October, 2013

Poems About Creativity

I am just finishing taking a free course on creativity through Penn State and Coursera. Here are my final reflections on the course, in the form of poems: Intelligent Fast Failure Be smart. Just start. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again! If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again! I said… If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again! Try-fail-reflect! It’s never what you expect! Try-crash and burn! But think Read More →

Creative Writing With Children

Today a friend of mine asked for advice about creative writing with third graders. Here are my suggestions, most of which hold true for most ages and grades: (Note: Be the “secretary” for very little kids and/or let them use “invented” spelling.) STEP 1: Find something to write about. Here are some great ideas: • Find out the children’s favorites (activities, animals, stories, music, places, meals, etc.) and write about that. • Bring them something Read More →

Follow the Curiosity

Last weekend when my grandsons came for a visit, the 12 year old showed me a photo on his phone that he (somehow!) took though the microscope in his science class. The new and special wonder of observing the very clear “thing” that lives in a world much smaller than we can possibly see had him entranced.  The surprise of the color, the amazing detail with its hairy-looking texture, the seemingly improbable spherical form — Read More →

What is really important to learn?

At present opportunities to learn are increasingly accessible and abundant. We educators need to think deeply about what, in all this abundance, is most important for our students to know. It is not enough to follow a curriculum or text—a teacher must teach valuable things. This is the first step in creating “unforgettable” lessons. Think about the following: What concepts and mental scripts should my students have at their fingertips? What important questions should they Read More →