The Top 10 Greatest Things About Lists (to Generate Creative Thinking)

This article, adapted from a chapter in my book “Teaching Creativity: Supporting, Valuing and Inspiring Young Children’s Creative Thinking,” shows how list-making can be a springboard for students to generate creative ideas. What could be more mundane and uncreative than writing a list? Lists are for grocery shopping, weekend chores, or what to pack in […]

E. Paul Torrance’s Creative Manifesto

In 1983, E. Paul Torrance wrote these remarkable words: Manifesto for Children Don’t be afraid to fall in love with something & pursue it with intensity. Know, understand, take pride in, practice, develop, exploit, & enjoy your greatest strengths. Learn to free yourself from the expectations of others and to walk away from the games […]

Wait For It… A Fun Way to Nurture Curiosity

If your teaching style were a movie genre (don’t worry, this isn’t a Buzzfeed quiz), what would it be? Maybe Comedy? I once knew a trigonometry teacher who somehow combined math with an ongoing stand-up routine – every year he’d dust off his headdress and be Chief Socatowa (Something about sines and cosines? Luckily I […]

Surprises at See-Level

What’s on the wall next to the door of your classroom? I mean at a level where your students can see? If the answer is “nothing,” you might want to consider adding some intriguing pictures – artwork or photos of animals, space, plants, other cultures, – anything they may not have seen before that’s beautiful […]

Please Don’t Ask Children to Listen

“Listening” is a very special word to me. When I think about “listening,” I think about being transported by music, by the soft crash of ocean waves, by leaves rustling in the wind. “Listening” also makes me think of caring and concern: people accepting and understanding others, parents listening to their child’s hopes and fears, […]

“I Have an Idea!” – Creating Music and Dance for Young Children

From the way young children react when they see me enter their classroom for a music enrichment class, you’d think I was driving an ice cream truck with Dora the Explorer. They’re running up to hug me, yelling my name, and jumping and down – often all three at the same time! Why all the […]

STEAM Lessons: Sandpaper

Young children can discover so much from exploring the sounds and texture of sandpaper, it’s really a gold mine of learning. Well, not a GOLD mine… more like bauxite mine. More on that later. As a music teacher working with young children, I often use sand blocks, those small (but heavy, if you’re carrying around […]