Tuesday, August 27, 2013

20% Time In My Classroom #edchat

I'm really excited to get started with my 20 Time set up in my classroom. I've talked to teachers in my department and many of them said they are going to find a way to use in their class for the second semester. I've used tons of great resources to make this happen and have tweaked things to make it fit my teaching style and my students. My students are Grade 10 Honors English. Here are some of the big bullet points for #GP20Time.

  • Students will have every Friday to work on a project that is new to them and they are passionate about. Only 20 Time work can be done on Fridays. 
  • Students will write a weekly blog post updating the world on how their project is doing. 
  • Students will do a small presentation to the class at the end of the first semester to update the class on their work. 
  • Students will do a final "TED" style talk at the end of the second semester to the class and any others that wish to attend during school. 
  • Some students will be selected by students and staff to present at a "TED" style event after school hours that will be open to the community and streamed live. 
  • (My personal favorite) Failure IS an option. 
These are the rough basics for 20 Time in my classroom. Students will choose a mentor to help guide them through their project, but the vast majority of the work will be up to the students. I'm very excited to see the different types of projects students will come up with and all of the amazing things they will accomplish. 

If you are interested in doing 20 Time in your class, please check out these resources. They were a huge help to me. 

20 Time in Education - Watch the video and check out the site!

I'll be tweeting about my adventures in 20 Time and you can follow them on the hash tag #GP20Time. You can always check my blog for all of the 20 Time goodness by searching the #GP20Time tag on my blog. Thanks for stopping by and please share any experience you have had with 20 Time in the comments below. 




  1. I really like this idea Nick, creating time for students to explore is more valuable than we may think. Good luck moving forward with your class this year!

  2. I'm trying out the 20% Model for the first time in my standard economics classes, I think I will be "borrowing" some of your standards for my kids. Love the 'TED' style talk idea!
    I will be following your progress

  3. Love the idea of 20% time. Do you think it could work with 4th graders? To some degree?

  4. I have fourth graders and call it: "Free Time is Me Time" where I have set aside a 20% slot for students to self-select a project and work on it. Since I teach everything, this can be any subject (including character education). All I ask is for students to propose and present. ;-) Happy School Year, everyone!

  5. This is an interesting concept. I am a high school business teacher that teaches in a block schedule. I am trying to think of project ideas that students would choose for say Accounting that would be long enough for 95 minutes every Friday for 18 weeks. Could you give an example of a project you envision your students doing in your English class?

  6. I love this idea! Going to try and implement in my sixth grade social studies classroom this year. Would be perfect for our honors classes and allow the students to explore topics that interest them.

  7. Wow, had no idea you were doing this, but about a week ago, I presented the same thing to my Sophomores! And about 90% of the same requirements I gave to mine! Here's the presentation they got:

  8. Hi Nick,

    I did a similar thing with my Grade 2's. We had Genius Hour (not an original name)one to two periods a week on a Friday. The kids loved it. The most amazing thing was how involved the 'hard to motivate' students became in the process.

    I look forward to learning from you!


    Innovate, Create and Relate

  9. I gave my freshmen Fridays second semester last year for genius time. They loved it. The look on their faces when I told them they could learn about anything they wanted and present anyway they wanted was priceless. I will definitely be doing it with my kids again this year. Genius time is a great learning tool that can be used at any grade level.

  10. I am about to embark on this myself this semester with my 7th graders. I'm so excited and so are they! We've read up on some of their blogs and they are just fascinating. I do have a few questions if you happen to find some time to answer me though. Feel free to email me at bri.rentschler@gmail.com if you do! Thanks so much, and good luck with second semester!


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