Tuesday, April 2, 2019


After several days of research, I decided to try
Genius Hour
in my first-grade class.

The plan: Told them on Wednesday morning- we will each think of a topic we're interested in/ would like to learn about, then on Friday we'll have time to learn about whatever we want!
Told them again Wednesday afternoon and again Thursday morning...building the hype!

What actually happened: Made a chart while asking each kid individually because I wanted their real thoughts, not "He took mine" as usually happens in whole group. Got some great questions/ topics and a few from a previous Growth Mindset activity- I want to learn to do a backflip/ cartwheel type things,

The plan: We will have a themed Show and Tell (more hype!) and bring something that shows we are a genius. This is not an opportunity to bring a toy to school. Repeat: Do not bring a toy!

What actually happened: One girl brought a toy, of course.
     Only two other children (out of twenty-six) "remembered" (written in their agenda- parent's sign each evening) to bring anything- a hand-drawn picture of Slenderman and a picture of Gravedigger.

The plan: I displayed a large selection of nonfiction books on the carpet.

What actually happened: I called them in "weekly order" to choose a book. The Slenderman artist was very excited about a large picture dictionary but someone else chose it so he threw a major fit. He had to leave the room for the next 20 minutes. I gave their purpose for reading- learn something interesting! After nine minutes of incredibly focused Read-to-Self, they each wrote a sentence about their learning and illustrated it. Except for the guy who chose the picture dictionary. He didn't write anything.

The following Friday

The plan: No hype. I put animal nonfiction books, a space book and the picture dictionary on the carpet. 

What actually happened: Someone else chose the picture dictionary, T started to throw a fit but I explained that he would not get his popcorn treat. He calmed right down and chose a dolphin book. They were really interested AGAIN, wrote a sentence and illustrated.

Next Friday
The plan: We're having a Art Genius Hour! Watercolor paint, Bingo daubers, mosaic shapes, stickers and markers. Can't wait to see what they come up with!


Juliette said...

This is great. thank you for taking us through your plan and communication with the students. I have tried this with second graders but did not plan so well, so it did not really work out.

Christie Wyman said...

LOL! So you should see Genius Hour in Kindergarten. Usually a hot mess, but I try. I ask students to share what their plan is before they go off and embark on a project. Then we come back 45-60 minutes later and share out. It's not the real deal, but we are getting there. It's Kindergarten after all, and having choice is the most important part. -- Christie