Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Reading: Pure Genius

What I (and I know author Don Wettrick) love about the internet is it's ability to take collaboration to a whole new level.  Now, I haven't taken the Twitter plunge (Don raves about Twitter), but I do use social media to connect with other teachers. Bloggers have been a valuable source of amazing ideas and resources. Recently I had read of several teachers who were implementing a special time in their class devoted to individual student chosen projects calling this time Genius Hour or Passion Projects. I wanted to know more and so I chose Don's book Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level.

20% Time, if you hadn't heard of it, is a business model used at Google (and has caught on with other companies). Employees are given 20% of their contract time to work on their own projects. This time has led to the creation of new or improvement upon products and services! Teachers are using this model to give students time to formulate and design their own projects based on their own interests and ideas. I fell in love with this instantly. I regret not reading this last year because I know my kiddos from last year would have had some killer projects. I'm not going to let my 5th graders miss out this year! I've already purchased some resources to get us started!

I have a lot more anxiety about implementing this in my classroom than encouraging a student-led classroom because I know it will be a challenge to manage when students are all working on different things. Any ideas, resources, or anti-anxiety herbs, that you can offer are greatly appreciated!

Check back in a couple of days as I wrap up my summer reading posts!

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  1. I too have looked into Genius hour and I am curious of how you implement it into your classroom

    1. Hi Leah. This will be my first year implementing Genius Hour and I am still in the process of learning about it and gathering materials/resources. Paul Solarz has a lot of great resources on his site (look under the Educators tab):


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