I am really thinking that the concept of Genius Hour (or Passion Projects, 20 % Time, Google Time, FedEx Time, or whatever name we call it) has great potential to change your classroom.
All of these names are truly cool names for Student Centered Passion or Interest Based Learning.
If students have choice in their learning, you would see:
- an increase in student buy-in (students can't be bored if they picked a topic they are interested and passionate in)
- the responsibility for learning in the hands of the students (a great way to teach them many life skills of time management, motivation, etc.)
- great flexibility in learning (differentiation will occur naturally for students since they can go as far or push beyond their point of learning.)
- that students can embrace current or new passions. You could also use this to target areas in the curriculum. For example, you may want to enrich math, so students would choose a passion or interest that correlates with math.
- student growth. These projects are not about the end product or mastery. In fact, at the end of the project there should be more questions, not just answers. Looking at the learning as a portfolio and over time (the school year) seeing the growth and depth of growth is the goal with these projects. Plus, imagine all of the learning targets you will hit with this project. (higher level thinking, research, reading, writing, speaking & listening, presentation, etc.)
Click here to learn How to "Do" Genius Hour
Juliani, AJ. Learning By Choice: 10 Ways Choice and Differentiation Create An Engaged Learning Experience for Every Student. Vol. 1. N.p.: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2015. Print.