Imagine what it could be…..

In my last post, The Beginning, I talked about sharing your imagination with students. One excellent way to show students your imagination is with drawing starts/challenges. Students need to be imaginative, and so do teachers. ————————– Working with 3rd grade students a few years ago, we started each day with a drawing start. This activity…

The beginning……

Imagination…. Something that helps us to tell a story A way to get creative and explore something new. Growing up can take this opportunity away, but that’s where the beginning happens. Think about all the opportunities that are right at our fingertips, the chance to create something new, to imagine the impossible, to invent something…

Transforming through the 3 W’s

“I Have the Answers to the Questions They Never Ask”sparked a thought in my brain about how many of our students go through the day with new thoughts or questions, and an untapped potential of expertise hiding below the surface. This quote¬†“I Have the Answers to the Questions They Never Ask” came from the book…

Ideas Floating Around

I sit in the twilight of morning wondering what kind of ideas might be heard today. As dark as our world is at times, I know there are ideas floating around in the minds of our students, just waiting to see the sunshine. How will those ideas come to see the light of day when…

Inspired by…..

Each day we set our sights on creating a community where inspiration can happen. Each morning, when students walk through our doors, we greet them with a fist bump and a smile, hoping that we can inspire them today. What if we flipped that and began to ask students who they will inspire today? Or…

Planning..With…Students

This year has been one of the most difficult years I’ve had as a teacher. Moving towards a more collaborative based structure with my students as planners has been a real struggle. Behavior and the ability to self reflect does not change in one year, yet I’m more than happy to take on that challenge….

The Challenge: _________________

Fill in the blank of the title. What challenge are your students facing today.  I’ve found that no matter how we talk about a growth mindset, reflection, planning, and affirmation my students are struggling.  Learning is a continuum and I need to continue to understand that the continuum is wide, especially with 9 year olds. …

Blank Canvas: Choosing the Best Brush

How often do we have the opportunity to express ourselves? What kind of brush would you use if you didn’t have breakfast in the morning? What type of color would you use if you slept the night on the floor? What type of image would you draw if your teacher always started the day with…

Comics: The Power of Design

Calvin is having a problem. He’d like to get back to Earth safely. Design a way for him to return to Earth using only 3 items. What do you notice about the above comic? How might we use design thinking along with this comic? What ideas would you or your students have to help Calvin…

Small Cubes, Huge Opportunities 

Throughout the last year I have been experimenting with the game based creation tool called Bloxels and I have been blown away by the possibilities. What amazes me the most are the attitudes of the students as they receive feedback from their peers and revise their game creations. These little blocks pack an amazingly powerful…

What’s a Low Level Opportunity?

As I was continuing my 2nd read of the Innovator’s Mindset this week, I came across a quote that connected with me in a different way.  George wrote, “What risk might you take to change learning experiences?” I have always felt like I need to provide opportunities for students to experience learning in many different…

Do I have to work with them?

Think about that question in the title. What is that student really saying when they exclaim, “I don’t want to work with them!” Is it because students don’t want to share their ideas? Could it be that students don’t feel safe? Could it be the learning environment is not set up for collaboration? I really…