Genius Hour At Home Blog Post Index

Genius Hour at home has been a serendipity for my students and me. In this time of emergency remote learning, it has not been easy. We are in our 12th week of this. We have three weeks to go, and we are all exhausted and lonely, but Genius Hour is a light in the darkness. Here are the Genius Hour posts and resources my students and I have created over the past weeks.

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Keep the Genius Hour Learning Going

My goal for my students is that they become lifelong, independent learners. Not those who jump through hoops, but those who embrace the LEARNING of school. I have a lot of students like this at my sweet school. Grade 5 is actually such a fun year for passionate learning.

In our recent Genius Hour “unit” in at-home emergency learning, I knew it was going well for my students and for me. I had not heard much from the parents, though, so after we finished I sent out a feedback form. I am happy to report, it was going well for them too. I asked them a few questions:

  1. Was the amount of time just right, too much, or not enough?
  2. When your child ran into a problem, were they able to solve it or figure out a solution?
  3. Did they learn or create something new?
  4.  Was it a valuable learning experience?

The answers were overwhelmingly positive. The time was just right. Yes, their children were able to figure out how to solve their problems. They learned something new. And it was valuable from the parents’ perspective.

When I asked the parents if they wanted to say anything else, the answers were also very positive. Here is a word cloud so you can get a taste of their lovely comments.

It seems like their children have been doing that independent learning at home. The learning that I long for them to do. I think we are on the right track.

Now, I’m excitedly keeping the Genius Hour learning going. While I watched their presentations, I kept a list of all the amazing things they were teaching me. Now, I am home replicating some of my favorites because who doesn’t need a unicorn cloud pencil and marker organizer?

My inspiration was Noor’s pencil holder.

Here is my video of my student-inspired projects so far. I hope to help the Genius Hour learning spread! Wouldn’t that be fun? Genius hour all summer with inspiration from their peers. I will be suggesting it for their lesson in our last week together.

6 Steps of Genius Hour for My Students, An Unpolished Set of Instructions

Since there are so many of us in this together, learning to do Genius Hour at home, I thought I would share the videos I made for my students. Of course, you will want to make your own, but maybe something will give a spark for how you can do it. I’d love to see your ideas too! Please share in the comments section. Thank you!

This sweet graphic was made by Valentina Gonzalez (@ValentinaESL)

Wonder page handout.

Students were to pause to watch John Spencer’s excellent summary that explains what Genius Hour is:

Slides for Question step and Genius Hour Proposal

My presentation

Slides and Google Form Reflection

Genius Hour at Home

I am in the middle of a very fun round of Genius Hour with my fifth grade geniuses! They are sheltering at home and doing lessons from there. We are giving Genius Hour a try.

Here is a five-minute summary of six steps for Genius Hour that you can do with your students. I hope it can be helpful to you or others.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions! Thanks!

This video was inspired by the same talk done at Bahrain’s April Virtual Teach Meet.

An article about Teach Meet Bahrain in today’s paper

New Second Edition

This happened recently. The release date came and passed without anyone on the production staff or us knowing or paying attention. (Our insidious and disruptive enemy gets the blame.)

Second Edition of Genius Hour Guidebook
Click on the book image to buy at a discount at Routledge.

Read Chapter 1 in the Kindle preview.

This sweet graphic was made by Valentina Gonzalez (@ValentinaESL)