Every month we have a fantastic chat on twitter using the #geniushour hashtag. Incredible educators from around the globe join in and in traditional Q1, A1 format we discuss a hot topic that has to do with Genius Hour. October's chat was "To what extent do you help students during Genius Hour?"
Some really great points were brought up that I just had to go back and reread the archive. Here are some of my major take-aways:
- When a student is struggling to come up with an inquiry question, get right beside them. Have a conversation. Here are some tips:
-Ask "What breaks your heart?" (@STEMGeniusHour)
-I asked 3rd grade to come up with a problem at school that we could solve (@terrieichholz)
-I ask them if they could sit down at the computer and Google anything, what would it be and we work from there (@mcnairan3)
-I always start with what do they do when they are at home. Kids don't think you care about what they learn at home (@hughtheteacher)
-One-on-one conferences to help find their passions. Eventually something comes out in the conversation (@mrsdkrebs)
- During Genius Hour inquiry time it is okay for students to struggle. That is what we want! We want them to learn that it is okay to make mistakes and that the goal is to push through, try again and persevere! Many of us have taught our students that FAIL can also be looked at as an acronym for First Attempt In Learning. Hugh McDonald also wants us to think about the term failure and think about whether or not it realyl is a failure if we have learned something from the process. I was so happy he brought this up because sometimes I think students learn more about how they learn from their #GeniusHour projects than they do about the actual topic, and that is just as important, right? Some tips for when your students are struggling:
-Before they start their project I model my learning and struggles with a new thing I learned (@hughtheteacher)
-I start the year by telling students that we will fail. We are allowed to fail. That is how we learn (@koehnkfisher)
-LISTEN...Ask questions about their ideas to push a bit further. Encourage goal setting (@JoyKirr)
-[Struggling is an] important part of learning. But need to watch so it doesn't become frustration (@mjreese)
-I think it is also important to give them examples of how I fail from day to day and then give examples of finding a solution (@techducation)
-I have really been working on #growthmindset w/my Students (@terrieichholz)
-When I see Ss struggling I pull out TED "I Seek Failure"- offers amazing insight & Ss really get it http://youtu.be/H8P7Ni1NwB0 (@kgbellino)
- And lastly, there are so many experts in our communities! Let's get them in and connect our kids up with mentors in their area of wonder/passion. Some tips:
-I'm looking out for family now - what's going on at home? (@JoyKirr)
-I use Twitter to contact lots of outside experts. (@mcnairan3)
-blog, newsletter, ask students, know community members, Twitter, PTO (@jcd118)
Thank you to all of you whose amazing tweets helped inspire this post. Join us on the first Thursday of each month as we chat about #geniushour at 6 pm Pacific time/9 pm Eastern.
Inquiry-Based Learning opportunities?
Please comment below and share your advice!