March 13

Genius Hour – Reboot

When I first heard about Genius Hour, it struck me as a great concept and idea that would engage and motivate students. Throughout last year and the beginning of this year I made an attempt to have my ELA students create, research, and learn via Genius Hour. However, there were elements missing that made the project less effective.

This week in ELA we have been working on starting over or rebooting our Genius Hour projects. This reboot has brought an new excitement and energy to the classroom, as student perception of learning has been challenged.

We discussed what their view of learning has been and it was not surprising to me because it was exactly what I would have thought as a student. “School is a place where parents get a break from kids for the day and students are expected to learn things that will earn them points on tests and assignments that will help them get a good job in the future.” This is a roughly paraphrased summary of our conversation.

We discussed how this view directly affects the view of “Failure.” I challenged the students to stop fearing failure and be willing to take risks. If they fail then they have an opportunity to reflect, grow, and learn.

The general consensus of doing a project that had little guidelines, is self driven, and the final product is not “Graded” was exciting, intimidating, intriguing, overwhelming, and somewhat confusing for each student. I completely understand why they are feeling this way…because…I am too! This idea flips the stereotypical idea of school upside down.

This is a huge undertaking! However, this is where you come in! Check out my student’s blogs over the next 3 months to see how they grow, learn, and adapt through this journey. Leave comments. Ask questions. And most of all, encourage them!

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Posted March 13, 2019 by Mr. Lewis in category Genius Hour

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Michael Lewis Blue Ball Elementary School Eastern Lancaster County School District

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