Training, consultancy and resources to improve teaching and learning
You are here > Members' Resources > Online Learning Magazine > 2010 Magazine Issues > Issue 1: Creativity in Learning
Books Membership

To read the learning magazine, download resources and to access site resources you'll need to join and login:

  • Standard Member: Free
    Monthly updates, magazine & limited resources
  • Teacher Premium Member: £24 per annum
    Monthly updates, magazine & all teacher resources
Find out more about each level >>
Books Training Events

Training Available From Mike:

Headteacher Executive Coaching; 

NQT/RQT Training Programmes for Local Authorities;

Cluster/Federation/Academy Chain Training Days

Books Teacher Premium Offer

Book Cover Boys LearningApr 2017 This month's Teacher Premium Offer:

Understand and Improve Boys Learning £10.00

with free standard delivery in the UK




Shop Free Shop Delivery

Teacher Premium Members receive

  • Free UK Standard Delivery in the Thinking Classroom Book Shop
Magazine Issue 1: Creativity in Learning
July 2010

This month: Thoughts about Creativity in Learning

Article: Creativity & Learning
New Resources
Mike's Books
Additional Resources
Wise Words

This Month's Article:

Creativity in Learning

img
Creativity in Learning An Article suggesting a definition of creativity and hinting at what this means in the classroom. Plenty of opportunity to debate, analyse and critique.

You see a child play, and it is so close to seeing an artist paint, for in play a child says things without uttering a word. You can see how he solves his problems....Young children, especially, have enormous creativity, and whatever's in them rises to the surface in free play.
Erik Erikson

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Creativity, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Mindset
How  creative ARE  you ?

You see these four random objects and you're maybe thinking, what on earth...why...huh?

brick wallsheeptelegraph poleglass flower

well, have a go at ranking them in order of danger, of cost, of humour potential, and of age
Now consider what they've got in common, and finally, how would you combine them into a new business enterprise?

It could be argued that completing any of those tasks was creative; you made something of value that hadn't existed before you turned your mind to it. Your thinking was most likely new, though were your answers/solutions 'of value'? And did they serve a purpose other than playing with ideas about randomly placed images? What if you applied the same type of thinking to challenges such as embedding a new initiative? Solving a staffing problem? Raising academic standards? or making lessons more engaging?

Creativity in learning
is more than painting keywords, dancing times tables or role playing the periodic table. These are interesting activities but creativity in learning goes much further: creative thinking, creative problem solving, building a creative learning environment and nurturing a creative learning community. It's as much about attitude and belief as it is about what you actually do.

Being creative;means following one or more of these principles:

  • A belief that
    creativity can change things and improve things

    creative potential is inside everyone and can be found everywhere
    mistakes are to be celebrated, learned from and used
    creativity can be a natural response to pain, suffering and boredom

  • An attitude of
    positivity towards surprising and unexpected events
    openness to new ideas and experiences when they appear
    smart risk-taking
    non-judgement

  • An ability to
    actively seek out new ideas and experiences
    see familiar things in new and different ways
    use both analytic and holistic thinking
    make, think or do things that haven’t been made, thought or done before
Go back to the tasks at the top of this page. Which beliefs, attitudes and abilities helped you to engage with the challenge?

Use the resources, ideas and links in this issue to discover and enrich your own creativity. Try to absorb the concept of creative teaching and learning. What does it mean for you to, "make something new of value"? Believing that all your learners have the potential to be creative? Taking a risk with your planning and classroom interactions? Allowing 8 seconds thinking time in class and sitting comfortably with the silence while children work it through? Getting the glitter out in numeracy?.

A creative attitude, belief and skill are valuable gifts to give your learners. Who knows what challenges and problems they'll face in the future, but with a creative and positive outlook, they'll be more likely to thrive.


New Resources:

Develop pupils' summarising and evaluation skills. My teenage daughter was complaining about the plot of Wuthering Heights after watching a TV adaptation. It does take a bit of mental dexterity to unravel who’s cousin to who and how many people’s names begin with H. “And in any case,” she summarised, “everyone dies!”. What an interesting response to one of the greatest love stories. I wonder if I’d choose the same 2 words? I wonder if other stories can be similarly condensed? And what about other subjects – 2 word summaries of cities, poems, experiments, songs, paintings?

2 Word Thinking

img
2 Word Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool for getting to the essence of ideas, books, concepts, stories etc. but in only 2 words.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Summarising
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


This month I'm publishing the introduction and part 1 of 190 Ways to Start a Lesson. This feature of the monthly mailing has always been popular so I've combined the best ideas and many new ones into this 9-part book. Each lesson starter is clearly explained with a simple example or diagram. The 9 parts are themed e.g. 60 second starters, Thinking Skills, Use Your Senses, and in next month's issue you'll receive Fun & Games starters.
(May 14: The Ebook is no longer available in parts)

190 Ways To Start A Lesson

img
190 Ways To Start A Lesson An EBook featuring over 190 diverse ways to begin a lesson. Arranged into 10 sections you'll find a host of simple methods for engaging pupils with their thinking and learning.

Categories: Book & EBook, Teaching & Learning, Curriculum, Any Subject, Educators

Tags: Lesson Starters
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Lucy and I created more stories than LDA could fit in to our Surprising Stories book. I'll be making them available here to premium members. The first one introduces a simple idea for creating new names. It can be applied in creative writing, product design and in most curriculum areas.

Daisy May the Cheese Thief

img
Daisy May the Cheese Thief An unpublished Thinking Story including a fun creative activity around generating the names of new cheeses. Can also be applied to character generation for story writing.

Categories: Story, Creativity, DT, English, Junior

Tags: Story Creative Thinking
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Mike's Books:

Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity: This is the follow on to Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind. Same style, just a slightly different focus.

Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity
by Mike Fleetham

img
Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity<br> by Mike Fleetham The follow-on Book to Thinking Stories. 28 original tales with currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy, Thinking Skills and Creativity are combined within engaging stories and tasks saving you planning time and ensuring rich curriculum coverage. Ideal for supporting a creative curriculum. Photocopiable worksheets included.  

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Creativity, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Thinking Skills Creativity Creative Curriculum Thinking Stories

And here are three of the stories from the book together with me having a go at reading them in a style suiting the themes (no formal training here so be forgiving!). Click play and put your feet up in class for a few minutes.

The Sparrow Who Swallowed a Sunset

img
The Sparrow Who Swallowed a Sunset A Story with activities about a little bird in Winter who is rejected by his peers, sets off on a difficult journey, and struggles with the ultimate test. Use as a metaphor for new life, rebirth, death. Taken from "Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity".

Categories: Story, Skills-Based Learning, PSHE, Infant, Junior

Tags: Transition Christmas Bullying Easter Story
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

The Sparrow Who Swallowed a Sunset - Audio

img
The Sparrow Who Swallowed a Sunset - Audio A Thinking Story from Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity - Audio Version.

Categories: Story, Audio, Leadership, RE & Philosophy, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Story Thinking Stories Audio Leadership
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

The Trouble With Wishes

img
The Trouble With Wishes Story taken from 'Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity' in which a girl accidentally kills a wish devil then discovers at first hand what the phrase 'Be careful what you wish for' really means. Includes curriculum-linked follow on activities.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Story, Creativity, RE & Philosophy, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Thinking Stories Thinking Skills Creative Curriculum Creativity Story

The Trouble With Wishes - Audio

img
The Trouble With Wishes - Audio A Thinking Story from Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity - Audio version.

Categories: Story, Audio, Creativity, Geography, PSHE, Junior

Tags: Story Thinking Stories Audio
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

I've been writing Smart Thinking Tools since December 2003. The format changed in 2007 and nothing pre-2009 is available online. So I've started to update and reformat these resources, adding new applications and worksheets for you to edit and apply in class. Those of you who've been with Thinking Classroom since 2003 might still have originals archived (well done!).

Fractal Thinking

img
Fractal Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool that uses the recursive nature of a Fractal to provide a framework for analysis.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Analysis
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Matrix Thinking

img
Matrix Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool for structured decision making.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Decision Making
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Rainbow Thinking

img
Rainbow Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool combining analysis and ranking.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Analytical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Junior

Tags: Analysis Ranking
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Books:

Thinkertoys
by Michael Michalko

Thinkertoys <br> by Michael Michalko Tried and tested creative thinking and problem solving techniques. Includes case studies of successful use. The ideas can be applied in class to raise engagement and interest.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Creativity

Tags: Problem Solving

How to Have Creative Ideas
by Edward de Bono

How to Have Creative Ideas <br> by Edward de Bono 62 exercises to develop the mind. Simple but powerful ideas for creative thinking and problem solving. Easily applied to classroom learning and CPD activities.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Creativity

Tags: Problem Solving

Wise Words:

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
Scott Adams

Next month we think about... Values, Rights, Responsibilities