Saturday, February 8, 2014

Genius Hour: Round 1: Hours 2 and 3

Wondering about Genius Hour?
This might help...

The self-directed learning is now well underway.

Room 222 has really taken to the idea of Genius Hour and began to spread their learning wings. 

Here is a diagram of our route through our Genius Hour:

Hour 1:  Pre-idea stage. We started gathering our wonders. (see post here)

Hour 2: Identifying our main topic and begin narrowing it down to an essential question. 

We discussed the difference between a Google Question and a Genius Question.

A Google question is one that can be answered with a quick Google search. 

A Genius question is one that takes a "genius" to answer it.

So... Room 222 went out on a search for their official topic and essential question.

The students then used Pic-Collage to send me an inspiration picture.

Here are some of our topics and questions:

Movie Making: How do I make a fun movie for my friends? - AM

Flowers: What is the best way to grow daisies? - PB

Tie-dye: How can I make cool patterns? - AH

Law Enforcement: What is a day in the life of a FBI Agent and Police Officer like? - DC, JDH, CR

Hour 3: Draw your preliminary thoughts about your topic.

This is our "pre-genius" step where we are gauging how much we know. 


Colors of Butterflies and Baby Sea Turtles

It was fun to see them take this so seriously. There was so much detail in their first illustration.

We will continue this coming week with the "write all you know" phase.

Teacher side note: From everything I have read, Genius Hours in upper elementary classrooms have been running 6-8 weeks. I was worried that my kiddos would have a hard time focusing on a topic for that period of time. However, I was so pleased at their focus this week and their knowledge of exactly where we are on our route to Genius. I think we will be just fine! 


  1. Wow room 222! It looks like you're working hard during Genius Hour. I would love to learn more. Maybe you can help teach our class about it?

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  3. Room 222, you have such good questions. I look forward to learning from you. If you find the best way to grow daisies please share what you learned with me. I love daisies!

  4. Hey - I'm Mrs. Bright, too! I'm a librarian in Missouri and my kids LOVE genius hour! Glad to see you're having so much success! @BrightLibrarian

  5. Great start to GH. Was wondering what the next step was. For the one wonder about the tie-dye would you purchase the materials? I wonder about ideas that are so far-reaching for us to help a student with - then we turn down their ideas and perhaps in turn they get discouraged. Would love to know your next steps. Many thanks.

  6. I love seeing what Genius Hour looks like in first grade!! These kids are lucky to have such a great teacher! The fourth graders are enjoying Genius Hour as well. Maybe we can get first and fourth graders together to share at the end?

  7. I love seeing your ideas and graphic organizers. Where did you find them? We are starting Genius Hour in my 2nd grade class this week, and the kids are enjoying it.