August, 2016

Making a Study

A STUDY is a sustained investigation of a single concept, thing, theme or idea. In a study, a child explores many, many different viewpoints, contexts and materials. After many explorations, the child expresses a personal definition or viewpoint through one or more original forms. Current brain research and cognitive psychology tells us that human beings can only learn very low-level tasks and ideas through drill and rote memorization. For learning to be faster, longer lasting Read More →

Tongue Twisters

Create ideas often arise from making novel combinations of subjects, objects or ideas that don’t usually go together. Jog your creativity by making new combinations. Try these games: Tongue Twisters Work alone or with a partner. Create your own bank of words that begin with the same sound or use one of the banks below. Use five of the words in a tongue twister. Practice saying it quickly several times in a row. Create several Read More →

Mixed-Up Similes

Metaphors, similes and analogies are all ways to help us understand complex ideas by comparing them to something simpler. Some brain studies suggest that metaphors may be the human link between sensory experiences and abstract concepts. For example, in an online neuroscience course, the instructor uses metaphor liberally to explain abstract concepts. She compares the “resting potential” to the “action potential” of a neuron by saying that electricity is like water. If the water is Read More →

Pushing the Envelope

Another way to practice creative fluency is to begin with an idea, object or subject and brainstorm wilder and crazier possibilities. This little game can help. If I Didn’t… A good book to “prime the mind:” Jenny’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats This game can be played alone but is better when played with others. If you play it in a group, sit in a circle and go around the circle as many times as Read More →

Practicing Creative Fluency

Creativity takes practice! The last blog I wrote on creative fluency http://themissingalphabet.com/creative-fluency/ showed a group of teachers imagining all the ways they could use a mandarin orange. Here are some ways for you to play and practice creative fluency with your kids: Food Get your own bag of mandarin oranges and imagine the possibilities. Pick out interesting shapes of fruits and vegetables. Add smaller pieces to larger pieces to turn them into “creatures” and other things. Make Read More →