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Friday, 19 August 2016

Launching Genius Hour



3 Way to Successfully Launch Genius Hour in your Upper Elementary or Middle School Classroom


It is no secret to my colleagues that I absolutely LOVE Genius Hour! Some people call it Passion Projects, others call it 20% time, but the idea is essentially the same. Providing students with one block a week to work on something that is important to them or that they are interested in.

One of my favourite aspects of Genius Hour is launching it. I love the sense of anticipation and excitement that is created. I love hearing students talk about how excited they are for Genius Hour during recess time, at lunch and on the bus. It truly makes me want to sing and dance!


In my mind, launching Genius Hour is one of the most important and crucial components. The launch sends the message to your students that you value Genius Hour and that they should too. It builds their excitement for learning and what could be better than that?


Over the past few years, I have launched Genius Hour in a few different ways. Here are some of my favourite ideas:


1) Watch Caine’s Arcade

This video is truly inspiring! My kids love watching it because Caine is a little boy just like them who achieved something great by using his imagination!Here is the link to the video in case you want to check it out!


2) Read an inspiring book.

Some of my favourite books to launch Genius Hour include:


“What Is It?” by Nicole Hoang and Dustin Nguyen

“What Do You Do With An Idea?” by Kobi Yamada





The Most Magnificient Thing by Ashley Spires






I love all three of these books because they talk about creativity and making mistakes.

3) Be inspired by kid president and his darling PEP Talk!



My students absolutely adore Kid President. He is just the right mix of funny, clever and insightful. If you haven’t checked him out yet, be sure to do so!

So there you have it, my favourite three ways to launch Genius Hour! How do you launch your Genius Hour?

Be sure to pin the image below so that you can find these ideas again when you are ready to launch Genius Hour!
3 Way to Successfully Launch Genius Hour in your Upper Elementary or Middle School Classroom




2 comments:

  1. I love these ideas for introducing Genius Hour! I have never done it yet in my class, but I did let my students watch Cain's Arcade last year and they were so inspired to make cardboard creations!

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  2. Careful on the Cain's Arcade video if showing to a class. There's a shot of an internet comment that includes an inappropriate word at 6:27.

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