Jasper Roberts - Blog

Genius Hour Kick-Off

So last week, my students played around with their Weebly pages, and had to create a header, a new blog page, and their first blog post. Their prompt for their first post was "I chose to take Genius Hour because..." Their responses were amazing! Many of them talked about "filling the gaps" for high school in terms of learning research skills, and many expressed their desire to work independently about what they were interested in, rather than a set curriculum. I am so looking forward to this class, and they seem to be as well!


We only have 38 minutes on Mondays, so I decided that I will use this day to teach technology tools, research mini-lessons, or activities like what we did today.

Today, I started class with this video:
This was great to introduce them to the idea of Genius Hour. They also loved how someone was drawing as it went along (those are my favorite videos, too!) When I asked them how many of them wanted to work at Google now, almost every hand went up in the air!

Then I shared this video, which was done by a student who was presenting his findings from his Genius Hour experience:

This video was awesome, because it led to a discussion about what failure is. Then, before we did our activity, we watched this video:


Needless to say, they were pretty amazed by this kid. I started off by saying, "We just talked about failures and how they are ok. Let's look at an example of a great success."

Next, I had students get out a piece of paper and write Failure and Genius. They had to define both of these by writing down as many things as they could for each. Many students had gotten the idea that failure is an opportunity to succeed again. I used an analogy of playing games on the computer or any console. I told them how I'm addicted to Candy Crush, and when I lose I don't just give up, but I go back with zeal, and I believe that I will CRUSH that candy this time and win. And sometimes, when I do win and I celebrate, Bella is the only one around. I don't need to have anyone else pat me on the back though because I know I accomplished something great. *The addiction is real, people. Bella has an account so she can give me lives when I run out. I need an intervention.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to brainstorming with them this week about their projects. We will hopefully get to the point where they are filling out a project proposal by the end of the week, and then it's off to the races!

I'm also toying with the idea of putting the project proposal in a Google form, that way it's all in one place, but I'm not sure yet. Thoughts?

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Thanks for stopping by! JW