A special edition of 10 Creative Things to Inspire. If it’s THAT time of year at your school, you know, testing time, you’ll want to remember to spend your off-testing time connecting with your kids, enjoying their conversations, focusing on the good in education. Testing can be strenuous, stressful, and so hard to get through. That booklet full of questions? That student who wants help but you have to say, “Sorry, I can’t help.” That quiet. Quiet. Tick. Tick. Tick. So, breathe in, and breathe out, and get some extra creative time in. Nothing will get kids thinking juices flowing like some FUN and inspiration… and guess what, it will get your teaching juices flowing to.
1.) Build a Catapult: How about launching marshamallows??! Experiment with a variety of designs. Measure and graph the data. Find the class average for distance launched. Host a tournament and create spirit flags for your teams.
2.) Host a Scavenger Hunt: I came across this Maths Scavenger Hunt and thought about how much kids would LOVE this. You can adjust it to fit whatever your students needs and curriculum are for the year. You could even add in some personal fun items that you and your class would know.
3.) Make a Completely Nonsense Dictionary: It’s fun to make up words. EXAMPLE: Badoozle: A Noun. It’s the part on a car that signals the horn to beep when someone cuts you off. Kids just practiced parts of speech. And thinking about a new word in a new way is creative fun. Share the words on a collaborative site like “Padlet.” Partner with another class, Skype, and then share your Padlet. Challenge kids to write a story with the new words or use the words in class. Some of the words will stick.. and who knows, may be a new word in the next Webster’s.
4.) Build Your Wild Self: This is so fun. It says Grades 2-6, but I enjoyed it. Kids can print it. They could create adventure tales or use their new self, printed out and cut in outline form, in a stop motion video with a background they design.
5.) So You Wanna Be An Architect? In this simulation, kids select a client and create a design for them. Why not have them try out the simulation, then interview a real client with a real issue? Maybe the school principal about library? Maybe interview the art teacher about challenges with space he’s facing? Encourage kids to design a new learning space.
6.) ThisIsSand: It’s relaxing to drop and move the sand. Sometimes we just all need to breathe deep, destress, and create. Teach kids how to take a Screen Shot of their sand, a tool available on the left, embed in a Word Document, and write Haikus about their sand picture just designed. Or, gather all the sand paintings and ask a student to place them in to Animoto with some relaxing music for the class to view.
7.) Try Social Media: Did you know you can create a class “Twitter” like environment using Twiducate? It’s a great little tool to set up to use in your classroom to model social media use. Kids love to play a game called ‘Who Am I?” You select a famous historical figure, and the kids tweet yes or no questions to you and the class tries to guess who it is.
8.) Mosaic Maker: Zoopz has lots of thinking games. In Mosaic Maker, kids can select colors and create a picture just like real tiles. It might also be fun to use this to introduce mosaics and then make some with construction paper. A fun way to unwind and also practicing spatial planning and creativity!
9.) Kerbal Space Program: Build a spacecraft and launch it to space. Kerbal Space Program is an awesome interactive. It has a great free demo that kids will enjoy trying out and experimenting with. It’s also a reminder of the creativity involved in the space program. Go STEAM!
10.) Make Sunshine for Someone Else: What about creating a SUN with a circular shaped Tagxedo word cloud in the middle… with words about what another person means to you or your school. What better way to spend some creative time than making someone special for someone else to brighten their day? Consider staff around the school who might not get recognized as often, but that are very much appreciated. Ask kids to brainstorm what they might create to brighten their day. Start a kindness campaign. Giving back will brighten your day too.
This has become a series of posts. “Matters of Creativity: 10 Things to Inspire” The internet is filled with ways to inspire kids, your classroom, and to brighten a dreary day. I’m happy to share them here. If you have a great creative resource, please comment and share and I’ll add it in to next week’s edition.