This is a professional development blog for Nottingham Elementary. We'll be discussing books we have read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
After reading this chapter, my views have been confirmed and changed about genius hour. In the past, I have done problem-based learning with JChoy. It took a tremendous amount of planning on our part but once the project was launched, the kids did lots of work. We guided the students to the problem from reading Time for Kids articles and they came up with many different solutions. For example, the students were trying to be humanitarians and had to come up with the different problems and the different solutions. One group researched how Somalia was lacking clean water and thus build awareness with their peers. Students created a physical challenge of carrying gallons of water across the field to build empathy for the children of Somalia. Their solution was to not waste clean water in their community so they'll be more clean water for everybody. My view has changed because I now see we could do a long-term problem base learning as a weekly routine of 20% for a genius hour (Kindle location 742). Instead of devoting a whole nine weeks to the PBL, the 20% genius hour could be more focused for the students since the time is limited.
I agree with Annie Mitchell's response on June 14th. The genius hours that we've had are different from what was in Pure Genius. Page 44 talked about " tying in academic rigor to real world aspects of project completion and to research on personal topics." During Science animal research on adaptions, students really became "innovative" in finding facts and information pertaining to their animals.
@Annie 6/14 what wonderful ideas! I love the physical challenge of lugging gallons of water across the field!
I agree I loved the idea of making a personal connection and now they have background knowledge of this experience. They can actually relate the a situation that is real and happening. Great and creative thinking!
@Melanie Marshall They came together in the end and wrote this song with our AMAZING music teacher. Do you see Spencer as the drummer? http://terracehumanitarianexpo.blogspot.com/
Yes, I see Spencer, the fantastic drummer, and noted the amazing music teacher. Super cool
I found it sad that working within the larger school system was too confining with all the red tape, even though it was immediately present. The coffee shop idea was on school grounds and was quickly implemented, so that tells me to stay within school walls. I am sold that smaller projects are best to start with to gain competence in the PBL system. I learned that "forcing a cool mentor on my students creates dependency, and might sway their choice on projects, ultimately reducing student freedom and voice." pg 43. For our Power Hour, we gave the students 4-5 choices. That was somewhat based on our expertise. This author is saying for Genius Hour, to wait until the students voices are heard, and then move forward. Last year I kept a list of problems students unfolded, but we never dealt with them. I need to keep a list again, but also provide time to delve into solutions.
Power Hour was really hard for us this year because we had 5 choices for the kids, but it was like y'all said based on teacher's likes/skills. The kids fought us a lot because they didn't like everything that was offered, but unfortunately they needed to be placed some where. Now that we have it under our belts I think it will be a little easier for the kids to have more of an input on what classes we offer. I like the idea of an Innovation Idea Journal they talk about on pages 37-38. When we see things that peek their interests and such we can write it down and build from it. I agree with Melanie as well when she says we actually have to go back and use what we write down.
Of the three real-world examples of genius hour that Don shared, the one about getting a project based on passion really struck a cord with me. (page 30). I like his ideas on genius hour being "a passion based project that brings students to learn how to love learning." Page 31. I confirm my thoughts with him on genius hour. I believe that genius hour should be "opportunities for students to explain what they learned," be innovative thinkers, and get student involvement and be student driven. From students "finding their own mentors (Page 34) to "bringing meaning to the class and their learning." Page 50. I completely agree with Don's writing on page 30 that "the misconception of innovation class is a free period is quite the opposite." Page 30.