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Creativity In The Common Core Classroom

So this morning I woke up early AGAIN (how proud are we?!) because I had to take the Mister’s car in for some tire maintenance (that’s what the light said so I’ll go with that…).  On my way home, I was listening to NPR (I love NPR!) and they had a story about Sir Ken Robinson and a TED Talk he did a few years ago.  It is the most viewed TED Talk EVER!  (TED Talks are awesome!  If you’ve never listened to any of the talks, you must!  They’re very inspiring!).  This particular talk was about creativity and our education system.  BAM!  I love art and creativity and I despise how these two areas are shunned in our current system.  After listening to the story (he’s a funny man) and listening to the TED Talk, I was inspired to write this post!

Here is the link to the NPR Story!

Here is the TED Talk!  It’s about 20 minutes long but worth listening to.

http://embed.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

After listening to Ken’s talk, I reflected on my own classroom.   I was pleased to realize that we do art projects almost every single day.  Our classroom and our hallway are covered with the artwork of my students.  In fact, we have to have our art displayed in the library and other hallways because there is so much of it.  Now, Mr. Greg, how in the world do you squeeze in art when you have to meet the Common Core in math and reading?!  Get ready…I’m going to share a Kindergarten Smorgasboard secret with you….get your fun pens, your fancy planners, your notebooks and iPads ready…here it comes….

I use the art to meet the Common Core.  If I can’t make the art meet the Common Core I add a writing component to the art and BAM!  It’s academic.  

Art and creativity should not be another thing to work in.  Use it to your advantage.  Include with the story on rainbows.  Make it a comprehension activity.  Turn the story into a writing prompt and students can create a picture to accompany their writing.  Instead of an addition worksheet, have students make a picture to go with word problems.

I am always so proud of the data for my class at the end of the year.  My students consistently score proficient/benchmark/above average or however you classify it.  People always ask how they do it and I think I’ve found the answer.  I allow them to be creative in the classroom.  That creativity allows them to think differently.  It allows them to process better.  And it makes them better students.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from this talk:

I teach my students that it’s OK to make mistakes and that we can’t learn if we don’t mess up.  People that is powerful stuff!!! 
In the NPR interview, Mr. Robinson says that people who run large companies are starting to understand that a lack of creativity is holding back their business.  Interesting thought.  CEOs are saying that they need employees to be more creative so they can generate new and original and CREATIVE ideas!    As teachers we need to be creative so that we can continue to create new and original and effective teaching strategies, activities and resources because a creative classroom is a successful and happy classroom.
A couple more quotes popped out at me from this interview and TED Talk.
So, here’s my question to you (let’s have a great discussion in the comments…) what do you do in your classroom to foster creativity?  What are some go to activities/projects/artwork that you use in your classroom?
Here is some of our art from last year!

So yesterday we did a little give away for my new Boot Scootin Boogy center pack and a set of Alphabet Flip Books from The Printable Princess.
Here is the winner:  Elizabeth from Fun In Room 4B!  Be on the lookout for your prizes!  Stay tuned for another great give away tomorrow!
Here is today’s Fab Five 50% off creation!  You can get my Doughnut Shop Addition and Subtraction pack for just $3.50 for today only!
And don’t forget that Google Reader is going bye-bye!  Make sure to follow me on Bloglovin so you can get all of my posts and updates!  

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