We all want our students engaged. With technology ruling the lives of upper elementary and middle school students it is getting harder and harder to keep students’ attention in the classroom. But this trend can stop now. Genius Hour is a time that students will be engaged in their learning. We have our top 5 ways that Genius Hour will transform your classroom in a big way!
1. Spark Curiosity
Students are naturally curious. Imagine telling your class that they get to lead their own learning for a part of the school day. They will look at you like you are crazy, but will be at the edge of their seats to learn more. Let them know that they will be in control of what they want to learn about, a passion that they have! Here is a great video to introduce Genius Hour to your class.
2. Elicit Excitement
We have created an introductory slide show that will build excitement in your classroom. This 15 slide presentation gets your class thinking about how people just like them at one time had a great idea that turned into something much bigger than they thought. By the end of the slide show, your students will be begging you to get started. Here is another video that guides your students through the process of Genius Hour if you choose to use this too.
3. Find Internal Motivation
It is hard for many students to be excited about “math” or “writing” class. But knowing that they have a dedicated time each day or week to work on their Genius Hour projects will make all the difference. It will amaze you at how motivated your students will be to work on their projects. It is usually the first question we get in the morning. When that time comes to work on their passion projects they are ready to hit the ground running! We have seen this transfer into other subjects as students now have a purpose for being at school.
4. Show Perseverance
One great trait that Genius Hour will instill in your students is perseverance. The beginning part of the project is always easy where students pick their topics. But when the research process begins that is where you will help your class dive in and dig deeper to find answers to their essential questions. Sometimes it is not easy to find answers, but that is where you teach them not to give up and keep working toward their goal. Below is a handout we give the students that helps them with the research process. As you can see it is detailed and helps provide them with a framework of how to take notes.
5. Build Confidence
As your students near the completion of their passion projects, you will want them to share it with their classmates. Since this is a topic that matters, they will have confidence that will help them to get up in front of their peers. Their presentations will be the culmination of all the hard work that they have put into their projects.
Our Genius Hour resource is packed with everything you need to get it up and running in your classroom. We have everything from the introductory slide show, planning pages, note taking, presentation tips, rubrics and so much more.
Give Genius Hour a try in your classroom. You will never regret giving your students power in their learning and watching that power transform your classroom into an engaging and exciting place to learn!
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