So excited to launch the start of our Genius Hour. Each week kids will get to explore their passion or something they want to learn more about during their media time. This is a collection of resources I use to teach this. So what is Genius Hour: A good genius hour includes these things: a strong research question that requires real digging and work to understand, research and a project that is shared with the world.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app

January ActivitiesLearning about the Newbery Award: We had the Blue Ash Children's Public Librarian, Sam Bloom, come in and speak to our 6th graders about his experience serving on the ALA 2011 Newbery Committee.DSCF0122.JPG DSCF0120.JPG

Congratulations to our 6th gr. winner, Mr. Moulas, who won two tickets to go see Anderson High School's theater production of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. In order to win students had to read this book and enter their name in for the raffle.

Visit this link to see some Thematic connections amongst former Newbery winners.

How to cite sources?


We had Mrs. Rusche, Reference Librarian at the Virtual Desk, come and share with us how we can use the electronic resources of the the Public Library of Cincinnati. Students got to see how they have access to tons of ebooks, free music, videos, and magazines and all they need a public library card.

Animoto Instructions
These are basic guidelines; follow specific expectations for each project.
1. Go to
2. Click on Sign Up at the top. The email address is the one you were assigned by Mrs. Swisshelm. You will enter your first initial and full last name in the name box. Use the educational promotion code from Mrs. Swisshelm (a4eswis546c04). Your password will be fh and your six digit student ID number. Do not put spaces or capitals in. This account is free with the code for 6 months. You will need the same e-mail account and password to log in and create videos throughout the year.
3. Sign in to your account. A window will most likley appear asking if you are interested in upgrading. Close this box and hit the icon at the top of the screen that says "Create Video."
4. Create a video.
5. Choose a background style.
7. Find images on Google that relate to your assigned topic. Save them in a folder. Upload all of these images (using shift and arrow key) to your video.
8. Your images should appear in boxes. Underneath these boxes, there are icons for add more, add text, spotlight, etc.
9. Hit the T box to add text. You are limited to 52 characters, so write concisely. You may divide the text between two slides. However, this film should consist mainly of images and BRIEF slides of words. Include a slide that contains the names of your group members.
10. You can move the boxes around to arrange your film. Hit “Done” when finished.
11. Add music to your film (either Animoto’s selection or your own)
12. Keep the speed the same
13. Title your film and make sure your names are included.
14. Hit Create Video
15. Animoto will e-mail Mrs. Swisshelm when your film is finished. You can always edit the film (change the song, images, speed, etc.). Don't forget to SAVE your project!