Genius Hour is based on Google's willingness to allow their engineers to spend 20% of their time working on something that interests them. Pinterest, and the internet in general, is filled with Genius Hour ideas, but Runde's Room is a site I found to be SUPER helpful. Her ideas motivated me to get this up and running on a weekly basis. She has links to fantastic PDF's that I will be using to introduce the project. Check out her site below!
This week I will be creating a Genius Hour board (awesome bulletin board letters on Runde's Room website) to house our passion ideas and the students will be generating ideas and sharing those thoughts with families. The students will be creating Passion Project work folders to house handouts, project notes, design ideas and weekly reflections. We bought these duo-tang folders and we'll be using the reflection form created by Jen at Runde's Room on a weekly basis. In week two the students will be getting their two inquiry questions and possible project ideas approved by a grown up (we will require parents to sign off on the inquiry questions and project ideas as well) and by week 3 they'll be ready to dive into research and inquiry!
To help organize my thoughts, introduce this new component of our class, and support the students on a weekly basis, I created a Weebly site. The website explains Genius Hour, outlines student expectations, provides a list of possible inquiry questions and passion project ideas, and gives them a list of kid-friendly research websites. I even set up a forum for students to ask each other questions, offer suggestions, and provide feedback. This is our first attempt with the "forum" feature, so I'll let you know how it goes! I love using Weebly to organize big classroom projects!
To say I'm excited about this week Thursday is an understatement! I will admit, I am a little nervous, how can you not be when you have very little control over the students' ideas, but I am confident that our 53 students will come up with some amazing inquiry topics that they're truly passionate about!