Genius Hour! We started our projects again….

Well, my 30-day blog challenge went out the window a while ago. However, I’m not discouraged and I’m starting over.

Genius Hour! We started our projects again and I’m really impressed by my students. Some had a bit of an issue with the brainstorming process. This doesn’t surprise me. Every year I get some students who can’t or don’t allow themselves a chance to think outside the box. I don’t blame them for this, I blame us; teachers and adults. For so long we have insisted on telling them projects should be 10-page research papers, not that sometimes research papers are good, but allowing them a chance to do something else upsets the cart. However, in the end, they all succeeded in doing something that related to themselves and they could enjoy.

I modified the Genius Hour project to suit our class a bit. Similar to last year. I wanted to modify the project to include the LAUNCH cycle. Nevertheless, this just did not work out this year. I did decide to use the Look, Listen and Learn process. This did help the students who were having a difficult time with the brainstorming activity. I do like the LAUNCH cycle and the book was great, but I really want to make sure I have everything in place before having my students do it. I am hoping to work with the Physics teacher to use the LAUNCH cycle for next Mars Rover project. For those of you have not read LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student, I would advise you read it. It is a great way to start your Genius Hour project. The authors John Spencer and  AJ Juliani have written a very creative way of empowering students to utilize design thinking when completing their projects.

A Plus this year was I changed one of the components of my Genius Hour Project, I added the “A”, Art. Instead of STEM, I now used STEAM. This has been a great idea, I have a couple of students working with Music and Drawing. I have one student investigating sound with different enclosures. Another student creating a new Alien and Alien world.

My motto for this year’s project is to allow my students to be creative and enjoy their what they are learning about

WEB ADVENTURES: FOR EDUCATORS | Teacher Resources — Virtual Clinical Trials – About The Series

Source: WEB ADVENTURES: FOR EDUCATORS | Teacher Resources — Virtual Clinical Trials – About The Series

What is virtual reality? – A simple introduction

An easy-to-understand introduction to virtual reality, the equipment it requires, and the things we can use it for.

Source: What is virtual reality? – A simple introduction

Article simplifies the VR topic. Introducing you to the basic background information about VR.

The Five Stages of Tribal Innovation – A.J. JULIANI

In their book, Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright, call groups of people (from 20-150) tribes. Their basic argument is that success and innovation

Source: The Five Stages of Tribal Innovation – A.J. JULIANI

Definitely some information for me. Interesting points made here about “tribes” and innovation in Schools. Good Read!

I’m Using These 3 Simple Steps to Build Successful Habits That Stick

Read this article to learn a simple 3-step strategy for building successful habits that stick.

Source: I’m Using These 3 Simple Steps to Build Successful Habits That Stick

This blog entry was first shared by A.J. Juliani in one of his posts. Great to try to start something, I started using these simple steps to read 30 books in a year.

10 Things Pixar Can Teach Us About Creativity

Source: 10 Things Pixar Can Teach Us About Creativity

Could be used as a teachable moment in class when working creative projects. Thinking about reading the book too.

Making & Science | Science Journal

Check out Science Journal– a digital science notebook to inspire kids and adults explore the world around them using sensors and data!

Source: Making & Science | Science Journal

Haven’t used this app yet. But maybe in the future.

#WeHoldTheseTruths: FREE teaching resources for kindness, civics, equality, and more | The Cornerstone

This weekend was packed full of hugely important events in our nation’s history, and students are going to show up Monday morning with a wide range of emotions, questions, and thoughts that need to be expressed. That’s why I’m collaborating with hundreds of other TeachersPayTeachers sellers to offer FREE curriculum resources which help you support kids in…

Source: #WeHoldTheseTruths: FREE teaching resources for kindness, civics, equality, and more | The Cornerstone

Not a Civics teacher or Social Studies teacher but this might be of interest for some. Seems to have some good resources.

What Schools Can Learn From Netflix’s Culture (and Values) – A.J. JULIANI

A few years ago a colleague of mine shared a slide deck with me that completely transformed my perspective on leadership and building culture. I was new to a leadership position and much like a

Source: What Schools Can Learn From Netflix’s Culture (and Values) – A.J. JULIANI

Way to start new year…

Never thought I would start the new year off on good footing. Meaning I at least started to fulfill one my goals. I am reading something different every month. Meaning I’m trying to read something other than teaching topics. So I decided to take some of the suggestions from other bloggers one of their suggestions was “Benjamin Franklin- An American Life” by Walter Isaacson. I enjoyed it tremendously. I think Franklin is now my favorite founding father. I did listen to it, rather than read it. But I did enjoy it. And so this began one of my goals for the new year. I wanted to read something different every few weeks.

I’ve also discovered this recent article by the verge on Science Fiction novels. Some of them look really good. I also found a blog post by AJ Juliani  on some the really good books and again not only about teaching but other subjects. I just finished the book Launch by AJ Juliani and John Spencer. Great book if you  interested in starting a Genius Hour project or another project. Each chapter is a resource to help you implement a creative project in class. A great tool for anyone just starting out with Genius Hour or some other project. I myself implement a modified Genius Hour in the 2nd semester.

So what’s my next book. Not sure but maybe I’ll start with The Myth of The Strong Leader by Archie Brown or The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. Both sound very interesting. But right now I’m on my third book “Run your butt Off”, wanted to start jogging again. LOL.  But most of all this is my break from work.