Genius Hour

I really like the idea of Genius Hour.  I think it really gives the students something different and interesting to work on.  They get to choose their own topics and work on their own ideas, so they should be really enthusiastic about doing it and I hope it will be a lot of fun.  I have never done this with my students before, but I have heard a lot of really good things about it from teachers who have. After trying a Genius Hour myself, I’m even more excited to try this in my classroom.  I think it is a great way to get students interested in learning and excited to share their thoughts and ideas with the rest of the class. I am for sure going to try this with my students next year.

For my Genius Hour, I was trying to figure out how to install low-voltage landscape lighting around my house.  I love the way it makes a house look at night and I have always thought about doing it, I was just hesitant because I didn’t know exactly how to do it.  During my Genius Hour, I learned that the most helpful information was on Youtube. Watching a professional explain how to install the lighting was much easier than trying to read a bunch of articles.  Many of the articles are specific to one type of lighting or another, while the videos were much more general and applied to just about any type of lights. The biggest win for me was learning that installing the lights would be much easier than I expected, and I felt pretty confident it wouldn’t be as big of a project as I originally thought.

Genius Hour is something that I think I could fit into my class schedule on a regular basis.  I would probably pick a day during the week when that is all the students worked on. It may not be feasible for me to use a day a week for the entire school year, but I could do it for several weeks at a time.  I might start off slowly with 4-6 Fridays in a row and see how that goes. If it worked out and I had enough time for my normal curriculum I would continue that 4 or 5 more times throughout the school year. I think that it would not only excite the students to work on something of their own choosing, but it would help with other skills such as researching and presenting that I want them to be doing anyway.  It really wouldn’t take much for me to get this going in my classes next year, and I look forward to giving it a shot.


4 thoughts on “Genius Hour”

  1. Adam,
    I agree with you that it is not only does something like this get students excited to work on a topic they are passionate about, but gives them a chance to improve their researching skills. I think this is an important skill that students can always be working on. I think too often, even in research type assignments, teachers point students to the information they needs. With the open nature of a genius hour project, students are in charge.


  2. Hi Adam,
    First of all I love how clean your blog site looks – everything is neat, orderly and easy to navigate! What a great Genius Hour project for yourself. As I read the post I found myself wanting to click on the video links you found worked best for you and I am curious to see a picture or video of your finished project.
    I think your idea of trying to carve out some time on Fridays could be a good start. I was thinking myself of trying to carve out time on Mondays. I find we have students late or absent often on Mondays, so maybe if they knew they could work on their “own stuff” it may be incentive to come to school on a Monday! If you start this up, are you thinking about using any type of planning/reflection piece students must complete like the one we completed for our own Genius Hour projects for this class?


  3. I agree that it gets students interested in learning and motivates them. I have used it in class before, but want to modify what I did with some of the documents we were given as a resource!


  4. I believe your project is pretty nifty! And you are right, it might not fit directly into your class or your studies but I think it is important to go through the learning as adults. For me whenever I do it, I am reminded of the struggles of learning and it helps me relate to the kiddos.


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