Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Creativity and Community


Saturday morning I awoke with an empty day. A day filled with many open hours is a rarity around here. As I hopped on my computer to get some of my Slices started before I forgot my ideas, I saw a tweet.

Well, I'll be honest, I had completely forgotten about it.

My local branch of the writing project - PAWLP - has several continuity meetings throughout the year. They give us a chance to get together and share our ideas, helping us stay connected.  Thanks to my "early to rise" habits, I was up and still had plenty of time to get there.


When I arrived, the first order of business was to share iPad apps. There were some really fabulous ones that I can't wait to try. I snagged a game called "7 Little Words" and my son has already begun playing it. It's a fun vocabulary builder. I may also download and try Garage Band to create podcasts or recorded Slices at some point this month. (Kevin - aka @Dogtrax - is leading the way on that one!)

The majority of our time was focused on the concept of creativity. We wrote a little bit about our ideas on the topic, discussed some quotes, and got an article to read. I thought I'd share some of the ideas I wrote down as we did our initial "quick write".

Creativity is:
 - finding a way to express your own unique viewpoint and share your own "window on the world".
 - synthesizing what you have learned, felt, experienced and putting your spin on it.

What do creative people do?
 - Uhh... is this a trick question? Creative people create. That may be making art, but it may also be creating lesson plans, crafts, recipes... anything. I'm equal opportunity in my definition here.

Who is "creative"?
Creativity can be expressed in any field. Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are artists with words and music - but I adore Vi Hart for her creative ways of sharing math ideas with her "doodling in math class" videos.

I believe that some people are born with a stronger "creativity drive"... those are the people who can NOT live without creating. I believe that ALL people can be creative, and can increase their creativity through practice and supportive environments.



What enhances creativity?
 - an environment that supports experimentation, encourages failure as the first step toward learning, and provides feedback that focuses on strengths and positives.
 - an environment with access to a wide variety of tools for creation
 - a belief that everyone can be creative, even if some are more driven to create than others.
 - exposure to other creative minds, but with the ability to pull back and work alone if desired.

I'm thankful for my current job. As a gifted resource teacher, I feel the freedom to actually do so much of this. In fact, Tuesday was a particularly good day in the joyful creativity department. I'll blog about that another day, since I want to bring home some examples of what the kids wrote.

I'm writing each day in March as part of the Slice of Life challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Join us today - or as many days as you can!



Also - if you stop by and comment, and you are also slicing - PLEASE feel free to include your URL in the comments. With over 200 people slicing, it is often hard to go find your specific link on the Two Writing Teachers page, and I'd love to come read YOUR slice too!

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