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I'm amazed that the necklace practice took off! That's awesome. As for your questions, I think it's a big struggle in teaching, as so much of what we do is 'messy' and anecdotal in terms of evidence - especially when it comes to teacher interventions. Having an administration that is open minded about how to measure is a good first step, I think.

On something of a side note, but related to this conversation and the one we had in August: There's a book called Intentional Interuption ( that's all about how teacher PD and PLCs (professional learning communities, as we call them up here) are a really good idea, but aren't being executed effectively. You should definitely check it out. What really hit home for me was their identification of how at any given 30 teacher PD session: 5 people will be hostile to the ideas, 10 will be politely interested, 10 will be interested but won't take it further than that day, and that only 5 actually walk away with meaningful change (1 or 2 who will still be pursuing that change 3 months later). They talk a lot about what makes teacher learning - or 'teacher playing', in this case - groups effective at actually accomplishing things, which would be an interesting sidebar to figuring out what an innovative/creative culture could look like.

I think this is what Cheryl (above post) is getting at, too. In my mind you need to create a 'Productive Playground' for it to be a purposeful creTive experience (one that could incorporate unstructured moments, but that had an overarching purpose/reason). Or maybe not! I can also see value in having an unstructured creative experience, but that seems like a much tougher thing to create in places (re: Schools) where accountability is such a pressing issue.

I really like the question 'How do you structure play?' because at some point, it seems to me, over structured play isn't really 'play', right? At the same time, some structure/rules are also needed if you're looking for some kind of productivity. I think that's a big part of the challenge we're working on here.