From Some Day to Monday


The following classroom activities can help you to nurture in your learners creative fluency, and creative risk taking


Rhyme and Relate
With children seated in a circle they take turns to rhyme or relate a word to the previous persons word.
This is great for vocabulary building, fluency of ideas, communicating the fact that there are many possibilities and few wrong answers.
As your children develop in this game you can talk to them about the brain and that the neurons within it grow by making the types of connections we do when playing this game.

"This is not a... it's a...."
Take everyday objects and challenge your children to imagine/create what it might be.
Take a tennis racquet and model the game to your children by saying "This is not a tennis racquet, it's a giant lolly pop!"
Children take turns using the same object and the phrase "this is not a ... it's a ..."
Consider putting the object or two in the middle of a circle and children volunteer to come into the middle to demonstrate what the object could be.
or
Include a corner or a space in the classroom that has the object which will be use in the game the following day. This will allow some think time for the students.
or
nominate a child to bring in an every day object to begin the game the following day.
This game fosters creative fluency, is an early introduction to forcing relationships between objects (analogy), and allows children to see how amazing and creative their peers can be!

Face Chinese Whispers
This is similar to the original chinese whispers with a few twists. Seated in a circle, one child begins by pulling a face to their neighbour. The neighbour reflects that face back and then turns to the next person to pull a face. And so on. Allow children to repeat the copied face to the next person if they are struggling to come up with one of their own.
This game is great for lifting the spirits and creating new from the normal.

Force Analogy
Analogy is often left to explore when you are slightly more literate and only through literacy. Analogy can be used at any level, for reasons greater than literacy. As a higher level of thinking is required to create an analogy it is an exceptional tool for reflection and evaluation. Any relationship that is justified between the two objects/concepts has to be correct. Forcing an analogy requires the learner to bring out their understandings - which as teachers we can use to inform learning (formative assessment). It creates stunning poetry, with some ease and in disguise. Forced analogy can be visual and oral and need not be written. It can create the basis for superb artwork with a deeper interpretation.
With learners who require support with this level of thinking limit the objects to relate to. For eg, relate only to a colour - Maths is green, because I feel unwell when I have to over come a new challenge.
Visit this wiki explanation about analogy.
Below is a suggestion:


Jeopardy
Try challenging children with an answer to which they craft the question!

"Questioning is a creative activity" (Harpaz and Leftstien)


Creating a thinking community: fit for fertile questioning, higher order thinking, and inquiry

Harpaz and Leftstien (amongst others) have inspired our shift to fertile questioning, the disposition of inquiry and the development of rich tasks. However, this type of "questioning" pedagogy on which we embark flies in the face of pedagogy of "answer" that not only is embedded in our children, but their families and even us - this is all we have known in most cases.

We need to gently and purposefully create and nurture an atmosphere of creative and fluent thinkers. An atmosphere that sees and seeks possibilities and does not fear being wrong.

The games above can communicate the premise of possibilities, creativity and higher level thinking.


Consider the following:
John Dewey . . . asked a class, "What would you find if you dug a hole in the earth?" Getting no response, he repeated the question; again he obtained nothing but silence. The teacher chided Dr. Dewey, "You're asking the wrong question." Turning to the class, she asked, "What is the state of the center of the earth?" The class replied in unison, "Igneous fusion." (Bloom, Engelhart, Furst, Hill, & Krathwohl, 1956, p. 29)

The Beat Circle and the Magic Classroom


“The idea is to find complimentary synergy

while appreciating differences...” Michael Fullan


The beat circle is an tried and true concept brilliant for giving structure to developing a basic understanding for creating and composing music. Twelve dots arranged in a circle, with words, symbols or instruments arranged about the dots, with a conductor counting every one in starts a wonderful composition. This is especially great as a resource if you as a teacher happen to be musically challenged!

Now, take a piece of text base literacy (poem, book, provocative statement, chapter, idiom) now challenge your children to capture the essence of this through music.
A word could become a sound on the beat circle, and emotion expressed as a sound, can all be added and arranged around the beat circle.

The above concept can be bridged from the beat circle to music creating software. Check out the links in the cluster "resource" folder, then "music" to access software, freeware and webware to include in your classes learning and musical development.

The Magic Classroom, by Chris Mullane - the poem we used

Our New Curriculum and the Key Competencies

Read the "Freedom to teach creatively granted by the MOE and ERO" written by Trevor Bond



Go to this link to explore the Key Competencies further and see what is happening at other schools.


See what our cluster thinks

Digging Deeper, Going Further

The following resources are highly recommended

Books: "The Power of Diversity" - Barbara Prashnig

"Head First" - Tony Buzan

Links: Barbara Prashnig

Tony Buzan

Harpaz and Leftstien