About the Course
Genius Hour is nothing short of genius! It’s a time for all children from second to sixth class to delve into a passionate interest, working on an enquiry question around a topic of real interest to him / her; researching it, creating something and finally presenting and showcasing their learning to peers, in any of 101 different ways at the end of the project. An amazing process, with tremendous learning outputs and beloved of children everywhere. Be the GENIUS that brings Genius Hour to your school this year.
In ‘Genius Hour’, children work on their own passion projects for one hour in the week, usually on Friday, and for a number of consecutive weeks, until completed. In this course you will discover how to help children discover their passionate interests, each then turning that interest and curiosity into a project to be researched, produced and showcased.
Each student works on his / her own personal project.
Overview of Genius Hour from educational author and publisher Chris Kesler
Here are 11 examples where pupil passionate interests became the basis of their Genius Hour projects, chosen from the endless possibilities that can constitute any Genius Hour project:
- I’m interested in ancient History. I’m wondering how were the great pyramids constructed? ..... becomes passion project: researching and constructing a model of a pyramid.
- I’m interested in games that children play. I wonder what did our grannies and grandads do without screens for entertainment? ..... becomes passion project: create a booklet of games and pastimes of bygone days.
- I’m curious about everything to do with the natural world. I wonder what are the main causes of global warming and can I do anything about it? ..... becomes passion project: research and create a PowerPoint illustrating cause and effect of global warming.
- I love Irish music. I wonder can I play a tune on the Tin whistle? ..... becomes passion project: learning to play incrementally more difficult tunes on the tin whistle using an online tutor.
- Computer games really interest me. I wonder how are computer games created? ..... becomes passion project: research how games are created and programme own game using SCRATCH Programming or similar interface.
- I hate the way our area looks sometimes. I wonder what could be done to improve our local area? ..... becomes passion project: create a questionnaire and survey people, present the ideas and the results in a visual display.
- The world would cease if we killed off all the bees and insects. I wonder where do insects, bugs and little critters like to live? ..... becomes passion project: research and design/make little critter hotels and see who checks in.
- I collect board games because they fascinate me. I wonder what makes a great board game and could I create a good one? ..... becomes passion project: research evolution board games through the years, their designs and common features, and then make own.
- I love comedy. I wonder if my two friends and I could write and record a short comedy sketch? ..... becomes passion project: watch and review some comedy and then write and film our own sketch.
- Art and design is what I like to do when free. I wonder if I could design a range of occasional cards, ‘as gaeilge’ for Ireland? .... becomes passion project: research, design and create own range of occasion cards……. and perhaps stock and sell locally.
- I love watching tricks being performed on YouTube. I wonder could I be a magician? .... becomes passion project: research and learn a bunch of tricks and put on a show for your class!
Genius Hour encompasses an amazing stepped-through process, with tremendous learning outputs and is beloved of children everywhere. You won’t be able to stop them learning!
Will you be the one that brings Genius Hour back to your school in September 2017?
This course aims to:
- Introduce teachers to the philosophy and pedagogy that underpins the Genius Hour movement and approach to education
- Detail the sequence of steps to running a successful Genius Hour learning project, which usually runs for 1 hour+ per week over a number of consecutive weeks.
Train teachers to use Google Documents as a way of managing work flows & diverse projects in a personalised education classroom setting, where children are working on and immersed in own projects
Suggest a range of enquiry questions and a wealth of possible projects that children looking for ideas could undertake
Outline the value of an enquiry driven / personalised approach to learning
Skill teachers in helping children to identify high interest learning topics and to guide them from initial idea, to research question, to product creation and presentation of learning.
Summarise the wealth of 21st century skills that are central to and developed in Genius Hour work
Establish reflection in and on learning as a key component of the learning process
Propose ways for children to showcase learning e.g. set up class YouTube Channel
Look at, review and score one’s own ‘Teacher Practice in Literacy’ as part of the SSE 2016-2020 process.
|01 - We introduce teachers to the concept of Genius Hour, a new worldwide movement in primary education that really does afford children a chance to learn about things that passionately interest them. We set out the pedagogy, philosophy and principles that underpin and drive not just the uniqueness, but the effectiveness of the Genius Hour learning approach and the suite of 21st century personal and literacy skills that are developed within this child centred / engaging approach.|
|02 - When teachers identify, know and use children’s passionate interests around which to organise learning activities, then they can use these to drive intrinsically motivated, meaningful and authentic learning, building skills in the process. At the heart of Genius Hour is individualised learning, driven by an enquiry question that propels children in learning as they seek answers to their own questions.|
|03 - Teachers facilitate and enable real authentic enquiry learning by the pupils, where they follow a defined process, for at least one hour+ per week, where the process is discretely scheduled into the curriculum. Within the process the children utilise, refine, build up and cement a suite of literacy skills from researching, comprehending, summarising and recording; to creating outputs of learning, to reflecting, journaling and blogging on that learning.|
|04 - Central to Genius Hour is the production of outputs that evidences and showcases learning, and there are many ways to do it; from posters and poetry to digital video and Powtoons, from audio reflections and raps to PowerPoints and oral presentations. In both the process and the product lie countless skill building opportunities for the child, all overseen and facilitated by the helpful teacher who is on hand with advice, resources and feedback.|
|05 - In this module we look at the skills children need to acquire in order to make an effective engaging presentation. The presentation will be centred on their Genius Hour learning and the resulting product. Teachers will acquire ideas for showcasing children’s’ learning, from Genius Hour fairs to school website segments and reflective learning blogs. Genius Hour is a remarkable format for learning and once challenges are recognised, everything can be anticipated and planned for in order to drive its success in the classroom.|