Sunday, February 28, 2016

Genius Hour

Hello Families!

Wow, this was really an exciting week! Not only did we start Lego WeDo and share our Country Presentations, but we also started our Informational Writing and Reading Unit. This is one of my favorite "gear shifts" of the year, as we move our focus from narrative work all year so far, and start getting our teeth into some serious non-fiction. We've started gathering ideas for writing, and even had our preview Kahoot of non-fiction literary terms.

As exciting as all of that is, I'm actually going to tell you know about a brand new adventure we're embarking on for the first time this year: Genius Hour!

For the eight weeks between February vacation and April vacation we will be taking one hour a week to become a Genius at something. There are thousands of classrooms across the U.S. doing similar projects, and even a 4th grade classroom at YES and some classes at HMS as well. We're starting by identifying a big idea, a big wonder, a big question that each of our geniuses wants to explore. Think of it as a passion project, with a little bit of structure thrown in. Once we've all had time to explore our big question, we'll share it with the class (and possibly a larger audience?) to show what we've learned.

We started off this week with a few videos showcasing what some possibilities are, and then a fun activity to show why we're spending some serious time working at this. Each kiddo got 10 seconds to complete a drawing. They did their best work, and their drawings were... well... nice. Then we repeated the endeavor but everyone got 10 minutes instead of seconds, and their drawings were unique, colorful, expressive, and... well... great. So we're going to take the long road, and see where it brings us, and I'm so excited for this new challenge!

I'll post second versus minute comparisons this week, after we get some pics taken!

Here's to March,
Todd

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