We are on a yearlong quest exploring our deepest interests and passions. This blog is where we will share and keep track of our learning.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Genius Hour Update - DUE MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10th

This weeks post will let me know where you are with your genius hour project.  To help you with this post, I've broken it down into several different categories.  See below and complete your GH update post by next Monday, November 10th.

Already posted an idea:  You have posted an idea and have already started researching, which is fantastic.  This post should focus on your progress and what you are learning (or doing).  You might be researching and learning about your ideas.  Your post should contain some of the things you are learning (or doing) for your project.  Put a link to a source you are using a share some of the things you learned from that source.  Or talk about what you have done and what you still need to do in the future.  At this point your blog is a place to document your progress and prove to me that you are working on your project both in and out of class.

You have an idea:  Write a detailed and specific post that outlines and explains your idea.

You're still thinking:  Some of you are still thinking of ideas, so this is the time to narrow it down and choose one idea to move forward with.  You can always switch if you find you don't like the topic at any point.  Some of you still have no idea what you want to do.  This is the time to find some ideas. Look back to some of your previous posts for ideas.  Ask me.  Ask your parents.  Ask other teachers.  Ask your friends.  At this point, you need to start figuring it out.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Genius Hour - Monday, October 27th

Happy Genius Hour!

Today you have genius hour the whole block.  You do have a couple of blog posts to complete -- one is due tomorrow (details here) and the other is due on friday (details here).  Make sure you are setting aside time either today or at home to complete those posts.  Some of you will be going down to explore and brainstorm ideas with Mrs. Fitzsimmons; I hope this helps find some direction.

If you aren't blogging, you should, of course, use the time to read your book, explore a new genius hour idea, or continue working on an idea in progress.  There is not group work today, so if you are part of a "group," you can work separately today and then share what you learned later (on your own time). Have a great day and see you tomorrow.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blog Post Ideas: Complete one by Friday

Complete one of the following blog posts by Friday, October 31st.  If you already completed one of these posts last week, you don't have to do another one.  But you still might want to just to stay ahead.

  • Watch and respond to a TED talk (click here for previous post with links and more details).
  • Recommend a book you have recently read (details here)
  • If you are one of the many interested in cooking, watch at least three short videos here and reflect on them and share what you learned.
  • Writing Prompt (be complete and specific):  The world would be a better place if...
  • Explain (share) an idea or topic you are interested in pursuing for genius hour.   Explain what you want to do (or learn) and most importantly WHY you want to do it.  What will you or others gain by you doing this?

Monday, October 20, 2014

What would you want to change or make better?

This will post is required and is due by next Tuesday, 28th.

Write a well developed, thoughtful blog post describing something you want to change or make better.  You might start by identifying a problem you notice or something that bothers you.  For example, I might write about things that I would want to see changed about our lunchroom here at school. I might focus on overall atmosphere of the lunchroom or the food (or maybe even both).

You might also write about something you want to change about yourself.  If you do this, be specific about why you want to change that and how you might go about making the change.

Remember, just because you write about something does not mean that you will be required to actually make the change, but maybe it could.  And that could end up being a great genius hour project.

Example of great posts on books

Every time you finish a book, you should write a post of some sort about it.  This is a great way to get a blog post done and share what you are doing for genius hour.  It also shows me that you are actually reading at home.  If you are not posting about books you have read, I assume that you aren't actually reading, which is, after all, your homework every night.

Many of you have been writing posts about books you have read and want to recommend, but many of you are struggling with producing great posts.  Check out Rachel's blog for two great examples of posts about books.  Notice that there are great details and specifics about the books, but she doesn't give away the whole story.  Instead, she ends with lots of questions to get you to want to read the book to find out.

Once you read these examples, try to write your own post recommending a book that you have read.

Ted Talks

Ted Talks are called talks to stir your curiosity.  There are talks on all different topics of all different lengths.  Check out some talks made by kids here or search by topic here.  Here is another list of some great Ted Talks

Watch one or more ted talks and reflect on it in a new blog post.  Then, if you want, you can read the first chapter of the book, How to Deliver a Ted Talk.  See me if you are interested.  Maybe you can make up your own Ted Talk as your genius hour project.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Class Blog, Your First Blog Post

This blog, our class blog, will be our home base for all things genius hour.  I will provide updates and thoughts related to our journey to find our awesome (shout out to kidprez, see video here, and use headphones in back of room,please).  I will sometimes assign you specific posts while other times I will have you write a post about whatever you want.  Always remember that your blog should represent who you are and what you are doing.  You don't only have to post when I tell you to;  take ownership of your learning and post whenever you have something to share.

Your task by next Monday, September 29th is to write at least one solid quality blog post.  It should be related to genius hour (which means anything interesting to you).  When you write a post, make sure you are really completing your ideas and being specific.  Click here for an example of a really quality blog post.  Also, notice the great comments at the bottom of the post. One easy post would be to find your passion post (from paper blogging, they are on the vents by the way) and type it into your blog to make it a real blog post. If you don't want to do that, here are some ideas you can write a post about about:
  • recommend a book you have recently read, telling what you liked about it and what type of people might enjoy reading it.
  • explain an idea you have for a genius hour project.
  • watch a genius hour video here and respond and reflect on its message.  Talk about how you can apply that message to genius hour or your life.
  • update the progress you have made toward your two week goal (be really specific: do a +, -, interesting for your book).
  • Make a plan for the cardboard challenge;
  • complete a 100 word challenge (click here for details); or anything else interesting that you care about.