Monday, June 10, 2013

Genius Hour (part 2)

After deciding on topics for Genius Hour, it was time to start getting down to the nitty gritty.  As I mentioned before, I decided to attempt Genius Hour in May...not normally a time you'd want to try something new, but I am so glad I did.  My students spent the first couple weeks researching and planning out what they wanted to do.  They were so engaged!  I think I might have had to redirect 1 or 2 students...that's it!

From there we spent the next few weeks prepping for our presentations.  Most of the students presentations were simply showing off their knowledge.  Here is where I ran into my first couple if issues...

Issue #1 - Be very clear about your expectations with your students.  If they aren't supposed to be walking around the school asking other teachers for supplies (which seems common sense, right), then be sure to tell them.  Learned that the hard way.  Your kids are going to be excited...really excited...but not all the adults in the building want to hear about it, especially if they're interrupting their teaching.

Issue #2 - If your student's want to build something that might be considered a weapon, you should probably get the principal's permission...oops.  I didn't think a pen bow & arrow would be a problem, but I guess I was wrong.

Issue #3 - Genius Hour is messy, so be prepared to need 10 minutes at the end for clean up, otherwise you might get an email from your administrator wondering what you're doing, and why it's such a mess.  Yup, learned that one the hard way too.

I've worked through all these issues, and NONE of them would stop me from doing it again.  My recommendation is to be prepared...really prepared...and prep anyone and everyone who your students might be in contact with about Genius Hour & what it's all about.

And now for the exciting post...the results.  My next post will be all about how the presentations/projects turned out.  You can find it here.

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