Krebs' Class Blogs

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

January 31, 2013
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

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
0 comments

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?

January 17, 2013
by Denise Krebs
0 comments

Genius Hour Challenge

Try something new with someone new (or work solo).

Master – Practice some skill. It takes 10,000 hours to get to mastery.

Create – Use your imagination to create something.

Learn – Gain knowledge about something that interests you.

Innovate – Solve a problem. Create a solution.

Produce – Make something.

Serve – Do any of the above for someone else!

August 25, 2012
by Denise Krebs
6 Comments

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.

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.
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

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.

Skip to toolbar