Did you ever wonder how the people at Google come up with so many innovative ideas? What is creativity? Can it be taught? Tina Seelig is amazing at bringing clarity to the subject of innovation.
Ms. Seelig explains that we need to have a basic understanding of creativity - a working definition. She clarifies how to present our students with questions that have more than one answer, give them time to think and discuss, and explain the results. Many elementary teachers in my past have spent so much time on fact fluency, and not enough time asking open questions.
For example, the equation 3 + 7= ? has only one possible answer. But Seelig posits that the next level would be to ask ? + ? = 10. In that case there are many solutions, including positive and negative numbers, fractions, and decimals. Watching this video sparked an "aha moment" for me, as Depth of Knowledge (DOK) is part of teaching to a level 1, 2, 3, 4 of difficulty for CCSS mathematical standards.
I had the pleasure of hearing Robert Kaplinsky speak at the Asilomar NCTM 2015 conference. He dedicates his website http://www.openmiddle.com to DOK level 2, 3 math problems,where you can browse by grade level (kindergarten-grade 12) or DOK level. Kaplinsky is gathering projects by standard and by grade, and he shares this lesson plan spreadsheet as a work in progress.
For Inquiry problems I really enjoy 3-Act Math by Dan Meyer, who advocates for improving mathematics education on CNN, Good Morning America, and in his TED talk.
TeacherDesmos.com infuses technology with collaboration, and Meyer has been their Chief Academic Officer. I also met the Founder and CEO of Desmos at the Asilomar 2015 conference, where he explained how teachers could build their own activities too!
Seelig also explains that more is involved in creativity, motivation, and innovation - for example attitude, confidence, and working in an environment that allows creativity to flourish. (growth Mindset). These insights gave me my second "aha moment" about MakerSpaces, and now I need to redesign my classroom!
Designing Spaces?? What to do?? I needed Ideas! Link to video and Ideas.
You know those reality TV shows that do make-overs...I wish I could win a total classroom make-over!
I love the flip model because it allows the class-time to do more of these "right thinking" types of problems, and all of the other activities that spark innovation in our classrooms.