October 2009 - Minds in Bloom

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Spoonerisms occur when writers switch the initial sounds of two words in a phrase. Have fun with your class teaching them how to decode spoonerisms!

Fun with Spoonerisms

You can have a lot of spun with foonerisms. Kids love to stead rories with spoonerisms. They are also a wood gray to get kids to look at wow hords are put together. A spoonerism is made when the initial sounds of two words in a phrase are switched. A great way to introduce a unit on spoonerisms is to read Shel Silverstein’s last book

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For this post in our Creative Classroom series, we're talking about arguably the most important factor in your classroom: the door! How inviting is your door on the outside? What's on the inside of your door? We explore these questions and ideas in this blog post.

The Creative Classroom – Come on in!

You know how some classrooms grab your attention as soon as you walk in? You can tell immediately that this is a place where kids are excited about learning, where creativity is welcomed, and where ideas are shared. You probably already have that kind of a classroom,* but you are probably also always on the lookout for new ideas, hence the inspiration for this series.

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This heart maps art project allows the artist to express their individual traits and hobbies, as well as things that are important to them. Great for decor!

Heart Maps Art Project

I found this great Heart Maps project at Creative Literacy. I love this project because: It is such a clear, graphic representation of what is truly important to the artist. There is so much room for creativity – what a great display they would make! Pretty much any age child can do this. In fact, it would be neat to see the same child do

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Wreck This Journal is a book for people--anyone!--to let out their creativity. Decorate, color, destroy, embellish, and make the pages yours. You can use it for yourself, or you could find a creative way to use it in the classroom!

Wreck This Journal

Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith is a great way to lose your inhibitions, think very creatively, and have fun. It is very much about coloring outside of the lines. Each page invites you to do something you’d never normally do to a journal, like… Poke holes in this page using a pencil Scribble wildly, violently with reckless abandon Pour, spill, drip, spit, fling your

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Give it a rest--your brain, that is! Try this creative thinking strategy of giving your brain a short break. When you come back, so has your creativity!

Give it a Rest: A Creative Thinking Strategy

Sometimes the best thing you can do when you can’t solve a problem is to stop trying. The brain needs time to rest, regroup, and to put everything you have been feeding into it together in meaningful ways. The perfect solution may pop into your head when you are focused on something completely different, or you may find the solution easily when you come back

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TriBonds is a fun word game that gets kids thinking creatively, critically, and laterally. You can play it as part of a center rotation, during a few spare minutes of class, or on a road trip! Check out some free examples of TriBonds in this post.

Try TriBonds

mail ~ shoe ~ lunch What do these three words have in common? TriBonds or, as it is sometimes called, the Game of Threes is yet another way to practice higher level thinking. Finding the common link that joins three words, that on first glance seem to have nothing in common, requires analysis and deductive reasoning. Just another way to help children learn to think

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Fun Friday – A Few Good Jokes

Q: What did the Buddhist monk say to the hot dog vendor? A: Make me one with everything. First Atom: I think I lost an electron.Second Atom: Are you sure?First Atom: I’m positive. Q: Why do seagulls fly by the sea? A: Because if they flew by the bay they would be bagels. Guy walks into a bar holding a chunk of asphalt and says

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Creative Thinking with WakerUppers

Here is just one of several activities on a WakerUpper page. Each WakerUpper page is filled with a diverse collection of engaging, hand-drawn activities, all fun and all requiring some level of higher thinking. The authors have even turned putting your name on the paper into an enriching activity. On one page you might be asked to “Write your name as if it were dripping

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This Pass It On creative writing activity will be a great exercise in flexible thinking and letting go of some of the control. Your students will be given 10-15 minutes to start a creative story, and then everyone will pass his or her paper in the same direction to the next student. Students will again be given time, this time to read the story start they've received and then to add the middle. When the time is up, they'll pass it on one more time, and the next student will write the ending. It's a fun bonding exercise your students are sure to love!

Pass It on Creative Writing

This is a great activity for flexible thinking, as kids must let go of their own ideas, to some extent, and work with their classmates’ ideas. It is also great for practicing beginning, middle, end. It is a good one to try when you are between units or when your kids are a little squirrely.   What to do:   Have each student choose a

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Looking to get your students even more invested in a book? If there's a movie version of the book, then do an activity comparing the book to the movie! This blog post shares some guiding questions and links to a FREE worksheet you can download and use in your classroom.

Comparing the Book to the Movie

Watching a movie after reading the book is a wonderful way to encourage students to think critically about how each medium presented roughly the same information. Here are some questions to ask: Think about the setting of the book. Did the setting in the movie look like you had imagined it? (Good ones for this are the Harry Potter series, Holes, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and Where

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Are you working on symmetry in your math class? Try this fun symmetry game with your students. It will have them not only learning more about symmetry, but it will also help them learn more about spatial awareness and graphing.

Symmetry Game: Guess my Grid

Here is a fun game for practicing symmetry. The game can be played in pairs or as a whole class, and it’s based on the game Battleship. Each player uses a grid to create a symmetrical pattern. An 8×8 grid works well. You can have students make their own grids using graph paper or you can download the game here for free.   Tips for

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Get Your Students to Talk about School

How can we avoid that useless dialogue? Many teachers keep parents updated on what is going on at school with weekly newsletters, emails, or website postings, and that is great! But you could take it one step further by suggesting questions that parents can ask their kids about what they are learning in school. You can make those questions simple recall, but you could also

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