Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, K-5, Motivation, Multiple Intelligences, Teaching Tools

Creativity Kickers

Jeanne Muzi recently posted two lists of “Creativity Kickers” on the blog, Four O’Clock Faculty. The lists offer great ideas for formative assessments and creative challenges.  In “Creativity Kickers, Part 1,” I found a couple I would like to try in my own classroom, such as the “Yes, And… Cards” and the “Student Created Knowledge Cards.” The second post, “Creativity Kickers, Part 2,” suggests the “Brain Breaks Cup,” which is a great idea that I’ve seen used by one of my colleagues and highly recommend.  The “Character in Search of Setting” suggestion is a fun idea for encouraging some creative thinking that I would also like to try out.

Check out the rest of the options by clicking on the links above!


Art, Creative Thinking, Education, Fun Friday, K-12, Multiple Intelligences, Music, Videos

Multiple Methods for Making Music

Playable Pringles Organ
Playable Pringles Organ

For today’s Phun Phriday post, I have a few examples of some unusual ways to make music.  As my students explore this with our new MaKey MaKey, I have become more aware of alternative musical instruments.  I am awed by the creativity exemplified in these videos!

Pringles Cans Playable Organ

Feel Flavor Playable Poster

Landfill Harmonic

Augmented Reality, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, K-5, Language Arts, Math, Multiple Intelligences, QR Codes, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Websites

A Wee List of Ways to Weather the Winter

Santa "Adapts" to a New Environment (a computer game with a "dedly turtle") from S.C.A.M.P.E.R. The Holidays
Santa “Adapts” to a New Environment (a computer game with a “dedly tertal”) from S.C.A.M.P.E.R. The Holidays

Thank goodness for people like Laura Moore (@LearnMoreStuff).  She collected a ton of December-themed tech activities, and bundled them all up in a Listly she embedded in this post.  With 3 more weeks until Winter Break, she realizes that we all need some ideas to get us through this crazy month.

I’m pretty sure Laura’s list will keep you busy.  But, just in case you still have some huge gaps in your lesson plans, here are some past posts that I’ve done with a Winter theme:

Text Snowflake Creator

Creative Snowflakes

The Twelve Days of Christmas (with Fibonacci and Pascal’s Triangle)

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. the Holidays

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. the Holidays Redux

Augmented Reality Holiday Cards (I might add some more to these in the near future, or you can watch these great instructions from @PaulHamilton8 on making your own.)

Holiday QR Codes (with a Kindness Countdown, Class Coupons, and Home Coupons)

Holiday Logic

Factory Balls – Christmas Edition

And, of course, yesterday’s post – If I Lived in a Snow Globe, I Would Wear My Bike Helmet to Bed

During this month, don’t we all feel like we live in a snow globe sometimes? 😉

3-6, Apps, Education, Multiple Intelligences, Student Products, Teaching Tools

North Star Smart Stars Survey

from: North Star Smart Stars app by Fablevision
from: North Star Smart Stars app by Fablevision

My colleague, Daryn, pointed me toward this app a few weeks ago, and I finally had the chance to download it and try it out this weekend.

North Star Smart Stars Survey is an iPad app produced by Fablevision.  It was designed by Peter Reynolds (author of The Dot, Ish, The North Star, and other books) and Megan McDonald (Judy Moody series illustrator).  Based on Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences, the app allows the user to answer a series of questions in order to end up with a beautiful constellation map of that shows his or her strengths based on the relative sizes of each star.

Constellations can be saved to the Photo Gallery, or shared through e-mail.  They can be edited at any time.  Multiple users can take the survey on one device, and all of the information is saved under each user’s name.

For teachers, this can be a valuable resource, allowing you to differentiate activities based on the interests of your students.  There are also whimsical downloadable posters available for each intelligence.

As noted by Paul Reynolds in the comments below, this app is now available as a free download, which makes it a great deal for your classroom!

3-6, Education, Math, Multiple Intelligences, Science, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Universal Design for Learning, Videos, Websites

Dance By Number


How can you engage your students in a lesson about patterns, while making sure they use the scientific process, graph their data, analyze their data, and make accurate predictions based on that data?  By incorporating dance, of course!  “Dance By Number“, a lesson that can be found at Stem4Teachers, is guaranteed to make your classroom noisy and chaotic for a few days – but also guarantees that your students will be active in their own learning.  The website has a good video that describes the process and shows it in action.  It also provides the lesson plan, student sheets, and teacher tools (which includes rubrics).  In addition to the enthusiastic involvement of the students, this lesson makes differentiation easy; students can adjust their own levels of learning by creating patterns that reflect their abilities.  It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned Universal Design for Learning on this blog, but I definitely think this lesson fits the bill.

3-12, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, Multiple Intelligences, Teaching Tools, Websites

Thinking Tools

image from: Thinking Tools

This large set of fillable forms from The Learning Curve is a treasure chest of interactive graphic organizers that encourage creative and critical thinking skills.  According to the site, “This collection of thinking strategies and tools have been created and inspired from Mick Walsh’s experiences using the Thinking Curriculum, CoRT Thinking, Tribes Program and Visible Thinking from Harvard University.”  Included on this list are pages for Six Thinking Hats and P.M.I.  However, there are many other intriguing ones that I have never seen anywhere else, such as Time Machine and Truth Traffic Lights.  For some new ideas on how to engage your students in deep thinking, I highly recommend Thinking Tools.