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 2nd grade lessons 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 fun teaching ideas? Check out these blogs from other Teacher Talk bloggers!
Retta LondonOctober 9, 2017 at 1:57 am
I love this post! So important to add the creativity and pure pleasure of learning back in as soon as the testing is done! Thanks for sharing your ideas on bringing this to our little authors!
TeeOctober 9, 2017 at 2:59 am
I was just thinking about this very same thing. Sometimes, I feel like I’m on a teeter totter. It tips toward stuff we are forced to do and then towards best practice methods. I wish I could balance both, better. Thanks for sharing.
Kathie YonemuraOctober 9, 2017 at 4:46 am
Wow, that’s a lot of mandatory assessments! Your students will LOVE the chance to be creative! Tall tales are so much fun and they’ll love making pop-up books.
Lisa RoblesOctober 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm
My favorite part is when assessments are over and we can have some fun!
Deann MarinOctober 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm
Assessments take so much time away from doing what we’re in the classroom for, which is teaching. I love your magical ideas for teaching creatively. I’m sure your students do too. Thanks so much for sharing.
October Teacher Talk – The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing CooperativeOctober 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm
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GregoryOctober 11, 2017 at 1:13 am
Wow, an fantastic idea to use the photographs to help stir the creative minds. Wonderful post and great ideas.