Friday, June 20, 2014

Idea For Next Year

Yesterday was the last day of school for students and teachers until September.  Before teachers walked out the door I shared the following post with K-5 teachers from Fast Company on how making connections fosters creative thinking.

"that knowledge alone is not useful unless we can make connections between what we know. Whether you use the terms “knowledge” and “experience” to explain the difference or not, the concept itself is sound.
Lots of great writers, artists and scientists have talked about the importance of collecting ideas and bits of knowledge from the world around us, and making connections between those dots to fuel creative thinking and new ideas."
Over the past year, K-5 teachers have started to reflect on the elementary school experience and begin to wonder whether what else could occasion for students.  A common thread amongst elementary school teachers is trying to cultivate interdisciplinary learning environments.  To an extent, the departmentalization of subjects exists in our K-5 classrooms.  Teachers would like to explore how to break down barriers between subjects and fuse disciplines together.  I thought the article from Fast Company spoke to the need to develop integrated experiences for students and shared it to further reflection over the summer months.
Last night I received the following response from a 1st grade teacher.
I loved this. Here's an  idea for the elementary principals per this article: Distribute small spiral flip notebooks and shiny new pencils to all staff members at the first faculty meeting to encourage the practice of recording ideas. Have staff members share their ideas  at the beginning of staff meetings.
As much as I push for the use of technology as  vehicle to exchange ideas between colleagues, I appreciate the simplicity of providing teachers with a blank notebook and inspiring the idea within our staff to record what one observes/dreams/thinks and more so what one wonders.  It would be intriguing to have a significant mass of teachers and administrators commit to journaling next year and to periodically share random or not so random thoughts with one another.