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We hear the charge for more student-directed, inquiry-based learning, but it can seem like a load of pie-in-the-sky hooey without instructions for how to do it.
Interested in doing this project find out what its about. I do a modified version depending on my classes. We just finished our brainstorming. Now they are starting their research and creating their websites. Some really cool ideas came out of the brainstorming. Using websites as their final presentation, is new this year for me. Slowly I’m moving towards the type of Genius Hour that is more creative. We will see how it works this year. So far the websites are looking good and some students are really getting into their project.
Of course the problem with this project is the students have a hard time finding a topic. Sometimes they just get stuck! Meaning they have a hard time brainstorming or finding a topic within the STEAM realm. I know that you should be letting them do things outside that topic, but this is where I modify. Trying to get them to choose something they can do an experiment or create something can be the most difficult part. But this year I think it was a little easier. I had some students come up with some great ideas. One student is painting different planets, creating their own planets. Its within the STEAM umbrella, I had no problem with this. They have to research planets and physics to create their planets. Cool right? I think so.
Again think about doing the project it can be real fun for the students. They can really learn from the project and they get a choice (somewhat in my case). This podcast is awesome, it addresses a lot of questions. Especially those that deal with structure and grading. I think many people hesitate to do Genius hour because of this. Give it a try!
My friend George Couros once said, “If students leave school less curious than when they have started, we have failed them.” I tend to agree. I’ve never heard of a cosmologist who says, “I’m done
This would be a great idea for an area that students are having a hard time understanding . There are some good ideas to help teachers start an inquiry unit.
If you do fewer teacher-directed activities, that means the kids will naturally do more talking, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. I have often found myself talking almost constantly during group work and student-directed projects because I’m trying to push kids’ thinking, provide feedback, and help them stay on task. Even when the learning has been turned over […]
Educators know the value of differentiated instruction. However, finding the time to develop tailored instructional experiences based on each child’s zone of proximal development is often an insurmountable challenge. This is where personalized learning comes into play. Personalized learning is a type of adaptive learning that uses computers to scaffold instruction based on the student’s previous levels of understanding when engaging with the computer program. Learning analytics and artificial intelligence are the crux of personalized learning because, without these, it would be impossible for the computer to tailor instruction based on immediate prior responses seamlessly. What is the market like […]
Every building has them. The superstar teachers that students love and respect. The ones that think outside the box on a daily basis and make learning fun for everyone. Great teachers, however, don’t just walk through the door and make magic happen. They are the ones who are willing to do the little things necessary […]
I know a lot of good teachers who go above and beyond. One thing there are times we forget to do #2. Sometimes the reason is because we are tired. To catch our breath I think #3 is good idea.
American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year is a Luciana Vega, an aspiring astronaut who has her own Space Camp flight suit, a NASA inspired spacesuit and Mars Base.
Sounds like a great gift for a young girl and promoting STEM at that!
fIn our last post, we dove into a three-step system to get students to do the talking. Getting them to open up and do the majority of talking (and learning) is not as easy as
I’ve always had problems scaffolding my projects. There are some great hints in this article to help you do just that. I’m already thinking at the end of the year we could do PSA on local environmental issues. Maybe connect to health issues. Thanks to A.J. Juliani for all the great ideas.
If we want students to develop a maker mindset, we need to empower them to hit a state of creative flow. Flow Theory explains what happens when we hit that place of “optimal experience,” where
I never hear of Flow theory and now I know. It’s interesting and new at the same time, to me any way. I do the Genius Hour project and might try some of the suggestions made in the post. Also the author John Spencer shares a ton of resources.
This is really an awesome post and I would highly recommend it to teachers who are being pressured right now to be “innovative”. I think Ms. Ripp does a good job in arguing how teachers are already innovative in their classroom.
It has been building for a while. This idea that teachers need to “just” innovate more. That we need to break the system, try a new idea every day. That we need to just do more. Just do it better. Just be more.
But that little word “just” has such a huge implication.
It tells me that what I am doing is not already innovative.
That what I am doing is not enough.
That I am not good enough, nor enough for the very kids I teach.
That if I only would “just” be a better teacher then perhaps all kids would run into my classroom with a smile on their face and beg me not to send them home.
But I teach real live children who have friendships, and emotions, and families, and lives to live and so no, I don’t get offended when they don’t run into my classroom…
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