Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Create Something New

“Are you a visionary like Ms. DIY? Have you ever seen something bound for the dump that you turned into a beautiful and viable item? If you’re a writer, do you save your deleted work for possible later use?”

I’m not very good at seeing how things could be. I’m the type of person who has to see the finished product and then maybe modify or adapt it to my needs from there. I’m always amazed when someone can change something into something else. I guess I’m not very creative with things. I think that is why I love the internet image searches and pinterest. I also like looking at Flickr pictures. Maybe because I’m such a visual kind of person.

This makes me wonder if this is how my students feel. I know when they are expected to “create” something, the possibilities are very overwhelming. I have learned that my students are much more successful when I can give them some visual suggestions so I try to do that more often whenever I want them to create something. I think once they learn to create one thing, they can move forward to adapting and modifying as they feel more comfortable.

I like to give a final project to assess their understanding of science and social studies topics. When I give my students a project to do, I give them 5 possible suggestions to help them think about what they would like to create. I want students to get away from the traditional written project and for some, this change is hard for them to do. For others, this is the perfect evaluation for them! I have learned that giving them more than 5 options can paralyze them with overwhelming indecision. For some, I might even give them only 3 but I feel giving them choices is extremely important.  

If I show them examples, I will stress that they may not copy the sample and must have at least 3 things that are different from the sample. Otherwise, they will just make carbon copies of the sample. Once they create something new, I make them explain how their final item is different than the sample.

As for my writing, I usually start out writing in one direction and sometimes seem to go in a different direction so that my final result is very different than I intended. I think this can also happen when creating something new from something else. I might have a plan on what I want to make but during the process, it usually ends up something else.

How do you feel about upcycling in the classroom or in writing? Please share.

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