Well, we had a Genius Day at school about a month ago. It went so well! The students had been asking about having one all trimester, and the Monday before Thanksgiving seemed like a good day for it. It was the end of a trimester, we had two days of school that week, and we were planning to hold our Read-a-thon on Tuesday.
After spending time doing our planning with the kids (more on that in a bit), the day arrived. In addition to the 6th graders who were learning, studying and experimenting, we had some 7th and 8th graders who were using the opportunity to film a documentary about Genius Day. During our intervention/extension period each morning, these students participate in filmmaking. This seemed like the perfect extension of their learning, so I encouraged them to make a plan, then film and edit their work. You can see the results here: http://youtu.be/qBsL5LccEew
In order to prepare our students, we had them fill out several charts and questionnaires. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2AMC_GVwB9WS003cXowY3k0a1k/edit?usp=sharing
By having students think through their individual characteristics and ideas, we could help guide them to a successful project. This avoids students ending up with too ambitious a project (like one idea that required a welder!) or too limited a project (like the cliched baking soda and vinegar volcano). Often, it is a matter of guiding them to take that idea and either tweak it or revise it to be something more line with what they can and should accomplish in the time allotted. We plan to hold one at the end of each trimester. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they can do in the future, now that they had a chance to see it in action!
Do you do a Genius Hour or Genius Day with your students?