Krebs' Class Blogs

Constructing, creating, communicating, collaborating, and thinking critically in grade 5.

April 21, 2013
by Denise Krebs
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March Genius Hour Reports

We’ve had a busy spring. Because of snow days, Easter break, and TSA, we’ve not had genius hour for three weeks. We’ll be back at it this week.

Here are our March updates:

Cool Shot Basketball – Cooper Brian Dustin

Hula Hoop Rugs – Jade Kaylee Anna

Ripping Phone Books – Thomas and Lucas

Stop Motion with Race Cars – Deven and Joey

Sewing – Madi and Paige

Sounds 0f the Planets – Jared

Dodge cars – Jason

Writing another novel – Anna

Cross-stitching with love – Lauren

Teaching Piano – Atze

Rainbow Cake – Kennedy Sierra MaKenna

Stop Motion Animation Mini Farm – Jordan Mason David

Sewing slippers – John

April 8, 2013
by Denise Krebs
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Let’s Scale-Up Genius Hour

Angela Maiers has inspired me lately. She does that quite often. Now it’s about scaling up Genius Hour. It’s taking “You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution” to a new level.

You can read more at the link above and at Choose2Matter.org, and be sure to read the You Matter Manifesto.

Do you believe it? Yes, I hope you do!

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you plan your next Genius Hour project:

What matters to you? What breaks your heart about it?

What matters to God? What breaks God’s heart?

Consider issues like pollution, endangered animals, slavery, drug abuse, suicide, global climate change, poverty, disease, illiteracy, injustice, intolerance, abortion, bullying, what else?

What are you going to do about it?

How can you join God in working to solve that problem?

Are you willing to suffer for it?

Can you build grit, determination, perseverance, stick-to-it-iveness during your Genius Hour project?

I want you to consider some of these questions
for your next Genius Hour!

We have already had good examples of this kind of genius at work. Like when Jade and Kaylee made many scarves and then sold them at the benefit for Laurel.

 

The world needs your genius!

March 1, 2013
by Denise Krebs
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February Genius Hour Projects

We’ve been taking two periods a week, about 85 minutes, to learn what we are passionate about. Students reports on their latest learnings are here.

January 31, 2013
by Denise Krebs
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Our Latest Genius Hour Projects

We had an opportunity to have genius hour for a three-hour block on Wednesday. Students thrive on long periods of time to learn. The bells are ignored. The learning sets in. The projects improve. The questions deepen.

Here are learnings from my geniuses:

Jade Anna Madi – sewing
Jason – building a city
Atze – rising up when he wanted to quit
Lauren Paige Kaylee – Junior High Survival Guide
Joey – hydraulic system
Lucas Deven – robotics
Thomas Dustin Jared Cooper – producing a blockbuster
Brian
Anna
John – carving a football from a block of wood
MaKenna – cupcakes
Sierra Kennedy
Jordan
Mason David

January 24, 2013
by Denise Krebs
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Genius Hour Today

Here are the questions our learners are answering today in genius hour:

  1. What’s a good way to make a Minecraft creation into a video to share with the world?
  2. What cool effects can we add to an iMovie?
  3. What do missionaries do and what risks do they take?
  4. How do we make moon bars?
  5. How many airplanes can I make with these random Lego pieces?
  6. Can we tell a story without telling the story?
  7. How do hydraulic systems work? How can I make a model hydraulic system?
  8. How can we create something to help junior highers survive junior high?

August 25, 2012
by Denise Krebs
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Rigorous and Relevant: Geniuses at Work

This year, the teachers at our school will be studying Rigor and Relevance in professional development.

I love my students for many reasons–one is that they are problem solvers and they notice real problems that need real solutions.

This week, the first week of school, a few eighth graders saw two problems and worked to fix them. We have a ten foot long and four-inch wide PVC pipe that has been capped and sawed in half lengthwise to make a trough. When we fill the rounded pipe with water to test boats, it’s unstable. We had quite a spill in our classroom on Wednesday. Then when we wanted to remove the water that had not spilled, we had to bail the water out and into a bucket.

Geniuses know how to criticize by creating. And I have those geniuses in my classroom! First, Thomas and Dustin began designing a stand to get it up off the floor and less wobbly. After some discussion with a larger group, Joey is working on a revised design at home. (Update on Monday.)

On Friday morning before school there were eleven people watching the hoopla and contributing to the process of the next step, which was to solve the second problem–emptying the trough. They decided to create a drainage system so when we put water into the soon-to-be sturdy container, we will be able to drain it instead of bail it out.

Look at that hole they are drilling in our trough. Yes, they are risking failure. The problem is challenging, complex, demanding, requires authentic work and “the ability to develop and express ideas and findings through elaborated communication.” (rigor and relevance). (I haven’t done a thing except give them permission because the project is beyond my abilities.)

What kind of learning is better than that? That’s why I’m trying to make school more like genius hour. Real problems, real solutions, real learning.

December 19, 2011
by Denise Krebs
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7th Grade Genius Hour

Seventh graders have a three-hour block where they will participate in Genius Hour and share their creative productions. We will start after lunch and finish by dismissal time.

The rules are simple:

  1. Be a genius! That is, be creative and productive.
  2. Record your learning in a way that it can be shared digitally (video, photos, blog post, or something else)
  3. Check the rubric, for you will be asked to honestly evaluate your own work.
  4. Be ready at 2:10 p.m. to present to the class what you have created and produced.

Students, as you prepare, consider these possibilities for Genius Hour:

  1. Ask a question you care about and find the answer.
  2. Check out what’s been happening in current affairs and how can you add to the conversation.
  3. Have you been learning anything in some class that sparked an interest?
  4. Continue what you were learning for genius hour last time. Step it up a notch.
  5. Keep your ideas small enough for a two-hour time slot. (For instance, don’t think of World War II for your topic, but perhaps you want to learn about the KA-BAR knife adopted by the Marines in November 1942.)

Here are some websites that you may consider for presenting:

Good luck, everyone!

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