One of the things we have been trying to focus on as we work through the days in our classroom is slowing things down, taking time to share our thinking with each other, taking time to be inspired by others, taking time to connect with others in a variety of ways.
In the area of literacy development, rather than always being in a rush to complete and move on, students are encouraged to take time to go deeper with their thinking, to express their thoughts and ideas (i.e. What are you thinking?), hold their thoughts, make connections, include details (i.e. Tell us more!), ask questions (i.e. I am wondering....), gain new learnings and re-visit original thinking to see if it remains constant or it has changed.
What we have discovered recently is this is also true when considering creativity in the classroom.
I have to admit that I have been totally inspired by the artistic evidence that I have seen created by students in my colleague Joanne Babalis’ class. Students in Joanne’s class are encouraged to work through a series of steps, developing an appreciation for slowing down the process, giving attention to detail to their artistic creations and always doing their personal best.
Lego is a favourite centre for many in our classroom but it can be very frustrating trying to find the “Lego guys” in the big bin, particularly when guys are missing an arm, leg, hat, etc.
students sorted through the lego, pulling a number of favourite guys out of the bin. These Lego men were placed at our drawing table where students talked about their favourite ‘guy’ and then tried to capture what he looked like, images that might be helpful when trying to locate a 'guy' once they were put back at the Lego centre.
Most of these images were created by JK students!
It is absolutely amazing to see how students have artistically moved to such detailed representations so quickly, ironically by slowing down the process!
Now that we have seen such great success with this process our next step will be to connect writing with the plans, giving descriptions in words to accompany the visual. Of course depending on the learner this may be a shared write, an interactive write, or an independent writing task.