Genius Hour: Genius Hour

 
 
 
Genius Hour
Students In Action
 
 
Students In Action
 
 
 
Assessment & Data

Genius Hour

Genius Hour is an ongoing project in which my students identify and explore their scientific interests and passions. Developed every Friday for an entire semester during class, the project provides an opportunity for students to cultivate their research and critical thinking skills while engaging in a topic that is of interest to them. As part of the Genius Hour project, my students connect with "virtual partners" from outside our state in a collaborative effort to authenticate their projects even more. Genius Hour culminates in a demonstration of students' research findings in a format of the students' choosing. This year, I have included the use of Flipboard, an application that allows students to search for a variety of web-based resources and to curate these resources in a visually compelling and user-friendly way.

Strategy Resources (3)
Students In Action
 
 
Online Student Resource
 
 
The plan sheet is used at the beginning of our Genius Hour projects. It helps my students reflect on topics they are interested in and brainstorm how they will demonstrate their learning at the end of the project. Examples of completed plan sheets are included to help you visualize how my students use the plan sheet.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
I use Flipboard to help students find quick video/article/image resources that they can easily save to one location. I chose Flipboard because at first use it is a very appealing and accessible tool for students to use in the research process. It also has very readable material and exciting titles to hook students. The point of using Flipboard is to create interest in a topic through the use of video, images, and articles. It was my hope to hook students on their topic of choice and help them find key researchable articles to drive their project. I wanted students to feel like they were creating something of meaning. By creating their own magazine, they were able to compile artifacts that reflect their needs as learners while also adding a personalized touch to their learning.
Students In Action
 
 
Online Student Resource
 
 
The plan sheet is used at the beginning of our Genius Hour projects. It helps my students reflect on topics they are interested in and brainstorm how they will demonstrate their learning at the end of the project. Examples of completed plan sheets are included to help you visualize how my students use the plan sheet.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
I use Flipboard to help students find quick video/article/image resources that they can easily save to one location. I chose Flipboard because at first use it is a very appealing and accessible tool for students to use in the research process. It also has very readable material and exciting titles to hook students. The point of using Flipboard is to create interest in a topic through the use of video, images, and articles. It was my hope to hook students on their topic of choice and help them find key researchable articles to drive their project. I wanted students to feel like they were creating something of meaning. By creating their own magazine, they were able to compile artifacts that reflect their needs as learners while also adding a personalized touch to their learning.
Jessica Anderson
Powell County High School
Deer Lodge, MT


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Ninth grade
Similar Strategies
Collaborative Student Groups
Partner Lab Investigations

Partner Labs are investigatons that require more than one student in the group. These labs require my students to work together to come up with a solution to a problem or to conduct an experiment. Some of my favorite activities to do with my students are The Virtual Thinking Project (PBL), and the Solar Oven and Cooler design projects. These projects require students to work collaboratively together, often in the lab, to engineer solutions to problems or to perform experiments.

 
Assessment & Data
Socrative Digital Assessment Tool

Socrative is a Digital Assessment tool I use to conduct formative assessments. For example, during a recent activity I used socrative to assess students' misconceptions or misunderstandings about porosity and permeability when discussing groundwater. The students took the four question quiz and the results were displayed on the board for students and myself to view. From the data I was able to make decisions about my teaching in the next 40 minutes based on the results of the quiz. As a blended learning teacher, I particularly like Socrative as a formative assessment tool because it lets me choose how I my students will be assessed. I can choose to have them do it self-paced, to give instant feedback, or to guide the entire quiz myself. I love the flexibility in this tool and the instant data I receive from it. 

 
Time and Space
Music Time Indicator

Music is used to transition students at the beginning and end of the class period. Students spend the first four minutes of class logging into their learning management system Haiku and Classcraft account (gamification platform). We have established as a class that all iPads (we are 1:1) should be charged and open during this period of time. This length of time is indicated by a 4:34 minute clip of music. During this time, I take attendance, fill out advanced make-ups, and talk to students who have been absent or have questions.The last three minutes in our class are indicated by transition music. This music lasts 2 minutes. It indicates that students can log out of Haiku, close their apps and their iPads. If students are in the middle of an activity, they wrap-up what they are working on either by saving it as a draft or submitting their assignment. If students close their iPads before the music sounds and have stopped working, they are deducted health points (HP) on Classcraft. I do this because I want students to use every minute for learning as I would if I was using direct instruction in my class.

 
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