Awesome Atlanta Educators

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” pictured above 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.

There’s nothing more rewarding than working with a group of educators who are excited and motivated to bring creativity into the lives of their students. Here are a few of the comments they shared.

            “I started with Think Tanks templates. My students loved it!”

            “Every day in my classroom now begins with a creative brain exercise.”

            “It was so easy to start implementing the Curiosita strategies.”

Creativity Tip of the Week: The Power of SCAMPER

During this second training with the GATE teachers we were able to “dig a little bit deeper” into some of the strategies we had introduced in the July session. We challenged the teachers to use S.C.A.M.P.E.R. to create a classroom of their dreams. In 14 minutes they shared 137 ideas for improving the design of classrooms! Here are some of the unique ideas generated by a group of 75 enthusiastic teachers.

Substitute knee desks, wobble chairs, or treadmill desks for student desks.

Combine computers with student desks and have pop-up computers on desktops.

Adapt all bulletin boards to be digital to display student work products.

Magnify the size and function of interactive the white board. Make them a full wall size and use them flexibly as Lego walls, touch screens, and virtual reality screens.

Put the closets in classroom to another use, such as making it a recording studio.

Eliminate all outlets and create virtual power pads on each student desk.

Reverse ceiling tiles to be drop-downs that become interactive learning stations at the touch of a button.

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is a powerful checklist tool created by Bob Eberle. Parents and teachers can use this tool to magnify and extend the number and types of ideas generated from any brainstorming session. You can use one or more of the letter prompts for problem solving situations, such as:

  • Improving a relationship
  • Designing a new phone
  • Creating a better organization
  • Decorating a room
  • Fixing something broken

Kreative Komments

We love it when teachers use their creativity in our session feedback forms. Here are a few of our favorites from Atlanta.

Atlanta visits the Broncos!

We truly enjoyed our experiences with the Atlanta GATE teachers. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the outcome from the Atlanta Falcons vs. Broncos game last week! But as we say in creativity land – all failures must be viewed as learning experiences. Hope the Broncos will “take a lesson” and make a few changes.

The Most Important Thing:

  • Using tools improves creative output
  • S.C.A.M.P.E.R. extends and magnifies thinking
  • Creative teaching energizes and excites educators
  • The Broncos need to S.C.A.M.P.E.R.!

The one thing the experts do agree on is that creative skills can be developed, techniques can be taught, and an individuals creativity can be enhanced with practice. - Biech, 1996