Week 3

EDET 678

Which emerging pedagogy appeals most to you, and might be most useful for your classroom and students? Why?

I never heard of Genius Hour until I read those articles. I really like this idea. Genius Hour, according to Kesler, is a “movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.” Genius Hour is an example of open learning. It offers students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time in school. They use this time to work on their passion projects.

Nichole Carter, an 8th grade teacher, experimented with Genius Hour, (or as she calls it, personalized education). “I started experimenting with Genius Hour for my 8th grade students. Genius Hour equated to one hour a week, or one class day, where I let my students become experts in anything they wanted. This allowed them to explore their passions, and I saw engagement like never before.”

Keefe and Jenkins list six basic tenets of inquiry-based learning:

  • Dual teacher role
  • Learn about your students
  • Create a culture of collaboration
  • Create and interactive learning environment
  • Build flexible pacing, but with structure
  • Create authentic assessments

What happens when Genius Hour fails and the student, or group of students don’t want to continue? Juliani says to use these three steps that’ll get the student back on track.

Step 1: Talk with the student about life (not the project).

Step 2: Ask them for help.

Step 3: Find a new purpose.

“You don’t need to create the desire as a teacher. Instead, our job is to help students connect their existing desires to this project as a new purpose for learning.”

Two years ago, my school district rolled out iPads for all elementary students. Even though I teach kindergarten and first grade, and the thought of them having an hour to complete things themselves scares me, I think giving them that hour of creativity and imagination can go a long way.



Carter, N. (2014, August 04). Genius Hour and the 6 Essentials of Personalized Education. Retrieved June 01, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/genius-hour-essentials-personalized-education-nichole-carter


Juliani, A. (2014). What to do when Genius Hour fails… – A.J. JULIANI. Retrieved June 01, 2016, from http://ajjuliani.com/genius-hour-fails/


Kesler, C. (2013, March 29). What is Genius Hour? Retrieved June 1, 2016, from http://www.geniushour.com/what-is-genius-hour/


2 thoughts on “Week 3

  1. Genevieve,

    What better way to learn about our students than to watch them as they work on something they are passionate over. When we observe students working on a project individually and in a group, we are watching them as they learn about how they learn, understanding their own ways of knowing. I found a tool containing focus group questions that students used to interview each other when creating a reflective video. I believe we can use this type of tool to observe our students—maybe taking one topic at a time to observe them in action and learn more about them. Each topic of observation could be put on a form with a grid for very brief notes and/or check marks. Then we can share this information with them in conferences. Do you think this would work as an observation tool for the teacher?
    Questions Divided by Topics (Process, Creativity, Structure, Reflection)

    1. What process did you use to engage in the PjBL experience?
    2. What was the sequence of activities? Discuss them in in the order that they took place.
    3. How long did the process take (from idea to finished product)?
    4. Did you have to start over or redo something? Why?

    1. How many different concepts/ideas did you have and how did you narrow them down to one concept/idea?
    2. What problems did you encounter and how did you solve them?
    3. What would you do differently next time?

    1.Who did which tasks (roles) and why?
    2. Who determined the roles?
    3. Where did your team work on the PjBL experience?

    1. What do you think was the best part of the PjBL experience? Why?
    2. What impact will this experience have on the school community and the com-
    munity at large?
    3. How does the final artifact reflect your own skills?
    (Smith, 2016).


    Smith, Shaunna (2016). (Re)Counting meaningful learning experiences: Using student-created reflective videos to make invisible learning visible during PjBL experiences. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 10(1), pp. 1-16.


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