Science & Arts Academy
We had the opportunity last week to work with a group of enthusiastic teachers at the Science and Arts Academy in Des Plaines, IL just outside Chicago.
The school was founded with a vision to provide intellectually and creatively talented students a stimulating and supportive environment. Differentiation, acceleration, enrichment, problem solving, and creative thinking are the everyday intellectual and artistic experiences of the students.
Educator Needs Survey
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™.
Tools & Strategies
So we packed the day with a variety of instructional tools and strategies. Think Tanks are one of our favorite tools to introduce to teachers! In the feedback we’ve received it is definitely one of the most popular and useful tools.
We started by sharing some of our more basic content Think Tank examples for Social Studies, Foreign Language, Science, etc. Then we moved on to other forms:
- Alpha Think Tanks
- Creative Writing Think Tanks
- Sensory Think Tanks
- Innovation Think Tanks
Teacher Think Tank Time
We then provided the group with a portfolio of examples we have collected from our work with thousands of educators. Next they were given time to design their own Think Tanks for specific content areas or enrichment explorations.
All we can say is, “Wow!” They definitely knocked-our-socks-off with their new creations. The Onomatopoeia is one of our favorites so far!
Why Think Tanks
The organizational design of Think Tanks is a perfect example of how the Curiosita Teaching Program™ takes what we know from research and turns it into practical instructional strategies and templates. Research tells us the brain is an organizing organ; therefore, our brains love Think Tanks! The brain:
- abhors chaos.
- wants to complete patterns.
- has a need for order and predictability.
- right hemisphere supports creative thinking.
- left hemisphere supports critical thinking.
(Brains Seek Patterns in Coincidences, Bertman, 2009)
The word Think Tank also reminds students it is their job to think creatively and critically at all times!
Creativity Tip of the Week
Parents, teachers, and students can use Think Tank designs for academic and passion learning explorations to promote rigorous, fun, and engaged learning.
Parents might want to start with Alpha Think Tanks to generate family lists of: vacation places, interests, kinds of pets, etc.
What are some ideas you have for using Think Tanks? Please share and you might find yours on our next update of the Think Tank page.
The Most Important Thing:
- Think Tanks can:
- be designed for creative and critical thinking.
- be used as pre and post assessments.
- demonstrate relationships and increase comprehension.
- extend academic and enrichment learning opportunities.
- Our brains abhor chaos and crave organization.
- Teachers need tools & strategies to teach with and for creativity.
- Our brains love Think Tanks!
“The human brain, then, is the most complicated organization of matter that we know.”
~ Isaac Asimov