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Magazine Issue 36: Knowledge vs Creativity
June 2013

This month ideas about and techniques for ........ 

Knowledge vs Creativity



Article: Factivity
New Resources
Mike's Books
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

Factivity

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Factivity An Article looking at knowledge and creativity and proposing the concept of 'Factivity' - the integration and co-dependence of the two. Also includes suggestions for designing activities that include factivity.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Creativity, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Creative Curriculum Creativity Knowledge
Can I do that?
Factivity: the seamless integration and co-dependence of facts and creativity in a learning context.
Linguists, yes, I know, factivity has already been bagged. It's the state of being factive; an adjective describing clauses assumed to be true, and factiveness does the same job. So until the language police come calling I'll use factivity to talk about an important concept in the classroom. Yes I can :)

Facts
Facts are great. They can be interesting, surprising, shocking and intriguing. They can be linked, memorised, sequenced, analysed, challenged, evaluated and disputed. They are grains of wheat trickling out of the hopper in a flour mill. Facts are units of truth.

(Fact: did you know that nearly a third of primary school children believe that cheese is made from plants - BNF, 2013)

Creativity
Creativity is great. It can be interesting, surprising, shocking and intriguing. It can be used to link ideas, improve memory, sequence concepts, analyse, challenge, evaluate and dispute in new and engaging ways. It's the action of millstones grinding wheat in to flour. It's also the making of bread from flour's combination with yeast and water. Creativity is making new things of value.

(Creativity: Leon restaurant chain founders Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent have been appointed by the Secretary of State to lead an independent review of school food - BBC Website)

Facts and creativity are linked like wheat and bread. Factivity.

Factivity in Lesson Design
You probably do this really well already: If facts are units of truth then they'll be scattered throughout your lesson input (and the exam board's syllabus). If creativity is making new things of value, then it begins the moment you get pupils processing and working with the facts. But it's wise to do a quick self-audit:

What's the balance in my lessons between facts and creativity?
How much time do I spend imparting knowledge?
How do I impart that knowledge?
How much time do pupils spend creating new things of value?
How do I get them to do that?
Which activities do I use that combine facts and creativity?

Design Rules
How did you fair? Are you fact-heavy? Are you over-creative? Are you happy with your factivity rating? Let me offer you a few design rules that aim to embed factivity into any lesson:

1. Clearly state, express and make available the facts which pupils need to know
2. Offer pupils one or more fact-processing options: analyse, sequence, evaluate, re-present, evaluate etc.
3. Offer pupils one or more forms of showing their processing - written, drawn, spoken etc.
4. Support pupils self evaluating for progress, knowledge gained and new things created.

I've taken the idea further in this month's premium area with a Factivity Design Grid (see below). This supports you in quickly designing lessons that cover the curriculum in creative ways. Hope it's of use!

New Resources:

Fact Climb

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Fact Climb A Thinking Skills Tool giving pupils a progression of activities all related to a single fact. Help develop factual understanding, independent choice and determination.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Meta Cognition, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Facts Progress Effort
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Fact Climb Powerpoint

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Fact Climb Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint, for Fact Climb thinking offering ready-made classroom slides to adapt and use immediately.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Meta Cognition, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Facts Progress Effort
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Mathematics Think Sheet - Data

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Mathematics Think Sheet - Data A Think Sheet posing a range of challenges related to data and its interpretation. Two tasks linked to media studies.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Mathematics, Media, Secondary

Tags: Data Media Film Infographic
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Factivity Grid

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Factivity Grid A straightforward Lesson Design Tool providing many options for combining knowledge and creativity.

Categories: Other Resources, Creativity, Any Subject, Secondary

Tags: Creativity Creative Curriculum Knowledge
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Mike's Books:

This book offers 28 new short stories with creative, curriculum-linked activities. Perfect for assemblies and high quality classroom learning.

Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity
by Mike Fleetham

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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

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

The Anythink Machine

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The Anythink Machine A very popular Thinking Skills Tool allowing children huge scope to make up new ideas, experiment, and generally play around with their world.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Creativity, Any Subject, Early Years, Infant, Junior

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

Alfred's Gift

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Alfreds Gift A Thinking Story with activities from "Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity" in which Alfred the Snow Angel finds himself banished to Earth and trying to find a place to stay. Addresses creativity and problem solving.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Story, Creativity, Other Subject, Infant, Junior

Tags: Snow Angels Christmas Story

High Order Thinking

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High Order Thinking An Article that explores the debate over knowledge vs creativity and recommends a 'middle way' for educators.

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. 
George S. Patton 

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more
Categories: Article, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: High Order Thinking Thinking Skills Creativity Self Knowledge

Numeracy Think Sheet - Counting On

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Numeracy Think Sheet - Counting On A Think Sheet using Thinking Classroom ideas to develop basic numeracy skills.

Categories: Think Sheet, Mathematics, Infant, Junior, Thinking Skills

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

Numeracy Think Sheet - Number and Pattern

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Numeracy Think Sheet - Number and Pattern A Think Sheet using images to help pupils think in detail about patterns and number. Suitable for Junior and more able infant pupils.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Mathematics, Junior

Tags: Numeracy Pattern Mathematics
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.


Related Magazine Issues:

A couple of issues from 2010/11 relate to this month's focus.
Check the resources from Issue 1 - Creativity in Learning and Issue 3 - Creative Curriculum. Includes the Creative Curriculum Snapshot Audit to help you benchmark your school's level of creative practice.

Books:

Thinkpack
by Michael Michalko

Thinkpack <br>by Michael Michalko A series of prompts to stimulate new thinking and problem solving.

Available from Amazon src=

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Products, Creativity

Tags: Activity Decision Making Problem Solving


Websites:

TED Discussion

TED Discussion Join the ongoing conversation about Knowledge vs Creativity - have your say in the TED community.

www.ted.com/is_imagination_creativity_more.html

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Creativity

Tags: CPD


Next month we think about... Similes & Analogies