start your day!

use a creative exercise/problem to start each class or day

Photo of Myron Williams
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there are many puzzles, games, problems which require collaborative/creative thinking and are a way to start each day or each class period. i have use these over the years and find students soon expect these. when well planned add to the creative thinking of the whole class over the course or year.


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Photo of Myron Williams

How do you start your day encouraging creative thinking? Provide a variety of activities which help students begin creating some product. For example show a picture and allow students (alone or in groups) to write an original story based on the picture. I use illusions found on Google Images for such starters. Another example is to provide various household materials (foil, tape, scissors, napkins, etc) along with art supplies and again in groups or alone create a visual illustration of a concept we will be studying that day.

To pitch this to other teacher I simply invited them into a space where we practice such activities, then begin to brainstorm how we can use these and other activities to establish a culture of creativity in the classroom. In our case we were consulting with a school district so we had teachers and principals in our seminars and though at first they were reluctant we encouraged them to try it, and by the end of the seminar they saw the value and were willing to think about implementing in their schools.

Photo of Michael Schurr

Hi Myron, how are you? I think you are onto a great idea here and the dialogue we began in the comments have really started to frame it out in more detail. We would love for you to share it in the ideate phase.

A couple of questions that might help frame out this idea:
What’s this idea about?
Why is this an idea that creates a culture of innovation?
How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal?
How’d you get this idea off the ground?

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or want to talk the idea out in more detail!

Photo of Michael Schurr

Hi Myron, love the idea of starting the day with a creative exercise. So important to "hook" the students upon arrival. I wonder where you find your inspiration for these types of activities. Social media, blogs, conferences, scholarly articles? I also wonder if there about brain research and learning.

Bettie B had a similar post about beginning the day w a creative problem solving to start the day. Mark Treadwell had a really interesting post called Learning: How the Brain Learns that I think you would find fascinating. It would be great for you to connect with them as it seems you are thinking along the same lines.

Photo of Myron Williams

I've been reading on creativity for 30+ years now. I took a class in creativity & education at Michigan State many years ago and that started me thinking and reading. Ben Zander, anything Disney, Edward DeBono, Ken Robinson, Mike Vance, Ed Catmull, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Michael Gelb are all worth reading to spark ideas,

Photo of Michael Schurr

Great list! If you had to pick one that you think has inspired you the most around creativity and innovation, which would it be? Could I encourage you to share a new post with the whole community about it? It would be more inspiration for us all!

Photo of Brett Brownell

Hi Myron, it looks like your post is still unpublished. If you're done drafting, be sure to click "Publish" at the top of the post and it will be added to the Discover phase. Thanks so much for contributing!

Photo of Myron Williams

got it. thanks for helping me learn.