Tuesday , 17 October 2017
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Are you ready for Genius Hour?

Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.  It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.  It’s not easy to determine where the idea was originally created, but there are at least two events that have impacted genius hour.

Learn more about Genius Hour at www.geniushour.com.

The Three Rules of Genius Hour Projects

1 – The student must develop an open-ended driving question.
2 – The student must conduct research.
3 – The student must share the project not only with the class but also with the world via the Internet.

“When students have a say in their learning, they become more engaged” – Chris Kesler

The search-engine giant, Google, allows it’s engineers to spend 20% of their time to work on any pet project that they want.  The idea is very simple.  Allow people to work on something that interests them, and productivity will go up.  Google’s policy has worked so well that it has been said that 50% of Google’s projects have been created during this creative time period.  Ever heard of Gmail or Google News?  These projects are creations by passionate developers that blossomed from their their 20-time projects.

ghRecommended Reads:

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

The Passion-Driven Classroom: A Framework for Teaching & Learning

Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World

Complete List of Genius Hour Books

About Heather Mullins

Heather Mullins is the Chief Academic Officer in Newton-Conover City Schools. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who spent 12 years as a high school English Teacher. She received her B.S.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Western Carolina University. Heather completed her National Board Certification in Adolescent Young Adult English Language Arts in 2002. She holds an M.Ed. in Academically and Intellectually Gifted from UNC-Charlotte. Heather has served as a Curriculum Specialist in Hickory City Schools, an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and a Professional Development Consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through Western Carolina University. Heather is one of the co-founders of #NCed Chat, North Carolina’s first Twitter chat for teachers. She is passionate about innovative practices, instructional technology, student ownership of learning, and supporting teachers. Heather serves on the advisory board for the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan, North Carolina School for the Deaf and Catawba Science Center. She is a recipient of the 2015 NCMLE Central Office Administrator to Watch Award. She also received the 2016 Don Chalker Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership. Heather is the proud mother of one son, Jackson.

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