Today was Genius Day
I can say that I anxiously awaited the arrival of our Genius Day for the past week. It was set out to be the opportunity for my students to work through, and develop the project of their passions, thoughts, ideas and curiosities. I was nervous though and rightly so. Students at the intermediate level (Grade 7 and 8) are typically forgetful and apathetic when it comes to learning and school. I told myself that today would be different and they, my students were excited for this opportunity to have an entire school day to develop their genius plans into to a true reality.
I arrived at school as usual with my coffee in hand, anxiously waiting for my students to arrive carrying whatever they would need to build, create, test, and make. One after another they arrived asking to put their materials and ingredients into our classroom. I would arrange the desk so that students working on similar genius projects this would hopefully keep my builders away from my bakers and so on. We wouldn’t want electronics mixing with liquids that is unless there was an outlying project to explore. As the students took their seat things were looking well. We were sitting with almost 95 percent of students prepared to work. The remaining served as our videographers who would document all of the work being done by their peers.
A few simple yet important instruction were shared before kick off. 1. Follow your plan. 2. Be safe. and 3. Enjoy yourself. They were off building, creating, testing, and making. The room was a buzz with an energy often unseen in an intermediate class unless they had been told that they had received an extension on a project due the next day. I too was excited, excited to see their ideas materialize.
As the day wore on students were facing all sorts of challenges in the projects they had set out to work on. Many of the challenges the face came as surprises and primarily because everything they had learned or read about to date had not been experience by themselves or had been edited in such a way that the errors made were unseen or removed thus leading them to believe the task to be simple. Were they ever surprised when a challenge popped up. And the indirect and unexpected learning that occurred was indescribably awesome.
I must say that our Genius Day was a success for the majority. A success not because everything worked out as planned but because most learned from what the did or encountered over the day.
Below are just a few of the photos to share a glimpse into our day.
- What’s So Genius about Genius Hour? (pernillesripp.com)
- Genius Hour (davidqua17.wordpress.com)
- Genius Hour (connected58.com)
- YOU are a GENIUS: Unleashing Second Graders’ Potential (toteach21st.wordpress.com)