Posts tagged ‘creativity’

411 on Makerspaces

“The mind has exactly the same power as the hands; not merely to grasp the world but to change it.” By Colin Wilson

A Makerspace is a learning environment where everyone can discover, collaborate, and create things. It is not defined as a certain space but rather an area of exploration, experimentation and tinkering. Many schools have been adding Makerspaces into their media centers but that is not the only place they have to be. You can add them into your classroom as well. There is a misconception that Makerspaces have to have technology such as a 3d printer and this is not true. I have seen many awesome Makerspaces with no technology in them such as Fashion Makerspaces. Ask parents to donate supplies or apply for a grants through Donors Choose or Go Fund Me: Education to help launch your Makerspace.

Here are some examples items you can put into your Makerspaces but not limited too:

Helpful Articles and Resources:

www.makerspaces.com

7 Things You Should Know About Makerspaces

Book: Invent to Learn

My previous Makerspace posts:

Makerspace in Education

Ways to Use Blokify – Without a 3D Printer in the Classroom

Adding Creativity and Imagination to the Classroom

I would love to hear what you put into your Makerspaces.

Using Memes in the Classroom

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

Memes are images, videos, etc that has a message attached to it. Memes have been made popular on social media sites but they can also be popular in the classroom or in Professional Developments. Below are 5 ways you can use memes and how to make one.

  1. Create rules/procedures for your classroom, school or PD session using memes
  2. Have students create for a message they need to convey for any topic (Ex political or current event)
  3. Use them to teach digital citizenship. For example teaching students to recognize memes versus truths
  4. Have students create one for a character in a book they are reading
  5. Have students create motivational posters or create messages for PD sessions

steve-jobs-real.jpgbuilt-this-meme.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like using Make a Meme site because it’s free and simple. First decide what you are creating a meme for (what is your goal). Then follow these three easy steps”

  1. Create an account to login (FREE)
  2. Explore meme pictures or create your own based on your goal.
    • To make mine above I used an app called bitemoji  to make my avatar (that looks like me) and then uploaded it to the site.
  3. Add the text content and click create your meme
    • Note you can make the meme private or public. I made mine private so only I can use it and it can not be found in the gallery.

Some memes can be inappropriate for students, so a level of supervision is recommended. We must remember to always remind our students of our digital citizenships expectations and that students under 13 need permission to use web tools based on the COPPA Law . Other sites you can create meme’s with are Google drawings, Know Your Meme and Meme Creator.

As always I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts on using memes in the classroom.

Are you helping to inspire your students creativity or are you stifling them?

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” By William Pollard

It is a simple question you need to ask yourself as an educator; are you helping to inspire your creativity or are you stifling them? Are you allowing the students voice and choice or are you (the teacher) always needing to be in control? Are you asking the right questions through exploration or are you demanding right answers? See what happens when third grade students think there is a correct answer:

Interesting isn’t it! If we give our students a safe learning environment with a foundation but allow there to be no ceiling, they have room to be creative and still master standards. If you have not seen Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? It is a must watch.

How can you foster more creativity in the classroom? Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Allow student voice and choice on assignments

2. Model creativity.

3. Incorporate Genius Hour into the schedule

4. Help students believe in themselves to be creative (sometimes we stifle this by setting limits without meaning too – such as rubrics)

5. Think about how you ask the question and what your expectation is for the students to answer

6. Encourage Design Thinking (Here is a previous blog post on this)

7. Assess in different ways. Allow students to show mastery through an iMovie or Skit, it doesn’t always have to be paper/pencil.

8. Allow for mistakes and a safe learning environment

9. Not everything needs a grade. Create some assignments to help students master a skill but don’t grade them, use them for feedback and improvement which fosters creativity.

10. Get out of the students way

Further reading on creativity:

Why Creativity Now? 

Fundamentals of Creativity

Sparking Student Creativity: A Practical Ways to Promote Innovation Thinking and Problem Solving

Adding Creativity and Imagination to the Classroom

“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.” Edward de Bono

creativity

Recently I have been privileged to hear an amazing keynote speaker, Nirvan Mullick about adding creativity and imagination to the schools as it builds imagine, inspiration and the love of learning which then correlates to academic achievement. Mullick is the owner of the imagination foundation but more famously known for where it all started with Caine’s arcade. This is the video Nirvan created:

Below are ways to add creativity and imagination in classroom:

1. Genius Hour allows students to work on something they are passionate about.

2. Makerspaces is a community-driven workspace, where people with common interests, meet and collaborate on ‘Do it Yourself’ (DYI) projects. In schools it would be school-driven. Read more about Makerspaces from my previous blog post: Makerspace in Education. To get started with a makerspace you can use recyclables, crayons, paper, pipe cleaners. It is also great to have technology such as Little BitsSparkfun and MaKey MaKeys.

3. Challenges are a great way to see students add creativity. I loved the days we had challenges in my classroom such as build a boat to hold the most paper slips without sinking, the challenge you only have two pieces of paper and some masking tape. Here are some other challenges that you can add to your classroom activities to build creativity.

4. Books to read aloud or do activities with:

Another great resource full of practical ideas to do in the classroom that take little to no money or prep time are in the book: Sparking Student Creativity: Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving

These are other wonderful books on creativity and imagination for educators:

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within All of Us by  Tom Kelley  and David Kelley

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

Great Sites:

Creativity at Work

P21- Creativity and Innovation

TED Talk Video Playlist on Creativity

What are other ways we can foster creativity so it becomes not just a moment but a  movement in the schools? I would love to hear your feedback, ideas and book suggestions!

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