I’m posting about this a bit late, I’m afraid. I missed the boat on the Global Cardboard Challenge on October 6th. But, I still think it’s worth your while to view the video, which is a sequel to the Caine’s Arcade video. And, there is no saying that you can’t organize your own Cardboard Challenge in your classroom or school on whatever day you like. Imagination Foundation offers supporting materials, and even has some curriculum aligned with the original Caine’s Arcade video. The mission of the Imagination Foundation is to “find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids.” It’s a relatively new site, but it looks like it has a lot of potential for engaging kids in re-connecting with good old-fashioned imaginative play. And, if you are interested in sponsoring your own “Day of Play” in your neck of the woods, you might want to take a look at Kelly Tenkely’s description of such a day recently held at her school, Anastasis Academy.
It’s that time of year again – time for a new topic for the Kids Philosophy Slam. The 2013 topic is, “Which is more powerful, love or hate?” You can learn more about the Slam by visiting their site. Be sure to watch the video on the home page, and take a look at the rules for this year’s Slam. Also, you can visit the site weekly to learn about a new philosopher. If you are interested in using more philosophy with your students, you might also want to take a look at this post from last year.
Don’t worry; I promise this is not going to be an advertisement for a home improvement network…
DIY is one of the coolest new sites that I’ve chanced upon in a long, long time. I haven’t even shown it to my students yet, and I am super excited about it. This is going to be something awesome, I have a feeling.
DIY offers kids the chance to earn Skill Badges by doing challenges. After browsing through the skills and challenges, I was ready to start earning my own badges. The challenges look fun, and since I never got a chance to participate in Girl Scouts, the virtual badges seem like the next best thing to me. For example, how would you like to earn your Papercrafter badge by doing 3 challenges (out of 13 choices) that include making a walkalong glider or building a paper vehicle?
Most of the challenges include instructions, either with video or pictures. There is a great parent info page, along with a Parent Dashboard once you sign up. DIY kids get their own website to show off what they make, and there is a supporting iOS app to easily upload videos and pictures of their creations. The site seems very user-friendly and, best of all, encourages kids to be creative and inventive.
Edward de Bono created the idea of “Six Thinking Hats”, developing a visual representation of the types of thinking that we do in various situations. You can read more about de Bono’s concept in his book of the same title. This simple chart briefly describes each Thinking Hat, and how it can be applied in a group problem-solving situation.
In our district’s gifted program, we begin teaching students who are in 2nd grade about the Thinking Hats. Metacognition is an important skill, and we reinforce it throughout our elementary curriculum.
The “Six Thinking Hats” chart is available on UsefulCharts.com, which has several other charts that could be good classroom resources. My favorite chart is “Muppet Voices” – though I’m still trying to develop a way to connect it to something educational!
After referring to author Michael Michalko in yesterday’s post, I thought I would include another resource from him that I found on The Creativity Post a couple of weeks ago. In this article, “Turning Your Assumptions Upside Down“, Michalko gives some wonderful examples of ways to solve problems by “considering the opposite of any subject or action”. I would love to use his restaurant example with my students, and to then have them use this thinking process with a fun thought exercise, like coming up with our general assumptions about a toy store or a car or a board game, and then asking them to reverse those assumptions to develop new, creative ideas.
I also would like to see a few movers and shakers turn their assumptions “upside down” to revolutionize our schools…
This web page, Creative Thinking Exercises, is part of Michael Michalko’s website. Michalko is the author of Thinkertoys, and other creativity books. His Creative Thinking Exercises are short activities that encourage you to challenge your own perceptions. If you enjoy these, you might want to also take a look at his Thought Experiments.