In the spring, my principal announced that he had some extra funds that he wanted to use to get more technology to us. My team decided we wanted more Chromebooks, so we each received 2 more. Then, I decided if I had 2 additional ones, I'd have enough for small group use and that would be a game changer for me. Amazingly, thanks to the kindness of several donors, some of which were fellow bloggers, I had them both funded through DonorsChoose. Now with seven computers in my classroom, we are able to use them to do so many things. We also borrow from the other fifth grade classes when they are not using their computers.
One of my favorite pictures. Totally didn't plan to capture this!
One of the things I implemented this year is Genius Hour, which I called passion projects and passion time in my classroom. It has been amazing! My students can't wait for Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings to work on their projects. My colleague suggested using the first 20 minutes of class three days a week instead of an hour block one day a week. I thought it was a brilliant idea, so that's what I chose to do. Instead of morning work those three days, students work on their passion projects three mornings a week. They have from the start of the day, 9:00, until 9:18 to work on them. Many students come in early and work on them from the moment they enter the classroom. I have students begin arriving at 8:30.
Some of the projects that my students have chosen to work on include:
- How can I create a website?
- How should one care for chickens?
- How did the library get so organized?
- How does the computer language of coding work? (A group of students interested in this are all working through the code.org lessons together)
- How do you play the ukulele?
- How do you play the mandolin?
- How do you plan resonator bells?
- Learning about birds of prey.
- Teaching another student karate, the other students project is to learn karate.
I'll continue to share with you about how it's going in our classroom. I'll also be sharing the results of each students passion work toward the end of the semester. For now, enjoy the pictures throughout this article of my students working on their projects this week.
Have you tried genius hour in your classroom? Tell us about it in the comments.
I've linked up this blog post to