useful handout that can help teachers introduce students to the Genius Hour concept. It’s often the first step in convincing students that they do have interests worthy of pursuing during “their” time. Download a blank version that you can reproduce.
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In this practical new book, early adopters Denise Krebs and Gallit Zvi show you how to implement Genius Hour – a special classroom time when students can develop their own passion-driven, inquiry-based projects and take more ownership of their work and their learning.
But how do you get Genius Hour students started? Gallit Zvi shares an infographic that will give teachers the 3 Steps approach recommended in The Genius Hour Guidebook. “As educators, you will have to make it your own, but these steps are the tried, tested and true.”
Many students will rely on some sort of research process for their Genius Hour project. Gallit and Denise recommend the use of Silvia Rosental Tolisano’s 21st century adaptation of the KWH organizer — the KWHLAQ Chart. Learn more and download the chart from Fickr.
Genius Hour is just the beginning, says teacher Joy Kirr in her Afterword to the Guidebook. “It is a baby step, and part of the journey to flipping your classroom on its head and handing the learning over to the children.” It’s all about autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
The Genius Hour Guidebook has a great “Frequently Asked Questions” section. Here are a couple of sample answers and a list of the other questions Gallit and Denise address in the FAQs. Our favorite: “Why call it Genius Hour? They aren’t really geniuses.”
Denise and Gallit have developed a Creativity Rubric that they use in Step 3 of their Genius Hour cycle with students. It’s a work in progress, but you’re welcome to use, tweak and/or share! You can download it or visit the Google doc.
Using a 21st Century version of Bloom’s Taxonomy and applying their understanding of “thick and thin” questions (sometimes called google-able and non google-able), students can deepen their thinking about good inquiry-driven Genius Hour projects.
Gallit Zvi highlights a selection of videos that have inspired Genius Hour teachers and students. Included: Ken Robinson, Daniel Pink, Angela Maiers, Richard St. John, Derek Sivers, Kid President, and Caine’s Arcade. Watch them at the page and contribute some of your own favorites in the comments.
Denise Krebs shares a selection of inspirational books that have been favorites among many Genius Hour teachers and “changed us and our pedagogy.” Please share your own favorites in the comments area of this post.