Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Genius hour

So we started Genius Hour! Now you might be asking what is genius hour.  Genius hour is a time set aside so that my kids can pursue their own interests in learning. It allows the students to learn, research, and develop what they what to do. Now you might be thinking, you let your kids have free rain?  Well in a way, yes I did, however, their was one criteria, it had to benefit the classroom.  

I was really hesitant of letting go control to my grade two classroom.  This was not because of letting chaos happen or student discovery but more that I didn't know if my students need more guidance I organizing their thinking and work.  

I started the process with watching two videos on creativity and what is an idea. We then made a proposal that they had to share with their parents.  The reason chose to have them make. A proposal was that I wanted my students to have a plan in order to succeed or feel like they accomplished something.  My students then had to share this proposal with their parents.  This was an interesting concept for many of my students.  We had to have a discussion about what a proposal was and why it needed to happen.  However, it did fit nicely into our covey habits and once explained with those my students had no trouble in identifying what they wanted to do.  

The ideas have been flowing.  Some of my kids want to get better in soccer, mathematics, and art.  They have planned to research and make videos, or have an art portfolio.

I don't know if I introduced this right but I. Am hoping that the kids will take off with it and I am really looking forward to what they have planned. We plan to do genius hour once a week. 

Anyone else doing this? Any helpful tips out there for grade two?  Love to hear what other stories.


  1. I took your advice and went for it. I introduced with a video and a Prezi that I found on the Livebinder link. I thought the video was way over their head, but after when I asked what it was about, several of them were able to paraphrase its message!

    I told them I was going to let them do this, learn about anything. They seemed excited, but then when I gave them the paper to think of a few ideas (I said they can learn: about, how to, to make, to change) they seemed stumped. I was afraid to prompt them because I knew they would just use the example I'd give, so I stayed quiet. And then, I started to walk around and saw their thoughts, although I had to ask a few questions to guide them, I was surprised to see that they had gotten it.

    Now, I've got kids who want to learn:
    -about their ancestors
    -how to do ballet
    -to make jewellery
    -about Michael Jackson
    -how to make paper animals
    -how to build an airplane

    Like you, not sure if I'm going about it the right way, the next step for them will be to develop a plan. But after that I'm not sure what will come next.

    Thanks again for the link and keep posting updates about your class' journey


  2. That sounds amazing. I get excited when I hear the success of others, it kind of puts my fears away. I am hoping to do this every Monday and we will see how hey go. Let me know how your class does. Maybe there will be a way for our classes to share their genius hour ideas with eachother.