As a homeroom teacher, I recognize that student learning can be well-structured or ill-structured. When my third graders are learning to write in cursive or type, it’s well-structured. They open their cursive bookS, sit up straight, and practice writing beautifully. As typists, they log into a typing website, like Dance Mat, sit up straight, follow the various stages, and grow as typists. Thankfully, not all learning is well-structured. Really great learning happens when things get messy – these are ill-structured learning opportunities. They’re complicated! As a homeroom teacher, I like that. But, there is a delicate balance between messy learning and learning that is turned into a mess.
As a teacher, my goal is always to keep learning meaningful for my students while also manageable to me. A problem I faced was being pulled toward Genius Hour and pushed away from it at the same time. I knew my students would LOVE researching their interests. My worry was that they would all miraculously have the same interest: Minecraft! I wanted my students to push past that to find an abundance of authentic interests. Thrively helped me to do just that!
In the screencast below, I will teach you how I used Thrively to successfully kick off Genius Hour in my classroom.