Genius Hour — Let Your Students Challenge Themselves

What would happen if we gave kids one hour a week to work on anything they wanted? Would you expect to find a classroom completely out of control? Or worse, a classroom, where students choose to do as little as possible for that one hour?

What if I told you, that if you gave your students an hour a week to pursue what they’re interested in, your classroom would be transformed into a room full of passion-driven learning? That you’d find what Hugh McDonald, one of four teachers behind “Genius Hour Manifesto,” found when he started genius hour in his classroom:

The learning atmosphere felt amazing. I could walk down the hall and ask Gallit [a fellow teacher] a question and return to see them all still on task, questioning, driving their own learning, and having fun being curious. It was an amazing feeling as a teacher to see your students excited about learning.”

Denise Krebbs, a middle school teacher also behind “Genius Hour Manifesto”highlights her students’ reflections after they have completed their genius hour projects. During a three-hour block of genius hour, one of Mrs. Krebbs’ students, Jason, built a city out of cardboard, paper and toy cars, complete with an airport, mall and even a Sears! Jason explains why genius hour works, “Genius hour is important because it allows us to learn in our own way. My advice to new genius hour students would be to plan ahead and be ready on time.”

What will your students learn when they are following their passion?

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  • Patti Grayson

    Love this! Reminds me of a post from a while back – In my classroom, it was called “Free2Learn Friday” :)

  • Tiffany Hillyer

    I just tried this idea in my class just yesterday. I enlisted the help from Denise and she had some amazing resources that really helped a lot! I loved seeing all of the students completely engaged. It was an AMAZING feeling!

  • Barb

    Thank you for this terrific message “reminder.” I’ve posted it on my Facebook page.–Barb

  • Krista Gilbert

    I’m crazy about this idea! Sharing to many….

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Liberating Genius in the Classroom - a step-by-step guide to implementing Genius Hour.