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.

What Will I Keep?

This post is week 8 of 8 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge for educators.

The #8WeeksofSummer blogging challenge will stay with me. One takeaway is that I do better at blogging with a challenge. I’ve been blogging for close to ten years now, sometimes more regularly than others.

Here is a little history of my recent blogging:

In 2019, I made 16 posts. I began the year blogging, thanks to the #Blogging28 challenge last January through Edublogs, posting 5 times in January. In February through May, I made 3 more posts–no challenges. Then starting in June through today, I’ve made 8 posts in the #8WeeksofSummer challenge.

In 2018, I made 3 posts.

In 2017, I made 57 posts.

What was the difference between 2017 and 2018? Blogging challenges.

In 2017,  I took two challenges, the #edublogsclub and #SliceofLife2017, which was each day in March and some Tuesdays after. In 2018, I took no challenges.

Writing heals and keeps me sane, so I need to take time to write. If blogging challenges are a way to encourage me to do that, I will take them.

Thank you so much to Penny Christensen for running this professional reflection challenge for this summer. Thanks also to Penny and other friends who came and commented on my blog–Sheri, Joy, and Scott.

Now. what will my next challenge be?