A Template to Help Students Tap Into Their Genius Potential

“Children are the most learning-hungry beings in the world.” – Ashley Montagu

This year we will be getting our elementary students (2nd to 5th) to explore their passions and interests with Genius Hour Projects. Genius Hour Projects, also known as 20% Time, involve setting aside class time each week for students to independently work on a project related to their interests or passions. Genius Hour is motivating for middle school and high school students, too!

I collaborated with the amazing Buncee team to create this Genius Hour Project template, which is free to copy, edit, and share. The template makes Genius Hour easier to manage and implement for both students and teachers. All you need to do is create your Buncee account (free for 30 days), create a classroom (this takes minutes if you upload your roster), make a copy of the template in Buncee’s Idea Lab, make any edits, and assign the template to your students. Students complete the template and submit it when they finish. The template is inspired by writings from A.J. Juliani who has several inspiring books to explore.

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The template is 13 pages long and helps students narrow down a topic and determine the project details. I recommend including John Spencer’s video, You Get to Have Your Own Genius Hour, in the introduction slide so that students understand what Genius Hour is about. Feel free to share this template with other teachers. Trust me it’ll make the process so much smoother and easier so that more teachers would try Genius Hour with their students.

Challenge:Ā Try a Genius Hour Project with your students this year!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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