Watch the following two videos http://www.exquisite-minds.com/creative-learning/ The first is a...

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Watch the following two videos http://www.exquisite-minds.com/creative-learning/ The first is a video by child prodigy Adora Svitak discussing "childish thinking" The second is one of my favorite videos Sir Ken Robinson discussing how schools are killing creativity. Discuss, show images/videos/URLs, paste ideas about how these videos relate to your experiences as a teacher and how you could see creativity or the stifiling of creativity in the students that you know. von Mind Map: Watch the following two videos  http://www.exquisite-minds.com/creative-learning/  The first is a video by child prodigy  Adora Svitak discussing "childish thinking"  The second is one of my favorite videos Sir Ken Robinson discussing how schools are killing creativity.   Discuss, show images/videos/URLs, paste ideas  about how these videos relate to your experiences as a teacher  and how you could see creativity or the stifiling of creativity in the students that you know.

1. What first struck me about the Adora Svitak video is the realization that, as open-minded to the possibilities of my students as I thought I was, and as much as I strive for a reciprocal learning environment, I am sometimes guilty of the thinking that says that because children lack life experiences, and background knowledge, that they will, in most cases, be hampered in their ability to think creatively. In other words, without understanding the realm of possibility, how can they creatively problem-solve toward a reasonable solution? Shame on me! On the other hand, I have been fortunate enough to work with a great many brilliant, independent-minded and creative students, who have more than once shown me that possibilities should not be hampered by what is already understood to be possible. And while this more often tends to come across as “childish” idealism, such as when a student decided that our class should institute a global marine mammal rescue organization for our community service project, it does point to the creative power that can be found by not being hampered by realistic expectations. As Adora says in her presentation, “…our audacity to imagine helps push the boundaries of possibility.” I think that is a very powerful statement, and one worth keeping in mind. AD

2. I agree that it is that belief in an ideal that is often missing from our somewhat cynical existence. The second example, from your professor was disheartening. First because the child's feelings that he revealed were completely disregarded and for the strident attempt to stick to "rules" despite something bigger happening.

3. One thing Adora said which truly struck me was the idea that teaching should be reciprocal between students and teachers. This happens many times in my classroom. My students love to teach things to me, and I enjoy the authentic discussion and enthusiasm it evokes. LTC

3.1. In regard to creativity, I find that allowing my students free choice in how they create their products for assessment results in such an amazing plethora of creations. LTC

3.1.1. I would like to hear more on how you do this. Do you give them freedom but the same rubric?

4. First, I loved the quote "If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything creative." The idea that we program out students to be afraid to make mistakes and that we educate the creativity out of them scares me. I do see in my own classroom where my students hesitate to share out of the box ideas or thoughts for fear that they will be "wrong." I tell them repeatedly that there are not wrong answers as long as they can support them with proof---- we try to talk about why some answers are MORE right than others. It takes them a while to understand this concept. LTC

4.1. Also, being wrong is the best way to find out where exactly you should work in order to get the most growth. I think that we should show students how important it is to make errors . They are even celebrated and always studied in science. Here is an example of the five greatest blunders. http://www.livescience.com/32051-greatest-scientific-mistakes.html

5. When I was teaching slavery in America, I had my students write a slave memoir depicting their life as if they were a slave in America. I had many students who really excited about the assignment and had fun writing their stories. Out of the 96 memoirs that were read to the class, there was one memoir that stood out from all of the rest due to the amount of detail the student placed in her writing. After the class she was in spread to everyone how good it was, they wanted her to read it to all of them at P.E. The next day, the students in her class asked if she would consider writing more and adding to her memoir because they thought it was so good. I also encouraged her to do so as well. I then made a deal with my class. This student would be allowed to read her story on Fridays, but only if they were able to finish taking their work for that day early. The students went above and beyond on keeping their deal, and the student came with a chapter every Friday to read to class. Once she was done telling her story, she would ask the students what they thought about her story and what suggestions they may have to help her with the next chapter. Everyone participated and was happy to help her come up with ideas before they had to leave. I would get complaints sometimes though from teachers because they would try to discuss ideas or write down ideas to give to her in their class. I then had to have a talk with my class about keeping on task in class and not getting off topic in other classes. The students understood that they needed to pay attention in class, and I told the students that they could come in during my free hour and work if they wished. The student ended the school year by telling the class that they knew where she lived and were welcome to come by and give her more ideas because she planned to continue writing over the summer. She told all of them that they would have to wait until they started back in August to hear about what happened next in the story. (TBM)

5.1. I would also suggest that you see if you enter that work into a writing competition. LA Writes is a Louisiana one that I work with, but any would do. If you look in the Renzulli ppt point from the pre-Class assignments you will see that there are a number of competitions available to challenge students more. While this is great when you see great work, be careful about over applying competitions, Sometimes it can inhibit creativity if the students focus on winning rather than the creative process. I like the collaborative story.

6. What first struck me about the Adora Svitak video is the realization that, as open-minded to the possibilities of my students as I thought I was, and as much as I strive for a reciprocal learning environment, I am sometimes guilty of the thinking that says that because children lack life experiences, and background knowledge, that they will, in most cases, be hampered in their ability to think creatively. In other words, without understanding the realm of possibility, how can they creatively problem-solve toward a reasonable solution? Shame on me! On the other hand, I have been fortunate enough to work with a great many brilliant, independent-minded and creative students, who have more than once shown me that possibilities should not be hampered by what is already understood to be possible. And while this more often tends to come across as “childish” idealism, such as when a student decided that our class should institute a global marine mammal rescue organization for our community service project, it does point to the creative power that can be found by not being hampered by realistic expectations. As Adora says in her presentation, “…our audacity to imagine helps push the boundaries of possibility.” I think that is a very powerful statement, and one worth keeping in mind. AD

6.1. I Love that quote as well. The ideas behind innovation is the ability to think not just of the next step but of a pathway that one did not even know existed. Our step by step thinking process will not get us there.

7. Sir Ken Robinson is brilliant, and could quite possibly fix all that is broken in education today, given the power to do so. I thoroughly appreciate his stance that creativity should be held in the same esteem as math and science and literacy. Creativity and risk-taking (or, as Robinson puts it, a willingness to be “prepared to be wrong”) are essential elements in problem-solving, and I don’t believe we are acting in the best interests of our students when we put too little emphasis on creativity and risk. His talk reminded me of a student I had many years ago when I was teaching in an arts integration program. I was itinerant, and in a different school every day, so I didn’t know the students outside of my own art classes with them. I found out after many months into the school year that one of my best students—the most attentive, the most engaged, the most creative, and the one who seemed most willing to take creative risks— was one of the “worst” students in the class, both academically and behaviorally. His classroom teacher was amazed to find that he had an ability to do something well and with enthusiasm. It made me very sad for that boy, about 7 years old and labelled already as likely to be a failure. In an environment where creativity is prized over an ability to sit still and do your math and language well, he would have a rather different path ahead of him. I imagined a parallel world meeting with that child’s mother, along the lines of the one that Gillian Lynne’s mother had, where the specialist would say, “Your son isn’t sick, he’s an artist.” AD

7.1. Is there a way for you to create that space for the child? Can you refer him for talented and help him create his portfolio?

8. I can easily relate this to a student of mine who I am tutoring currently. He is very bright and loves to build things and is full of stories about all the things he builds in his spare time. He even built me a little paper sword a few days ago which was really cool. Anyway, I had a teacher who tutored him previously come up to me and say how "they" (not sure who they is exactly) thought he was ADHD and needed to be put on medicine. I found this to very surprising since I have not not had difficulties with him paying attention. Often, I find he gets too excited and I just simply have to reign him in and work to his interests. He is a great example of someone who could thrive creatively in what he is good at (kinesthetic, building things) but is being made to feel inferior due to his academic struggles. BD

8.1. First, get those teachers some literature on how ADHD and giftedness can be confused. It was in the characteristics course book (that big one) in a nice, easy-to-read table. This is much like the child that Amy described who was also not "following the prescribed flow chart" and getting in trouble. Both instances seem like applying a system with out any reflection on what is really happening. Bad things happen in society when that occurs.

9. The first thing that struck me in the first video was the idea that "childish thinking" was associated with dreaming of perfection. Imaginative children's idealism of how the world could be can be inspiring. As you grow up, though, the realities of the world can be disheartening. There is a definite disconnect between the ideal world and reality. Most people grow up, adapt to their surroundings, learn to be more practical and accepting of how things work, because it is what we are taught to do. Those who still hold on to that idealism may finding it harder to strive for goals that seem unattainable to most because that sort of behavior is widely considered "childish." Before they were told what they can't do, and the limitations they are supposed to work within, children can be much more creative. The more they have access to certain media and attitudes, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the negative. I definitely agree with Adora Svitak's ideas, and know that children can have legitimate ideas and points of view. I first got into politics when I was about 13 and formed a lot of my initial opinions when I was still very idealistic. I was very liberal, I read a lot of blogs and news, and was probably more informed than most adults at the time about current events. Over time, I've become less interested in politics, just because I don't need that extra thing to get angry about or frustrated in my life right now. I could have been a serious social justice activist ten years ago had I been encouraged or had an outlet. I don't have a lot of experiences as a teacher yet, but I do want to share a story my philosophy professor shared with me as an undergraduate student. He recalled to us that when he remembers visiting an elementary school where a child colored his paper completely black and titled it "how I feel when my sister steals my toys." The child was told that wasn't the assignment and that he should have drawn something "real," I suppose, and think they had a conference with the kids parents. But my professor was so impressed that a 6 year old thought outside the box like that, and actually created what he considered a meaningful piece of art. Unfortuntaly the child and others like him were told they have to color inside the ligns, which stifles their creativity. They have to go through the trouble of unlearning that to become better artists in the future. AE

10. After watching the videos about creativity, I can relate to both of them. I can see how the creativity of my students has been stifled. There is so much focus on the procedures involved in many lessons that students are more focused on getting it right that they do not take the time to think outside of the box. They also aren't given the opportunity to do so. I have given students assignments that required them to create, develop and plan a project or an activity and they struggled to do so. Many of them kept waiting for directions, step by step guides about what to do. It took them awhile to adjust to the idea that they were free. Free to create, free to dream, free to design and create whatever they desired. Once they got started the ideas that flowed were endless. It was a beautiful thing. To help my students tap into their creative juices I try to ask them about their ideas and what their interests are. Additionally, I use technology to enhance my lessons whenever I can. If the end goal is for my students to use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast story elements. My students choose the stories. I allow them the opportunity to use web tools to generate the Venn diagrams. In all lessons I have high expectations, I try to listen to what they say. I don’t stand in front of the room and lecture. I want my students to take charge of their learning so that they can be successful. DS

10.1. I find that even university students (or especially university students) want the step by step directions. We are soooo focused on getting those good grades that the stress of the grades also inhibits the creative process as well. I really like how you differentiate according to interests.

11. I really enjoyed both videos. I myself am looking forward to this class to learn more ways to give my students freedom do be more creative. As a teacher of secondary mathematics, it is hard to get the students to work on their own on a daily basis. I agree with "DS" that it is hard to get them away from expecting step by step instructions. Adora Svitak's video really impacted me when she said don't "underestimate kids abilities". I have a 6 year old autistic son who taught himself how to read before he was 4 years old, and I have to remind myself often not to hold him back and to challenge him more often. We need to remember "don't be afraid to dream". I totally believe in the reciprocal learning she spoke of between students and teachers and hope that through this class I will see more opportunities to incorporate that in my classroom. I really like Sir Ken Robinson's 3 D's on Intelligence and his definition of creativity. Being more Diverse in the classroom is very important, by allowing students to think and learn through 3 dimensions will help them to remember the concepts of the subject. His definition of Creativity, the process of having original ideas that have value, will absolutely be used in my classroom in the future. The hardest part will be getting the students in my math classes to open their minds to this new concept. If the state stays with Common Core long enough, then in the next 5-7 years our students will be acclimated and be more open to leading the classroom. WL

12. Adora brought up some really great points when talking about how children are treated as inadequate, while grownups are credited with greatness. When she showed how backwards that is brought a smile to my face. Many times, children are told they aren’t able to do something because it will be too difficult. This is an absurd idea. I think that people who tell children that they couldn’t do the task at hand are the ones who are inadequate. Many times my students surprise me in how much they can accomplish with just the smallest amount of encouragement or help. As Ken Robinson talks about how creativity is squashed out of the schools, it rings so true. Our students are so worried about standardized testing, it makes me sick. When talking to some of my fifth graders (10 years old) last year, the reality of these standardized tests struck me and really made me think about what is important. I had students crying, shutting down, and throwing tantrums because they believed they weren’t smart enough to pass the test. Even though they had worked all year long and were making good grades, the thought of failing that test scared them. I don’t think it’s an environment they should be living within. I think students need that time to be creative in the classroom instead of being drilled with tons of facts and being miserable. - DD

12.1. http://followpics.co/funny-teacher-week-ecard-lets-play-school-ill-pretend-to-be-a-teacher-analyzing-disaggregated-student-data-and-you-can-pretend-to-be-a-student-taking-a-standardized-test/

13. I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two videos. Adora was quite impressive: she was sharp, mature, and brought up some very good ideas. I liked her point about raising expectations for young students. Even though this is a common topic in elementary education courses, hearing her talk about her father reading her the advanced books (and how much she enjoyed them), as well as her mom allowing her to write, type, and publish stories was interesting. I have a 2 year old, and it reminded me to think about her interests and desires more than simply what I think she would enjoy. This year I will be teaching gifted students (for the first time), and I want to let them have a voice in the curriculum. Ken Robinson brought up some great points on the big picture of education and the scarcity of creativity in formal education. He mentioned the future of our economy and how creativity will be the tool that is needed for success. I don't expect schools to implement his ideas immediately, but teachers can incorporate creativity in the classroom by means of problem solving and multiple ways to complete assignments (as well as others). It's critical for teachers to understand the importance of creativity, and therefore, include ways to foster it even if the administration may not see the value in it. My first year teaching (~10 years ago) was at a school that incorporated art daily. In fact, our principal wanted us to teach every objective through the arts. One unit my co-teachers and I did was a community unit where the students created a town with schools, police/fire departments, parks, bridges, roads, etc. The lessons were from our Social Studies curriculum, and students could run for mayor, chief of police, fire chief, etc., and each person served on a committee (transportation, parks and recreation, etc.). It was amazing to see the ways the students created important components of a community and how they begged to work on their project. They even wanted to skip recess to work on it! I am grateful that my first teaching experience was at that school and with an administration that valued creativity. A website with suggestions for incorporating creativity in the classroom can be found here: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/01/10/30-ways-to-promote-creativity-in-your-classroom/ One topic both speakers talked about was how children took chances and were not as afraid to make mistakes as adults. In many leadership/keys to success books that I've read, "taking risks" is commonly included. We as educators need to capitalize on students' abilities and increased risk taking in order to foster their creativity and thinking. By using Adora and Ken Robinson's suggestions, we will be truly preparing our students for success. - C Selman

13.1. Thanks so much for sharing the link for creativity in the classroom. I especially like #9 Validate their Creativity -- put questions on board that students ask that are more creative and set aside a time during the week to address them. W LeBert