Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SOL #21 - March 21

Today is day 21 of the Slice of Life March, the writing challenge sponsored and run by Stacey and Ruth of "Two Writing Teachers".

I read an excellent article Wednesday morning entitled
"Nourish, don't discourage, children's creativity" by Don Morgenson, a professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University.

He states:
"...while our children's intelligence scores were rising, creativity scores have dropped."
While this drop in creativity may be attributed to too much TV and video games and passive play, Mr. Morgenson states that many people "focus their concerns on our public schools which,... are simply not fostering creativity in our children."

I can believe this. Schools are now focused on achieving higher levels on provincial/state tests. Many teachers teach to the test and so much time is spent on language and math that the arts are sacrificed.

Children need art and music and drama.They need to engage in creative thinking activities regularly.

How sad that the very things that give joy, are denied children in school.
I must be a very old-fashioned teacher, as I make sure we do art every week. If I can teach a concept in math or science or social studies and I can bring in art, music or drama, I will.

Case in point was our robots -  this was how we celebrated the unit on 3D geometry and introduced the unit on measurement. Monday, they wrote about their robots in a cooperative group story and then presented their robots, complete with names and story.
We spent 2 afternoons on this, but achieved so much. The children will not remember that we did worksheets on 3D or measurement - they will remember the joy of creating and cooperating.


Ramona said...

I want to be in your classroom and make robots and write stories! So creative!

crouchmamma said...

That is a sign of a great teacher. Doing what they love and it sticks. best of both worlds. Great idea to incorporate all of the 3D shapes to create a something new. Recycling and learning! :)

Linda B said...

Yes, indeed, please keep doing, Beverley! We do tons of stuff like that & the student grow & grow in their abilities to think & risk & create, which are some of our goals for the students. Your robots look fantastic!

elsie said...

You know the saying is "worksheets don't grow dendrites." I think a lot of dendrites are growing in your class, sounds like a happy place.

Jackie said...

I agree so much with you. The things I remember in school are the activities that were not the routine read, write, memorize...etc...not that those are not important at all...but the activities used to 'nourish' those routine ones...those were the ones I remember. Great activity for your class...and the finished product goes way beyond those robots...but the robots made it betters. Kind of funny that I mention a robot in my post today. Jackie

Carol said...

Totally, totally, totally agree with you. Kids need art and music and drama and PE, those are the things that bring joy to learning. Your kids will never forget making robots, and they will probably remember the geometry that went with it, too! Our art teacher has been building robots with our second graders- I'm going to show her this post tomorrow.

Chris H. said...

What no one (except teachers) seems to understand is that we are as victimized as the children. Our curriculum is dictated by book and testing companies who want money, money, and money and use it to pay off politicians who make our rules. Parents and other stakeholders need to WAKE UP and tell them to stop it! But, unless they can make large donations to political campaigns, they might not have a voice. But IN did get rid of its State Supt of Public Instruction by VOTING... he had his pockets lined with gold, but he had to go elsewhere... he would not listen to the people.