#Geniushour In Kindergarten

This has been an exciting and adventurous week in my classroom. Johnny Appleseed inspired our week long science lesson about “Apples In Water” as the children hypothesized and brainstormed ideas why the apple weight of the three different configurations of apples changed.

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They tasted Golden, Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples, choosing their favorite. We graphed and discussed the results. photo-1
On Friday we had our first exposure to #geniushour In beginning of the week we read On A Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein . The children knew his name but couldn’t really say too much about him. They asked questions and were amazed at the kind of learner he was. We had been talking about “wonder” through @wonderopolis . We left #geniushour open-ended with some guidelines on exploring, discovering and cooperation! That was enough as they set off to work and discovery. Some built and tinkered (a word they associated w/Tinkerbell LOL) with various blocks, Legos and Tinkertoys. Some went to the “make it with recycled materials” (we had a funny discussion about one man’s trash being another man’s treasure). AND the conversations were priceless:
“I am making toys for the homeless,” said one little girl, and then so many of her friends decided to do the same. (Our school works with a organization that helps a food bank. The grades rotate making sandwiches and soup for this group.) “Let’s make a telescope,” said a little boy to his friend who said, “This is like Einstein.” Girls building together discussed making a pool for children who don’t have their own pool. Along side of them, another group of girls were making houses for their town. “Faige come here I want to show you my baton (many pronged) and watch me twirl it,” said a little boy excited about his invention.
The children helped clean-up, make a space for their “recycled material tinkering” and then we gathered to talk about our afternoon.

photo-9When I asked them what they thought this #geniushour was all about (now that they had some time to explore) one child said, “This is a place where you get to discover stuff.” Then another student commented, “You get to make trash into inventions!” Pretty successful time, wouldn’t you say.
Next time I want to let the students’ capture some their learning with iPads.

Have you explored #geniushour with your classes? I would love to hear your comments and blogs about learning through hands-on exploration.

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5 Responses to #Geniushour In Kindergarten

  1. Faige,
    Oh, so lovely! I can just feel the excitement in the air, thanks to the quotes and descriptions of the projects you shared here. If you start in Kindergarten, imagine ‘the ideas that could be brewing for these same students throughout their years. I’d bet some of them would keep ideas in reserve to do the next year, even. Please share this post & your future trials and tribulations with the teachers who teach 1st grade. Then it can grow incrementally… Just imagine!!!
    Side note – we, too, used On a Beam of Light in our 7th grade class – we then had students taking off their socks to work! 😉
    Enjoy your year – thank you so very much for sharing! Of course I’m adding your post to the LiveBinder – mind tagging it Genius Hour for me so the rest that you write with this subject come up, as well? Thank you again and again!
    Sincerely,
    Joy

  2. Kathy Rice says:

    Faige, Thanks for documenting and sharing your learning! I’m new to #geniushour and your posts are helping me take the plunge.

    • faige says:

      So many people have helped me here at #geniushour and on Twitter. My PLN is amazing as I learn with #kinderchat #1stchat and others. Am so glad I could help you.

  3. Denise Krebs says:

    Faige,
    You are an inspiration! I have seen this post before, but now I’ve read it with a different eye, as I may be heading to Kindergarten myself soon! I love the comments the students made about what genius hour is: discovery and inventions! Perfect!

    Thanks again! And I’ll keep in touch, and start paying more attention to #kinderchat and #1stchat if I do go to Kindergarten.

    Sincerely,
    Denise

  4. Faige,

    I love how you shared about Albert Einstein first. It gives the kids a great frame of reference. I think I am going to bring him and other inventors up to my kids so they can see that inventing and building are important and have been done for a long time. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make #geniushour happen in my own classroom but after reading this post I realize that I am already doing versions of this! Hooray! I think that letting the Kindergarteners build and create with an open ended goal is a wonderful, developmentally appropriate, way to incorporate the idea of genius hour into our classrooms. My plan is to ‘beef up’ my building and creating areas. I’d still like to incorporate a research type project as well, but I’m feeling good about this too.

    Question for anyone who stops here….I don’t have a lot of non fiction books in my classroom and we don’t have a school library. I’d like to research with our big buddies who all have iPads, but I’m having a hard time finding a site that would work well for the kids to find their information with. I’d like to start the kids on researching animals. National Geographic Kids isn’t playing nice on the iPad and the other sites that are coming up through a search on the search engine KidRex aren’t as informative as I’d like.

    Thank you!
    Elizabeth Goold

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