Krebs' Class Blogs

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

December 18, 2011
by Denise Krebs
5 Comments

History Genius Hour


The end of a semester calls for our next genius hour. Eighth grade history students will pick any topic or time in history they would like to explore, research, or compare with another time. They can choose a topic about which they want to question, read, or present.

The rules are simple:

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

Since our high school is taking semester tests, we again have been given some longer time frames to work with. On Tuesday, students will have two hours for genius hour activities. On Wednesday, we will have one hour for presentations.

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–maybe Occupy Wall Street since we made our wiki.
  3. Did you learn something about one of the presidents that sparked an interest?
  4. 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.)
  5. Make something to show something you’ve learned or you are passionate about in history.

Resources – Check out Iowa AEA Online for great history sources.

Here are some websites that you may consider for presenting:

Good luck, everyone!

November 28, 2011
by Denise Krebs
6 Comments

We Had A Genius Hour

There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. ~ Aristotle

Last Wednesday we had our first Genius Hour. Here are our learnings and creations. Besides the creating and learning going on, many students were also using new programs for them, such as iMovie, Edublogs, and SchoolTube, for reporting their learning. They made their teachers proud! (In addition, here is a link to their self-evaluations.)

Vanessa – Made a Flickr account and uploaded pictures

Christina, Paris, Shiann – Edited photos and made collages.

Cooper and Dustin – Made sports polls and sent them to fellow students to answer.

Joey and Brian – Made an airplane out of cardboard.

Jason and Cesar – Built boats out of cardboard. Cesar’s boat turned into a bed for our classroom Panda. Jason wrote a blog post here.

Justin and Chandler / Jason and Paul / Tyler and Andrew – Each partnership built a birdhouse and made a how-to video.

The finished masterpieces

Becca wanted to practice making movies, so she took video of Genius Hour using the iPad, emailed the files to herself and edited this movie on iMovie.

Jaci, Krayton, and Meghan used their acting talents to make a funny and educational video about Christmas trees.

Lauren and Paige learned new friendship bracelet patterns.

Seventh grader Anna started a novel and signed up for NaNoWriMo, a late start, but she is poised for a win by November 30.

Anna and Kaylee made a basketball presentation.

Jade learned to use Edublogs by making a post and adding photos with captions.  Her first post is a photo guessing game.

Lucas and Thomas – Made a car out of Legos.

Deven and Jared – Used the program Scratch for the first time and made this cool animation all in one hour.
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Madison decorated a towel with an inspirational saying.
Madi at Work

Atze was in California for Genius Hour, but he figured out how to use Edublogs and wrote his first post here.

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