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You are creative, or at least you have the desire to be. {I hope.} When facing your students with the same daily routine, piling on projects and assignments to get them thinking, is their thinking creative? This overloaded process can hinder creative stimulation, making even “exciting” projects mundane. So how do you get your students, and yourself, thinking creatively again? Want to bring excitement with learning back into the classroom? Below are a few helpful tips and ideas to help you do just that… Or at least jump-start your process.

Writing-VS-Drawing

Tip #1: Every student learns and retains knowledge differently. Use this to your advantage and create various assignment options.

Idea: Give all students one assignment, but deliver your instructions using multiple methods, or 2 different ways to turn the assignment in. {I.E. Option 1 can be to use their device to draw or visualize their answer. Option 2 can be to take a quick quiz or write a short paragraph.}Bell-Ringer

 Tip #2: Rethink the ‘Bell Ringer’. Just because this activity is a traditional staple in the classroom doesn’t mean it has to be a piece of paper and a question.

Idea: Ask your students to bring in a journal, or better yet, use a journal app on their device. Try this one. Give them writing or drawing prompts and then give them the reins on how they answer. You may be pleasantly surprised with the amazing work you get back.

Megaphone Tip #3: Give your students a voice. Let’s face it, from the time one can speak, or even motion to us, they know what they want. It’s no different in the classroom, students already have an opinion, even in 1st Grade. Use this to your advantage and mix up the everyday!

Idea: Keep your classroom moving, give your students a choice in what they do or learn! Use the technology you have and take a poll, take input, and let their creative minds spark yours! Use Google Forms and have everyone submit an idea on a lesson plan, what they turn in might impress you, or take you on a creative journey to get to where you wanted to go.

Group-TalkingTip #4: Give freedom in your students’ conversations. They want to chit chat anyways, why not direct what they chit chat about?

Idea: Set time aside each week where your students run the conversation. Provide a thought provoking topic or question on creativity and let free debate flow. Keep it structured and set up rules, but let them take their creative minds to new places in speech. Some great prompts: What is a great way for us to use Social Media for the good? Let’s come up with a school-wide charitable project, what could we do?

DryErase-BoardTip #5: Use discussion boards to your advantage, and who says they have to discuss in words? Let’s revamp this activity. In the age of Tumblr and Facebook, students are already sharing their thoughts and discussing in structured ways. Bring this into the classroom and use it in a positive way.

Idea: Write a question on your board and have your students get up and place/write their answer or thought next to the prompt. Sound too busy and unorganized for you? Use technology!! Padlet is a great website that uses text, video, pictures, and more to engage the members of the board in a discussion.

I know above is a simple and short list, but I’m sure it’s already sparked some sort of creative thought for you. Explore the digital, that’s what your students do every day so use it to your advantage. Teach the digital, even if you’re timid about it, choose just one thing each week to try, it gets more natural with time! We’d love to see what creations these tips sparked; share with us your projects and your students’ creations by using #iTeachDigital and #eTechTalk.   Happy creating!

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Design and Marketing Manager

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