Keeping the creativity is not always easy.
I was not sure what to blog about this month, and I couldn’t figure out why. After all, I am so happy because my students and I just finished administering our fourth (and final) beginning of the year standardized assessment, and five week progress reports have now gone home. Then it hit me. I’ve been so preoccupied lately with administering the assessments, and finishing my progress reports that my own teaching creativity has been stifled. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating a reality.
This reminded me, that my second grade students may be feeling the same way. So this week, it’s time to have some fun!! This week, I’m going to focus on creativity with my students as we begin a new writing project, and study tall tales. Our writing project will not focus on any formula. My students will be encouraged to write about what they want to write about. We will still edit, and have our writers’ conferences. Our writing, however, will be authentic. It’s time for my students, to get their creative juices flowing. It’s also time for me to allow my creative juices to flow as a teacher. The truth is when I’m more creative with my teaching, my students are more relaxed and better able to learn.
Being creative comes naturally for some students, but is more challenging for others. One idea I discovered years ago, is to use photographs to spark creative ideas in students who are less comfortable finding their own topics. The pictures can be of nature, or anything really. Old calendars are perfect for this, as they are full of beautiful photographs. Just show students pictures, and have them create their own stories about them. This is a trick that usually helps my more reluctant writers.
This is the magical time of year when my second graders are truly able to take off, and explore. My job is to keep it magical for my students, and encourage their creativity. Our tall tale unit is so much fun, and my students always love creating pop up books about Johnny Appleseed and the other tall tale heroes. I know they will enjoy this unit as well.
The truth about teaching is that there will always be another new mandate to follow. Our job is to figure out how to follow the mandate, while making sure our classrooms continue to run smoothly. Fortunately for me, I’ve successfully followed the mandates and am ready to use the data to get down to the task of truly working with my students. I hope all of you can too!
Looking for more October ideas? Check out these blogs from other Teacher Talk bloggers!