Genius Hour refers to open-ended, student-driven projects during a pre-deterrmined time. Students pick a topic and decide how they will exhibit their learning. During the research phase students often connect with mentors within the school or in the community. (Genius Hour is also called Passion Projects or 20% time.)
Check out :
- This article describing Genius Hour from the Association of Middle Level Educators (AMLE)
- This short video from geniushour.com that is a great introduction for educators
- #GeniusHour on Twitter
Many schools in Vermont are doing some version of Genius Hour.
“Brainado” at Crossett Brook
At Crossett Brook Middle School (CBMS), in Duxbury VT, Genius Hour is known as “Brainado”.
- See how CBMS launched Brainado.
- And the benefits of the school-wide implementation model.
- How has Brainado changed the way students think of themselves as learners? (video)
- And how CBMS and other schools are using Genius Hour in Personalized Learning Plans.
What are the results?
Here are three examples of student projects from Crossett Brook.
- One student interned with a local mechanic. (video)
- Another student partnered with a friend to paint a mural. (video)
- A group of students persisted through failure to build a car. (video)
Passion Projects at Flood Brook
Down in Londonderry, VT, students at Flood Brook Union School pursued Passion Projects. They chose a topic, did the research, and decided to throw an exhibition for their community, showcasing the projects.
- Flood Brook students have some advice for other students starting on their Passion Projects (video)
- And some suggestions for how to improve them on the next round (video)
Self-directed learning spreads across Vermont
This idea of giving students the ability to choose, execute and share projects with personal relevance has spread across Vermont. Shelburne Community School and Charlotte Community School refer to them as “PIPs” (Personal Interest Projects).