The date has been set, October 1st my students will get a chance to get their genius on. I have spent the month scouring through materials and talking to colleagues about how to best make this work and I think I have come up with a plan that I am excited about and comfortable with too.
Here is what our first day will look like:
I am planning to begin with the Marshmallow Challenge. A big thanks to my partner in crime Carolyn (@cdurley) for passing this my way because I think it hits the nail on the head as being a great initial activity. In this activity students are given the task of building the highest structure they can with some basic materials to support a marshmallow. What excites me about this task is that it will help activate the ‘maker’ in students, reveal assumptions that marshmallows aren’t as lite as students thought, and help students understand that assumptions can sometimes be the number one factor inhibiting success. BTW, I create the sweetest playlist ever to play during the competition, pretty excited about that!!!
After this activity I have a series of videos I plan to show to help inspire (keep in mind at this point students still have no idea where this is going. I have kept them in the dark only telling them that we are about to begin something amazing this week):
- A Pep Talk from Kid President
- Cain’s Arcade
- Video highlighting the recent work of Ann Makosinski, a BC student who is helping to change the world.
It was important for me to end off with a video that had a local element. I want students to know that they too can create change, can be inventive, and can inspire. Lastly, I plan to talk to students about how I have been working hard to be a change agent over the last two plus years in the Flipped Classroom world. I also plan to show them a recent video I created which includes interactivity so students can see that I am taking risks myself and continuing to learn and play.
Finally, I will introduce GeniusHour to my students. Perhaps I should call it Geniusweek because that is how I have decided to run it:
- Tuesday – Launch of GeniusHour.
- Thursday – Checking in / more research / initial reflections
- Following Wednesday – Class Presentations
I choose to structure first geniushour attempt a little differently than most do. I want to do a number of these projects this semester, rather than just one big one. I have heard of teachers struggling to keep their students eye on the prize when the final project due date is so far away. This way there is a definitive endpoint. So, there it is, a rough outline of my game plan. I am planning to video most of it so stay tuned for a mash-up of all of our learning shenanigans and a blog post where I will look at what worked and what I will change for next time.