Anticipating the genius

You are a genius and the world needs your contribution. –Angela Maiers

It all started this summer on twitter.  I was looking through my feed, and something caught my eye.  I kept on seeing “genius hour” being spoken about.  Naturally, I was curious and decided to find out more.  The more I found out, the more I loved the idea.  This was a concept I could get excited about!  My students could pursue their passions in my classroom and really own the experience.  They will impact themselves, their classmates, and even the world.  

I just finished up my first week of school, three days with my new students, and it was quite an experience.  We started by getting to know each other, exploring our learning environment, discovering how we would find success, and even had some fun!  Monday begins our journey with genius hour, and I can’t wait.

I am looking forward to next week so much – eagerly anticipating what passions my students will pursue.  We are going to start our first session with an explanation of the genius hour concept and then have a brainstorming session.  I am going to provide different prompts for my students on large paper throughout the classroom.  They can add as many ideas as they want, and we will narrow it down later on.  Here are my ideas for the brainstorming posters:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do you wonder about?
  • How can you change the world?
  • What breaks your heart?
  • What bothers you?

Once I feel we have exhausted our ideas, it will be time to collaborate and begin to make decisions about topics.  Students will be encouraged to work in small groups, but if there is an individual that would like to work alone that is acceptable.  Throughout the first semester, the focus will be learning about our topics in the realm of Spanish language and/or culture.  We will share out in December our findings and new learning.  The students can choose how to present the information they have learned.  Second semester, I will ask them to take their new learning and figure out how they can change the world with it.

I hope Mondays take on an entirely new reputation in my classroom and become something we look forward to.  I will be blogging about our journey as we make new discoveries, learn language, and explore different cultures.  I will let you know next week how it goes!

14 thoughts on “Anticipating the genius

  1. Hi, this is really impressive and I look forward to hearing future updates. Quick question to help me understand how you are rolling this out: is all this preliminary start up being done in English?

    1. In level 1, the explanation will be in both Spanish and English as it will be our 4th day of school. In level 2, we will do more in the TL. Thanks for reading and commenting, Kasey!

  2. I’m captured by this as well!! This year I am teaching juniors and seniors and it’s going to be a part of my curriculum…just working on how…I love your brainstorming questions!!

    with love,
    Laurie

  3. Garnet, Can you believe the summer is over and you’re starting on this already? I remember when we met and you were so geeked up about all the possibilities! I’m sure your students will catch on to that contagious effervescent attitude you have and run with it!! Enjoy!! (I KNOW Mondays will be your favorite day of the week, as they are mine!)

    1. Thanks Joy, you are an inspiration to me as I get going with this. I am eternally thankful for your time and energy spent on all the genius hour resources! It was so wonderful to meet you and talk “shop”, we will have to do it again sometime!

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