What is Genius Hour?

Do you struggle with your student’s engagement? Interested in hosting a Genius Hour for Elementary, but don’t know where to start? You’re NOT alone. This great inquiry based program helps students focus on the project of their choice. This model of teaching was created by large tech companies (like Google) who allow their workers to use 20% of their time to pursue a passion project. GENIUS HOUR IN EDUCATION GIVES STUDENTS THE GUIDANCE THEY NEED WITH STRUCTURED TIMELINES, SELF- CHECKS, AND WEEKLY IN CLASS MEETINGS. When implementing teaching styles like Project Based Learning and Genius Hour your classroom TRANSFORMS into a room of engaged critical thinkers.

Benefits of using Genius Hour in the Classroom

Are you students engaged? Really engaged? When your students are given their own voice and choice, everything changes. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN HOW MOTIVATED YOUR STUDENT IS TO LEARN HOW TO FINISH A VIDEO GAME, DRAW A CARTOON, OR RIDE A BIKE? WE WANT TO PROMOTE THE SAME GROWTH MINDSET WITH CHALLENGING LONG TERM PROJECTS. STUDENTS WILL BECOME LIFELONG LEARNERS AND LEARN REAL WORLD SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THEM FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.

What if the students aren’t successful? Is it a waste of time?

   STUDENTS WILL BE GRADED ON THEIR EFFORT, THEIR RESEARCH, AND THEIR PRESENTATIONS. THEY WILL BE ABLE TO COMPLETE ALL OF THE PACKET, EVEN IF THEY DON’T COMPLETE THEIR PROJECT. THERE WILL BE WEEKLY REFLECTIONS AND MEETINGS TO HELP STUDENTS OVERCOME OBSTACLES, BUT SOME PROJECTS MAY STILL NOT BE COMPLETED. OUR MOTTO: IF YOU HAVEN’T EVER FAILED, THEN YOU HAVEN’T EVER TRIED SOMETHING NEW.

How do I help the students generate questions?

STUDENTS WILL BE GIVEN MULTIPLE DAYS TO CHOOSE A “QUESTION” OR A PROJECT. THE GUIDELINES FOR A GENIUS HOUR PROJECT ARE STUDENTS CAN DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

 1. TRY TO SOLVE A QUESTION THAT IS NOT EASILY ANSWERED (IT SHOULD NOT BE A YES/NO QUESTION OR GOOGLE-ABLE)

 2. LEARN A NEW SKILL: EXAMPLES – CREATING A VIDEO GAME, COOKING A FOUR COURSE MEAL, OR KNITTING A SCARF.

 3. BECOMING A MASTER OR AN EXPERT IN A SUBJECT MATTER. •

THIS CAN BE A DIFFICULT DECISION, SO THERE ARE MULTIPLE PLANNING PAGES FOR STUDENTS TO BRAINSTORM. THE TEACHER WILL NEED TO APPROVE THE STUDENT’S TOPIC. PARENTS, DO NOT WORRY IF YOUR STUDENTS CHOOSE A SUBJECT THAT YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERT IN! THIS ISTHEIR PROJECT, THEIR PASSION, AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN EXPERT TO GUIDE THEM.

Here is a great website for resources about Genius Hour.