Have you ever noticed the amount of children that struggle with paying attention in the classroom? Sitting in the back of your classroom is a student who talks to his neighbors. In front of him is a student who can’t sit still during your reading. More times than not, these behaviors are blamed on disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder. These behaviors, however, could be a result of the lack of opportunities to show their creativity. Children are often discouraged from expressing themselves, often resulting in disruptive tendencies.
Are Schools Killing Creativity?
In a 2006 Ted Talk, Ken Robinson speaks on the topic “Do Schools Kill Creativity”? He makes the point that there isn’t a school in this country that teaches dance on as frequent a basis as we teach Mathematics. Specials such as Art and Music are available to students. However, these specials are not taken as seriously as subjects such as Science and Social Studies. They are often taken maybe two or three times a week for a short period of time. Children find themselves sitting behind a desk for about six hours a day. Test after test and worksheet after worksheet takes up the majority of our students’ day.
Keeping Creativity in the Classroom
The lack of opportunities for creativity are not to be faulted by the teachers. There is so much expected of our teachers, and you all do such great work making sure you meet those expectations. So, in the midst of following all of the guidelines and keeping to the standards, how can you encourage creativity in the classroom?
While most of the curriculum and standards for your school year are provided for you, you often have the flexibility to teach it your way. By providing opportunities for creativity within your subjects, you will see much improvement in your students. If you are teaching your children about building character in Social Studies, use our Character Songs and have your students create an interpretive dance. When learning about Living and Non-Living things, provide students with the opportunity to write a short story about the topic. Provide students opportunities to write songs or poetry, draw pictures, construct models, etc., when possible. Provide Brain Breaks or do Fitness activities with Abby in between periods of learning. By allowing these tasks in your classroom, you will see a great change in your students’ attitudes about school.
We at Have Fun Teaching know that you are doing such great things for your students. We hope these tips help you to encourage children to be creative and express themselves in your classroom. Make learning fun, and… Have Fun Teaching!