Geniuses Learning Outside the School Walls

It’s coming! More and more learning outside the school walls. Tonight I was checking my email and sending announcements to my school secretary, when I received a chat message from a student.

“When do I need to take that science test?”

“I think you better do it by Wednesday.” (With a long holiday weekend coming up, who wants to study all weekend, I thought.)

“OK, but I forgot to bring home the study guide.”

“I’ll email it to you.”

“OK, thanks!”

About the same time I got this email from another student: “this is my scratch that I made i will show it to you when i get there” (It was just this afternoon that I showed him the program. He went home downloaded Scratch, figured out how to make and animate his giraffe, and ended up with a better animation than I’ve been able to create.)

I love it! He sent it so I could watch it, but he’ll also show it to me tomorrow. What enthusiasm!

We’re preparing for our first genius hour on Wednesday, so today we talked about the qualities of creativity, and the origins of the word genius. We said it really means creating and producing, not just the narrow definition of a person with such-and-such IQ number.

We tried to define nine characteristics of creativity, using some really big words. Seventh graders helped me make a rubric, which they will eventually use to grade themselves on how they are growing in creativity. Here are some of the qualities we thought of for each characteristic.

  1. Ambiguity – I’m OK with a little confusion. And I know there is always more than one way to do a job.
  2. Inquisitiveness – I ask questions and want answers. I look up things that interest me. I’m a lifelong learner.
  3. Generating Ideas (brainstorming) – I am able to quickly create a list of possibilities. I use my imagination.
  4. Originality of Ideas – I can think outside the box and I have a great imagination. I think of ideas that others never even thought of.
  5. Flexibility/ Adaptability – Like I gymnast, I can bend easily any which way and not break, only with my mind!
  6. Self-Reflection – I can look honestly at myself and evaluate my work.
  7. Intrinsic Motivation – I want to do it. I know the purpose for my work, and it pleases me.
  8. Risk Taking – I’m not afraid to try something difficult for fear of failure.
  9. Expertise – I am proud to know a lot about one or more subjects. I am an expert.

OK, back to those emails and school announcements I need to send! I got side tracked with my genius students and their 24/7 learning (and this blog post!)

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