This week, we dove in head first and started our Genius Hour with the grade 1s. This is my first time facilitating a Genius Hour Project, but I had faith that whatever the kids came up with would be magical. We started by talking about a passion I have where I am a novice: pottery. I told the kids about how I have my own teacher that helps me learn about something "I want to learn about" and then passed the samples around.
The theme of "something I want to learn" came up a lot in our conversations. Kids were so excited to try something new. Next, we watched a video of other students who have participated in Genius Hour. These students were older, but the grade 1s understood what was going to happen and even got a few ideas from it like cake-making. I got the video from https://www.geniushourguide.org/ It is a great website and this particular blog post was created after an edchat about Genius Hour in the classroom.
Once we viewed the video, they were off to the races. Today was all about brainstorming ideas so I could get some of the materials they needed. We took a look at the wonder wall to see if there was anything on it that could help inspire us and then draw and wrote our passions and what we would like to learn about them. I was blown away at some of their ideas and my teacher brain was turning with questions like "where can I get this?", "who do I know that can do this?", "how can I make this goal a realistic one?" Here are some examples of what the kids came up with today.
I also pulled a few kids out to interview them about their choices. I've taught these kids for over a year and a half now, so not many choices surprised me, which I think is good because that means they are staying true to their passions. Next day we will be beginning our projects and the real messiness will be upon us.