Thursday, May 25, 2017

Genius Hour

Every year we do the traditional "end of the year" activities, but this year I decided to try something different, and I am so glad that I did! These students have blown me away with their Genius Hour projects. I am so proud of the learners they've become and I can't wait for you to see their projects.

Before we get started, let's talk about what Genius Hour is. In a nut shell, students got one hour a week to research and study a topic they are passionate about. The only requirements...they had to work the entire time and present their research at the end. I tried to stay pretty "hands off" throughout the project. I wanted to push students to problem solve, think creatively and persevere on their own.

Annie - Manatee Rescue

Annie worked hard to collect seashells all the way from Florida. After researching Manatees in Florida, Annie decided she would help them by raising money and donating to a Manatee Rescue organization. Annie hand painted each seashell and sold them to friends, family, teachers and neighbors. Annie was able to collect $109 for the manatees! She even adopted her own Manatee named Ginger who lives in Tampa.

Brooke & Grant - Coding Clocks



Brooke and Grant worked as a fantastic duo as they explored the world of code. These two knew all about coding. Brooke and Grant used a coding program called Scratch to develop two working stopwatches. During their presentation they explained some of the basic coding essentials and talked about the successes and struggles along the way.

Megan - Photography


Megan spent her time photographing life at Barretts. Megan photographed classmates, nature and important things around our school. Megan learned the ins and outs of using a digital camera, uploading photos to a computer and printing them. Megan created a two-sided display that she shared with us in the classroom.

Teshaun - WWE Alphabet Book

No one in 4th grade knows more about WWE Wrestling than Teshaun. Teshaun originally planned to design t-shirts but ran into a few problems in production. Teshaun decided to think about his other passions and landed on WWE. Teshaun spent weeks researching each wrestler and creating an alphabet book to showcase all of his research.

Amisha - How to Make Hair Clips

Amisha's project was super cool because it had two purposes. First, she taught others how to make unique hair clips. She also plans to donate them to a children's hospital. Amisha worked tirelessly to get in touch with Cardinal Glennon. Amisha plans to follow up over the summer and work out a time to drop off her donations.

Nolan - Toy Donations 

Nolan's Genius Hour project was inspired by his last birthday party! When Nolan's friends came to the party they didn't bring birthday presents for Nolan, they brought toys to donate to Friends of Kids with Cancer! Nolan decided that he would continue to collect money to purchase more toys to donate. Nolan created flyers, shared information with family and friends and collected money to order toys on Amazon. Nolan contacted the organization via email to set up a delivery time and he plans to drop off his donations this summer. 

Ada & Amelie - Warriors Website

By now you may have heard of the popular book series, Warriors that is sweeping the nation! As you read the book you earn different Warrior rankings. Ada and Amelie decided that together they would create a website to showcase the Barretts' Warrior Clans. On their website you can also learn more about reaching the levels and where to find the books. 

Ada and Amelie even reached out to one of the author's via twitter!

Jackson, Sam & Ben - Minecraft & Redstone Tutorials

These guys love Minecraft! After much deliberation they decided to create tutorials for other students to use when playing. 

Each week these 3 brought their personal iPads to school. They spent hours creating screenshots and creating instructions for others. As someone who has never played Minecraft, I definitely understood the ins and outs of building after their presentation.

Sophia - Chemo Kits

Sophia's Genius Hour project was designed to help kids at the Children's hospital who are going through Chemotherapy. Sophia worked to research childhood cancer and interviewed her mom who was a nurse at the hospital. Sophia learned what specific items would benefit these kids, like mints to suck on when they feel sick or coloring books to keep them busy while they're getting their treatment. Sophia will be dropping off these fun Chemo Kits this summer.

Ava & Lauren - Sports Equipment

Ava and Lauren took their passion for helping others and combined it with their love of sports. Ava worked to create a flyer that she distributed to friends and family asking for donations. The girls collected various sports equipment and plan to donate them to Toys for Tots. 

Kaden, Jaden & Orlando - Dino Research

This trio worked together to research their favorite dinosaur, the Spinosaurus and create a model to showcase in the classroom. The boys mixed custom colors with Model Magic, mounted it to a poster and included interesting facts about their creature. They learned about it's habitat as well and created a color pencil background for their Spinosaurus.

Corion - Architecture

Corion loves to build, so when I heard that he wanted to create a village for his Genius Hour project I wasn't surprised. Corion found a creative use for just about any household item he could find. He constructed a village, created citizens and even a flag! 

Thank you for all of the support you gave our students as they took on these projects! We appreciate all that you do.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing, Mrs Wood and students. I am amazed by all of you! You are geniuses, and also beautiful, generous spirits who are going to do great things with your lives! Thank you, Mrs Wood for taking the time to plan this time, support the geniuses, and to share the results.