Students Should Be Creative from Day One

When I was a middle school student, I dreaded the first week of school. Teachers would walk us, line-by-line, through the syllabus and handbook and we would practice the classroom procedures. It was as if school started a week before the learning started. But then I remember one teacher who was different. She had us […]

The Difference Between Being Busy and Being Productive

I recently wrote about the power of rest to increase productivity and creative thinking. For that reason, I also want to share a phenomenal resource from my friend, Angela Watson, that empowers teachers to make this a reality. She also has a summer planning guide you might want to check out. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this […]

Seven Strategies for Improving Student Feedback

We know feedback is important. But what happens when students ignore it? In this article and podcast, we explore how to integrate feedback into every part of the learning process so that students can increase in metacognition during their PBL and design thinking projects.   Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but […]

What Happens When Teachers Take Creative Risks?

I sit at the Starbucks, staring at the blinking cursor daring me to write another line. Fears swirl through my brain. What if this doesn’t work? Will people hate it? What if I write the entire first draft and it simply isn’t any good? I stumble forward with a sentence, then another sentence until I […]

10 Creative Risks to Take with Students This Year

My daughter looks up from her cereal and says, “You know what day I can’t wait for?” “Um, your birthday?” She shakes her head. “Next Christmas?” She shakes her head again and then says, “The first day back to school. I can’t wait to see my friends and my teacher. I don’t know what projects […]

Design Thinking Can Work in Any Subject

Every day, I ask my kids, “What did you make in school today?” Too often, they can’t give me an answer. But on the days that they do, their eyes light up and they passionately describe their projects. It’s in those moments that I am reminded that making is magic. I want to see schools […]

Ten Creative Alternatives to Showing Movies Before the Break

Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post to download the Ten Creative Ways to End the Semester Resource Pack.  Let’s just put it out there. December is exhausting for teachers. The days are shorter. The weather grows colder and (at least here in Oregon) wetter. Students are anxious — whether it’s a […]

Ten Things Pixar Can Teach Us About Creativity

For the last two decades, Pixar has produced some of the most creative and epic films of this era. But this is the result of a culture of creative collaboration built on ideas of being frank, taking chances, and failing forward. So, what can educators learn from Pixar as we design collaborative projects? A Culture […]

The Roadmap for Collaborative Projects

Five Really Good Reasons Not to Do Collaborative Projects With Your Students “Group project.” Say those two words and you’ll instantly notice the face of sheer dread as a handful of students calculate just how much extra work they’ll need to do in order to make up for the slackers in their assigned group. Look […]

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? The Impractical Idea […]