Watch It, Read It, Share It: Genius Hour

Genius Hour, or 20% Time, encourages students to take control of their learning -- to explore their interests and find a personal purpose in their education. Teachers give students a set amount of time per week to study a topic of their choice, and decide what they want to create or produce as a result. A student interested in art might learn about color theory and create a collage, while another student interested in space might study the Mars Rover and create their own prototype. The possibilities are endless. 

How you work Genius Hour into your classroom is up to you -- but the learning that happens is up to your students! Decide how long and how often your students will work on their projects, and how you plan to support them. You could have them submit a proposal with their topic, learning plan, and ideas about what they'll create to demonstrate what they've learned. 

Review the resources below to learn more!

Watch It: A Genius Hour Introduction For Students


Read It: Pure Genius & Launch

Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level

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"In Pure Genius, Don Wettrick encourages teachers and administrators to collaborate--with experts, students, and one another--to create interesting, and even life-changing opportunities for learning. You'll discover:

  • Innovation brings a fresh approach to solving real problems
  • Creative ways to work within the constraints your current budget and system
  • Courses that offer relevant content can inspire students to learn beyond the classroom
  • Collaborating with experts and mentors improves the learning experience for students and teachers
  • Students must be taught and entrusted to appropriately use social media
  • Social media is an incredible resource for inspiration and professional development"

Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student

"[The book] provides a process that can be incorporated into every class at every grade level ... even if you don't consider yourself a 'creative teacher.' [...] teachers will discover practical strategies for using design thinking in the classroom to engage, inspire, and empower students. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Student projects that focus on making, designing, and creating
  • Fixing the brainstorming process
  • Structuring project-based learning to unleash creativity
  • Building creative confidence in the classroom
  • Leading a maker movement without spending a lot of money"

Share It: #GeniusHour Chat

Connect with other educators implementing Genius Hour in their classrooms, or share what you've learned by tweeting #GeniusHour.