Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crayon Melting Idea

July is coming soon, and I'll be involved in my very first MOOC - Massive Open Online Course. It's about 20% Time or Genius Hour, of course! Anyway, one thing they'll be wanting us to do is to try our own project.... WHAT?!

This gave me my first problem, which I imagine my students encounter. WHAT WILL I DO? I know what I like... teaching, photography, inspiring quotes... But if I want this project to be authentic, I want to do what I ask my students to do - Read, Be Inspired, and Act on it. And all this, while trying to help or inspire someone in some fashion. What books did I read this year? A TON! What inspired me the most? Sir Ken Robinson and Angela Maiers. (I love fiction, to be sure, but I get so much MORE out of nonfiction!)

Sir Ken Robinson is famous for his TED Talk, "Schools Kill Creativity." My Twitter teacher friends and I read his book, The Element, this year, and chatted about it during a #geniushour chat back in the fall. What I took from this book: You've GOT to do what you like to do to have a fulfilling life. You've got to keep looking if you haven't found that thing you love that puts you in the zone - where you could keep doing it for hours and not even realize any time has passed... you love it that much. I, myself, have found my tribe - and I love to teach students, and plan for school, as I really want to inspire students to love learning.
Angela Maiers is famous in teaching circles for telling people, "You are a genius. The world expects your contribution." She also makes sure all of her students know they matter. "You matter" is something I keep trying to help my students understand, and that message comes from Angela. How many times do we tell children they matter?? The book of hers I read this year, The Passion-Based Classroom, was another one the suggestions from fabulous teachers of the #geniushour chat. My copy is autographed, as I met Angela in Boston in July of 2012, so I was excited to have "permission" to read this next! My take-away: Have students SHARE what they are learning. I have been neglecting to ask my students to share with each other - they've only shared with me, and I've shared their ideas with other teachers on Twitter, but they need to share with EACH OTHER! But what can I make, or create, or DO for my Genius Hour project? I want to do something to inspire others, and help students find and sehre their passions.
Harrumph. I took a break from thinking. I spent a day with my nephew. And what did we do??

We decided to create Crayon Art.
I was looking at my Pinterest pages, and he happened to see them. "What's this?" Hmm... "Could we try this today?" My brain was ticking. How can I use this to my advantage? Could the two books that inspired me the most this year also inspire me to make crayon art? Crayon art?? Seriously?!?!

My next step... go shopping! What do I expect from this? A HUGE MESS, but one happy nephew!

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