Monday, April 20, 2015

Pure Genius Week 12: Coming Together and Conclusion

After reading this book, what are your plans for your classroom? Do you see an opportunity to start a genius hour or do you now have a goal of teaching an innovation class? Or are you thinking about some small steps that you can take to add more innovation into your classroom?

Just a reminder that this is the last week of the spring book club. In order to be eligible for the professional development grant, you must comment to all 12 blog posts by 5pm eastern Friday, April 24th. The winner of the grant will be notified next week. PGPs will also be sent out next week. 

21 comments:

  1. Reading this book has inspired me to add more innovation to my class. I would love to say that I will change my entire class to this concept, but this is a little unrealistic. My students and I will continue with the tasks necessary for the smooth running of our library, but I will figure out how to modify some of my existing activities so that my students have more ownership and “driving power” in the entire process. This semester, I changed my second semester student’s project assignments from simple research/writing to production (either writing an elementary level book or producing a video) and have seen some really great things happening. The final products are not due for another few weeks, but I am expecting to have a successful outcome. I will continue to make these changes and add other innovative ways for my students to master the concepts they need to help me run the library while encouraging other teachers to read Pure Genius and to explore incorporating innovation in their classrooms.

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  2. Between testing Genius Hour with some classes this year and reading this book, I am excited to try some more Genius Hour projects next year. We are moving to a new schedule and will have a new block of time and a structure that will lend itself well to offering opportunities for students to pursue innovation. I am hoping that my media center becomes a hub for innovation and maker projects going forward.

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    1. Carli, I am SO excited to use Core+ time next year coupled with Genius Hour - I think the sky is the limit. Looking forward to working in partnership with you and our staff to see this come to life!

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  3. I too feel very inspired after completing the book. I have thought of many new ways I, as the high school media specialist, can become more involved in the classroom and ways to support the classroom teachers in implementing more innovation in their curriculum. I have to admit, I was a big naysayer to social media before joining this group but now I definitely see the benefits those resources can offer with responsible use and monitoring. I am looking forward to trying some new things with my clubs also. One of the things the kids want to do it start a Facebook page or twitter account for "bookies" to give others an opportunity to comment and rate the books we are reading. I am looking forward to the challenge :-)

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  4. Our plans as a school are to try and incorporated genius hour into our high school SRT periods during their junior year and then when they are seniors have them tackle at least one "senior project" to be accomplished by the end of the year.

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  5. This book has helped me think of ways to be more innovative in the classroom that I had not thought of before. Having Genius Hour to allow the students to have guided freedom to take control of their education and own it sounds like a great experience. I do already see classroom teachers doing this every day in their own way, perhaps not with the title of Genius Hour, but turning things around so students may prove their mastery. I think with many teachers, the small steps toward innovating in the classroom have been taken. This book pushes us to go a little further. Just yesterday, Dr. Jane Goodall participated in a webinar on EdWeb.net, speaking of her experiences and challenges in research. While watching the webinar, my mind jumped at the possibilities of the projects that could happen in an innovative classroom following her presentation, such as a Roots and Shoots community project. Opportunities for experiences like Wettrick has described in his book are everywhere. This book has challenged me to look for those experiences, and I am excited about the possibilities.

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  6. Like the other comments, I definitely feel inspired to find ways to add more innovation to my classroom and create possibilities for my students beyond the basic curriculum. I'd love to incorporate a genius hour in my classroom and it would be great to spread to the entire school.

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  7. This book challenged me to be open minded about getting more information from social media. Often in life, I learn something and low and behold, I am using it in the near future. Being the In House Classroom Teacher located within a medical residence, I am exposed to students of all ages, cognitive abilities, and physical abilities. The internet has been a tremendous avenue for one of my students to learn that individuals with disabilities can live in an apartment, go to work, and even have a girlfriend. Looking back, using social media with this student to build relationships could have been amazing. I guess I shut my mind to this idea because his mother didn't want to Skype with him.

    Over the summer I have the opportunity to watch my grandchildren as their parents work. We are all going to look into furthering our passions using social media. I'm sure they will teach me. I enjoyed reading all of the teacher's blogs. Learning about your positions and how you impact your students is amazing. I just wish that parents and taxpayers could read some of your comments as you go beyond what's expected, anticipating great learning experiences for your students.

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    1. Learning with your grands will certainly be a comfortable setting for experimenting with social media: won't they be impressed!

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  8. The explanation of Open Source Learning is encouraging to me as Wettick summed it up, "OSL is a comprehensive term that teachers can use to describe any project in any subject.…we can all agree to basic principles and still do things in very different, innovative ways." p. 146. I shouldn't be surprised that something connected to innovation would be wide-open, but after attending a couple of PBL workshops and had not yet found my stride with those guidelines, I appreciated Wettrick's acknowledgement that there is a lot of freedom in this process. I do see that today's teachers are the first generation of a new wave of collaboration. The transformation will not be complete until a complete cycle of teachers has been trained, perhaps even brought up as students themselves in such an atmosphere. I would like to contribute to progress and integrate innovation where I can.

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  9. I would love to build this into my lesson plans. But seeing students for only forty minutes per week would make this very difficult. As a PE teacher I see my self as support of for the classroom teacher. Students could use me as a sounding board for a second opinion or incorporate their ideas into my classes and monitor its progress.

    I thought the book was very good and got me thinking of many way to incorporate it into my classroom if I had a self contained room.

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    1. I too would love to have this in my lesson plans but I also work at the same school as Gail. We only see the children for 40 minutes a week, so including this would be rather challenging. Our school is integrating PBL (Project Based Learning) into the curriculum, so each month we are being support for the classroom pbl project. I would love to see if some of our teachers could integrate this with some of the older kids! Lastly, I thought the book was very good with some very interesting ideas! If only we had the perfect world with the perfect/appropriate times for classes!

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  10. To be honest, I'm still not sold on trying a Genius Hour with my special education students. I really love the idea of the students being more innovative. I guess that if I were going to start something like this, I would want to start off with baby steps. I would love to have students for all levels of English, 9-12, so that way I could add to the innovative process throughout the four years. Hopefully, by the end of their senior year, they would have a successful project.

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  11. Innovation is definitely playing a role in my lesson planning. Between reading Kim Bearden’s book Crash Course and Don Wettrick’s Genius Hour for the eLearning Book Club, and attending several innovative workshops at the Midwest Band Clinic in December, I can’t help but feel that I am being called to integrate innovation in my classroom. In my environment, there are so many ways to “be the change,” as one clinician espoused at Midwest, and inspire students to invest in their own education. I have given myself permission and will continue to move forward. I wish my fellow bloggers the best with their endeavor into innovation.

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  12. The idea of innovation has sparked an interest in my mind and heart. I am definitely on the small steps course with this, but I am on course. I don't believe a genius hour would actually be feasible for my class but if I were to modify it greatly, we could possibly make it work. I think that it would be neat to create a pinterest board with students and use that to build ideas for lessons and units for my class.

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  13. Absolutely loved this book! I shared it with our Superintendent and how we have been using this in a few pilot areas around our building. I am so very much looking forward to growing this into the culture of our school!

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  14. I enjoyed this book. It really has gotten me more interested in using social media to connect with other teachers. I would like to try flipping my classroom and plan to research ways to do this over the summer. I plan to use social media and the internet to develop a plan. I also want to investigate using gaming technology. I want to find more fun and interesting math activities to integrate in to my classroom. If kids have fun, they learn. I need to make my math classroom a little more fun!

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  15. I really enjoyed this book. It is very inspiring and has also gotten me more interested in the social media and how it could impact classrooms. I am going to share this book with my colleagues and hope that they are inspired as me, even if it is small steps.

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  16. I think that a genius hour would be so great to do and I wish all my fellow bloggers good luck in their endeavors! I was thinking of possibly extending the information I have acquired after reading this book to the peer tutor project in my school. Currently students sign up to come in and assist us with our Life Skills students. Perhaps part of the project could be to develop something for the kids on their own rather than just come in and help them with what we are doing.
    I am also going to focus on allowing more innovative projects to take place in our classroom. We are starting a new curriculum next year with the Unique Learning System. I have never used this curriculum before so I feel that the opportunity for innovative ideas will be plentiful! I am specifically going to take the three concepts of the last chapter and be mindful of them when I plan my lessons. I especially would like to incorporate more creative ways of teaching basic life skills to my students.
    Good luck everyone!

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  17. Totally enjoyed this book. Have shared it with many teachers and my principal. Hope to collaborate on some pilot projects in our building,

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  18. I think a genius hour is very workable for me to include going forward, especially now that all of classes will be run through the portal provided our newest textbook adoption. I also think that twitter is a great addition. Recently, I have been developing my Instagram accounts and abilities to use as well. I think you need to go where the kids are most interested in order to capture their interest. Thanks for a great season.

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