Last night was the monthly #geniushour Twitter chat, hosted by @gallit_z and @mrsdkrebs once again. This time, I took away ideas regarding students who are considered off-task during the genius hour...
First, what is considered "off-task" ? In my classroom, we currently do genius hour differently than others. (I'll get it together next year!) So in my room, "off-task" is...
a) when a student comes unprepared - with nothing to read b) when a student has no idea of what he/she wants to read c) when a student spends the hour socializing or sitting with no real goal.
So what should we do to prepare, so we don't have much off-task behavior? Ideas were garnered last night...
1. The freedom can be overwhelming. Give these students some scaffolding, so they can take one task at a time. In my case, that could be generating answers on an interest survey of some sort first.
2. Allow more time to plan, chunk, or outline.
3. Students can work with a partner, or in a group of three. This may help... or hurt, in some cases? Give it a try.
More ideas I received 5/4/12 from my PLN on Twitter, @HHG...
4. Visual reminders... i.e. kids write current task on a post-it note on their desks
5. Different work environments... i.e. stand up work area, yoga ball to sit on, etc. (I - Joy - received a grant this year for 5 yoga balls, and I have two rocking chairs being used already!)
6. Allow students to self-select "body breaks" - teacher allows student to take 3min timer and do physical activity as needed
7. Some students benefit from "fiddlers" - something to occupy hands to allow for better concentration (hence the squishy apples in my room)
8. Sit students by organized friends
I look forward to our #geniushour Twitter chat each month, and I gain so much from it! Join in the first Wednesday of the month at 8pm CST! -@joykirr