This is by far my favorite hour of the week! I look around my class and I can't even believe that these are my students. The whole atmosphere in the room changes during Genius Hour. There's an excitement but also a calmness that is hard to explain. I am doing ten things at one time and enjoying every second of it! Something interesting that I noticed today was that if someone needed my help, and they had to wait because I was helping someone else, they would just go look at what their friend was doing and help them a little. There was not one child who was not busy doing something or helping someone!
Many of my kids are already working on their projects and have chosen many different ways of presenting. Many of them chose platforms that we had already used this year and were comfortable with the technology like Book Creator and Animoto. Some are making bristol boards and others are exploring new technologies like Prezis, Shadow Puppets and StoryBird.
Most importantly, my kids feel great about themselves. Today I overheard one of my students telling her friend that she wasn't good at math. So I asked her, "But what are you 'Genius' at?' She gave me a big smile and said, "Gymnastics.". That's what her Genius project is about.
So here's my question and my challenge. Why can't my kids feel like this all the time? What can I change about my teaching so that more of the week has this kind of engagement and enthusiasm? What goes beyond Genius Hour? Something for me to think about....