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Being Creative While Teaching Students About Therapeutic Effects of Crafting

Education World – Samantha DiMauro

“As rates of depression and anxiety among young people in America increase, it’s an important time to teach stress management skills. Getting creative with arts and crafts, especially ones that require extensive concentration and working with your hands (i.e. knitting), have been proven to have effects similar to meditation, and function as a natural antidepressant.”(more)

Study suggests giving kids too many toys stifles their creativity

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A team of researchers at the University of Toledo in the U.S. has found that children are more creative when they have fewer toys to play with at one time. In their paper published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development, the group describes their observational study of toddlers at play, what they learned and offer some suggestions for parents. Parents have long been subject to the opinions of others, some of which include judgments regarding the number of toys they should provide for their children. Some suggest more toys show children they are more loved, while others argue more toys is overkill and a poor substitute for parental attention. In this new effort, the researchers have conducted a simple experiment meant to test creativity in toddlers playing with toys.”(more)

Learning by Tinkering

Edutopia – Matthew Farber, Ed.D.

“Teachers have adapted video games in an array of classroom content areas in quite creative ways. Of note is Minecraft, the perennially popular blocky sensation, which has a Creative mode that offers a sandbox—an open-world virtual environment where players can often create their own rules and goals guided by self-directed free play.”(more)

Is A Solid Curriculum a Constraint on Teacher Creativity?

Education Next – Kathleen Porter-Magee

“In education we have been conditioned to believe that mandating curriculum is akin to micromanaging an artist. That’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous. And, as Robert Pondiscio has persuasively argued, it simply makes “an already hard job nearly impossible [for teachers] to do well.” Yet study after study has demonstrated that requiring teachers use a proven textbook or curriculum to guide their teaching is one of the surest ways to improve outcomes for students. In 2009, Cory Koedel and Morgan Polikoff published results from a study comparing the effects of mathematics textbook choices on student achievement in California. They found that “non-trivial gains in student achievement are attainable simply by choosing more effective curriculum materials.”(more)

4 Myths About Creativity

Edutopia – Mitch Resnick

“Not everyone agrees on the value and importance of creative thinking in today’s society. Part of the problem is that there is no consensus on what it means to be creative. Different people think about creativity in very different ways, so it’s not surprising that they can’t agree on its value and importance. As I’ve talked with people about creativity, I’ve encountered a number of common misconceptions.”(more)

3 tips and tricks for coding and STEAM in the classroom

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“While coding is an essential 21st century language, coding alone won’t be enough to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s careers. What students are able to DO with coding is what matters. Jon Samuelson, Innovation Strategist at Beaverton School District in Beaverton, OR, presented tips and tricks for student involvement in the recent edWebinar, ‘Coding + STEAM: Getting Students Future Ready.'”(more)