Genius Hour Challenge Cards for Levels 3-5

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Update:  *As of 1/2/14, you can now download all of my current Genius Hour resources in a bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers for $5.  Or, you can still download them separately (for free) by clicking on the links below.

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post regarding Genius Hour Challenge Cards.  I shared the ones I created for Levels 1 and 2 in the previous post.

Here is the explanation I gave yesterday:

My students will be using Level 1 and Level 2 cards to get a challenge each Genius Hour OR they will choose from Level 3 or Level 4, which will be longer challenges designed to be used for an entire Genius Hour project.  They will earn points toward leveling up in my classroom if they satisfactorily complete the challenges – or lose points if they do not.

Because I know that many of you do not have devices for scanning QR codes, I included a set of cards that have the actual directions on them for each Level.  I also included a blank version in MS Word for each level – in case you want to make your own.

I also added a Level 5, which has some super difficult challenges.

Please feel free to visit the Genius Hour Resources page if you are interested in more information or downloadable materials.

Challenge Card Answers (PDF, Levels 1-5)

Level Three QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Three Text Cards (PDF)

Level Three Blank Cards (MS Word)

Level 4 QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Four Text Cards (PDF)

Level Four Blank Cards (MS Word)

Level Five QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Five Text Cards (PDF)

Level Five Blank Cards (MS Word)

Genius Hour Challenge Cards for Levels 1 and 2

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Update:  *As of 1/2/14, you can now download all of my current Genius Hour resources in a bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers for $5.  Or, you can still download them separately (for free) by clicking on the links below.

As I mentioned last week, I have been toying with the idea of having the students choose Challenge Cards during Genius Hour in order to throw some unpredictable problem solving in their paths.  I listed some of my ideas for challenges, and got a couple of new ones from Nancy (thanks, Nancy!) on the Padlet wall (which is still open to your suggestions).  I worked last night on creating some printable challenge cards for Levels 1 and 2.  I hope to present you with Levels 3 and 4 tomorrow.

For those of you interested in creating your own, I used Flaming Text to create the Harry Potter-ish text on the cards.  In the interest of time, I went with simple QR codes from QR Code Generator.  I had already created a Weebly site for my Genius Hour resources, so I created a page for each card’s directions, and hid the pages in the navigation menu.

My students will be using Level 1 and Level 2 cards to get a challenge each Genius Hour OR they will choose from Level 3 or Level 4, which will be longer challenges designed to be used for an entire Genius Hour project.  They will earn points toward leveling up in my classroom if they satisfactorily complete the challenges – or lose points if they do not.

Because I know that many of you do not have devices for scanning QR codes, I included a set of cards that have the actual directions on them for each Level.  I also included a blank version in MS Word for each level – in case you want to make your own.

UPDATE:  Challenge Cards for Levels 3-5 have been posted here.  Also, you can view all Genius Hour Resources here.

Level One QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level One Text Cards (PDF)

Level One Blank Cards (MS Word)

Level Two QR Code Cards (PDF)

Level Two Text Cards (PDF)

Level Two Blank Cards (MS Word)

Genius Hour Bookmarks

Genius Hour Bookmarks

IMPORTANT UPDATE – The previous Genius Hour Bookmark QR Codes stopped working, as the host site does not appear to be online any longer.  I have updated the bookmarks as of 1/1/14.  Please let me know if you have any problems!

2nd IMPORTANT UPDATE:  *As of 1/2/14, you can now download all of my current Genius Hour resources in a bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers for $5.  Or, you can still download them separately (for free) by clicking on the links below.

One of the things that is difficult about getting kids started on a Genius Hour project is getting them started on a Genius Hour project!  Giving them the freedom to choose anything under the sun to study seems to be a little overwhelming.  Even when you try to start with brainstorming their interests, they tend to be stymied by the concept of developing their own projects and not being assigned particular topics.

I’ve tasked myself this summer with my own Genius Hour project, in a way – to freshen up my resources for Genius Hour.  Yesterday, I spent awhile collecting the “go to” websites I’ve been offering my students in the last year for jumpstarting their engines.  Rather than give them a list, however, I decided to make the bookmarks that I have linked below.  The bookmarks have QR codes to each of the sites.

My vision is to print them out in color, laminate them, and cut them out.  (I will need to do a test run to make sure the codes still scan once laminated.)  I might have the students choose one based on the title (Investigate, Create, Test, Make), or just put them all in a cup and have them select blindly the first time.  Then they can scan each code and look at the sites for ideas.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of resources.  And, if a student has an idea that is not on one of the websites, I will probably jump for joy, but it will hopefully show them some of the possibilities.

I am sharing links to the QR code page as well as one that has the links printed on it so you can see the website addresses (just in case scanning does not work).

By the way, my daughter just asked me for the distinction between “Create” and “Make.”  I got the idea for the titles from this excellent post on how to introduce Genius Hour (H/T to Donna L. for the link!), though I modified them a bit, and my answer to her was that “Create” means to make something original such as artwork, and “Make” means to construct something according to directions.

Genius Hour Bookmarks With Links

QR Code Genius Hour Bookmarks

Need more Genius Hour ideas?  Check out my Genius Hour Resources page or the other posts from this week.

Some More Activities for the End of the School Year

Here are a couple more technology integration ideas for the end of the school year:

QR Code Year-End Reflection – You can read more about this tic-tac-toe reflection activity in my post from last year around this time.  It isn’t anything showy, but a nice way to round out the year, and the students always love the added mystery of scanning QR codes.

Thinglink Favorite Memories – I have been meaning to use Thinglink with my students all year, and finally got around to trying it – right when they are about to leave.  I’m not sure this idea is original, but my brain seemed to think it was a great idea at one o’clock Monday morning.  I took a class photo of my 2nd grade gifted students, and then asked them to each share a favorite memory from their years in GT so far.  Then I uploaded the pic to Thinglink and uploaded the videos to my Google account.  I tagged each of the kids in the pic with their video.   I embedded it into our class blog, and now the parents have a nice, interactive photo that won’t take up any closet space.  Here is a link to the post.

Below is a neat Thinglink example I found of suggested iPad apps.

QR Code Riddles

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I came across these QR code riddles for May on The Techie Teacher Blog, and tried them with my gifted 1st graders yesterday.  We had not done any QR code scanning this year, yet, so it was a novel experience for them.  I showed them the riddles first, and had them predict the answers in groups.  Then I put a page at each table, and let them go around and scan the answers.  They loved them, but it was good we “reflected” over them afterwards, as some of the puns needed to be explained.  Thanks, Julie Goode, for providing this fun learning activity for free!

Quotes with QR Codes

I absolutely love this idea from Tony Vincent’s “Learning in Hand” blog.  He has taken a series of quotes, and used QR quotes to cover up parts of the quotes.  If you go to this link, you can see 20 examples.  He also offers a link to a video explaining QR codes.  Tony hangs up the posters for people to take a look at during breaks at workshops, but I could certainly see bringing this idea to the classroom, as well.  What I might do is have my students use Socrative to input their own guesses as to what words would complete the quote, then let them scan the code to see if the general idea is the same.  Here is a link to my Pinterest board that is chock full of inspirational quotations.