Grade 7 students took part in a video chat with Amy Ziede this week to learn about her company, and how it all began when she was 12 years old.
Her organization, Creating Connected Communities started as part of her bat mitzvah project and was called Amy’s Holiday Party with a budget of only $400 to help underprivileged youth celebrate the holidays in December. The idea came to her after hearing a story of gifts being stolen from a youth shelter just before Christmas.
She chose to be an agent of change and her company today now engages over 800 volunteers and helps over 5000 underprivileged kids in Atlanta with a budget of over $650 000. The company trains Jewish teenagers to help communities in Atlanta with homelessness, foster care, refugees, and children living in poverty.
Students learned about Amy’s failures along the way, how she needed to come up with strategic plans to overcome these obstacles along the way to keep the company going and growing. The company had to start from scratch and start over 4 times before becoming the thriving, independent non-profit company it is today.
For more information or donate to Amy’s company, please visit her website
Welcome to Genius Hour! This is a project that encourages students to follow their passions as they develop their research and inquiry skills by learning about a topic of their choice, making, designing, or building a product based on their learning, and then presenting what they have learned and made.
While students will continue to practice the timeless skills of researching, testing, analyzing, and presenting to an audience like a traditional Science fair project, Genius Hour opens the door to amplify student learning. Along with the previously mentioned skills, students will also be practicing digital citizenship, heutagogy or self-directed learning as they work towards short and long term goals, media literacies, network literacies, and divergent thinking as they think creatively to generate innovative ideas, products, or solutions to problems that interest them.
As students make their own thinking visible by sharing their process, they will also be documenting for others to learn from, and practice metacognitive techniques as they document and reflect on their own process. The autonomy, and self-directed learning that genius hour encourages is student-centered, personalized, curiosity driven, and builds skills that are relevant in today’s rapidly changing world.
Passion driven projects like genius hour provide learners the challenge to be creative, to design and build, to follow their interests, and to give their work a sense of purpose. Every teacher should strive to create students who are lifelong learners and Genius Hour is big step in that direction!
What will YOU learn and create with the time?
Students learned how to source in-text citations properly, how to create bibliography citations using online aids like easybib, and then practiced their skills researching the history of the microwave.
They were tasked with taking notes in their own words, writing paragraphs that contain in-text citations, and creating a bibliography, all on the history of the microwave.
Today, Grade 7 enjoyed listening to our Heat presentations. During the two periods we had, we enjoyed a Grade 7 ran, silent period. During this period we worked together to assign roles and set up the presentations for our peers. It is important to take control and demonstrate our learning once in awhile. The first presentation we had this morning was: “The difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy!”
We also learned about the Particle Theory!
Next we learned about: “Conduction Convection and Radiation!”
We also learned with Jayson and Ari!
Today was lots of fun and I hope to do more presentations like this in the future!
Jessica, Grade 7
The grade 7 learners are trying a new take on anchoring their vocabulary in Science class. Instead of memorizing definitions, writing a vocab quiz, or creating a word wall. The grade 7’s were tasked with a design challenge; to create, design, and teach others the chemistry vocabulary they were learning using the application Adobe Spark.
Congratulations to Jessie, for her filtration poster that claimed top prize in the challenge.
Here is their take take on a “Chemistry Collage”