Operation Genius-Post # 2


Hi Everyone!

I am currently two/three weeks into my Operation Genius project.  Thus far, the students have been introduced to the project using a Prezi, the calendar, Requirements Sheet, "Finding Your Passion" worksheet, "The Difference Between Thick and Thin Questions", and the "Pitch Requirements". I have to thank Laura Randazzo and A.J. Juliani for amazing resources that I was able to modify for my students.  I borrowed Laura's Prezi and modified it for my middle school students.  If you ever want to hear someone else's experiences, check out these two bloggers.  They are amazing!

Week 1 of the Project-I introduced the Prezi and the ideas behind the Operation Genius project.  

Week 1-Following the Prezi, I wanted my students to explore their passions.  I created a worksheet for this, and I borrowed an article written by A.J. Juliani called, "Six Simple Steps to Finding Your Passion". I created a "Passion" packet for my students. The students worked on this worksheet and sorted out their passions.  Some knew exactly what they were going to learn, modify, create, build, design or invent.  With some, it took a little longer.  We then went into the library and computer lab to start exploring the students' passions. Some researched, and some took notes.

Week 2-Last week before break, I introduced my students to "thin" and "thick" questions.  Part of their project is to pose a "thick" question.  This is a great lesson for any class, and it is a great way to get your students to ask higher-level questions and not just surface questions.  Their thick question will be on the first slide of their Prezi presentation for the pitch.  My students also have to submit their "thick" question by tomorrow (Week 3).

Week 2-I also introduced "The Pitch".  Before the students can move on, they have to pitch their idea to their peers in a minute and a half.  This includes a visual component-a Prezi, Emaze or Glogster.  These are all amazing visual components (and similar to PowerPoint) for a presentation, and they are web-based so the kids can work on them anywhere!  I will be grading their pitch with when the students present. 

Week 3-My students are currently working on their pitches and their presentations for next Friday, March 4th.  This is when they will be pitching their ideas to the class!  I can't wait, as their ideas are amazing!  I will share with you some of the ideas of my middles, and I think you will be thoroughly impressed. 

I hope that if you are looking into starting an inquiry-based project, these items will help!


You can find POST # 1 HERE!

Interactive Notebook eBook-Available for Free February 10th, 2016!

Hi Everyone!

I have teamed up with some fantastic Teacher-Authors to create the 
1st Edition 
 Interactive Notebook eBook 
Available February 10th, 2016

The Teacher-Authors in the eBook discuss why they love Interactive Notebooks, their students' favorite Interactive Notebook lesson, a teacher hack, their favorite resource, and the Teacher-Author who inspires them!  In addition, the teachers have included one of their Interactive Notebook lessons/foldables for FREE!  Come and grab 12 FREEBIES!

Here are the teachers who are participating in this eBook!  Click on the picture to link to the PDF, and check out their stores-

All of the teachers have invested time and creativity into their submissions, and I am so grateful for all of their hard work. 

Enjoy the eBook, and be sure to hop around to the teacher's stores, and leave feedback.

POST # 1-Operation Genius

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would update you with how my day 1 of Operation Genius.

Today, I began my class by discussing the hierarchy of subjects in school.  I asked my students if they could spend 50% of their time in one class, what class would they spend their time? We discussed this, and I then posed the question on whether or not if our school lets the students be creative? Most of the answers were very little to none (This is so sad :o( ).  I posed many questions that I left unanswered like, "What would happen if you had the chance to follow your passion or what interests you?"

Following, I introduced the students to the article, "How Schools are Killing Creativity".   I had the students highlight specific lines that stood out to them as I read them the article. Many of my students highlighted the line, "...instead of growing into creativity in school, we grow out of it."  In addition, students noted the line, "school teaches students that making a mistake is a sin."  They were really able to relate to the article.

I showed the students pieces of the Ken Robinson TED Talk. I learned throughout the day to shorten the video some, as some of the material in the video was irrelevant to the topic of creativity in schools.

I did not have a chance to go over the assignment until tomorrow, so I think many of my students are skeptical about what we are doing.  They were definitely intrigued by the fact that they are going to have the chance to be creative and that we are going to go against the grain of the normal classroom.

Tomorrow is shall be more interesting!

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