Genius Hour

Last term, I trialed the concept of Genius Hour in my classroom. The focus was generating quality, non-google-able questions, and beginning skills in finding out/sorting out information. Students looked at intriguing websites, including Cosmos Magazine and Wondreopolis, as well as some helpful inquiry picture books by Kobi Yamada (see below) to assist in the creating of questions.

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We watched many inspirational videos…

until students began to deeply understand the purpose, and that learning is definitely not about getting answers right the first time. I think my students came far in terms of the effort they put in, the questions they can now ask about a range of topics, how to seek out quality information, and how to understand what they have read by asking evaluative questions (such as, Is this helpful to my topic? Is this a reputable site? Why/Why not? Do I need to search more information? Do I now have further questions? What have I learnt? How have I learnt it? What do I need to work on next time?)

I was amazed that during Genius Hour times, that all students were highly engaged and incredibly motivated – including my students who usually struggle behaviourally (!!!) Amazing!

 

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In the process… of creating a space station

Contemplating how integration and curiosity benefits the engagement of learners.

I am currently in the process of deciding how much an integrated classroom encourages and entices curiosity of my students. For instance, during term 3 we are to study Space and the Solar System, if I was to go all out refurbishing my classroom into a space station experience, and linking in other KLAs, would this lead to more engaged learners and better outcomes?

The research suggests it does, yet I am willing to trial it myself in a more intense way than I have been achieving thus far.

At the moment, I am searching space themes and wondering how to best transform my classroom into a space station / solar system, thanks to Pinterest. I plan on also creating NASA ID Cards for my students with specific classroom roles. I guess the next job will then be checking that integration will authentically occur across other areas of the curriculum. Finally, setting everything up, with much anticipation and excitement for the upcoming term. I am a fortnight to get organised.