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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Shift This!

Here's the inside story...

A large publisher of educational books contacted me in 2015, asking me to write an outline for them for a book about Genius Hour. Hmmm... That had been done - a few times by then, and even more by now. The list is growing, and I keep it on the LiveBinder here.

So I wrote an outline about what trying Genius Hour did for my classroom... and they said that wasn't what they were looking for. I was told I could write a blog post for their website. Harumph.

I had shared the first part of the story with my students, so I had to update them on this disappointment. They threw my words back at me... "If it's something you want to do, you should do it anyway." They had a point. So I kept going. Why not?! [Fancy this - Bob (Hubby/soul mate) - had told me earlier... "It's only a matter of time."]

In August of 2016, I had a revelation of sorts, and I was almost finished with this book about shifts I'd made since implementing Genius Hour. It felt like a huge blog post about how I've changed so many parts of our classroom as a result of handing over one hour a week to my students. I thought of Dave & Shelley Burgess... And I thought, "The worst they can say is 'No.'"

And now it's here. After months of going through the editing process (such great lessons for me that I was able to share with my students!!), and multiple nights wondering, "Is it good enough?"... it has arrived on Amazon.

Here is a glimpse inside the book - through the lens of the website.
If you're reading the book, please connect with me through a blog post or your thoughts in an email. I'd love to add your ideas to the website, so others can learn from YOU! Let's keep the conversation going so we can shift learning back to our students!

Addition 5/13/17: Here's Dave Burgess's rendition of why you should read Shift This!

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