As I was catching up today on my emails from several science listserves, one of the teachers shared the link above in response to a question on designing and setting up year-long projects. The Genius Hour is an educational movement, based on the “Google Way”, in which its employees spend 20% of their work time on personal research to encourage more creativity in the workplace. With the Genious Hour, scholars are given a set amount of time in school to “explore their own passions”.
Just having recently had my end-of-year evaluation, I was quickly reminded of my administrators’ feedback on creating more rigorous and challenging instruction for my scholars for the new school year. A few months ago, I attended an NSTA2 web seminar presented by Darci Harland (better known as STEM Mom in the science blogosphere) on her STEM Student Research Handbook. I knew then that I wanted to incorporate more student research for next year, but it wasn’t until these last few weeks that pieces began falling into place.
So… this post is basically me just thinking out loud and typing it out (hence my title: Idea Blurb!) so I can find it later as I work on and update my curriculum maps, units and lesson plans for the new year.
- Take a look at the ELA scope and sequence to see when in the calendar year scholars will be working on their ELA research papers
- Team up with the ELA teachers; scholars can work on the writing specifics in ELA class, but do their hands-on research and experimentation in science class
- Set up a weekly “Genius Hour”, preferably Fridays, for research and catch-ups
- Focus on teaching/modeling the “Design Diagram” for the first two months of school so scholars are familiar with the design process and become more confident as they do their independent work
- Start transferring some of my direct lectures to short videos for blended learning
I think setting up Genius Hour in class and having them work on a STEM Student Research project may be just the thing to help bump up the rigor (or “riggah”, according to my Long-Island native colleague). I haven’t yet come across any teacher who has implemented the Genius Hour in his or her science classroom, so I’d love to hear from those who have! How do you use Genius Hour in your classroom?