Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Graduation was a hit! My classroom was packed full of parents, smiles, enthusiasm and positivity! I cannot believe how fast this year flew by.

I started off graduation by giving students fun awards that described their personalities. I would give little hints about who would get each award and the students would guess! This part was so much fun! The kids were laughing, as were the parents! I found these AMAZING awards with a ton of variety from Teaching with a Mountain View on TpT. Find the awards HERE.

After the awards, I made sure to get my principal in to say a few words. She read an excerpt from a book and talked with my students about how proud we all are of them.

I also made a slideshow of the students throughout the year. I made it about 12 minutes long and put 3 songs to the background (Good Feeling, Say Hey (I Love You) and Can't Stop the Feeling). So many parents asked for the copy afterward!

To wrap everything up, I let the students and parents mingle by enjoying the ice cream sundae bar and taking pictures to the backdrop shown below. These kiddos will graduate high school in 2023, so that's what I put on the backdrop.

I also put out graduation hats that I had from high school and college if the students wanted to use them.

Graduation was a success! I am so proud of these kiddos and all the growth they have made this year. I am confident they will do some amazing things once they get to middle school next year.

Year 6 of teaching is a wrap!

Getting Started with Genius Hour

Sunday, June 5, 2016
The idea of Genius Hour...amazing. Getting started with Genius Hour...a bit daunting.

Here is a sneak peek at how I got my students engaged in what would be an incredible learning experience with high engagement and a liiiittttllle bit of teacher exhaustion :) (Well worth it!)
Here is the lowdown of the steps we took. You can find the pack in my TpT shop HERE.
I started by showing students possible ideas for Genius Hour. There are A TON of ideas on Pinterest and Google. I also have a blog post you can check out HERE to show you 10 ideas we created in our classroom.

Then I had my students start with our Genius Hour Booklet. It begins by students expressing their interests and brainstorming what could potentially be their project.

Our next step was to narrow down our brainstorming by giving 3 solid ideas on what their project could be. They chose one of those ideas and created their Genius Hour Proposal to make sure it was a realistic classroom project.

Once the proposal was approved, students got to work researching and creating. Each day they would reflect on their learning.

After the project was complete, I had my students present their project to the class. They had to complete an end of project reflection that you can find HERE.

Finally, to wrap up Genius Hour, my students wrote a persuasive piece arguing why Genius Hour was or was not a good idea for the classroom.

Dive into Genius Hour! It is an incredible opportunity to explore their interests and almost tricking them into reading, writing, speaking and listening skills! Use this resource HERE in my TpT shop to get you started!

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