Do you incorporate creative learning in your classroom? Well, we know that as a teacher, you often have to keep up with the school curriculum, run classes and hold meetings with parents. So, finding time to help your students improve their creativity can be quite tricky. Eventually, with so little time on your hands, you might ask yourself, “is it essential?”
We’ve discovered that creative classrooms look and feel different. They offer students the kind of environment that allows them to showcase their ideas as they challenge problems using innovative solutions. To share some of these unique lessons, we’ve put together ten simple methods for you to promote creative thinking among your students.
Always have room for visual reflection
One of the best ways to give your students a creative understanding of information is through reflective activities. Once you introduce reflective learning in your classroom, they benefit, both the person who shares and all other students in the school.
We saw an excellent example of this from a 5th-grade teacher living in New York. She created a corner in her class and named it “Think Tank.” Here, students can go explore, think and discuss various ideas with one another.
Have you ever asked yourself, what motivates and interests your students? Yes, find out what drives each student and help them continue pursuing their objective. For instance, if you realise that one of your students is excited to learn about space, give him or her the right reading resources.
You could take the person on a virtual online spacecraft tour or ask him or her to come up with a design of a future spacecraft. Just take time and encourage your students to focus on their learning desires and you’ll see their creative minds expand.
Try using video resources like Ted Talks
Have your students watch a Ted Talk from an expert in the field. This helps in enlightening students on why it’s vital to develop a creative mind. Suitable examples of such shows include:
- Tales Of Creativity And Play by Time Brown
- How To Build Your Creative Confidence by David Kelly
Now, if your students are too young to watch such Ted Talks or other video resources, you could always watch them first. When you go to class, use the ideas that you’ve learned to promote creativity amongst your students.
Divergent thinking is important
A majority of students only use convergent thinking, meaning that they can answer those fundamental questions which don’t require creativity. However, divergent thinking takes an entirely different approach. It tests the creativity of your students.
It requires them to do an extensive amount of brainstorming, explore different perspectives and think differently. So, if you’ve not tried this technique, try to design lessons that make use of both divergent and convergent thinking. What you’ll end up seeing is a swift improvement in the performance of every student!
Understand all the required standards
Part of any teacher’s job is to know the standards of education. Sadly, we’ve discovered that many of these standards don’t provide space for creativity. By knowing all these standards, you can quickly get ways to approach an activity or a lesson.
You may look at each and think, “How should I plan this lesson to improve my student’s creativity?” Make sure that you’re familiar with all standards as it will be easier for you to add creativity to all your lessons. Eventually, you’ll also become a better teacher.
The multiple intelligence theory
Get the best out of your class by utilising the multiple intelligence theory. It will help you in knowing what type of learners you have. For instance, are they interpersonal, kinesthetic or visual-spatial?
Remember that when students get the chance to utilise their strengths, they can easily access their creative minds. In any case, creativity is all about using various parts of your brain which is what this theory tries to achieve.
Add creative skills to your lesson plan
How can you teach creative skills? Well, it’s pretty simple! Here, you’ll only need to help them learn how to use their imagination, collaborate with peers and stay motivated. These areas provide a clear path for good ideas to happen.
Apart from that, it helps students think critically about the learning material. It also shows them the importance of listening to their colleagues’ opinions as they look for solutions to a particular problem. Last but not least, it allows them to showcase their intelligent way of thinking as they learn from each other’s ideas.
Avoid limiting assignments to a single format
Giving your students the opportunity to tackle assignments using their preferred style is quite remarkable too. We’ve noted that it brings out the creative nature of each. For instance, let’s say you told you’re students to read and write an essay on the book “No Sugar.”
In such a project, don’t rely on a typical approach. Instead, provide them with various formats which they can use to bring out the concepts of social acceptance and racism. Suitable examples include coming up with documentaries, presentations or speeches!
Classroom team building exercises
The essential thing that you’ll need to understand about these cooperative games is that they encourage unity amongst your students. Here, they can work together, share ideas, make decisions, communicate, and collaborate creatively.
Challenge advanced students using extension projects
Giving advanced learners the chance to tackle creative extension assignments comes with several advantages. Suitable examples include:
- They help them learn faster
- They can solve, find and act on various problems easily
- They learn how to manipulate abstract concepts and make advanced level connections
However, as compared to routine tasks, extensions are entirely open-ended. Such means that your students will have to follow the goal of the paper and use their creative and critical thinking abilities to develop a process.
The above techniques are all that you need to boost the level of creativity among your students. As you can see, you only have to create an environment that allows them to think out of the box. In any case, remember that the classroom environment is the most crucial part of the learning process with an average number of 23.1 students filling the normal American primary school class.
Therefore, it should always brim with creativity, not only physically, but also in the learning curriculum! Despite all these exciting tips, is there anything else that you feel helps in triggering the creative minds of your students?