As educators, we are thrilled this has happened in our lifetimes. Creativity is the essence of human potential – waiting to be realized in every student. This proclamation will open many classroom doorways and pave the way for creativity to be seen as an essential skillset for all. Creativity changes children’s lives. Creativity changes the world. Join the Curiosita Creativity Crusade today for every student, every teacher, every school . . . Every Day!
Nature gives us glorious creative visions with the coming of each season. Spring is an especially enchanting display of objects that catch our eye and capture our imaginations. We took this inspiring photo earlier in the week as we walked through Denver Botanic Gardens. When we approached the tree from a distance it looked like a tree full of roosting birds. As we moved near, we could see that it was an azalea tree in full bloom with white flowing petals that looked like cats, helicopter blades, jellyfish . . . what are some of your perceptions?
“Against a backdrop of uncertainty, economic turmoil and unprecedented change a new picture is emerging of the skills and traits for success (and perhaps even simply survival) in the modern era. At the heart of this essential skillset for the future lies ... creativity.” - Mark Batey
As an educator, you never get over that visceral feeling that happens when you look into a student’s eyes and they “get it.” It is an instant of emotional bonding between teacher and learner. Are you ready to exponentially multiply this reaction? You can take it to the next level by teaching your learners the skills and mindsets of creativity. The journal responses, from our Lakenheath Middle School students, give you a glimpse into the creative synergy that envelops the classroom.
Happy first day of March! Today we are announcing a change in our Creativity Crusader publishing schedule. We will send a new edition to your mailbox the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. View a recap of six resource links . . .
If you go to Google Images™ and type a search for creativity, you will find anything from colored light bulbs to the smiling faces of children blowing dandelions. Creativity, creative thinking, and problem solving are often seen as unscientific. Those who prefer a structured and logical approach to life view them as non-important “soft skills.” In fact, it may be argued that some people actually do not like creativity.
Sometimes the beginning of the creative process can be as simple as asking the question, “What if?” This question can help us change course or even take us on a new path. Here are several examples:
Screenwriter James V. Hart received his creative inspiration from his six-year-old son’s question, “What if Peter Pan grew up?” The result: Hook.
Screenwriter Marc Norman’s son, Zachary, asked his father, “What if Shakespeare had writer’s block when writing ‘Romeo and Juliet?” The result: Shakespeare in Love.
Screenwriter Bob Gale was visiting his parents and found his father’s yearbook in the basement. When reading about his father, he asked the question, “What if I had gone to school with him? Would I have been friends with him?” The result: Back to the Future.
As we discussed in the last blog, “What if?” may be two of the most important words in the creative process.
Did you ever watch the 1960’s Sci-Fi television show The Outer Limits? At the beginning of each episode, the narrator presented some related, deep-thinking viewpoints about the upcoming story. The episode ended with several tantalizing questions or profound statements.
Sadly, by the age of seven, children are using only 10% of their creative ability. Even more discouraging is that by the age of 40, adults are only 3% as creative as they were at age seven. This loss of creativity and curiosity is so common in adults that we think this is a natural developmental process. The question we should be asking is, “What can we do to prevent this loss?” Or better yet, “How can we safeguard and nurture the development of children’s natural curiosity and creativity?”
Have you ever pondered, “Are the curious and creative born or made?” Do you subscribe to the myth that creativity is “done” by “creative types?” Perhaps over the years you have said, “I am not that sort of person” or “Well, I’m really not that creative either.” These comments rank right up there with “I can’t dance” or “I can’t draw.”
Creativity can be a confusing topic and most of us have our own ideas about the subject. On-going creativity myths and misconceptions may color individual perceptions. So, let’s start the new year by dispelling five classical myths associated with creativity
As a noun, rogue can be defined as “somebody who is mischievous.” As an adjective, it is someone who is “unorthodox and unpredictable.” At first glance, these definitions seem negative. But we are guessing someone or several “someones” in your life come to mind. Perhaps you live with or teach a highly creative learner and have noticed some rogue behaviors. They often dress, speak, think, write . . . differently. And oh, the varied responses these behaviors elicit: joy, giggles, frustration, anger . . . and most often some version of being "gobsmacked" – our favorite British term for being blown away. And we'd also guess that they are your "go-to-person" when looking for a new idea!
There’s a lot of discussion today about problem-based learning and project-based learning. Perhaps many of you have the same visceral reaction to the thought of starting a long-term project or turning learning into a complex problem solving task? How many of us get out of bed in the morning and say, “Boy I hope I have a big problem or project to work on today?” Instead, most of wake up and think, “Hope today is smooth sailing!”1
The Christmas season is supposed to be a relaxing, enjoyable, and fun time with friends and family. However, many of us overcommit, overload lists, overspend, and overeat. In general, we wear ourselves out emotionally and physically. Some even refer to this joyous holiday as “Stressmas.” How would you like to use a creativity thinking tool to bring back a good measure of peace, gratitude, and happiness to the season?
This week we’d like to share with you one of our favorite resources for supporting both parents and educators interested in 21st century skills. P21, the Partnership for 21st century learning, is one of the major organizations supporting new ways of thinking about the future of education.
We love this word. It immediately stops us in our tracks. It’s a pause for time to contemplate, deliberate, muse, wonder, envision, reflect, ruminate, or imagine. Thanksgiving is a season for pondering - thinking about what has occurred in our lives that leads to thoughts of “what might be” or “what if?”
In Colorado we are in a holding pattern waiting for one of our favorite changes in the seasons. The beginning of the Snow Season! We are having unusually warm weather and some are beginning to do the snow dance while others are dreading the cold weather. A perfect example of how we humans look at the same thing and think differently about change.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake! This is the third drone trick-or-treater we have had tonight!” This cartoon caption, from our Close to Home desk calendar, is a humorous reminder of this burning question. Does our current system of education prepare our children with the skills needed for past, present, or future jobs?
We really have a daunting job as parents and educators. How do we prepare our children for the future they will face? Just imagine stepping out of your front door today into the adult world of our current Kindergarteners. The year is 2055!
Designing dreams is really a good title for what we do for our students and children. We open their worlds to new ideas and possibilities with the experiences we share and the questions we ask.
We had the opportunity last week to work with a group of enthusiastic teachersat the Science and Arts Academy in Des Plaines, IL just outside Chicago. To prepare us to work with this very savvy group of educators we surveyed their learning needs. The results clearly pointed to a desire to learn more specific creativity strategies and tools. This request was not surprising. In fact it was one of the most pressing needs that drove us to create the Curiosita Teaching Program™.
Holidays bring out creativity all around us no matter what the season. This certainly came to mind when we first saw this garage “monster face”. Our first thoughts were, “Wow, cool! Wish we had thought of that.” Our next thought was, “Hmmmm.” Then we immediately started thinking about another version. This is the place where all creativity begins – something catches your eye and jumpstarts your thinking on to the next version of the idea.
We just returned from our second session with Atlanta Public Schools Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) elementary teachers. We were amazed to see what they had accomplished in just the two short months since our first training. The “Student Brains” were one of their favorite activities. They used these products to help students share their interests and hobbies with other students in a creative way. This is a great tool to use for working on social/emotional skill development.
Did you know October is National Cookie Month? It’s one of our favorites and we're guessing it might be one of yours. Numerous surveys show Americans prefer chocolate chip cookies more than three-to-one to other cookies. But did you know the chocolate chip cookie is a result of a mistake?
Think back for a moment to a time when something unexpected created a pleasant unintended outcome in your life. Take, for example the birth of the SLINKY, one of America’s favorite toys. In 1943, naval engineer Richard James was working with tension springs to create a meter for the horsepower of naval vessels. When he accidentally knocked one of these springs over, he observed it kept moving after hitting the ground. Soon a new toy was born – the SLINKY.
None of us wake up and say, “Boy I hope I get a really big problem to solve today!” Instead most of us are hoping for smooth sailing. With this in mind we ask ourselves, “How can we prepare our children/students for unexpected life situations?”
Welcome to our new Blog! We are Rick Shade and Patti Garrett Shade and we are on a Creativity Crusade to help parents and educators bring more creativity into their lives and the lives of their children. Each week we will bring you a creativity tip or tool you can use to help support the development of creativity in all of us.