We know that #geniushour is a big draw in our kindergarten class. The children have been pleading for another #geniushour #tinkering time, and today was the day! We had saved boxes, cartons, tubes and the like for just this time. During the week we started a new Padlet board for Genius Hour. A big guideline that we talked about was what would happen to our projects. We told the children that they would need to help us “take apart” and recycle everything when our “tinkering” time was over. We explained that many of them would be going away on trips and we could not save stuff in the classroom. Most seemed to understand and were happy to have the time to be “inventors.” This Padlet includes some of their brainstorming and what they actually did.
And they didn’t disappoint. They worked in pairs, in groups and then individually, if they wanted to move on. In our school we just had a discussion about a “Buddy Chair” to help children who needed playmates during the various recess time throughout the day. A group of boys incorporated this idea in their “Buddy Chair/Couch”. A soft and hard seat would be available and the buddies could choose which one they preferred. Then we had two boys building a Cyclops. Now the Cyclops was amazing, but what was so heartwarming was the response of one little boy to his peer, who did not know how to get a friend to help. Making geniushour worthwhile already, wouldn’t you say? Two girls spent their whole time making a bus and took turns to sit inside. We had a group making a sorting machine to have stuff available in case of an emergency. Another group worked on a treasure for pirates. Then we had the pirate ship that could fly and the dancing unicorn. Throughout this time the kinders problem solved balancing objects, finding the center as the fulcrum so their “tinkers” would stay upright. They measured with nonstandard measurements to see how big and tall their work could become. They worked together to cut and tape, to share and make. Respectful of space and time the noise level was contained and their excitement was endearing.