Genius hour in the classroom

Genius hour is a popular approach in the classroom that empowers students to follow their passions. Genius hour has been around since 2007, but it's still not widely known outside of certain circles.

Genius hour in the classroom
Photo credit: Hal Gatewood

Lessons learnt: There is a genius in every child

Genius hour is a popular approach in the classroom that empowers students to follow their passions. It's also a powerful way for teachers and school administrators to engage students and unlock creativity in the classroom. Genius hour has been around since 2007, but it's still not widely known outside of certain circles. That said, it's a good idea for teachers who want to try something new with their students—and get results

What is genius hour?

Genius hour is a time for students to explore and learn about topics of interest. Students are free to pursue their interests, whether it be through projects or activities. They can also use their creativity as they work on these projects or activities.

When you have genius hours in your classroom, you're giving students the opportunity for learning that can be applied outside of school—and not just in some abstract way! Genius hours give students knowledge about how things work beyond just the theories they learn. Instead, they get hands-on experiences that allow them to see firsthand how things work by doing them themselves instead of just reading about them in books or articles written by other people who didn't actually do anything themselves when trying out those ideas themselves first hand before sharing those results with others too.

Ideas for incorporating genius hour in your classroom

Genius hour can be a great way to encourage students to work on projects they are interested in. It also allows them to learn about topics that interest them outside of the classroom, whether it's a new subject or something that has been part of your curriculum for years.

If you want your students to feel excited about their work, then it's important that they have ownership over their projects and feel like they're making progress toward achieving mastery in their chosen area. This can be accomplished through asking questions such as:

  • What do you think will happen if we try this? How would our experiment change things if we did this differently? Why do YOU think so? Why doesn't everyone else think so? Can anyone explain why IT WOULDN'T WORK LIKE THIS AT ALL???

Why teachers and school administrators should embrace genius hour

If you're a teacher, it's easy to see why students would benefit from being able to spend time with their teachers. But what about the school administrators? They should be excited too! Genius hour is an opportunity for everyone in the classroom—from students to teachers and even parents—to get involved in learning.

Students learn more than just facts or skills; they also learn how everything connects together and makes sense. As they explore different topics, they gain insight into their own passions and interests, as well as those of others around them. This can help them feel more connected with others at school and better prepared for future challenges (like college applications).

Genius Hour also helps teachers connect with one another by sharing ideas about how best to teach different topics through hands-on activities such as puzzles or games made up by each group based on their individual interests

How to start small and scale genius hour

The first thing to do is start small. Start with just one or two students, and then build on that success by expanding the project to three or four different groups of students.

When choosing a project for your genius hour, try not to choose something too complex or time consuming. The best projects are ones that require some level of brainpower but aren't so challenging that they overwhelm those involved in the activity. A good place to start is with something simple like solving puzzles or building LEGO models—both are things everyone can do! There are dozens of ideas for genius hour you can find on the internet if you're feeling more adventurous.

Once you have selected an idea for your genius hour, make sure it's affordable as well as risk-free: You don't want anything too expensive because this will limit its audience (which should be limited). If it's too expensive then nobody will participate in your class which defeats the whole purpose behind having one!

How to organize your classroom for genius hour

To make your class genius hour a success, you need to organize the space. Here's what you should consider:

  • Create a safe and tidy space for students to work on projects. Make sure that the room is free from clutter, has enough space for everyone, and has good lighting so they can read what they're doing without getting tired eyes after hours of working on their projects.
  • Make sure there are no distractions in the classroom — for example, if there are other students nearby who could help them out with their assignments or answer questions it would be great if they had an environment where these things were not allowed (aside from allowing time for collaboration).
  • Make sure everyone feels welcome by making sure all signs are visible so people know how best fit into this new environment; this includes things like having a table set up near where everyone sits throughout the day so teachers know exactly where each student sits during class time periods along with any other necessary information such as whether or not someone has special needs which might require extra attention during certain times."

Genius hour can unlock student creativity and engagement.

Genius Hour can unlock student creativity and engagement.

Students are the future of our country, but they're also at risk of becoming disillusioned with education. If you want your students to be successful in life, you need them to be engaged with learning. Genius Hour can help by:

  • Creating a space where students are free to explore whatever interests them (and what interests YOU!)
  • Providing opportunities for critical thinking through activities that require problem solving and critical thinking skills  (e.g., designing an experiment)

I hope that this article has inspired you to take a closer look at genius hour in your classroom. If you’ve never heard of genius hour before, I encourage you to try it out and see what happens. Genius hour can unlock student creativity and engagement—both things that are sorely needed in the current education system.


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