Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Inspiring Students through Genius Hour

Today I was honored to witness and take part in a wonderfully creative and innovative student experience facilitated by Mrs. Amici at Alcott. She expertly led her students through their first Genius Hour providing prompts, asking clarifying questions and encouraging her students to push further into creativity and innovation.
Genius Hour is said to have come from Google as part of their creative process. Google encourages their engineers to spend 20% of their time to think about and create whatever interests them. In the classroom, teachers can give students a set amount of time to explore what interests them. They provide students with journaling and brainstorming strategies, facilitate the creation of driving questions, support research skills and techniques and provide students a place to publish their work. Students have the freedom to explore any idea and create any project.
Below are students thinking about their innovations just before they were given time to share their ideas with each other. We used a combination of paper and pencil to record personal ideas and a shared Google Drawing to capture the student ideas during the share out.  The video is what Mrs. Amici used to introduce Genius Hour.

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