The next step was to set up the Genius Project so that it would be relevant to our students and our school. In years 5 and 6 the students have 1:1 MacBooks and are used to working through Problem Based Tasks in a Contemporary Learning Environment. We needed to take this into account when structuring how we would like them to go about the task. We were also lucky enough to have another three teachers to help us out. This meant that we would be able to break the students up into groups of approximately 10 and have a guidance teacher for each.
As a teacher tool, we created a session outline and areas for anecdotal notes through Google Docs. This is a brilliant tool as all five teachers have access to the documents and can edit them on any device.
We started Week One with a Kid President video. If you haven't watch Kid President you need to jump on YouTube now and check him out (A Pep Talk From Kid President). He's gorgeous and shares some really enlightening thoughts. The video we chose to start this session talks about ideas 'leading to awesome' and asks students, 'what will you create to make the world awesome?"
This is my time.
This is our time."
- Kid President
We wanted students to be able to work independently during the session, so we made a range of flipped tasks outlining what was expected. At our school we work through a range of Problem Based Tasks. We use the 21st Century Fluency Project model (@leecrockett). For our first Genius Project we decided that we wanted students to use the Information Fluency model, focusing on the 5 As. These are: Ask, Acquire, Analyse, Apply and Assess. We used EduCreations to create a video for students outlining these steps. EduCreations Clip. Please excuse any mistakes within this clip, I refuse to re-record/film tasks, otherwise I could spend hours trying to make them 'perfect'.
An outline of expected outcomes was displayed on Edmodo for the students to see. Once they had viewed the above clip, they were to continue on to make a MindNode brainstorm. This was saved as a PDF and used as a formal form of assessment.
Myself and the other teachers involved have a range of ideas that we are going to incorporate into our future Genius Project sessions. These include creating a YouTube channel to upload videos of students working through their tasks, more flipped tasks to prepare students for upcoming sessions and introducing a range of no-tech, low-tech and high-tech resources.
We explored some of these resources in one of our EduCreations flipped tasks. Students watched this in preparation for the second session, where they began working through the Acquire Stage.
So far, the Genius Project has been a fantastic experience for all involved. I would encourage all teachers and schools to take this on and allow your students to learn about a topic of their choice. The next #geniushour Twitter chat is on September 4th around 8pm Perth time. Get involved or just tune in to see how people are incorporating this idea into their classrooms around the world.
Stay tuned for future updates on the Genius Project at Sacred Heart Primary School Highgate (@GabrielleTrinca / @SHPSHighgate).
Engage Their Minds - Genius Hour Resources