I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Half-Year Mark

We've tried Genius Hour with a gusto this year, and this is the longest our classes have gone with this consistency! The first one we had was in February, but I didn't dedicate a time each week to it. So... I've asked students to blog about what they've done this year so far, and tell about their future plans.

However, there are still a few students who don't yet know which route to take with their personalized learning. Therefore, this coming week, I'll be showing students this video from "Kid President" (that I think everyone should see!):
(Thanks to Krissy Venosdale for sharing this on her post!)

We will also be filling in our our bulletin board that has the following leads...
    "I wonder..."
    "I would like to learn about..."
    "I am a genius when it comes to..."

Addition to original blog post (2/19/13):
Students put their ideas on the wall!
"If I could create a new class, it would be called..."
     - Volleyball for Dummies
     - Potions Class
     - PATD (Photography, Art, Theater, Design)
     - Genetics or Geneology
     - Save the Animals
     - Inventions
"I'm a genius when it comes to..."
     - Basketball
     - Video Games
     - Art, music, and volleyball
     - Making Friends
     - Trains
     - Musical Theater
     - Horses
     - Hockey
     - Being Creative
     - Picking the Perfect Outfit
     - Beatboxing
     - Creating Stop Motions & Architecture
"I wonder..."
     - how the world came to be
     - how many pasta types there are in the world
     - if sloths communicate
     - how many apps there are in the world
     - why the Earth is a circle
     - what cave men ate in cave men time
     - why cows have spots
     - how many books there are in the world
     - when the world will end
     - why sloths move so slowly
     - how stop motions were invented
     - about the history of teddy bears
     - if everybody in the world made their dreams come true, how different the world would be


  1. Joy, have you gotten the bulletin board going yet? I think that's a great idea!


  2. Thanks so much for this post. I'm unveiling genius hour to my kids on Thursday. I'm terrified, but this gave me some great ideas. @iamkesler

  3. I love this post. I think I'm going to ask my students to build these bulletin boards, with each class "moderating" one of them. I'll encourage them to come up with their own. Super! You inspire me!


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