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Search Results for: creativity

Summer Assignment: Foster Creativity

June 2, 2019

If you read one education book this summer, consider Alan Lightman’s In Praise of Wasting Time. If it strikes too close to home, you’re not alone. Lightman articulates what many of us are feeling. That our very wired, very stressful lives are driven by a pervasive feeling of #FOMO (fear of missing out). We feel we need to be purposeful (or at least seen to be) every minute of every day. And it’s exhausting. The Joy of Doing Nothing Lightman begins with a vivid reflection on his childhood, as he describes, his “careless, wasteless hours at the pond.”  He makes us wistful for the joy of doing nothing.  While Lightman mourns that loss, at least he has memories. His concern is that today’s kiddos won’t… Read More

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How to Teach Students Creativity

February 18, 2019

  You can’t teach students creativity the same way you can teach algebra or reading. But research shows that creative thinking can be developed and nurtured over time, similar to a growth mindset. The key is to recognize how creativity develops and create environments that foster creative thinking. Mindprint’s FIVE steps to creative transformation 1. FOUNDATION  There is no substitute for a deep foundation of subject-specific content knowledge. The more you know about a topic, the more chances there are to see opportunities. If we want students to be creative thinkers, it is essential that we continuously expand their knowledge base and fill in any gaps that arise along the way in core, subject-specific knowledge. HINT: Students with weaker verbal memory can… Read More

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It’s Creativity, Mom

July 30, 2015

  By Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or the middle of February, at some point a parent stands before her child’s messy room and has to make a decision. And 9 times out of 10, the solution is simple: close the door. From the hall, the mess is gone. To clean or not to clean, is not really the question. The question is how the child finds a matching pair of socks, her homework, and earbuds beneath the upper layer of clothes, books, and unidentified objects. I do have one confession, however. My own desk is a mess. My office? Pretty clean, in the sense that a small toddler could be let loose on the… Read More

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Want to Ensure College and Career Readiness? Develop Flexible Thinking

December 17, 2018

It’s true that verbal and abstract reasoning are the cognitive skills that predict academic achievement. The ability to make sense of complex information is undeniably essential to learning at every age. But once students leave the K12 classroom, research suggests that flexible thinking might be equally important to college and career readiness. As explained by author Eric Barker, “Schools reward students who consistently do what they are told— and life rewards people who shake things up.” What is flexible thinking? Flexible thinking is the ability to shift gears or change direction to adjust to unexpected circumstances or novel problems. Educators might be acutely aware of students who struggle with flexibility, even if they don’t always realize it. They might view these students as “stubborn” or “challenging”. Inflexible thinkers often resist change, reject redirection, or refuse… Read More

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Supporting Your “Average” Students

February 19, 2018

by Nancy Weinstein If you’re a teacher, you know there’s no such thing as average. The idea that students can be categorized as gifted, struggling, or “just average” is simplistic at best. The 10/10/80 statistic might be helpful for administrators, but it is useless in the classroom. In this blog inspired by the work of Dr. Todd Rose, we explore why there is no such thing as average and offer 8 strategies to manage learner diversity in every classroom. If Not Average, Then What? As Harvard  professor Dr. Todd Rose explains in his book, The End of Average, “Every one of these familiar notions of [average students or average brains] is a figment of a misguided scientific imagination.” Instead, most every student has, what Rose calls, a… Read More

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Can America’s ‘lost Einsteins’ be found more easily than we think?

February 4, 2018

Are we looking for the ‘lost Einsteins’ in the wrong places? Research suggests we should be looking at students’ spatial and flexible thinking skills, not math and science scores. Who are the ‘lost Einsteins’? Late last year the The Equality of Opportunity Project released a report concluding that the U.S. is losing out on as much as 400% of innovation potential by failing to effectively nurture under-represented minorities, i.e. Blacks, Latinos, and girls. The report states, “there are many ‘lost Einsteins’ – people who would have had high-impact inventions” but never do because they grow up in communities where math and science in general, and innovation specifically, isn’t fostered. Stories in the NY Times and The Atlantic among other outlets fueled the social media discourse about an educational system… Read More

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Is Your Student Hiding a Gift?

November 28, 2017

  Do you know a kiddo who can assemble a Lego set in the blink of an eye? Tells the bus driver how to find his street? Helps you design your bulletin boards to perfection? What do these seemingly nice-to-have but not particularly useful skills have in common? They are all reflections of a student’s spatial perception. And while we might not ask students to apply spatial skills very often in school, spatial skills are essential for careers in engineering, advanced mathematics, robotics, and design. What’s more, spatial skills have a unique role in the development of creativity. Many researchers believe that superior spatial skills are the “X factor” that separates creative geniuses like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Frank Lloyd Wright from the rest of us. If spatial… Read More

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The Best Educational Family Games for the Holidays

September 26, 2016

Looking for non-digital options to keep kids learning and entertained?! You’ve landed in the right place. And we provide you with the perspective you need to decide if it will be a good fit for each unique learner.   Plyt Why We Like It: Plyt is an effective board game to help students develop critical skills in mental math calculations and numerical fluency. It is simple, yet fun despite being a purely educational game making it great for home or the classroom, especially since games can be relatively quick while still providing plenty of effective practice. Game can grow with a child developmentally, from learning basic addition to challenging multi-step mental math problems. Develops: Processing Speed, Working Memory Considerations: Requires an adult to guide children on playing… Read More

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‘New Skool’: Digital Learning Options You’ll Love

July 12, 2016

Looking for what’s new, different and fun to keep kids learning and entertained?! You’ve landed in the right place. Check out our teachers’ favorite collection digital options that teach AND engage. And we provide you with the unique perspective you need to decide if it will be a good fit for each unique learner. Find non-digital options here.     iCivics Free Website, App Why We Like It: These free well-designed games, developed by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s foundation, are a fantastic option to teach students about legislative and judicial processes. Each game teaches students a significant amount about the branches of government through a combination of story-telling and gamification. There are nine different games on the site, so parents should be able to find one that will be of interest… Read More

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Are Your Students Prepared for the WEF’s “4th Industrial Revolution”?

January 28, 2016

Read and learn how you can make sure your kids are prepared for a lifetime of success. Experts from the World Economic Forum believe that over 1/3 of the most important workplace skills will change over the next five years. That’s an incredible rate of change. While schools are focused on meeting these needs, there’s a lot parents can do to strengthen the skills that will be critical to their child’s lifelong success. Top 10 Ways to Nurture the World Economic Forum Top 10 Skills: Know your child’s stronger and weaker skills. Keep in mind that these skills develop at different rates, and you should expect a child to be stronger in some areas and weaker in others.* Be certain your child remembers what he learns. A strong general… Read More

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