More Free Stuff!

As we continue Teacher Appreciation Week, I have made more products free on my TPT page. In addition to the packet I mentioned yesterday, you can now download Superhero S.C.A.M.P.E.R. and Back to School S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packets. Not familiar with S.C.A.M.P.E.R.? Learn a bit more here. I guarantee your elementary students will love it!

Summer Pool Party Packet – Free!

I am in the process of revising my TPT resources and providing them on this site for free – but it’s taking awhile. In the meantime, since it is Teacher Appreciation Week, I am offering my Summer Pool Party Packet for free. It includes a list of suggested “Brainshines” (instead of brainstorms), a writing page for thinking about life from the perspective of a pair of sunglasses, and a page each of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. ideas. (See this post if you are not familiar with S.C.A.M.P.E.R.) These are fun creative thinking activities to do, especially after state-wide testing or the last week of school!

From Summer Pool Party by Terri Eichholz

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. Through Winter and Some New Jamboard Updates

I was excited to find that Google Jamboard updated last week, allowing people to upload our own backgrounds so we don’t have to worry about students accidentally moving our designs. I worked on re-designing one of my S.C.A.M.P.E.R. resources so I could offer it to you for use on Jamboard. S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is a creative thinking tool developed by Roger Eberle, and each letter stands for suggestions to spark innovation: Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another Use, and Rearrange. I am working on revamping all of my S.C.A.M.P.E.R. materials, but currently have S.C.A.M.P.E.R. Through Winter available on Jamboard for you to copy and use.

I added some animated gifs from Giphy.com to create some more visual interest, but those are not part of the background so they can be deleted if you like. If you prefer, I also have the same prompts on a Google Slides presentation in case you want to make multiple copies of one prompt by downloading as a .png or .jpg. I slightly modified the prompts so that they are “holiday-neutral.” For some examples of some of the creative responses I’ve gotten from students in the past, you can look at this post and this one. I am adding this post to my Winter Holidays Wakelet, which has over 65 resources now. In addition, I will post the link on my Jamboard Wakelet, which is also gaining more resources every day.

One of my recent additions to the Jamboard Wakelet is a nice image of keyboard shortcuts to view a Version History in Jamboard. This image was tweeted by @MariaGalanis. Until yesterday, I had no idea it was possible to do this. Unfortunately, you cannot see who made changes on the Jamboard, as you can with other Google products, but being able to return to earlier versions when mistakes are made or you forgot to make a copy before students used it is extremely helpful.

Alice Keeler (@AliceKeeler) wrote a post about these shortcuts, suggestions for naming your original version history, and a sticky note short cut for Jamboard that she published today, so be sure to check that out for more good advice.

I hope everyone is having a great Monday, and this week, which will be the last for many before the Winter Break, is going smoothly!

Social Distancing Hacks

One of the challenges I have with students when we are doing Design Thinking is to teach them to embrace constraints.¬† Sometimes I will get feedback from them at the end of projects that “we should be able to do whatever we want,”¬† despite my explanation that my experience has shown that complete freedom can often be too overwhelming – and sometimes not very safe.¬† So, I’ve been watching the slow emergence of innovative ideas coming out of our current pandemic situation with some delight at the creativity being revealed as people try to design around social distancing.

These are all basically ideas using, at the very least, the “Adapt” step of S.C.A.M.P.E.R., as people attempt to find ways to stay healthy while still leaving their homes.¬† After you show them a few of the linked images, students might enjoy designing their own social distancing hacks for school, shopping, the beach, etc…¬† I’d love to see their ideas!

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Image by db_oblikovanje from Pixabay

 

SCAMPERing Outside the Rainbow

It has been awhile (2013!) since I posted some St. Patrick’s Day S.C.A.M.P.E.R.¬† ideas.¬†¬†¬†S.C.A.M.P.E.R. 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. ¬†Here is a link to a post I did about¬†S.C.A.M.P.E.R.

My 2nd graders worked on using “Combine” and “Put to Another Use” this week.¬† For “Combine,” they invented something new with a clock and a four-leaf-clover. (I love how the clock hands will pinch you if you aren’t wearing green!)¬† The “Put to Another Use” assignment asked the students to think of another way to use a Leprechaun hat.

You can use these ideas in your own classroom, as well as the ones on my original post, with any drawing paper or even as writing prompts.

For more St. Patrick’s ideas, don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post!

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Your Winter Break Challenge!

Every time we are about to go on a lengthy break, I talk to my students about creative activities they can do if they happen to get bored. One that I usually recommend is to S.C.A.M.P.E.R. a board game.  They all nod in agreement that this is a good idea.

Then they all come back from break and shake their heads in confusion when I ask if anyone tried it.

I knew that my execution of this suggestion was the problem.  I never gave concrete examples.  Plus, my audience was a little limited.  Chances are that a child who is two days away from Winter Break does not see much likelihood of boredom during this much-anticipated time of freedom.

The other day I had the board game conversation with my 2nd graders, but I decided to take things a step further.

“What game could you combine with another game to make something new?” I asked the class.

Silence.

“Umm. ¬†What about if you combined Monopoly with another game?” I prodded.

“Like Jenga?” someone asked.

“Sure,” I said. ¬†“Or Twister. ¬†Wouldn’t that be fun to combine with another game?”

“Twister with Jenga!” someone shouted. ¬†“You build the Jenga in the middle and the first person who knocks it over loses!”

Now they were getting excited.

“Or Candyland!” a little girl exclaimed. ¬†“You could use the Candyland cards to play Twister!”

By the time they left, they had some solid ideas that might actually come to mind during a quiet moment in the next couple of weeks.  I felt encouraged by their enthusiasm, but still concerned that their brainstorming would quickly be forgotten.

Then I realized that the real victim of bored children isn’t the children; it’s the parents. ¬†That’s when I decided that I would send the board game idea out to them, so they could have¬†a handy suggestion sheet when the inevitable, “I’m bored!” complaint slams into their ears. ¬†This would have the added bonus of getting some games recycled instead of tossed in the trash to make room for new ones.

So, I printed out a quick suggestion sheet on Canva, and will be e-mailing it to the parents tomorrow. ¬†I’ve include the image below in case any of you want to use it. ¬†Feel free to borrow and remix my remix if you like!

Your Winter Break Challenge