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How Liberating Genius is Changing Learning and Lives

Fifth grade teacher Tammy Dunbar outlines how Liberating Genius is changing the lives of her students.

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How Liberating Genius is Changing Learning and Lives

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  1. 9 Ways Liberating Genius Changes Learning and Lives By Tammy Dunbar, featuring The Room Nine Kids

  2. Liberating Genius is a free e-book authored by Angela Maiers and Mark E. Moran. It creates the conditions for a successful launch of genius hour. To download Liberating Genius, visit www.Choose2Matter.org/liberatinggenius

  3. “Liberating Genius” changes learning and lives through self-reflection, character-building, collaboration, and the inspiring motto, "You are a genius and the world needs your contribution."

  4. Liberating Genius Promotes Community After "What is my Genius," a dramatic hush came over the room when students received their folders and read the kind words others had written about them. All the positivity was so uplifting. Students asked if they could keep the folders. When I said "Yes," they decorated them and reverently placed them in their backpacks.

  5. Liberating Genius Broadens Our Thinking Our “KinderTechBuddies” program has blossomed. The original mission was to teacher kindergarteners tech tools. After Liberating Genius, my students have powerful conversations with their buddies about their talents, passions and ambitions. We helped our “kinders” create a poster displaying their genius, and we’re working on more lessons to help them discover their strengths and passions. Kinders cheer when my students enter the classroom.

  6. Liberating Genius in Action

  7. Liberating Genius Helps Students Believe in Themselves The Room Nine Kids are now far easier to convince that their genius, ideas and passions are worthy of the world. My students were excited by their Thrively passion profiles.

  8. Liberating Genius Makes Students More Reflective Because Liberating Genius calls for frequent reflection, we discussed the value of silence in honing our “inner voice” that guides us to decisions. Students were stunned to realize they had almost no quiet time in their lives. We now enjoy silence during each lesson.

  9. Liberating Genius Creates a "Can Do" Mindset When I handed out flyers for the annual canned food drive, students asked about our local food bank; how many families it serves, and how much food it took to feed a family of four. The students researched the answers, both online and in person. They then used what we had studied about advertising to design a window display and newspaper article alerting the community to the food drive. We more than doubled the amount of food collected last year!

  10. Liberating Genius in Action

  11. Liberating Genius Extols Cooperation Over Competition At our student/faculty basketball game, I asked my students which team they hoped would win. “Either way, Lincoln wins,” replied one with a smile, as others nodded in agreement. This is typical of the community-minded attitude my students have embraced.

  12. The Room Nine Kids understand that together we are stronger and that no matter who among us wins, we all win.

  13. Liberating Genius Helps Students Approach Tests With Confidence and Creativity On our recent standardized tests, my students' scores increased dramatically. I’m not ready to attribute this entirely to our new lessons, but I do know that our students now approach testing with more confidence and more creativity. That, I am certain, can be directly traced to liberating their genius.

  14. Liberating Genius Engenders Compassion Our students created “Passion Portraits” of fellow students using their “Power Words” from Thrively. Students then decided to create “Compassion Portraits” of KinderTechBuddies, who then drew themselves on the same picture. Next, my students wrote “You Matter to Me,” printed the pictures and gave them to their buddies. The buddies put their heads on the shoulders of their fifth-grade buddies and smiled. My students were touched, and forever changed. Paola told me, “I think they know now how important they are to us.”

  15. Liberating Genius in Action

  16. Liberating Genius Helps Students Find Their Passion In the past, it has been a long process before students chose their genius hour projects. This year, only 1 of my 31 Room Nine Kids hadn’t decided on a project after the first conference. Students will explore family recipes, stop-motion movies, origami, anti-bullying activities, professional soccer and other passion projects.

  17. One student has already started her project of creating blueprints for and building her first (mini) home, with a goal of being an architect who builds affordable homes for those who haven’t owned homes before.

  18. Liberating Genius Changes Learning and Lives Because their collective genius has been liberated, the future looks brilliant for The Room Nine Kids and for the worlds and lives they will change.

  19. The Room Nine Kids

  20. About Tammy Dunbar Tammy teaches fifth grade in Manteca Unified School District and Pre-Service Technology at Teachers College of San Joaquin in Stockton, California. She is a popular presenter and trainer around the country. She presented at the 2015 Microsoft Global E2 conference and earned earned two global awards for project excellence. Tammy is the 2006 Teacher of the Year in Manteca Unified School District and the 2016 California Woman of the Year, Assembly District 12. Follow her @TammyDunbar or find her at www.teachergeekischic.com.

  21. About Angela Maiers Educator. Entrepreneur. Leader. Disruptor. Visionary. Angela Maiers embodies each of these descriptors with passion, commitment and fierce determination. She has been creating and leading change in education and enterprise for 25 years, teaching every level of school from kindergarten to graduate school and consulting with companies around the world. She helps learners and leaders understand the transformative power of technology and the Internet. Her powerful message and down-to-earth style has made her a highly sought-after keynote speaker for education conferences, corporate events and innovation summits. She is the author of six books, including Classroom Habitudes and The Passion-Driven Classroom, and her “You Matter” talk at TEDxDesMoines has been viewed several hundred thousand times. Angela is an alumna of The University of Iowa, with a B.A. in Education and M.A. in Educational Supervision and Reading.

  22. About Mark Moran Mark Moran is a seasoned entrepreneur, executive and corporate attorney. He is also the founder of Dulcinea Media, an education-focused publisher of Websites and search engines. He is an expert in online research skills. Previously, he was General Counsel of 24/7 Real Media (now Xaxis), a corporate associate at the NYC law firm Proskauer Rose, and a controller at The Bank of New York. He has an MBA and JD from Fordham University, and a B.A. in Economics from The University of Virginia.

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