by Denise Krebs
I had a ton of fun helping out with genius hour. The students seemed to be enthusiastic as well, which is crucial for making genius hour effective. One thing I was wondering was whether or not the students had specific learning goals for their projects because I think that is important. The students must be able to explain why their project is worth learning.
~First time Genius Hour observing teacher
I am a firm believer in starting with the why. However, I’m not sure I agree with the above sentiment, and I would like your opinion.
Yes, indeed. They can make a fine tractor out of balsa wood.
Before genius hour, I ask my students to ask an essential question, but I don’t judge its worthiness, whether it’s essential enough. For instance, “Can I build a tractor out of balsa wood?”
In their presentations, I don’t ask them to explain why their project is worth learning.
However, I do ask students to reflect on their learning after genius hour in blog posts. (Some students are still working on theirs.)
In my own learning, I’m not sure I can always articulate my purpose (or the worthiness of my projects) when I learn to use Google Mapmaker, Garage Band and Voicethread.
I just learn because I want to. And now I sincerely want to learn from you.
Maybe asking more of my students in setting their goals would help them be more creative and productive during genius hour. Or will I stifle their self-direction? What do you think?
Do students need specific learning goals in genius hour?
Must students be able to explain why their project is worth learning?