Creativity in the Classroom

Math and History

"creativity is a process of having original ideas that have value" Sir Ken Robinson

This is why creativity is so important in schools. Teaching students that their original ideas matter enables them to have the confidence to create. We are training kids who will be the next future leaders and we, as teachers, need to guide them and enable their creative ideas.

Relativity

Students in the 21st century need materials to be relative to them. Our challenge as teachers is to bring in the connections. This is where creativity can help. Instead of just teaching students about area and perimeter, have them do a project where they have to design a house using certain restrictions for area and perimeters. Students also struggle relating to history at younger ages. By connecting what life was like then to them now helps encourage them to pursue these topics further.

Teacher Roadblocks

Some people struggle with the roadblock of thinking they are not creative, so they can not teach creativity to their students. Sir Ken Robinson addresses this in an interview. He says that their are two ways of teaching creativity:


1. Teaching basics of divergent thinking--using analogies, metaphors, and visual thinking


2. Personal creativity--finding their passion


Teachers need to understand that everyone is creative, it just might be shown in a different way. They need to foster an environment that encourages their students to use their passions in their education.

Math

It is no question that many people remember the age they stopped liking math. They could no longer understand why things like the Pythagorean Theorem applied to them and why they had to learn it.


How do we as teachers continue to make math creative? Apply it to life!


Teaching geometry? Have students design a theme park using specific shapes for each ride. Have them calculate the area of the rides, lines and the overall park.


Teaching fractions? Have them create their own recipe--and possibly bring in samples!


Teaching addition? Use students as manipulatives! Get two circles of students to the front of the classroom and physically add them together!


The most important part is to engage students and get them involved in their own learning while engaging their creativity.

History

For younger students, they are egocentric and have trouble taking another person's perspective. That is why creativity is so important in teaching history! Putting students in the shoes of people of a different time period helps them begin to understand life in a different time.


Having students write short plays about history, eat the foods, visit historical "living towns" will help them engage.

Discussion

1. What is something you remember a teacher doing to engage you creatively in class?


2. What is something you plan on doing for your classroom?