All 4 of my classes completed their 100 Minutes of Genius this week (my take on Genius Hour). It was a powerful experience for all of us. Here are some things I noticed:
- Students didn’t need any direction.
- Students knew what they wanted to learn about.
- Students were self-motivated and excited.
- From the moment they walked into our class for their teacher’s prep (their time with me), they were focused and excited about learning. I felt badly about stopping them to give them directions (about how much time they had left, etc…) because they were so engaged in what they were doing.
- They didn’t want to stop learning.
- The students who had the most difficulty with their “regular” school work, had no difficulty with this “work”. Not only were they focused and engaged, they displayed very little of the usual silliness and/or attention-seeking behaviour.
- All students “produced” some “work”. The students whom I have worked hard with to complete their work this term, completed their projects with enthusiasm.
- They can not wait for the next 100 Minutes of Genius.
So, what kind of projects did they do for their 100 Minutes of Genius?
- Many students made wikis of their topic/subject.
- One group of two made a poster AND posted their information on a blog post – essentially doing 2 projects.
- One group made a diorama.
- Another group made a cube and covered it with all things related to a particular singer.
- Many groups completed posters of their topic.
- One group learned how to make a prezi.
- A few groups learned about the program Scratch.
- One student explored Geocaching and taught his classmates about it.
- One group made bracelets.
- One group made a robot out of juice boxes.
- Another pair of boys built things with lego.
- One student made a poster about a video game that he is going to teach the students when he does his presentation to the class.
This project was so motivating, that I had a number of students approach me on Monday morning (before we even had any time for our 100 Minutes of Genius) to tell me that they had already completed their 100 Minutes of Genius project. I laughed. They decided they were going to do 2 – 100 Minutes of Genius projects.
What else did I learn?
- I need to find a way to incorporate this way of learning/teaching into the rest of the curriculum for the rest of the year.
- The students don’t really need me.
- We need to give students more ownership over their learning.
- Students are very motivated when it is something they want to do or something they are interested in.
I am so proud of my students! They worked so hard on their projects. I am looking forward to hearing them talk about their projects with their classmates next week. What fun!
Here are a few pictures of some of their work. I do not have parental permission to show the faces of my students, so that is why no faces are visible in these photos.