Cathrine Thimmesh defines creativity as "the ability to make new things or think of new and original ideas". She mentions that we ask our students to think outside of the box but many times, they don't know what that means. Shem mentions the importance to know what creativity is not. Her example is that it is not a talent that only a select few have but rather a method of operating. As you watch Catherine's speech below, you will also see some examples she uses for how we can help kids to understand what thinking outside the box means.

This video really hit home for me because of the point she made about students not knowing what it means to think outside the box. As Catherine mentions, too often students think that to be creative means you must be able to draw, paint, play an instrument or maybe be in the theatre. It can be so hard to help our students understand what creativity really means. That is why I really liked what Catherine said about asking our students questions instead of telling them to think outside the box. I am very much a believer in modeling when teaching and to me, asking questions and working through those questions is a great way to show students what creativity really means.

I loved the examples that Catherine gives about creative people such as inventing the iPod or flying cars. Students don't always see that as creative, they see it as inventive - which it is - but they forget that to be inventive, you must also be creative. For that reason, I think wording is important as well when asking students to do something creative. When calling an assignment creative, maybe add some ways to be creative such as making a new game or build a city or explain what happened in the book. To help our students grasp a fuller understanding of what it means to be creative, give them examples and ask them questions.

I know time is always a tough one when you have 100 students but I think it is also important to spend time with each student and make sure they are understanding what is being asked of them. That is also a good time to ask them questions, as Chatherine mentions, to get their minds going and to help aid in their creative process.

Another important element to creativity in the classroom is not limiting students to certain types of creativity. I remember as a student in high school, when asked to do a creative assignment I felt I could only draw something because that is what everyone else did. Without realizing it, the teacher was limiting creativity because she was not working with us to 'think out side of the box' and come up with an original idea. To me, limiting creativity is not explaining to the students what creativity truly means. Because we most often hear creativity being associated with a fine art, if our students are not given another definition, their idea of creativity is limited.

Creativity in the classroom (in 5 minutes or less!) | Catherine Thimmesh