I've made an acronym to help show the stages of Genius Hour (my version is called Wonder + IDEAS). It goes as follows:
1) PONDER: Students brainstorm big ideas, questions, musings, things they wonder about, anything that is interesting or passionate to them.
2) PLAN: They then choose a specific topic/idea and plan some of the basic details. What are they creating? Alone or with partners? What materials are required? What are the basic steps involved? How long will it take?
3) PRODUCE: Now comes the fun part--at least in the kids' minds. They break off into different sections of the classroom or school, grab their supplies and tools, and start producing their idea. My acronym, IDEAS, gives them ideas on what they can do: invent, design, experiment, or act. Of course, they can and do much more, but it's a great starting point. (It's quite amazing what kids can accomplish in an hour or so.)
4) PRESENT: The (almost) final step is one that all students love. They want to show their creation to their peers and others in front of the class. Using the LCD projector, they can show their wonderful product for all to see with the document camera, iPod or iPad. Other times, they will stand in front of the class and present, followed by answering questions from fellow students.
5) PONDER: Wait a minute, you might be wondering. Didn't we do this already? True, but this is the "small" ponder on the individual project just completed, not the "big" brainstorming session. The conclusion to their project is another chance to think, ponder and reflect on what they've accomplished. What did they like? Were there any challenges? Did they have to make changes? What did they learn?
These are my 5 stages that my students go through for our Genius Hour. Good luck!
Daniel H. Lee
This blog will be dedicated to sharing in three areas: happenings in my classroom and school; analysis and distillation of other educators' wealth of knowledge in various texts; insights from other disciplines and areas of expertise that relate and connect with educational practices.