I have been taking a few classes at WSU, and wanted to share my most recent class: Creating a MakerSpace & Genius Hour in the classroom.
My genius hour actually takes about one quarter semester, broken down into 90 minute segments, whenever I find opportunity to fit it in. One project I have piloted in a first grade classroom for several years, now.
I continued to pursue it due to student interest (and family interest), but not only this. I was absolutely amazed by what six and seven year old children are capable of demonstrating when they are highly motivated and engaged in projects that interest them.
I have since expanded this to, Early Forms School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, because of necessary adjustments to my students’ requests into other scientific exploration. We now study everything from ancient classical myth, tales, and fables to engineering and design (as it relates to biomimicry). I am certain to continue adding to this active literacy program as student interests broaden and are brought to my attention. The following video is an example of how I plan to continue incorporating Genius Hour into my classroom. Stay tuned for my next video on how to create a makerspace using cardboard boxes and an assortment of balls for what my students themselves designed: BooFall (otherwise known as ‘Box Bowling.’
Click on the video below, and remember it is far more ‘alive’ when students are present, actively circulating from several centers.
(Note: I limit tablets and computers so students are forced to gather round these, learning from one another. Not that I want a frustration level, but this has never proven a problem, as there are about fourteen centers involved in this project. Students are assessed in genetics, skeletal system & types of broken bone, as well as their participation in our active plush animal veterinary clinic–the culminating project).