Engage students & supercharge learning with Genius Hour #geniushour

Authors of the Genius Hour
Manifesto and hosts of
#geniushour chat
Joy Kirr, Hugh McDonald
Gallit Zvi, and Denise Krebs
are the Fantastic 4 of
genius hour. They are 4
teachers DOING it.
Listen to this week's show
to learn more.

Really? Every child is a genius? Hooey.

I admit, that is what I first thought when my friend Angela Maiers said this. However, if you look at the definition of genius:

“1. Exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.
2. A person who is exceptionall intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect: “musical genius.”
Synonym: talent”

We are looking for the natural abilities of students. Now, don't mistake natural ability for the art of mastering. We all know naturally gifted athletes who never accomplished anything because they were allergic to sweat, or naturally smart kids who accomplished nothing once they had to study. Genius takes time but talent can be spotted and nurtured.

One thing is sure, if a child never knows their own talent… they will never get on the path to genius. It starts with identifying and nurturing passions.

I'm a passion meter. 

Why should students be doing the same thing all
the time? Can't we lead them in inquiry based
learning experiences where they are explorers,
scientists, creators, and inventors?
We must help them find their genius
so they can find purpose.

My job is to help students discover those passions and innate talents that they don't know they have. Twenty percent of our time is spent on personal interest projects. Every teacher can't do 20% time, but EVERY teacher, EVERY school, and EVERY classroom can have an exciting, engaging genius hour. It is that important.

Recently on the Every Classroom Matters show, I sat down with the “Fantastic 4” of Genius hour: +Joy Kirr (@joykirr), +Denise Krebs (@mrsdkrebs), +Hugh McDonald (@hughtheteacher) and +Gallit Zvi (@gallit_z).

Do you know it was the first time all four of them had physically talked in real time? It was electric as they discussed passion based learning and how they implement genius hour in the classroom. They are doing incredible work and I highly recommend adding them to your PLN.

Listen to the authors of the Genius Hour Manifesto: 

Click here to listen:
Radically Authentic Learning: How Classrooms Change when Student Genius Drives Learning

Genius hour wiki: geniushour.wikispaces.com#Geniushour chat – first Wednesday of each month.Genius hour manifesto: http://educationismylife.com/genius-hour-manifesto/

 

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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