This past summer I was lucky enough to attend the Teaching for Creativity Institute at the Columbus Art Museum for four days in June. My teaching soul felt hopeful and excited to revisit ideas that grounded my early days of teaching and gather some new thinking. We talked about our stakeholders and how we can advocate for creativity teaching. Ideas were tossed around for working with parents during curriculum nights and I began thinking about the two hour window new students and families can stop by to visit our learning space and meet me. For many years it’s been an opportunity to unpack your school supplies and find out who is in your classroom. I began thinking about the messages I wanted to start expressing right away and thought this format could be tweaked.
I saw an idea at the art museum in the Wonder Room and wanted to replicate it. I thought about how they could express and foster messages about our classroom. We will be inspired. We will work together. We will make things. We will talk. We will come together. We will imagine. When I thought about picking up my phone for some photos tonight, I had another family to meet and visit with. I wish you could see the room in action. It was beautiful.
- Coming Together – pick a fabric strip and add to chicken wire to make a class weaving
- Imagine – explore with post it notes and make something new, tape and colored pencils were offered too
- Drawing with Friends – new markers and a square piece of paper hung together in a larger square grid.
- Be Inspired – offered four picture books about bugs, tissue paper squares and rectangles, pipe cleaners, and bendable wire
At first, I was worried the creative spaces weren’t going to be used very much. It was probably a new option for my students. They loved adding a strip of fabric to a collaborative weave. When the room was quieter nudging was needed to engage my new friends. I turned around at a busy moment and there was more engagement. Old friends were reconnecting. Neighbors were laughing. Parents were reconnecting. A new student, just moved this weekend to be with us and my new friend V did a great job talking to her while her grandpa snapped photos of her new learning space. As the two hours ended, I found used creative spaces and things to hang in our room. My space is now our space and the messages I wanted to send about our year together have been sent.