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What is Genius Hour?

Published on Aug 12, 2017

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What is Genius Hour?

It's simple...you choose a topic, a passion, or an interest
Photo by mrsdkrebs

Let's watch...

whatever you choose to learn becomes your project

You will spend time...

  • researching information
  • learning by doing
  • collaborating with experts
  • designing a product that can be shared with an authentic audience.

You are....
our world changers, inventors and innovators

Photo by Valentina_A

You are the FUTURE!

The 6 P's of Genius Hour

Passion, Plan, Pitch, Project, Product, Presentation
Photo by mrsdkrebs


Finding the spark


  • What do you want to learn about?
  • What do you think is interesting?
  • What can you get excited about?
  • Check out...Wonderopolis.org
  • Check out DIY.org
  • Check out DOGO News


Building the fire

Let's go on a vacation....

Photo by Kalexanderson

without a plan....

Photo by Kit4na

Types of Projects

big picture caffeinated start...
Photo by krossbow

Ask yourself...

  • Is your work a service project?
  • Is your work a learning project?
  • Is your work a design project?
  • Is your work a maker project?
Photo by otama

Let's Explain...Service Project

  • A service project is a project that will serve others in some way.
  • Ex: Collect scarves for the homeless...
Photo by Cayusa

Learning Projects

  • This is a project that involves you learning information about a specific subject.
  • Ex: writing a digital book about black holes
Photo by sciencesque

Designing and Making

  • This is a project that results in something that is designed and then made by you.
  • Ex: model of the International Space Station

Your guidance system

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • Who is my audience?
  • Who can help me as I work toward my goal?

Plan who your project will be shared with (authentic audience)

Plan to get some help/advice from an outside expert


Lighting the match
Photo by JefferyTurner

Pitch Day

When each student shares what his or her project will be

What's in a Pitch

  • Everyone pitches their project
  • Discuss the info on your planning sheet
  • Create a video presentation, talk in front of the class, make a podcase, create a QR code, use google slides
  • 3 - 5 minutes in length
  • Get CONSTRUCTIVE and PRODUCTIVE feedback from peers - give advice, suggestions, and ideas

One more example

Igniting the Flame

Photo by djwtwo

What's this part?

  • gather information
  • find out how to do things
  • ask questions
  • meet with outside experts
  • accountability (aka reflection)


  • You will be held accountable for what gets accomplished each day.
  • You will see state standards being accomplished without a teacher's instruction!
  • High-level reflection of your learning with blogging
  • Digital portfolios
Photo by CaptPiper

What will you reflect?

  • When something got hard, what did you do to help yourself?
  • If you were the teacher, what comment would you make about yourself?
  • How can you use what you learned today outside of school?
  • What did you learn about yourself today?
Photo by EcoVirtual

Reflection - continued

  • How would you explain this topic to someone else?
  • How can you apply what you've learned to another subject or class?
  • What did you find most engaging about today's lesson of learning?


Making the S'mores
Photo by brandoncripps

What is a product?

  • It is something that represent the project and can be shared out with the world.
  • Ex: a video game created on Scratch, a model of a volcano, a digital book about wolves, classroom outdoor workspace, a garden, blankets for babies, new ice cream flavors
Photo by WilliamMarlow

How long?
Perhaps 3 weeks, 1 month, 9 weeks, a semester....we will guide you through the process...time on task and reflection accountability...IMPORTANT!

Photo by kevin dooley

You will share your product

with an authentic audience using digital citizenship
Photo by ransomtech


Watching it burn!
Photo by marfis75

How to Present...Choice

  • Share out in front of class
  • Google Slides
  • Book Creator
  • iMovie or othe video tools
  • Powtoon
  • Vidra
  • Spark video
  • Model or a maker
Photo by add.me

Presentation length - 3-5 minutes

Photo by numb3r

What will you include?

  • What you learned?
  • What action you took?
  • What questions do you still have?
  • Info about product
  • Who was your authentic audience?
  • What roadblocks did you have to work through?

You are simply sharing

Nothing but game ready

We're here for you...kinda

  • We will help you through the 6P's process
Photo by Mesq

We won't

  • help you clean up (help each other)
  • have all the answers
  • make this homework
  • grade it but we will assess your development of important skills
  • we won't solve your problems and sometimes not even suggestions. It will be okay to experience opportunities to fail AND then grow (into problem solvers a skill necessary for life)
Photo by apdk

Credits due:

Andi McNair - Genius Hour