Tag Archives: creative

How to Stay Creative

Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 6.10.12 PM

I found “29 Ways to Stay Creative”, created by TO-FU Designs, on the Innovation Excellence blog.  I’m not sure about the advice to “Drink coffee”, but I am definitely on board with the other 28.  I already sing in the shower, so at least I’m taking a step in the right direction.  My favorite one is, “Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect.”  I think I’m going to print that one out and post it in my classroom.

SCAMPER Summer Pool Party

My students love doing S.C.A.M.P.E.R. activities.  It gives them the chance to be creative – and a bit silly.  I’ve made a couple of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packets for different themes, and my fourth graders got their first glimpse of the Summer Pool Party packet yesterday.  I currently have the Summer Pool Party packet on sale for a $1.00 (.50 discount) at Teachers Pay Teachers.  You can also purchase other S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packets at my TPT store.  They are a great activity for the last weeks of school!

Doesn't this look like a fun invention?
Doesn’t this look like a fun invention?

Easter S.C.A.M.P.E.R.

To get my students’ creative juices flowing, I allowed them to choose from some Easter S.C.A.M.P.E.R. prompts this week.  (I also offered some Spring prompts for those who don’t celebrate Easter).  If you are not familiar with S.C.A.M.P.E.R., you can view my original post about it here.  The two most popular prompts were for “Rearrange” and “Combine”.  The first asked, “If Easter was rearranged so the Easter Bunny would get gifts instead of you, what would you give the rabbit who already has all of the carrots he needs?”  And for the second one, “Give the Easter Bunny another famous character as a partner, and tell how his or her talents could be helpful to the Easter Bunny.”

You can borrow the above prompts if you like, or if you would like the whole Easter Creative Thinking packet, you can download it here for a $1.00.  You can also find the Spring one  and the Summer Pool Party one at my TPT store.

This 3rd grader would give the Easter Bunny a brand new computer - along with his very own website.
This 3rd grader would give the Easter Bunny a brand new computer – along with his very own website.

 

This 1st grader decided that Barbie in A Mermaid Tale would be the perfect partner for the Easter Bunny because she can swim to houses.
This 1st grader decided that Barbie in A Mermaid Tale would be the perfect partner for the Easter Bunny because she can swim to houses.

 

If You Build It, They Will Learn

from "If You Build It, They Will Learn" by Infinite Thinking Machine
from “If You Build It, They Will Learn” by Infinite Thinking Machine

Infinite Thinking Machine “is a high-energy Internet TV show that inspires creativity and innovation in education.”  The episodes are produced every two weeks, and you can find the archives here.  The episode that I am featuring in this post is, “If You Build It, They Will Learn”, which was produced near the end of last season.  Last week, I posted about the surge of “maker studios”, (by the way, my daughter and her friend LOVED the Marshmallow Shooter project) and when I found this video, I knew that it would make a great resource.  Not only do the ITM folks do a good job of discussing different examples of “making” around the U.S., but they also post a nice list with links to the featured entities.  I also like their challenge issued at the end of the short video.  Although the deadline for their contest was last summer, I think that it still would be a fun project to offer students, particularly near the end of the school year.

For some reason, the ITM site cut off the episode in the middle the first time I watched it (probably my computer), but you can also access the entire show at http://youtu.be/cQMKvQ-0B64.  And, if you are lucky enough to not have YouTube blocked, I have also embedded it below.

Mission: DS106

I found Mission: DS106 through Lisa Johnson (techchef4u) on her Scoop It site for Web 2.0 Tool and Resources.  I love this bank of different types of assignments using digital media.  It’s probably a little high level for my elementary students, but I think it would be great for upper middle school and high school.  There is even a “remix” option to add a little twist to each assignment!

One example of an assignment is called “Movie Trailer Mashup”:  “Take your favorite movie trailer and mash it up with a different trailer to completely change the meaning of the original trailer. For example, if you have a funny movie trailer, give it the sound of a terrifying movie; or vice versa. You may need to clip the audio or the visual, use imovie and audacity to cut the clips to give you what you need. Good luck!”  You should visit the site here to see the hilarious example that is given and the subsequent completed assignments!

Although I wouldn’t necessarily use this site with my young students, I love the bank of creative ideas, and definitely think some of the assignments can be used or adapted for the elementary classroom.  I also like the idea of a bank of ideas, the way people can submit their assignments for others to view, and the fact that people can also submit new assignment suggestions.  I would like to create something similar to this for my own students to use.  Mission: DS106 is very impressive!

Creativity Games

from http://creativitygames.net/

Creativity Games is a site that offers a weekly creativity game every Monday.  There are also weekly challenges and resources offered.  Although it seems to be aimed at an adult audience, I believe many of the ideas could be used with younger students as well.  For example, I love the “New World Education Game” that was offered on August 20th.  It challenges you to think of a new university course using the 4 words provided.  As the “Strategy” paragraph states, our students are entering a new world with different technologies, and we need to come up with novel ideas for preparing them for this.  I could see my gifted and talented students loving this idea, and many of the other activities on Creativity Games.  This is a great tool for educators.

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

One of the creative thinking tools that my students learn is S.C.A.M.P.E.R.  It is an acronym to help people to remember different ways inventive ideas can happen:  Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another Use, and Rearrange.  It was originally developed by a man named Roger Eberle.  The holidays lend themselves to this type of thinking, as the students are already feeling a little loose and silly – willing to take risks with unusual ideas.  Here is a link to a first grade teacher’s activity in which her students had to think of ideas for the putting candy canes to another use.  And here are some other ones I’ve used:
Substitute other materials for making a “snowman” for a place where it never snows.
Combine two holidays and draw a picture of a family celebrating them.
Adapt Santa’s sleigh to another environment – like the desert or outer space.
Modify (Magnify or Minimize) a holiday dessert.
Put flying reindeer to another use for the rest of the year.
Eliminate presents from a holiday. What could be done to celebrate instead?
Rearrange the holiday calendar. What months would have which holidays, and why?
If you prefer having pre-made sheets, you can purchase PDF’s of these in my SCAMPER Through the Seasons pack on TPT. Here are some examples from my third graders:
This student made a snowman out of globes, and the hands are from a clock!
This student asked me if Santa’s new environment had to be “real.” When I said it did not have to be real, he chose a computer game as the environment.