Friday, October 21, 2016

Genius Hour Passion Project Ideas

These kids inspire me every single day... so excited to see what they do.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Today is the day! Get ready for #Grade3Genius!

Genius Hour is a concept originated from a Google business practice. Google gave their employees 20% of their time at work to do something that wasn’t necessarily in their “job description”; something they were passionate about, wanted to explore, as long as it had potential to enhance the company. From this practice, where employees were given time to work on their “Passion Projects”, came 50% of Google products, including GMail, Google Talk and Google News.

Genius Hour applies that same principle to the classroom. It will be a time once a week, where students can explore their own passions and have a choice in what they learn. Students will be designing a driving question and will create a “Passion Project” trying to answer that question. Students have been working for weeks during our "Wonder time" to begin to tailor these driving questions and raise their awareness of the problems and issues in the world around them. GeniusHour is completely student directed and connects to next generation learning standards. Both ISTE Standards as well as the NJ Student Learning Standards invite creativity, freedom, deeper thinking and understanding. GeniusHour allows students to research, plan, and set goals for what THEY want to learn about. GeniusHour is cultivating life long learners by allowing students to choose what they want to learn, and how they want to learn it.

I am excited to begin and will be continuously updating you on our progress and our journey with Genius Hour! I can’t wait to see all of the learning and creations students come up with! :)

Follow along with us @FVgrade3 using our Genius Hour Twitter hashtag #Grade3Genius


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Value Questions

In our classroom we have been doing a lot of wondering, and raising our awareness of the world around us. I always tell my students that they should never stop asking questions, never stop trying to make the world better. I not only want to teach my students to be problem solvers, I want to teach them to be problem finders.

We need to value questions, and not answers.
Wanted to share this short video illustrating just that.

Each and every one of your children matter.
They are capable of changing the world.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Hi Parents!
I just wanted to take a minute and tell you how extremely proud I am of our 3rd graders! They have done an excellent job learning what a blog is and how to engage in appropriate digital conversation. As we continue our blogging journey, I welcome you to participate in the conversation as well. Students LOVE seeing your comments and it will allow you to be a part of their learning.

Aside from the link above that says #Grade3bloggers,
Click here to access our class blog!

Right now as we are learning to navigate technology appropriately and become responsible digital citizens, we are only commenting on our class blog. Soon our students will be creating their own individual blogs to share their thoughts, questions, ideas, talents, and learning!

To comment on our class blog posts, click on the bottom of the blog post where it says comments. There you can create a new comment, or reply to one.

Thank you for your continued support.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Flexible Seating

Dear Parents & Friends,
I am so excited to share our classroom with all of you!! You may notice that our classroom looks a little bit different than a traditional classroom setup. This year I have incorporated a flexible seating approach into my classroom design. This means that when students are working throughout the day they will have the freedom to find comfortable spaces around the room to work. They might be kneeling, sitting, standing, working on carpet cushions, leaning on a pillow with a clipboard, or sitting at a desk with an exercise ball! There are many possibilities of various seating throughout the room for each student to choose what works best for them! Research shows that students are able to focus and do their best work when they are comfortable. Classrooms across the nation are changing the way that student workspaces work, for the better! :) The purpose behind my flexible seating design was to create cozy leaning spaces that promote collaboration.

I am excited to see how all of my third grade students bring this learning space to life! :) If you have any questions further, please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you for your support!