Genius Hour

The idea of adding Genius Hour to the school curriculum is very exciting. According to Kimberly Crouch, “Genius Hour (also known as 20% Time) is an inquiry-based learning project in which students work on individual projects focused on their passion.” The idea that students have a say in what they are learning in school is very different from the traditional format. It seems that every year I am required to give more standardized tests to my students, and the curriculum becomes more rigid and structured. I feel that students are losing their love of learning because of this set-up. Giving students the ability to have some say in what they are learning, could bring back their love for learning.


I tried out a mini-genius hour today. Over the past few years, I have undertaken some DIY projects around my house. Each project was a learning experience. For the past few months, I have been thinking about trying a new DIY project. I have some mason jars that I wanted to paint and fill with some sort of flowers. Today I decided to take my passion for home decorating and complete the project. The project required chalky spray paint, mason jars, and flowers. I researched by reading some blogs about the best way to complete the project. When I had the necessary items, I added the first coat of paint to my clean mason jars. I was mostly worried about paint streaks. The struggle I had with the project was that I wasn’t sure how far to stand away from the jar. It turned out that I was too close and the first coat had some streaks on the first jar. I readjusted my distance and the outcome was much better. I am happy with both jars after applying 4 coats of paint but I would definitely do the project outside next time. The paint smell was too strong. The final project looks great on my floating wood shelf.


Genius Hour could become a part of my teaching this year. I have book presentations that are due every 6 weeks, and I could replace a book presentation with a Genius Hour project. I devote Wednesday’s to our book projects so switching that time to the Genius Hour project would be easy. I am thinking that after the holidays would be a great time to start to get my students motivated and excited about learning. The concept of Genius Hour is already a part of my learning. I am constantly reading and researching about ELA and Social Studies topics that I can bring back and apply in my classroom.


Implementing Genius Hour in Your Classroom – Minds in Bloom [Web log post]. (2018,

             April 19). Retrieved from               classroom/

2 thoughts on “Genius Hour

  1. Keri,
    You bring up so many great points. We are required to test our students so much, they are losing their love for learning. By incorporating Genius Hour, students are taking ownership of their learning and looking up ideas that interest them. I also love your idea of replacing your book reports with a Genius Hour. You can even make it optional to correlate the book report because some students might like that option. It looks like this was beneficial for you.


  2. Keri, You picked a great Genius Hour Projects. I like DIY projects too. I am constantly shopping in Home Depot for new ideas. You have a great idea on how to add Genius Hour to your class. We have a project we do every quarter. I was thinking we could add a Genius Hour as well.
    Thanks, Chad


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