Here is a review of a survey we conducted of our #GeniusHour students about halfway through the project. Do they look forward to it? Do they think it’s a good idea? A resounding YES! Do they think it’s helping them in other classes? Uhhh…wow, 13 year olds are HILARIOUS, and they take things so literally. (A note on terminology – we call it “SML”, for Self-Motivated Learning, not Genius Hour.)
Q1 How much do you look forward to your SML time?
“I am doing origami doing this project helps calm my mind, so I see SML as my time of rest and peace.”
“I am not that excited because I can’t really work that much on my project during this time because it requires more things out of class.”
This was a commonly expressed opinion, so we may revisit this and require students to pick a topic that they can COMPLETE in school (so for example no baking).
Q2 Do you think that the SML project is a good idea for students?
“I love doing it! The environment! The help! The people! It’s doing something I love during school time! It could not get any better!”
“It’s fun sometimes but sometimes it is just frustrating.”
Q3 Do you think that your learning in the SML time will help you with your learning in other classes?
STUDENTS ARE WAY TOO LITERAL:
(Grade 7 in particular; only 8 out of 208 ranked it at a “5” for very useful)
“I don’t think it will be useful to know how to make ice cream for math class, unless I take culinary arts next year!”
“Yes, because I write, and writing helps in L.A class.”
“My topic is about vitamins, and NO subjects at school that I go to teach about that.”
“how is it supposed to help?”
STUDENTS RECOGNIZE DIRECT LINKS TO CRITICAL THINKING & RESEARCH:
“Because you achieve the skill of researching and putting all the information together to make a product.”
“Because it helps with the critical thinking aspect which is good in Science and Math when something doesn’t work out in an experiment or problem, then you need to retrace your steps to find the problem.”
STUDENTS SEE THAT IT’S TEACHING THEM GROWTH MINDSET:
“I would say it does in fact extend your capability to self-advocate and have more of a growth mindset, but not so much so that it extends your learning capability or extends much of your knowledge for other classes.”
“Because it teaches you to motivate yourself, and you should do that in other classes too.”