Sunday, October 4, 2020

 

Gifted Creatives of our world… Hang in there!

Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It’s who you are. People and events can change your shape but they can’t change what is underneath –

·         The way that you think

·         Your intrinsic need to use your creativity to seek meaning in your life

·         Your sensitivity. (There is a high correlation between the trait of high sensitivity and giftedness. We know that not all gifted people are highly sensitive, but there is research backing for the assertion that all highly sensitive people are gifted).

·       Your obsession with your area of passion and the difficulty that you have in having to stop to refocus on something elseYou are not broken. You don’t need fixing. You may wonder at times but you are not alone. If this means that many in the population find you odd, then seek the company of those who appreciate you just for the way that you are because we all have our own ways for doing things.

Try this…

Write your name in the air with your finger.Now do it again using the other hand.Although you will feel more comfortable and probably more efficient with your dominant hand, you can still do it with the other one, can’t you?

We all use our senses to make sense of the world around us but just as people have different abilities, there are also differing degrees of sensitivity, and how these are perceived by others can have a huge effect on creativity.

 Ideas change over time. Your life today is as different to the present as these creative occupations of the past are foreign to me. How many do you recognise?

Broomdasher    A maker of brooms

Cratchmaker      A maker of hay mangers/ cribs

Chinglor               A roof tiler who uses wooden shingles

Limnor                  An illuminator of books

Malemaker         A maker of travelling bags

Many of our current occupations will no longer exist 50 years from now.

 The present is the ideal time to look for opportunities to show your creative abilities in ways that might not have been invented yet. Advances in creativity research are having an increasing impact on theories of giftedness as researchers reflect on those who possess exceptional levels of creative ability, but differ from the traditional ideas of talent. 

What if what you are good at is not valued?

Then you won’t believe you are creative. Look for role models. Believe in yourself. Creativity is open ended and the more divergent that your thinking is, then the more likely it is that your motivation to create comes from within you.

 Look at these examples (Real students)…

Lydia mixes truth and fiction and has a vivid imagination. She spends a lot of time watching what is going on around her and is often perceived as a daydreamer. She is totally focussed when a task involves creative writing in class. Imagine if some of our most loved authors had been made to believe that their imagination and daydreams were of little value. We would not know the world of J.K Rowling’s  Harry Potter or the gentle philosophies of  A.A.Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. Or the challenge of living with the Applewhites, who dwelt in the mind of Stephanie Tolan.

If this is you then keep dreaming! Hang in there!


Brandon is excited about learning. His love of learning is more likely to be recognised as gifted in school but not his independent and inventive thinking or his non conformist attitude towards set work. He resists teacher selected assignments and just doesn’t bother to complete them. He is self motivated but looks for opportunities to find out more or starts bossing others around so they get their work done.

If this is you, then learn to negotiate so that the work content is challenging for you. Hang in there!

 

Jack insists on wearing sports shoes for field sports at school. He reacts negatively to smells. His parents say that he is a picky eater. He is a talented artist and finds it difficult to stop drawing to do something else, because art helps him to examine things and express what he finds impossible to put into words. . He can become completely absorbed in a particular piece of art or music. What is perceived is his single mindedness.

If this is you, then many of these characteristics in later life will be seen as eccentricities if your creativity is valued. Hang in there!

 

Cody is a constant talker. He has rapid speech and uses his whole body when he talks.  He likes to win at whatever he does and it extremely competitive. He is in rep team for school sports and is valued for his physical ability, but he finds it hard to sit still for any periods of classroom inactivity and finds it hard to settle down again because he has lots of energy. This is a constant problem for his teachers after scheduled breaks.

If this is you, then look for ways to help you to harness your energy. Hang in there!

 

 

And finally, Andrea. She has intense reactions to peer group criticism and rejection. She resists participation in any active team sports. She is very emotionally attached to the environment and struggles with the issues raised by pandemic life during the last six months. She is intensely  interested in issues to do with pollution and her classmates resist her efforts to talk about it and make changes to reduce their impact.

If this is you, then look for new ways to capture attention so that your message is received.

Hang in there!


 

My advice, for what it’s worth, is to focus on your strengths rather than your deficiencies.  You are the artists, musicians, philosophers and problems solvers of the future.

You are unique.

Let’s celebrate that!




Saturday, October 3, 2020

 

October Halloween Month Update

Hi there.

Thank you for checking in. I appreciate your interest. Hope there is something in my TPT store to help you. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Thinking-Challenges

Elaine :-)

New literacy  Resources

  

New Science Resources 

  

Teacher Timesavers

  

A freebie to try

And some popular best seller bundles

    





Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Lessons from the Kitchen


As a keen follower of cooking competitions on television, I’ve been reflecting on the similaraities between the challenges faced by learning to become a good cook and those of striving to be a good teacher. Cooking shows make the tasks look easy because the participants have an understanding of how ingredients work together that has been developed over time. In similar fashion, experienced teachers are able to select from their ‘pantry’ of ideas that they know work well together to create a recipe to fit the needs of their students. So what are the lessons to be learned for beginning teachers?
·         Plan with the end in mind. An understanding of the ingredients and an emphasis on quality goes a long way in ensuring that the scene is set for a memorable meal.
For teachers to think about…
Do you have an open pantry or are there restrictions to be taken into account?
What is the dish that is required? 
What is the objective? Is it clear to the learners? Are your expectations high enough?
What ingredients will be needed to ensure the recipe goes to plan?  
Can your students see a link to their own lives? Connecting with the interests of others is contagious. Your passion for a topic will be picked up by the students you teach.

·         Texture counts. Sweet. Sour. Salty. Bitter. Umami(savory). In creating a dish the important thing to remember is that there needs to be a balance in what is offered. A touch of sweet adds depth to a savory dish. A squeeze of lemon can add zing and lift the ordinary into the extraordinary.
For teachers to think about…
 In teaching terms this is creating the balance of challenge between scaffolding for students where necessary and allowing for able students to move at their own pace if the concept has been mastered. Not an easy task, but doable if the lesson is differentiated. Consider pretesting  to establish who will benefit from a slight adjustment of your range of teaching techniques.

·         Know that plating up matters. Food motivates us to ‘eat with our eyes’ first.
For teachers to think about…
Be on the lookout for different ways to deliver content so that the students are challenged by having to think from a different perspective or in an unfamiliar way because doing so can make all the difference . Think about changing the scenery every so often or use positive competition in some lessons. As teacher, you are the one who makes these decisions  and is able to make the recipe your own in  the way that you like it.

·         Make the recipe your own.. Time pressure makes a difference to the result. Good food takes time
For teachers to think about…
All experts start out as beginners. Learn from each other and ask for help if you need it. See challenge as a chance to learn rather than a failure, and don’t forget to share success with others!  There is nothing like a successful lesson to make a teacher’s day. Give your students a sense of control and responsibility by allowing them to work with and learn from each other as well as from you.


·         Constructive feedback improves the product.
If the dish is delicious then the cook will use the recipe again. If it needs tweeking for next time then constuctive feedback from the diner improves the outcome for both. .
For teachers to think about…
Assessment/ feedback is part of the task and should be used to make a difference both for student learning and teacher practice. It doesn’t always need to be in written form. We can learn a lot from stopping to listen to the views of others.
Some ideas to try:
o   Think/ pair/share
Students take a moment to reflect on the response to a prompt, then pair up and discuss with a partner before sharing with the group
o   Doughnut discussion
Divide into two groups. If there is an uneven number then the teacher is a participant. First group makes a ring in the centre. One student from the second group stands behind each person in the centre ring. Teacher determines the topic. Turn and talk. After a set time, stop. Outside ring moves three places to the left and discussion starts over. Repeat as often as desired to allow for cross pollination of ideas.
o   Human continuum
The challenge for students is to place themselves along a line from one side of the classroom to the other to determine their level of understanding.
 

Bewildered/                                                                               Can clearly explain
Haven’t ‘got it’


·         Have fun!
Participants come to cooking competitions wanting to show what they know already and wanting to learn from the experience. This is true of most students. It’s a matter of finding the right recipes to tempt the palate.