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These 4 things will make your Genius Hour a hit

By JILL BADALAMENTI
September 15th, 2016

Genius Hour projects may be open ended, but there are still some ground rules

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What are you passionate about? What do you want to do more than anything in the world? Well I hope you said what you are doing right now. This is not always the case. Some people hate what they are doing. They may hate it because it pays too little, but being a teacher doesn’t make me very wealthy and I love what I’m doing. More importantly, people may hate their job because they would rather be doing something else. This is where I think we can do better in education.

As educators, we can help our students find and explore their passions. Once they discover what they’re truly passionate about, the learning and engagement will never stop. The best way for students to explore their passions is through Genius Hour.

Genius Hour isn’t new concept. Many teachers and businesses have been doing this for a while. Companies like HP and Google started “20 Time” so their staff could pursue passions projects and make their organizations stronger. Similarly, teachers have allowed students to read any book and present a book report in any format for a while now, giving them a chance to indulge their interests while learning. Of course, the true concept of Genius Hour is more open than a book report. It recognizes the need for students to have the freedom to explore their passions and not be restricted.

However, even with all this freedom, we still need some rules. The way I see it, the four rules to Genius Hour are: propose, research, create, and present. As long as your students are following this basic structure, they should have a successful Genius Hour experience. Here some tips for making those rules work in your classroom.

Next page: Making the 4 rules work in a Genius Hour


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