Today the neighbourhood started Genius Hour. Genius Hour (or hours) is a personal inquiry time where students are investigating something that they are passionate about. It is a time for discovery, curiosity, creativity and thinking. Students will have 2 hours in class time to complete their inquiry but can also use some of their learning agreement time. The students will present their work to their peers on Friday afteroons.
The teachers will be monitoring Genius Hour carefully and modelling their own investigations as well. Workshops will be followed up if we see a particular need to focus on certain skills. Eg: research skills, using graphic organisers and computer skills)
The benefits of a personal inquiry time are numerous. When students are given time to create and design their own inquiries they:
Are more motivated to learn as they are interested and feel their interests have value.
Are more likely to stay on task and focussed.
Apply the skills and strategies they have gained in their shared inquiry experiences and can, therefore, demonstrate their facility with these skills.
Are less reliant on their teacher or peers and so develop important selfmanagement skills such as planning, organization, time management, goals setting.
Learn by watching and listening to peers explore a wide range of topics and interests.
Share their skills and knowledge and particular areas of expertise with others.– building their self-esteeem.
Have opportunities to be “in their element” – to learn in a state of ‘flow’ and build on their talents and passions.
Give teachers opportunities to observe, assess and confer with individuals in a more flexible and differentiated learning context.
Have opportunities to work and learn alone rather than collaboratively. For some students – this time is precious and when they feel most ‘in their skin.’ (With thanks to Kath Murdoch)