Monday, October 12, 2015

Creativity and Students' Thinking!

How do you get students to think for themselves?

As I continue to explore integrative thinking strategies through problem solving, the students are continuously reapplying thinking strategies while learning new ones.

The Grade 6 team and the students are pursuing Free The Children campaigns of We Scare Hunger and We create Change.

The students have incorporated Scratch to describe their commitments to the 4 campaigns. From the Imagination Foundation, we signed up to incorporate Caine's Arcade games with our passion and empathy project to science.  Our #cardbaordchallenge will take place on the week of 19th to the 23rd, due to the Thanksgiving long weekend. We will be holding a day for the school and another day for the neighborhood community.

As mentioned in the previous blog on provoking students' drive to be passionate innovators and introducing them to tools to think not to do the thinking for them. The focus is on integrative thinking and  NPDL competencies that are character, collaboration and creativity. We are reflecting on some of the dimensions in each competency and relating it to the integrative thinking strategies.

Starting with online unique and creative products from young students, we co-constructed the criteria of what is creativity as described in former post.

This blog post focuses on how students examine two designs and combine designs to come up with one. We are combining the individually designed cardboard games and combining both creative ideas to come up with one game.

We began by experimental thinking strategies by exploring the value of a creative and unique idea and the logic with two creative products competing models.

I presented the students with this image of both cups models that we are already familiar with.

This video details the process

During the process students reapplied and reinforced the thinking strategy of  open ended conversations. The purpose of this process was to apply the thinking into action:
  • To identify two different ideas or creative products
  • To define the benefits of each product
  • To analyze the possibilities of combining these models  
  • To apply the benefits of both models
  • To create an new product combining both models 
Each student has already designed on Google drawing their own vision of their arcade game based on the concept of circuits and switches that they have been exploring in science. Before the students applied the thinking integrative process of combining their own individual game in one, We further shared possibilities of circuits and switches, pressure switch, pull switch and open and closed switches using copper tape, and conductive thread.

Before the students sat together to apply open ended conversation, we focused on these possibilities:

  • Making connections between the 2 options
  • The points of tension between the conversations
  • How could one game be created from 2 ideas?
  • The benefits of the 2 games to generate one game.

These Drawing are examples of combining both ideas to create one game

This week students will continue to create the prototype of the combined ideas that was generated benefitting both. They will reflect and transfer the knowledge of problem solving and understanding of the application of the knowledge to a structure/game.

The students will also reflect on this transformation of integrative thinking and monitor their progress by focusing on the dimension of the competencies of collaboration, creativity and character from NPDL.

This shared ownership will be transformed into action by also inviting an export an electrical engineer for feedback.

As I continue learning with my students I also need to focus on: 

  • How do I develop a mindset of thinking that suits  the specific task and the stages of learning? 
  • Which skills sets or competencies and tools that help develop the thinking process? 
  • Am I giving students opportunities to translate their thinking into actions? 
  • How do students become divergent thinkers through the curriculum?

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