Archive for the ‘Genius Hour’ Category

Genius Hour

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

This past Tuesday, we were again amazed by the Seventh Graders’ “Genius Hour”! Their teacher, Ms. Lomeli, shares the details of this wonderful project:
After attending the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC), I incorporated into our Seventh Grade curriculum Google’s concept of “20% time” when employees can pursue projects of interest to themselves. With our schedule, I named ours “Genius Hour,” and for one hour each week the Seventh Graders work on a project of their choosing. They first brainstorm ideas and then present them to me. I give approval according to feasibility criteria including likelihood of completion within the 10-week trimester, and the availability of supplies.
Tuesday concluded our Second Trimester, and the Seventh Graders gathered with their families, the Sixth Graders, faculty, and staff in the School Library to present their projects. One student chose photography and began taking many photos here on campus. I asked her to research the different types or genres of photography, and she chose to concentrate on macro photography – a focus on close-ups and details, as seen here in this beautiful photograph of a baseball found outside the Seventh Grade classroom.
Two other students used “Duolingo”; one learned German and the other, Italian. They created a PowerPoint presentation with subtitles in front of which the German-speaking student tried to buy a car from an Italian-speaking car salesman portrayed by the other student! It was hilarious!
Additional projects included building miniatures, learning coding on Kahn Academy, and recreating a song using digital instruments.
The enthusiasm for research continues for the Seventh Graders as they begin a new project for the final trimester of this year. Our Sixth Graders can’t wait to start their “Genius Hour” next year and are already talking with me about their creative ideas!

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