Thrively for Genius Hour

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.

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5 Responses to Thrively for Genius Hour

  1. Brandy,
    This is one of the coolest sites I’ve seen in a long time, even after the last few days of heavy researching for our course. You made an excellent choice in a tool that not only directs your students, but also simultaneously scaffolds for their upcoming presentation. I’m just thinking of all the great vocabulary they must have picked up using Thrively.
    Thanks for the tip!


  2. sutterst91 says:

    Brandy, this was really informative! I had never heard of Thrively, and I am really curious to learn more about your Genius Hour. I love that your assignment asks students to connect with their families and therefore invites more community presence into your classroom.



  3. D. Drysdale says:

    I’m excited to use Thrively after watching your screen cast. As a high school teacher, I too struggle with my students needing some direction on where to go rather than default to the easy stuff. Genius Hour sounds like an interesting concept and I would have loved to hear a little more about the concept (is it a school thing?, is a classroom thing? is this an extended year long project or part of a unit?) I also had a question about the end product. What do you have them do with this information? Do they create a PowerPoint or write an essay? Do they design a presentation board with all the information they have uncovered on there or do they do something technological? So many possibilities! So glad you found and shared this site!


  4. julensink says:

    I’m intrigued by Genius Hour. I plan to talk with teachers about it!


  5. Pingback: Bringing Genius Hour To Your Classroom | Thrively

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