Free Christmas Tic-Tac-Toe Journal Prompts

Want to add a little holiday magic to your journal writing program? Try this free journal prompt choice grid. At the start of the week, students choose three of the nine prompts. Since they must choose three in a row, they will have to make some choices, weighing one prompt against another. You can get the whole set of  Holiday Tic-Tac-Toe Journal Prompts here. Or you

What are some ideas for book report projects that my students will enjoy?

Ten Great Creative Book Report Ideas

There are many, many great ways for students to respond to literature. Students especially enjoy creative book reports. These will work for almost any book and are especially good when students are reading independent book selections. A quick web search will reveal that there are many ideas out there for creative book reports, but they are not all good ideas. Here are, in my opinion,

using questions to get students thinking

6 Creative Ways to Use Questions

Whether they are about a specific area of study or just for fun, questions are a terrific way to get kids thinking critically and creatively. You probably already use questioning as part of your teaching – the Socratic Method. You probably also use them to generate discussions and as journal prompts. Here are a few other creative ways to use questions. At the Start of

Consider this: Neatness and creativity often can't coexist. If you want your classroom to be a neat one, it likely won't be a very creative one--and vice versa. Remember that creativity is important for helping students to learn, and it shouldn't be omitted due to a need for neatness.

Neatness vs. Creativity

Exactness and neatness in moderation is a virtue, but carried to extremes narrows the mind. -Francois Fenelon Have you ever seen one of those classrooms that is neat to the extreme? Creativity and extreme neatness rarely coexist. Here are some reasons why: Ultra neat classrooms look bare. There isn’t much in the room in terms of art and science supplies or even school supplies above the

Fun ways to teach students about following directions

Giving Directions Drawing Activity

Here is a fun drawing activity to help kids analyze and improve how they communicate when giving directions.Pair kids up. Give them each clipboards, paper, and colored pencils or crayons. Then have the pairs sit back-to-back. Tell the pairs that they will each be drawing a picture. The goal of the activity is to make their pictures as similar as possible. Begin by having one

The back of the classroom can sometimes feel like a wasted space, but there are lots of things that you can do with it. I'm sharing some ideas of what to do with the back of your creative classroom, so click through to read more!

The Creative Classroom – Got Your Back

Is this the back of the classroom? The front? Maybe a side wall? Can’t really tell, and that is what I like about it. One interesting way to use the back of your classroom is to not really have one. If you can teach from different places around the room, your classroom may not really have a back. However, most classrooms do. So here are

This quick and fun creative writing idea will have your students pushing their brains and using their creativity to write a short paragraph without repeating any words!

Quick and Fun Creative Writing Idea

Happy Chyck posted this great idea in her post, Squeezing Good Writing Out of Them. It seems like a good one to try during these squirrely-before-break days. So here is the idea: Assign your students to write a 6-sentence paragraph with no repeating words. Great for coming up with creative alternatives and great for thesaurus use. And as Happy Chyck noted, students seem to enjoy

Creativity is everywhere; all you need to do is take the time to look for it. Look around your environment, experiences, and memories for creative inspirations, and encourage your students to do the same!

Creative Inspirations

The quote below is located in the restroom at the Horses Mouth Bookstore and Internet Cafe in Buffalo, Texas. If you were here, as I am (far from my home in Bothell, Washington), you would not need to read it backwards because it is located on the wall directly across from the mirror, so of course it is reflected backward, which is forward to the reader.

ideas for brainstorming in the classroom

Creative Brainstorming with Post-Its

Traditional group brainstorming usually involves a leader fielding ideas and writing them in list format. However, you can use Post-It notes to make group brainstorming more personal and interactive. In addition, the Post-Its method allows you to easily organize ideas once they are all given. You could use this process in several ways: To solve a classroom problem; e.g., Our book nook is in a

classroom library

The Creative Classroom – Your Class Library

The two main challenges with a classroom library seem to be making it cozy and inviting yet easily accessible, and keeping it organized. Here are some thoughts on both. Make It Inviting Most kids love cozy spaces. Ideally, your class library should be in a corner of your room, away from the door and the sink. A rug is a must. Bean bags, big pillows,

What's the best time of day for creativity? Click through to find out! There is indeed a certain time of day that our bodies and minds are best prepared to be creative, to relax, to be productive, and more.

Best Time of Day for Creativity

According to this article from Prevention Magazine, the best time of the day for creativity is 9:00-11:00 in the morning, while 11:00-2:00 is a great time to solve difficult problems. With that in mind, seems like it makes sense to start the day with a quick, creative activity – perhaps a journal prompt or a waker-upper and then move into language arts with math just before or

Many of the world's greatest thinkers had numerous failures before they had successes. Teach your students to try creative thinking and to take risks, all for the sake of learning.

Creative Thinking: In Defense of Mistakes

You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. -Wayne Gretzky Mistakes are the portals of discovery. -James Joyce A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. -George Bernard Shaw In school, the right answer is so often required that children do not learn to value the wrong one. In fact, many children have learned that

Ken Robinson discusses whether schools kill creativity and how often, students feel so pressured to get the "right" answer that they're afraid to give the wrong answer.

Ken Robinson Talks about Creativity

I stumbled on this video last night. I love his speaking style, and he makes some really good points, one of which is how schools value “the right” answer so much that we make kids afraid to be wrong. Often, those who have done great things have been wrong quite a few times before they were right. Risk-taking is an important aspect of creativity. When

Desk arrangement is one of the most important components of classroom management. Read Rachel's thoughts and suggestions about desk arrangement to help you find what works in your classroom.

The Creative Classroom – Desk Arrangment

  Tristan, Alex, Lucy, and Kayla really needs to sit near the front, if you want them to focus. You can’t put Ashley next to any of her friends – which is most of the girls in the class – because she will constantly talk to them. No one wants to sit next to Bradley. He is that kid no one likes, and he doesn’t

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

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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