Creative prompts can help students focus their creativity and hone problem-solving skills. Creative prompts can be open-ended or more structured--depending on your maker goal. Check out the video below to learn more.
You can find our Digital Design Card site here.
If you are an educator within Grant Wood AEA, a Defined Learning account has been purchased for you and an account has been created! See below for details of how to log in!
Because we have already created an account associated with school Gmail address, you can click on Sign in with Google, choose your school email address from the prompt, and get started!
Building and maintaining a collaborative and creative community has been on our minds lately. The struggles of keeping strong relationships with our students and our students with one another is challenging from a distance. We've gathered some ideas that we wanted to share!
Provide Shared Experiences
We've seen so many great ideas to provide shared experiences for our students via Zoom/Google Meet. If it is pet parades, show and tell, costume dress-up days, or scavenger hunts, teachers are doing everything they can to foster the relationships between classmates. Building in these fun, community-building ideas might be the way to do it! Jennifer Gonzalez shares some other ideas here.
Create the Illusion of Being Together
Using Remove.bg gives the effect of green screen without all the extra tools! Create a class photo or have students create their own. This simple, free tool will stoke those creative fires! Check out Amber's quick tutorial below and another example of how she used it with selfies from the team!
Synchronous or Asynchronous Collaborative Idea
Creating a digital flip book with Google Slides is easy! Using the duplicate slide tool makes this idea a breeze! Create a Google Slides presentation so everyone can edit and then watch the magic unfold. Use this will small groups or as a whole class (with some guidelines, of course) and create something that represents your class! Check out Mindy's tutorial below!
Bonus tip: Check out TallTweets (use Tall Tweets Classic in the middle of the page)! It will create a .gif file of your flipbook that you can share anywhere!
We want to connect with you!
Share with us how you are maintaining connections with your students! We want to hear about how you are fostering creativity in your classroom community! Tag us on social media with @DLGWAEA and, as always....
~Mindy and Amber
A new Think, Make, Innovate is out and we are giving you a behind the scenes connection with Sara Pflughaupt, Solon Community School District's Teacher Librarian (@scsdlibraries) in this guest blog post.
A makerspace is an area where students can build, create, and innovate. Students take part in a variety of hands-on activities to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and decision-making skills. Having a school makerspace gives teachers the ability to increase learning opportunities for students and design curricular opportunities that build connections across grade levels and content areas. Despite our best efforts as educators, when concepts are abstract some students cannot develop the level of understanding required. Sometimes we need to tap into multiple modalities in order to help make abstract ideas more concrete. This is where making comes in!
The fourth grade students at Solon Intermediate School recently experienced one of these unique learning opportunities. As the Solon’s Teacher Librarian, I collaborated with the fourth grade teachers to create an activity that would engage students in making and connect to the learning happening within their classroom. Their first reading unit was focused on reading intensely to interpret characters. To do this, they used the book, The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo as a mentor text. The activity stemmed from one particular quote from that text. “He made all of his feelings go inside the suitcase; he stuffed them in tight and then sat on the suitcase and locked it shut” (p. 3). The character, Rob, was discussed at length and there were discussions about what they suitcase symbolizes. Students also shared what kinds of feelings or thoughts Rob put in his suitcase. Next, the students transitioned to a making activity that required them to create a model of a suitcase using a wide variety of materials.
The following day, the students were brought back together. This time the students were given some time for self-reflection. They were to use this time to draw or write on small pieces of paper what some of their thoughts or feelings are that they would put in their “suitcase” similar to Rob in The Tiger Rising. When students were finished, they placed these pieces of paper in their model suitcase and everyone sat in a circle around the room. Students were then given the opportunity to share some of the things they had put in their suitcase, although this was not required. The teachers started the discussion by sharing some things in their “suitcase,” and at first, only about five students shared. However, once a few students shared, more and more students started to open up. A sense of trust was built and students felt comfortable sharing some of their biggest worries, fears, and struggles. Tears were shed and relationships were built as students learned about each other. In addition, students developed empathy for one another and started to realize that many of their peers were struggling with some of the same things they were and that they were not alone. This was an incredible experience for everyone involved. This makerspace activity tapped into multiple subjects and multiple skill sets in connected ways. Most importantly, students were given the chance to express themselves in creative ways within the curriculum.
See What Our Student Makers Created
~ Sara Pflughaupt
Solon Community School District
A Maker Minute: We Love Cardboard!
Like Us on Facebook
Our YouTube Show