Guest Tech PD Post ~ Thoughts about Genius Projects

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2017)

By: Kristin Nedset

I would say that I lost my sense of time as I worked through the Genius Project since my essential question covered a passion of mine: thrifting.  I can demonstrate how a passion can motivate you to grow in understanding.  Even though the task was not to complete the entire KWHLAQ, I found myself wanting to continue with the task.  I had to say to myself, put this on hold for later, and complete your coursework.  I was truly interested in the topic as well as the information I came across.  I feel that I also have a better grasp of searching properly not only because I went through this Genius Project process, but also by exposing myself to the links provided under the Course 1 and 2 Tab and subheading of “Internet Searching Strategies.”   For example, every word in the query and even the word order can make a difference.  I found that 1,2,3…queries can lead to new information.  Also, don’t forget about links found within the searches.  In addition, using Control “F” within a webpage can really speed up your search…  Yes, Genius Project does take time, but look at all of the standards it covers in for your students: research, reading/writing, higher level thinking, presentation, communication…  And yes, I do have more questions than answers as well as I would like to travel to a Frenchy’s for example to experience the thrifting beyond what I typically do.  I am extending my passion.  And finally, I will remember through this lesson, that it is not always the final answer, but the process that is most important.  Assessing the process in learning activities is equally as important to assessing the final outcome.  I will be applying the Genius Project in my 6th graders first Collections unit: Facing Fear.  This will follow the essential question of: How does the way people experience fear affect the brain and body?    Each student would be able to explore a fear of their choice and pinpoint their own genius or wonder question.  I will especially need to provide feedback to my students in pinpointing a genius or wonder question and effective searching.   Checkpoints are essential too for engagement and productivity along the way.  Now back to looking at some more resource on thrifting…

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