A Fantastic Beginning

Genius Hour has officially been launched in my classroom.  All week I captured the students’ attention by telling them something exciting was about to happen.  I kept telling them not to be absent on Friday.  And, guess what??  No one was!

The first thing I did was ask the students if they knew what it meant to be a genius.  They had several good ideas.  From there I told them that everyone in the room was a genius.  Some of them did not believe me.  I told them we were going to spend the next few weeks discovering that inner genius in all of us.  That is when I explained to the students we were all going to be participating in Genius Hour.  They all looked at me like “Huh?”  I showed them this quick video from www.geniushour.com.

Our next activity was a protocol called Chalk Talk.  I hung four posters on the cabinets and had the students write down their ideas on the chart paper.

chart 1

chart 2

The students were really excited and they came up with some great ideas.  Hopefully, they will be able to choose an appropriate topic for their own research.  Here are just a few examples from today.  One student wrote they wanted to create a board game.  I don’t know what it will be about, but that’s okay.  One student said they wanted to create a double decker couch.  I don’t know if that will happen, but it is a neat concept.  Another student said they would like to learn to surf.  Another wanted to learn to play the guitar.  A student said they would like to learn how to make the world a better place.  That was my favorite.

Next week I am going to spend some time discussing the idea of questions.  I saw a great video in which the teacher was guiding the students to understand that good students ask lots of questions.  It was very powerful.  You can find the video on a site by Angela Maiers called 12 Most Genius Questions in the World.  I think this will be the next step in my Genius Hour journey.

All I know is that I am extremely excited about what is to come.  I believe my 2nd graders will come up with some amazing things during our genius hour.  I will be sure to post about our journey together.