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, September 21, 2014

Process for Genius Hour

How do I hold my students accountable when I'm not grading them?

I see myriad blog posts about pitch proposals, planning sheets, deadlines, reflections... the list goes on.  I have had certain parts in the year when I'm as open as any teacher as to what students can learn or create for Genius Hour. And yet, I find that some students need a scaffold to see how the process works.

So I put many ideas together, added a quote for each (I love quality quotes!), used a magnet sheet and had students write their names on small slips of magnet, and this is now on the back chalkboard. I'm aware that this is just one more step to helping students succeed with Genius Hour. Some students will thrive without this guide, but for others, it will be a good scaffold to encourage them to plan and follow through.
Via Joy Kirr
     I'm reading...
     I may have an idea...
     I'm brainstorming ideas.
     I'm seeking feedback from peers.
     I'm finding a mentor - to guide me on the journey.
     I'm researching and documenting.
     I'm putting a plan together.
     I'm ready to share with the class.
     I'm ready to share with the world.

See the document I created here, if you'd like to copy and create your own. I took a screen shot of each full page, then put four on one sheet of cardstock paper, so these steps are only 4 1/4" X 5 1/2". The circle is supposed to represent a web of sorts, with the title card in the middle connecting the threads. I wanted to make sure students knew they can jump around in the process. Knowing where each magnet name is will also help me when it comes to one-on-one conferencing. (I'm debating taking out the "I may have an idea" stage, but it looks like a couple of students are on that stage right now! I'll keep it this year...)

Two more I really like - AJ Juliani'sBeginner's Guide to 20% Time
                                       Gallit Zvi's - Genius Hour Broken Down Into Steps

Below are more versions that other teachers have graciously shared with me:

Another version (much cuter!) is here, courtesy of Chantel Sebastian (@SebastiansClass):
Used with permission from Miss Sebastian
     Teacher Conference
     Expert Work
     Final Product
     Ready to Showcase

Here is a similar version from Jeremy Collins (@kwalityejukatar):
Used with permission from Jeremy Collins

In sixth grade, Peter Cameron (@cherandpete) digs into this process he created:

And here is Peter's idea in Brenda Valencia's 6th grade classes. Her students decided how to post it!

In fifth grade, Julieanne Harmatz (@jarhartz) shares this process with her students:
Used with permission from Julieanne Harmatz
Here's another from fifth grade - from Rebecca Brink's (@RebeccaBrink1Passion Projects site:

Here's what Paul Solarz used in 5th grade when following Google's design thinking process:

A bit younger version, grades 3-5 from Matt Coaty (@Mcoaty):
Used with Permission from Matt Coaty

Grade 3 version - Andi McNair (@mcnairan3) shares this photo, and has the QR codes in this post. She also shares the 6 Ps in this older post.
Used with permission from Andi McNair

Would you like a younger version? Check out Laura Bright's (@lbrightedu) blog post about her Genius Hour "map" for first grade!
Used with permission from Laura Bright

Turns out, Laura had seen a tweet from Mark White (@mwhitedg), who currently teaches 2nd grade. It looked something like this:
Used with permission from Mark White

Another gem comes from Candace Marcotte (@canmarcotte) & Elena DeFilippis (@MissDeFilippis) for 6th grade:
Used with permission from Candace Marcotte
This is a game board, where students move their piece as they go. They've generously shared their game board here, AND (BONUS!) their color-coded sheets for the spaces HERE!

Nigel Coutts, from Sydney, wrote about the IB Design Cycle in this blog post, explaining the process for planning for Genius Hour.

This one from Jeromie Heath (@TeachHeath) shows their process in two different ways...

Used with permission from @teachheath

Yet another - from Dawn Zamora (@DawnZamora11) - In her third grade class, students will use post-its with their name, and add a question, etc. as they go.
Used with permission from @DawnZamora11

Take the above chart one step further, and solely focus on the research aspect with this flow chart from Tobie Taylor Jones (@tobiemichele), 6th grade:

Another basic structure is seen here, in what Jeff Peterson (@petersonjeffrey) shared for his MS science classes...
Used with permission from @petersonjeffrey

Here's more general one from a tweet by @Gary_S_ King regarding the Inquiry Process (please let me know if you know the original source):

A.J. Juliani wrote about the LAUNCH cycle in this post (with sketch from John Spencer)

Troy Cockrum was inspired by the Imagination Foundation when he created this graphic:

Here is the old one I used to use - I still like it, though - it's very simple, and fits 7th grade ELA!
Via Joy Kirr

Here is another - in Pictograph form - from Evie O'Dor (@evieodor) -
       The Life Cycle of a PAT Project

What does your Genius Hour process look like? Let me know in the comments and let me know if I have permission to add it to this post. Thank you for sharing!