Genius Hour

Last Friday we had a fantastic Genius Hour session. We had quite a bit of variety in the creations that were made and everyone was highly organised, which helped our session be really successful.

Some of the activities that the students did were:

  • baking different goodies
  • book making
  • 3D Model designs using Maker’s Empire
  • cardboard model making
  • cardboard arcade games
  • teddy bear sewing
  • and Super Pad song making.

Everyone had a great session because they were organised, knew the order of the steps to complete their projects, had all of the materials they needed and worked well with a partner.

What was your favourite part of Genius Hour last week?

Cardboard Maze Challenge with Big Buddies

We had a fantastic Big Buddy session last Friday. We worked really well with our partners to design, create and make a cardboard maze.

This challenge followed our preparation for future our Genius Hour sessions. We’d also watched Caine’s Arcade to give us inspiration and ideas that we could use in our creations.

Caine’s Arcade YouTube clip

Our challenge required us to work quickly, plan our maze – double check that it worked, glue or stick materials to the board to make the actual maze and then test our models. The making part of this challenge used lots of joining techniques that we’d learnt in our most recent Inquiry topic.

We were really pleased with the results of our hard work – we’ve all used each other’s mazes and have enjoyed the challenge!

Here are some photos of our busy creating session and the finished items.

What did you think of your maze? What was your favourite part of our session?

Genius Hour

Every Friday our class has a Genius Hour session. It one of our favourite learning times of the week because we can explore our own passions.  During Genius Hour we focus on making a creation of some kind…..we let our imaginations run free!

We use lots of different skills during Genius Hour – here are just some of the skills we develop:

  • co-operating
  • collaborating
  • creativity
  • problem solving
  • planning
  • reflecting
  • predicting
  • time management
  • thinking ahead
  • co-ordinating ideas with others and planning with them
  • time management
  • cutting
  • gluing
  • mixing
  • painting…..and so so so many more.

During this term we have had a cardboard challenge – items had to be based on using cardboard and 2 of our own choices. This week (week 4) we are doing an iMovie challenge – this is something completely new and we’re looking forward to telling a story using this app on our iPads. Stay tuned for our final results.

IMG_6617 IMG_6619 IMG_6623 IMG_6628 IMG_6553 IMG_6555 IMG_6557 IMG_6560 IMG_6551 IMG_6558 IMG_6614 IMG_6616

What do you love about Genius Hour? What would you like to create in the future?

For more Genius Hour ideas from around the world use the #geniushour on Twitter.


Global Cardboard Challenge

Last Friday we held a cardboard challenge as a part of our Genius Hour  time. We collected all sorts of cardboard boxes – every shape and size you can imagine. Our Genius Hour session tied in with the Global Cardboard Challenge being held in classrooms all around the world.

During the week we watched different YouTube clips, used google images, looked on Pinterest for ideas and had lots of discussions about what we’d like to create during our cardboard challenge.

We had so many different ideas – games, board games, models of cars – both big and small, desk organisers, arcade games, experiments – just to name a few!

We had lots of people working in teams or with a partner to create their model  so there was lots of co-operation, collaboration and many negotiations to come to an agreement that everyone liked.

Here’s the photos from Friday’s session.


Genius Hour

We’ve had our first Genius Hour session for Term 3. Everyone was really motivated and they were deeply involved in their learning from the minute we started.

We had some people cooking for the first time – they were very organised. They shared the responsibility of bringing different materials, checking off their checklists that they had everything they needed and took turns during each part of the cooking process. We all loved being able to taste test the finished products!

We had people continue to make arcade games using materials such as cardboard, pop sticks and plasticine. We saw a great game of soccer and basketball made for other classmates to use.

Some students made structure models, following up on our inquiry topic from Term 2.

One group have started to create a collage each, using natural materials that they collected from the grounds of our school.

Our budding artists, Lauren and Lara, had a fantastic time creating their first art masterpiece on a real canvas – well done girls! Great team work.

IMG_6012 IMG_6013 IMG_6014 IMG_6015 IMG_6017 IMG_6020 IMG_6021 IMG_6023 IMG_6025 IMG_6027 IMG_6028 IMG_6029

Genius Hour

On Friday our class had the first full session of self directed Genius Hour time.

We’ve watched lots of different YouTube clips relating to Genius Hour, looked for ideas on Pinterest, used Google to search about different topics and had some specific challenges, like the what’s in the paper bag, newspaper and cardboard challenges.

We listed what we’re passionate about and areas we’d like to investigate.


We planned our ideas and worked out if we’re working by ourselves or with a partner/ small group. We had a real mixture of ideas: making a Minecraft movie, creating straw constructions, gardening, making cardboard arcade games (like Caine’s Arcade), pottery, pop stick models – just to name a few!

Our class planner:


We sent notes home to our families explaining Genius Hour and asked for recycled materials that we could use during our sessions. Here’s just some of the materials that arrived on Friday morning.


Here’s some photos of our busy busy busy making time.


IMG_5647 IMG_5645 IMG_5643 IMG_5638 IMG_5637 IMG_5629 IMG_5628 IMG_5626 IMG_5625 IMG_5624 IMG_5623

Here are many of our finished creations.

IMG_5649 IMG_5656 IMG_5657 IMG_5658 IMG_5659 IMG_5660 IMG_5662 IMG_5663 IMG_5664 IMG_5665 IMG_5666 IMG_5667 IMG_5668 IMG_5669Can you offer any ideas or make suggestions for our future Genius Hour sessions?


Personal Inquiry

This week we went back to our free choice for Personal Inquiry time (Genius Hour). We worked on areas that we are passionate about – we’ve been talking a lot about what we love and love to learn about.

This was our second to last session for the year as it’s nearly time for holidays! The children worked independently, solved problems, prioritised their time, collected their resources and made some amazing creations.

What do you think about our creations?

IMG_3904 IMG_3905 IMG_3906 IMG_3907 IMG_3908 IMG_3909 IMG_3910 IMG_3914 IMG_3917 IMG_3918 IMG_3920 IMG_3921 IMG_3922 IMG_3923 IMG_3924 IMG_3925 IMG_3926 IMG_3929 IMG_3930

Personal Inquiry Time – Genius Hour

With a new term upon us, everyone in the class was very excited to be getting back into our Personal Inquiry time. This week we had lots of new creations made and it was another busy session. Lots of class members already had ideas that they were keen to pursue and couldn’t wait to get started. Our making time was busy and everyone in the class was highly independent and worked collaboratively with each other.

Some of our creations were:

  • cardboard arcade games – continuing a different weekly game being made. Their goal is to create an arcade of games to be played by students in our courtyard area during recess and lunch times.
  • ‘shape it’ models (a fast setting paper mache material) e.g.  a volcano
  • iMovies
  • Boxtroll models.
  • clay model pencil holders – added to a cardboard desk organiser
  • Chupa-chupa art work
  • just to name a few!


A major part of our session is the ‘gallery walk’ we do at the end of our session. Each person/ group explains their creation so we are clued in to the details presented in their creations – it gives all of us the best chance to fully understand their ideas.

We complete a self reflection sheet that’s a part of our initial planner. It gives us a chance to explain what went well, what we could improve, the skills we’re developing and how well we worked with others.

The reflection session also includes class discussions. Our reflections are vital to our learning – we’re tracking our own learning and learning from others too.

Here’s our latest photos.

IMG_3102 IMG_3105 IMG_3106 IMG_3107 IMG_3108 IMG_3109 IMG_3110 IMG_3111 IMG_3112 IMG_3113 IMG_3114 IMG_3115 IMG_3116 IMG_3117 IMG_3118 IMG_3119 IMG_3120 IMG_3121 IMG_3122

Next week we are having “the paper challenge”. What can you create using paper – of any kind!!???

Personal Inquiry – the creativity grows!

WOW – we’ve had another amazing Personal Inquiry session today- congratulations to every single member of our class on their creativity and inventiveness!! This week we had even MORE cooking, a dance routine – filmed in front of a live audience, popstick models, games made, 3D popstick constructions, Art works, tie dying t-shirts, models made with a mixture of construction equipment, books and technology used to present people in our class (very clever groupings Maya) …..the list is extensive.

One of the skills that stood out this week was teamwork – everyone got along with each other, supported each other to make successful creations, helped if asked, offered to help others if they thought they needed some support and gave each other lots of positive feedback during the gallery walk – Well done Team!!!!

We’ve got a short clip from the dance routine by Danielle, Sriya and Holly- what do you think of their routine?

Dance Item

Here’s some photos from today’s session:

IMG_2703 IMG_2704 IMG_2705 IMG_2706 IMG_2707 IMG_2708 IMG_2709 IMG_2710 IMG_2711 IMG_2712 IMG_2713 IMG_2714 IMG_2716 IMG_2717 IMG_2718 IMG_2719 IMG_2720 IMG_2721 IMG_2722 IMG_2723 IMG_2724 IMG_2725 IMG_2726 IMG_2727 IMG_2728
Here’s Maya’s fantastic book about our class – she’s presented her learning using the Explain Everything app. Great work Maya.

Personal Learning Time

This week we continued our personal learning journey through Personal Inquiry Time – or Genius Hour.

We’ve found that our wondering wall / brainstorming sheet of paper is a huge help – we record our ideas, change our minds and make suggestions for others if needed.

We’ve been using some online resources to help inspire us if needed. Caine’s Arcade has been a big inspiration, as well as ideas from Pinterest, Art Attack and  Mister Maker.

Every student in our class is making lots of progress in many areas. Not only are they investigating and creating topics that they are interested in, we can see many other areas also developing. During our gallery walk and reflection time at the end of each session we reflect upon our learning and the skills we are developing.

We created a long list of skills we think we’ve really developed –

  • planning – what are we interested in investigating?
  • being organised
  • preparing materials ahead of time if needed
  • following the steps needed to carry out our inquiries  – like procedure writing activities we’ve done this year
  • locating materials needed
  • sharing ideas
  • helping each other as asked
  • collaborating with each other – we LOVE to help each other
  • co-operating with each other
  • problem solving – by ourselves or by chatting with others
  • creating models/ games/ items/ movies that we just love!!!

We’ve recorded an introduction to our Personal Inquiry Time this week.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 10.15.58 pm

Here are photos from our latest fantastic session!

IMG_2661 IMG_2662 IMG_2663 IMG_2664 IMG_2665 IMG_2666 IMG_2668 IMG_2669 IMG_2670 IMG_2671 IMG_2672 IMG_2673 IMG_2674 IMG_2675 IMG_2676 IMG_2677 IMG_2678 IMG_2679 IMG_2680 IMG_2682 IMG_2683 IMG_2684 IMG_2685 IMG_2686 IMG_2687 IMG_2688 IMG_2689 IMG_2690 IMG_2691 IMG_2692


Today Tara and Jaime added a video as a part of their reflection. They created a poster about rubbish in our school yard and shared their poster with one of our Reception classes as they are investigating a n Inquiry unit about  Refuse, Reuse, Recycle.

Here’s the clip of Tara and Jaime’s message.