There are so many learning opportunities in the School Library or Learning Commons as it is now known to many. It is the "hub" of the school where students are able to inquire, explore, investigate, problem solve, brainstorm and create without the constant fear and worry of assessment and evaluation.
I am currently facilitating Genius Hour project with two junior/intermediate classes. Genius Hour projects provide students with the opportunity to research something they are "passionate" about. It allows students to drive their own learning and helps to foster a growth mindset.
When I was introducing Genius Hour to one of the classes, a student asked me, "Are we getting marked on this project?" My response was, "Would you like to be marked on this project?" I was shocked when a majority of them said no. I didn't think they would have any interest completing a project for "free" if they weren't going to be receiving a final grade at the end.
I am excited to see how their Genius Hour projects flourish knowing that the pressure of being graded is off so to speak. Grades aside, this project will provide students with many opportunities to reflect on their learning, particularly in the areas of learning skills and work habits. Students will also have the opportunity to give peer feedback during our Genius Hour journey. On-going teacher feedback/conferencing will also occur.
There are so many reasons why I love Genius Hour. Most of all, I love how this project inspires student creativity and pushes boundaries. There is so much excitement and enthusiasm these days in the library. To me, this is what learning is all about!
"It's not the letter grade or the percent the inspires growth. It's the follow up conversations between teacher and student that opens the door to opportunities"