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.
They tasted Golden, Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples, choosing their favorite. We graphed and discussed the results.
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.
When 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.