Genius Hour: The Ends and Outs of Passion Projects

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Want to start Genius Hour in your classroom but not sure where or how to begin? Already started Genius Hour but need a bit more guidance? You’ve come to the right place. Genius Hour is a big deal at our school! Each time we meet, the students get so into it and are always trying to one-up each other. They beg to go to other classes and grade levels to present their projects and show how much of an expert they are on each topic they research!

Now, you may be asking “What is Genius Hour”? Genius Hour is a business practice that Google uses. It allows it’s employees to spend 20% of their time at work learning about topics they are passionate about so that productivity will go up during the remaining 80% of their work day. In the classroom, it’s an engaging learning experience where students start by creating a thought provoking question on a topic they are wanting to learn more about. Each week, the students work hard to solve their question through a passion project of their choice.

Often times teachers worry about how to guide their students through the process from a thought provoking question to a well thought out presentation. Some even fear the unknown of getting their students started by discovering a question. Lucky for you, I’ve gone through the hard parts and know how to perfect it within the classroom. Even better, I have created THE BEST Starter Kit to get it started correctly and efficiently for years to come (more about that below)!

All passion projects MUST start out with a good question such as “What would happen if there were no bees in our world?” Or “I wonder how magicians create illusions”. To get your young learners started, you can use this sample form full of possible questions to guide their thinking.
From there, model how to pick a question and take it through the entire Genius Hour process with my scripted 8 week lesson plans! It’s totally dummy proof and guaranteed to keep your students engaged and on task each time.
By the end of their presentation, students will each receive a Genius Hour certificate stating that they are now a Genius on their topic! 😉 How fun! My kiddos are so tickled each time they earn theirs and are off to brainstorm their next passion project.

Like I said, it’s fool proof. If you want to be equipped with everything you’ll need to start your passion projects off on the right foot, be sure to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store and get your Genius Hour Starter Pack by clicking HERE.

The Starter Pack includes:
– An EDITABLE parent letter to introduce Genius Hour 
– A HUGE list of possible topic questions to assist reluctant students
– Genius Hour sample projects 
– Weekly Genius Hour lesson breakdowns
– Teacher Guide with lesson modeling example
– FOUR EDITABLE Rubrics
– Genius Hour Work Log
– Genius Hour Research Pages for data collecting
– The Genius Hour Presentation Plan Sheet
– Certificate of Completion

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