The Genius Hours

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Moving Forward

We had genius hour on Friday. Many students made their decisions about what their projects would be. Some require a little more prompting and advice than others. It is hard to go from a model where you are told what and how you’ll learn to one where you are in charge of making those decisions. It is a daunting task for all.

Trying to figure out how to guide students from the implausible to the plausible is my daunting task. Do I let them pick something I know is impossible and let them figure it out or do I do my best to guide them towards something a little more reasonable? At what point does that guiding compromise the idea that failing is OK?

We’re about to start intensive state testing review. For those students who do not need that depth of review, I’ve managed to carve another 2-3 hours of genius hour into their week. They’ll be coming to me during my planning period every other day to work on their projects. This morning was the first day of this experiment. I had two different classes with me this morning. Students were engaged in their own projects, but also in hearing what students in other classes were doing.

This morning one student, after watching a Khan Academy video on chemistry said, “That was cool!” ┬áHe came over to explain what he’d learned. While he explained, I knew that he’d learned something I didn’t know and that would likely continue over the course of the project. My mind is already spinning trying to find a way to build this into a solid part of my curriculum for next year.

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