Day 157 (of 184) student feedback re #geniushour
The trickiest part of a ‘feedback loop’ can be getting the ‘student voice’ engaged – both in the sense of students learning that/how they can have input and for the teachers to ensure that they listen to their learner….
#geniushour usually happens on Friday. But I have learned that when there is no school on Friday (this week is a professional development day) that I need to schedule it on my ‘other’ teaching day: Wednesday.
As I went through our ‘day at a glance’ (visual schedule) when we got to the #geniushour section, I heard a couple of “Yes!’s” – even though it was already on the board – they wanted to actually hear me say it was in the afternoon and to confirm it verbally.
Before lunch, I had a couple students confirm that they would still have access to some key tools (iPads) as that was not our ‘usual’ time to use mobile tech (we have to share at our school) but I really liked that they were already doing some pre-thinking about what they were going to tackle during ‘their’ time. One of the key ‘teachings’ I do during our class “Recreational Mathematics” is that thinking should go well beyond the ‘scheduled time’ (I often ask a question on Wednesday and then discuss answer[s] on Friday).
During our #geniushour I had a couple more students come up and share their progress so far. I didn’t ask them to, they wanted to. I also had a girl do a spontaneous reflection stating “Its neat that we have this time to do whatever we want. I wouldn’t have tried this [minecraft] if there weren’t others to work with”.
For years my #geniushour has gone through a lot of names (thank you twitter for standardizing my ‘free time lessons’) and evolution of times (half hour, one week straight, variety, variety, variety) but the “set in stone hour a week” model has been a great anchor. It also allows students to always ‘have something to do’ if they end up with ‘extra time’ (though I do encourage boredom breaks to allow the brain to engage its ‘creativity’ setting). I know there is powerful, deep learning occurring during these hours, but it is even better when students find their voice via studying their passions and take ownership of their learning.