School Should Be Impractical (The Practical Benefits of Being Impractical)

Schools are designed to be practical but this has a hidden drawback. Innovation is often impractical because it’s unpredictable. So, what if the push toward “practical skills” in school is actually making learning impractical? And what if impractical ideas and skills we ignore are actually what students will use later in life? Listen to the […]

Five Ways Humor Boosts Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving in the Classroom

When we think about creativity and innovation, the words “humor” and “goofiness” don’t typically come to mind. But I’d argue that this is a critical piece of what it means to cultivate a climate of creativity.  Listen to the Podcast Just click on the audio below to listen to this Creative Classroom podcast. You can […]

Getting Past the Attention-Span Myth (Thoughts on Creative Focus)

There’s a common cultural assumption that “kids these days” can’t focus due to screen time. They simply lack the attention span needed to engage in deep work. But what if that’s not entirely true? What if this generation is capable of reaching a state of creative flow?    Listen to the Podcast Just click on […]

Seven Ways to Help Students Develop a Growth Mindset

When students have a growth mindset, they are able to persevere and continue in creative work. So here are seven ways to cultivate a growth mindset. About six weeks ago, my son asked if he could start a cubing club for anyone interested in solving Rubix cubes together. (Heads-up: cubers can get really sensitive about calling […]

Helping Students Develop Creative Fluency

About a week ago, I created a video about how to thrive as an introverted teacher. I sat down in front of the camera, shared some spontaneous thoughts, and then edited it the next day. From start to finish, it took around 45 minutes to make. While that might not seem fast, it was a huge […]

The 5 Biggest Mistakes I Made with Genius Hour (and How I Fixed Them)

This post is inspired by Ross Cooper’s latest post on the mistakes he made in doing PBL. It’s a great post. In fact, you should stop reading this now and read his post instead. Go check out his book while you’re at it.  I love the notion of sharing our mistakes along with what we […]

Nine Things Minecraft Can Teach Us About Creativity and Learning

A few weeks ago, my son convinced me to download Minecraft on my iPad. He’s been playing it for a few years now and is at that stage where he is entering portals, creating drop world and doing parkour. Meanwhile, I’m at the basic level. I spent the first few hours trying to orient myself […]

Treat Every Lesson Like an Experiment

I’m just going to put it out there. I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to making videos. For the last six weeks, I’ve been experimenting and trying things out. Every time I get ready to publish a video, these fears swirl around my mind. What if it’s not good enough? What if […]

Want Students to Be More Creative? Try Adding More Play.

We’re from Phoenix, which alternates between blazingly hot and nice. We had two seasons: football and baseball. The only thing that changed color in the fall were the license plates of all the people ditching this thing called snow, which I’m just discovering now that I live in Oregon. When we first moved here, people […]

How Action Research Sparks Innovation and Boosts Creativity in the Classroom

What happens when you give students exemplars? Do they simply copy the pre-existing examples? Do they fail to take creative risks? Do they internalize the idea that their work must fit a previous model? Does it implicitly tell students “this is what it should look like?” These were the questions swirling around my head a […]