Genius Hour: A New Campaign to Bake Creativity Into the School Week

Original article published on The Seventy Four.

This is one article in a series that examines gifted education, classroom creativity and geniuses in society. (See our full genius archive) The 74 is a proud media partner of the 92nd Street Y’s “7 Days of Genius,” a global series of events orchestrated to explore “the power of genius to make a positive impact on the world” running March 5-12. See events

An open canvas plastered with bright blue poster paper lined the back door of Mr. Mark Maglione’s classroom at Lillian Drive Elementary School in Hazlet, New Jersey, as the multigrade teacher began the school’s first-ever “Genius Hour” last September. “In a perfect world, if you could study anything you wanted in school, what would it be?” he asked the gathered anxious third- and fourth-graders on that Friday afternoon.

Maglione recalls that the small hands started raising slowly, and then all at once, as the kids erupted with a diverse mix of responses, his students’ enthusiasm growing louder and more specific. Like all great geniuses, their ideas knew no bounds, ranging from how to build a model World War II fighter plane to using a swivel camera to record a presentation on their Chromebooks.

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