The Joy of Knots

The Joy of Knots (This piece originally appeared in my book “Teaching Creativity” (Whitmore Books, 2010). You can order it here.) What messages do we send children about problem solving? Many young children probably think something like this: “Problem solving is for grown-ups. And it’s not fun. In fact, it’s so not fun that it […]

“Explore the World”

“Explore the World” Learning About Children and Creativity from Richard P. Feynman I’ve learned a great deal about teaching creative thinking to young children from a man who wasn’t an artist, but a scientist. Richard P. Feynman was one of the greatest physicists of our time. He was well known for his work in quantum […]

How to Listen Out Loud

(This piece is adapted from my book “Teaching Creativity” (Whitmore Books, 2014). E. Paul Torrance, one of the pioneers of creativity education, suggested that to nurture creativity, “We can show children that their ideas have value by listening to their ideas and considering them” ( Torrance and Goff, 1990). Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? The key […]

Why the Library Should Be Your BFF

Early childhood friends, many of us are neglecting one of the best, biggest, most powerful resources available – the library. It’s greater than all the websites, Tweets, and (dare I say it?) Pinterest ideas put together. Here’s why. Picture books. Social media can show us all the fantastic picture books out there about poetry, math, chicks, […]

The Secret to a More Creative Classroom

(This post is adapted from a chapter in my book “Teaching Creativity.”) In my music classes, we often do creative brainstorming with rhythm instruments. One child at a time offers an idea for a way to play the instrument, and then the rest of the group will experiment with that movement. One time, we were […]

Noisy Science

Noisy Science If necessity is the mother of invention, I’d have to say that one of my best teaching “inventions” was inspired by the necessity of my not going completely deaf. You see, I’m an early-childhood music teacher. You know how noisy a typical preschool classroom is? Well, I’ll see you that noisiness and raise […]