Sunday, December 04, 2011

Creativity Days: Initial Plan

Many educators are exploring the use of Fedex Days in their classrooms and schools.  It's a wonderful idea that inspires the 21st Century and lifelong learning skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.  It's also a great way to celebrate and synthesize a period of learning while also inspiring new learning and academic independence.

Holidays often spark a spirit of innovation--there's joy in the air, and people are thinking about ways to creatively celebrate with friends and family members.  Hence, I decided to couple our classroom creativity days with days prior to the holiday break.

Here's the initial plan.
  1. Discuss the research and concept of Fedex Days with students (brief discussion).
  2. Outline the process.
  3. Visit the library and reintroduce students to all the topics and concepts possible. Students will have time to browse through books in the many sections of the library (this is a better first step for fourth graders as it's so tactile, later on technology will be available for research, exploration and creation.)
  4. Brainstorm questions and share ideas.
  5. Share and revise a project planning template with students (Young students see grand possibilities, but have difficulty breaking it down into steps so a broad planning template is essential).
  6. Students receive a colorful poster board which they can use for their project if they'd like.
  7. Students complete planning sheets, embark on their investigation and complete projects within two days time in class and at home.
  8. Creativity Days Celebration: Each child shares their learning and receives specific compliments about their creativity and learning from both teachers and classmates.
  9. Project images, videos and written explanations are posted on our classroom NING so that all Team 15 teachers, family members and friends are able to view and comment.
I imagine that our creativity days will result in projects ranging from the arts to service projects to informational posters to creative holiday gift creation.  My only expectation is that every student complete a project individually or in collaboration with other students.

The fall has been a full schedule of meeting standards in multiple ways.  It will be nice to end this semester by giving students the freedom to use all the tools they've learned, concepts shared and creativity inspired to lead their own learning.  

Please add links, suggestions and ideas related to this in the comment section.  I know that many educators in my PLN have already embarked on creative days like this, and I welcome your inspiration and advice.  Thanks.

Related Links:

Creativity Days Planning Sheet

Passion Based Learning


Dinosaur Dig

Quotes to Support Initiative:
If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. Toni Morrison

I'm not one to be moved by "rock stars" in any field, but I did receive a response from Daniel Pink and I'm so honored:   Daniel Pink 

 -- Thanks for the letting me know. Creativity days are inspired and inspiring.