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When it comes to personalized learning in the classroom, no single thing has been as powerful as Genius Hour for my students.
Genius Hour has its early foundations at companies like Google which gave their employees 20 percent of their work week to study and implement innovative ideas that would better the company. Ideas like Gmail, Google News, and Adsense were born from this time.
It’s not a bad model for teachers to emulate, either.
In my classroom, Genius Hour means students get to use at least one hour of their class time each week to explore their own questions, create projects, and share with others. When I first heard about carving out this time, I was excited to try it with my students because I thought it would be a fresh way to integrate research and questioning into my Language Arts curriculum. What happened, however, was a side effect I could have never envisioned: This form of personalized learning turned a team of 120 individual eighth graders into a community.