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. This is a post I first wrote a decade ago, when I was teaching middle school. Each year, I have revised it and updated it. Let’s just put it out there. December is […]

Why Balance Is Critical for Creative Work

Earlier this week, my friend George Couros wrote a wonderful post about seeing the value in balance and it had me thinking about the role of balance in creativity and teaching.  Years ago, my friend Wayne gave me some great advice about balance and self-care. Although this was about the non-profit world, I think it […]

Why Teachers Should Experience Productive Struggle

I’m sitting in front of the computer blinking, ready to press the “submit” button; knowing that if I missed this problem, the progress bar will drop down another 25% and I’ll spend half an hour trying to get back up to where I was. At this point, I have spent well over ninety minutes on […]

Three Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects

We’ve all been there before when we were students. You’d hear the dreaded words “group project,” and immediately begin calculating the additional work that you would need to do to keep the group afloat; especially if the teacher chose the members. You check the list of names on the board. You’ll be with the drifter, […]

What Can *Making It* Teach Us About Creativity in the Classroom?

I’m a huge fan of Parks and Recreation because of a surprising element: being earnest. Yes, the show is goofy and the city of Pawnee can feel cartoonish at first glance. However, the characters feel surprisingly real. Most comedies move their characters further and further toward caricatures until they are essentially cartoonish. Dwight Schrute became outright […]

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 […]