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Engaging Middle School Students


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Title: Engaging Middle School Students

Cultivating Creativity in our Schools
ACAMIS Guangzhou 2015
For more conversation
  • Rick Wormeli
  • 703-620-2447
  • rwormeli_at_cox.net
  • _at_rickwormeli2 (Twitter)

Which letter does not belong, and why?
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not
because it has been sober, responsible, and
cautious, but because it has been playful,
rebellious, and immature. -- Tom Robbins
  • Processing Activity
  • I used to
  • think,
  • but now
  • I think

In order for someone to accept feedback or take a
risk with your new idea, he must admit first what
he was doing was less effective than he thought
it was.
We are hired for how we are similar to a company,
but we advance based on how we are different.
Consider Rhodes Scholarship Candidate
Transcend formulaic responses.
Please paint the transit buses in an interesting
way that breathes a little more life into our
  • Video
  • When There is a Correct Answer

Our future depends on this one here.
  • Tenets
  • It takes creative and critical thinking to
    achieve standards.
  • Thoughtful classrooms create thoughtful students.
    We do not get creative students from
    non-creative classrooms.
  • Students who think creatively and critically
    perform better on tests, standardized or not.

If we find ways for colleagues and ourselves to
experience curiosity, awe, induction, deduction,
analysis, synthesis, resilience, empathy,
extrapolation, juxtaposition, and other mental
dexterities in their own development, they are
better thinkers of our discipline. They can
solve their own problems, connect with others and
among ideas, innovate their way to meaningful
contributions, and persevere in the midst of
All thinking begins with wonder.-- Socrates
  • Our job is not to make up anybodys mind, but to
    open minds and to make the agony of
    decision-making so intense you can escape only by
    thinking. - Fred Friendly, broadcaster

  • Create a sense of wonder!
  • Verbs
  • Pronouns
  • Newtons
  • Laws
  • Put on Scuba
  • Gear and climb out
  • of an eyeball
  • Velcro props
  • Compare
  • Not-so-
  • Pretend
  • Constitutions

  • Embrace the fact that, learning is
    fundamentally an act of creation, not consumption
    of information.
  • -- Sharon L. Bowman, Professional Trainer

What Could We Do If We Were Creative Together?
  • (Sampling from Innocentive.com, page 1,
    downloaded June 24, 2012)
  • Seeking Orthogonally Functionalized Cyclobutanes
  • Navigating the Inside of an Egg Without Damaging
  • Cleveland Clinic Method to Reconnect Two Tissues
    Without Using Sutures
  • Seeking 1H-pyrazolo3,4-bpyridin-3-amides
  • Synthetic Route to a Benzazepinone
  • My Air, My Health An HHS/EPA Challenge
  • Mechanistic Proposals for a Vanadium-Catalyzed
    Addition of NMO to Imidazopyridazines
  • Seeking Highest and Best Commercial Application
    for Breakthrough Innovation in Building
    Technology/Structural Optimization
  • Desafio da Educação Como atrair pessoas
    talentosas para se tornar professor na rede
    pública brasileira

  • The problem solvers...were most effective when
    working at the margins of their fields.While
    these people were close enough to understand the
    challenges, they werent so close that their
    knowledge held them back and cause them to run
    into the same stumbling blocks as the corporate
    scientists. (p. 121, Lehrer)
  • Check out InnoCentive at www.innocentive.com/ar/ch
  • What would this look like in education?

Could you teach the differences between
architecture in the Middle Ages and architecture
in the Renaissance period in such a classroom?
How about the principles of algebra here?
  • Information Age is old school. Were in the High
    Concept Age, and we have the tech to pursue it
  • Twitter and other social media
  • Daily newspapers downloaded for analysis
  • Museum school partnerships and Virtual Tours
  • QR codes attached to classroom activities
  • Student-designed apps
  • Khan Academy and similar on-line tutorials
  • Graduation in four states now requires one course
    taken completely on-line
  • Google Docs
  • Google Glass/Eyes wearables, implantables,

  • MOOCS Massive Open On-line Course
  • Crowd-Sourcing
  • MIT Open Courseware
  • TED talks and ed.Ted.com
  • Screencasts (ex. Camtasia Studio)
  • Voicethread
  • Moodle
  • PBLs
  • Prezi
  • iMovie
  • Edmodo

(No Transcript)
Make it fun.
Fun Theory -- Ice Skater http//www.youtube.co
We went to school. We were not taught how to
think we were taught to reproduce what past
thinkers thought.Instead of being taught to
look for possibilities, we were taught to
exclude them. Its as if we entered school as a
question mark and graduated as a period.
-- Michael Michalko,
Creative Thinkering, 2011, p. 3
Its not an answer chase.
  • Its a question journey.

  • Do they know how to ask good questions?
  • -- Tony Wagner, The Global Achievement Gap, 2008

Techniques and Elements that Cultivate Creativity
Creativity is making connections between
dissimilar things in such a way as to create
something new.
Its often about recombining old ideas and things
for new purposes or perspectives.
  • From Professor Alane Starko in her book,
    Creativity in the Classroom
  • Gutenberg developed the idea of movable type by
    looking at the way coins were stamped.
  • Eli Whitney said he developed the idea for the
    cotton gin while watching a cat trying to catch a
    chicken through a fence.

Pasteur began to understand the mechanisms of
infection by seeing similarities between infected
wounds and fermenting grapes.
Einstein used moving trains to gain insight into
relationships in time and space.
Consider Einsteins Theory of Relativity.
He did not invent the concepts of energy, mass,
or speed of light. Rather he combined these ideas
in a new and useful way. -- Michael, Michalko,
Creative Thinkering, Machalko, 2011, p. xvii,
Combination and Re-Combinination
  • Hall duty and Teacher Advisory
  • Service Learning and Students in danger of
    dropping out
  • Miniature Golf and lesson sequence
  • Students cafeteria behavior and architecture
  • Unmotivated faculty and farming, astronomy, or
    marble tabletops.
  • Parental involvement and medicine

Grades are compensation.
  • Tomlinson If I laid out on my kitchen counter
    raw hamburger meat still in its Styrofoam
    container, cans of tomatoes and beans, jars of
    spices, an onion, and a bulb of garlic and told
    guests to eat heartily.My error would be that I
    confused ingredients for dinner with dinner

  • Tomlinson One can make many different dishes
    with the same ingredients, by changing
    proportions, adding new ingredients, using the
    same ingredients in different ways, and so on.

  • Creativity is making mistakes.
  • Art is knowing which ones to keep.
  • - Scott Adams, The Book of Positive Quotations

Our greatest Compass Rose
Its not what you dont know that gets you into
trouble, its what you know for sure that aint
so. - Mark Twain
  • Writer and educator, Margaret Wheatley, is
  • We cant be creative unless were willing to
    be confused.

Do I dare disturb the universe?
Teams and individuals need clear vision for how
to fail, even in multiple attempts, before
succeeding. Be realistic Wow, this is taking
longer than I thought it would, and
constructive, Thats one thing Ill never forget
the next time I do this!
Taking Positive Risks
  • The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his
    orders from one who does.
  • -- Herbert Prochnow
  • If I had been a kid in my class today, would I
    want to come back tomorrow?
  • -- Elsbeth Murphy
  • Nothing ventured, something lost.
  • -- Roland Barth

Negating Students Incorrect Responses While
Keeping Them in the Conversation
  • Act interested, Tell me more about that
  • Empathy and Sympathy I used to think that,
    too, or I understand how you could conclude
  • Alter the reality
  • -- Change the question so that the answer is
  • -- Thats the answer for the question Im about
    to ask
  • -- When student claims he doesnt know, ask,
    If you DID know, what would you say?

Negating Students Incorrect Responses and While
Them in the Conversation
  • Affirm risk-taking
  • Allow the student more time or to ask for
  • Focus on the portions that are correct
  • Remember Whoever is responding to students is
    processing the information and learning. Who,
    then, should be responding to students in the
    classroom? Students.

Tenets for a Positive Culture for Failure
  • Academic struggle is virtuous, not weakness.
  • Failure can teach us in ways consistent success
  • Initial failure followed by responsive teaching
    that helps students revise thinking results in
    greater long-term retention of content.

When providing descriptive feedback that builds
creativity and perseverance,
comment on decisions made and their impact, NOT
quality of work.
  • The amount of risk someone takes in the work
    place is directly proportional to his sense of
    strong relationship with the person in charge.

More than okay! After 10,000 tries, heres a
working light bulb. Any questions?
Re-Dos Re-Takes with students and their
teachers Are They Okay?
Thomas Edison
F.A.I.L. First Attempt in Learning
  • Recovering in full from a failure teaches more
    than being labeled for failure ever could teach.
  • Its a false assumption that giving a student an
    F or wagging an admonishing finger from afar
    builds moral fiber, self-discipline, competence,
    and integrity.

Difficult Difficult Difficult Difficult Difficult
Rigor versus
Does providing more support mean its less
rigorous? On the contrary, providing support for
complex, multi-faceted applications is MORE
One way to embrace creativityis to let go of
comparison. If you are concerned about conforming
or about how you measure up to others successes,
you wont perform the risk taking and
trailblazing inherent in creative endeavors. --
P. 57, Creative Confidence, Kelley and Kelley,
  • Build instructional versatility.
  • We cant be creative with what we dont have.

  • Participate in the larger profession.
  • Professional inquiry via personal action research
    projects, Professional Learning Communities,
    subscriptions to professional journals,
    participation in on-line communities listervs,
    Twitter, Blogosphere, Webinars, Nings, and
    Wikis professional conferences, instructional
    roundtables in the building
  • We get more ideas/tools, and creative people are
    inspired by people around them.

  • Read professionally and personally
  • Write in the margins, make personal reactions to
    text. Share text/comments with colleagues.
    Occasionally do intense, focused time immersed in
    one topic via Literature, blogs, videos,
    lectures, and other resources.

  • Practice looking at objects, situations, ideas
    from different perspectives
  • Argue from opponents point of view
  • Re-tell the story from a different characters
    point of view
  • Imagine a day in the life of(animate, inanimate)
  • If decision is made, imagine the response of
    different groups of stake-holders
  • Pursue methods to achieve empathy

  • Suspend judgment.
  • Humans naturally categorize and judge. Fight
    the urge to label or automatically dismiss
    something which are both hard to do when in
    survival mode, agreed. Discern between exploring
    and judging, and lean toward exploration only.
    Tell me more about What would happen if we?
    Have you considered? Choose Yes, and over,
    Yes, but. comments.

Practice Complex-ifying. Really. A lot.
  • Practice turning regular and advanced education
    objectives and tasks into even more complex
    objectives and tasks.
  • Be careful to change the nature of the
    content/task, not the difficulty or workload.

To Increase (or Decrease) a Tasks Complexity,
Add (or Remove) these Attributes
  • Manipulate information, not just echo it
  • Extend the concept to other areas
  • Integrate more than one subject or skill
  • Increase the number of variables that must be
    considered incorporate more facets
  • Demonstrate higher level thinking, i.e. Blooms
    Taxonomy, Williams Taxonomy
  • Use or apply content/skills in situations not yet
  • Make choices among several substantive ones
  • Work with advanced resources
  • Add an unexpected element to the process or
  • Work independently
  • Reframe a topic under a new theme
  • Share the backstory to a concept how it was
  • Identify misconceptions within something

To Increase (or Decrease) a Tasks Complexity,
Add (or Remove) these Attributes
  • Identify the bias or prejudice in something
  • Negotiate the evaluative criteria
  • Deal with ambiguity and multiple meanings or
  • Use more authentic applications to the real world
  • Analyze the action or object
  • Argue against something taken for granted or
    commonly accepted
  • Synthesize (bring together) two or more unrelated
    concepts or objects to create something new
  • Critique something against a set of standards
  • Work with the ethical side of the subject
  • Work in with more abstract concepts and models
  • Respond to more open-ended situations
  • Increase their automacity with the topic
  • Identify big picture patterns or connections
  • Defend their work

  • Manipulate information, not just echo it
  • Once youve understood the motivations and
    viewpoints of the two historical figures,
    identify how each one would respond to the three
    ethical issues provided.
  • Extend the concept to other areas
  • How does this idea apply to the expansion of the
    railroads in 1800s? or, How is this portrayed
    in the Kingdom Protista?
  • Work with advanced resources
  • Using the latest schematics of the Space Shuttle
    flight deck and real interviews with
    professionals at Jet Propulsion Laboratories in
    California, prepare a report that
  • Add an unexpected element to the process or
  • What could prevent meiosis from creating four
    haploid nuclei (gametes) from a single haploid

  • Reframe a topic under a new theme
  • Re-write the scene from the point of view of
    the antagonist, Re-envision the countrys
    involvement in war in terms of insect behavior,
    or, Re-tell Goldilocks and the Three Bears so
    that it becomes a cautionary tale about
  • Synthesize (bring together) two or more unrelated
    concepts or objects to create something new
  • How are grammar conventions like music?
  • Work with the ethical side of the subject
  • At what point is the Federal government
    justified in subordinating an individuals rights
    in the pursuit of safe-guarding its citizens?

Williams Taxonomy
  • Fluency
  • Flexibility
  • Originality
  • Elaboration
  • Risk Taking
  • Complexity
  • Curiosity
  • Imagination

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Fluency We generate as many ideas and
    responses as we can
  • Example Task Choose one of the simple machines
    weve studied (wheel and axle, screw, wedge,
    lever, pulley, and inclined plane), and list
    everything in your home that uses it to operate,
    then list as many items in your home as you can
    that use more than one simple machine in order to
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Flexibility We categorize ideas, objects, and
    learning by thinking divergently
    about them
  • Example Task Design a classification system for
    the items on your list.

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Originality We create clever and often unique
    responses to a prompt
  • Example Task Define life and non-life.
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Elaboration We expand upon or stretch an idea
    or thing, building on previous thinking
  • Example What inferences about future algae
    growth can you make, given the three graphs of
    data from our experiment?

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Risk Taking We take chances in our thinking,
    attempting tasks for which the outcome is unknown
  • Example Write a position statement on whether
    or not genetic engineering of humans
    should be funded by the United States government.
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Complexity We create order from chaos, we
    explore the logic of a situation, we integrate
    additional variables or aspects of a situation,
    contemplate connections
  • Example Analyze how two different students
    changed their lab methodology to
    prevent data contamination.

Frank Williams Taxonomy of Creative Thinking
  • Curiosity We pursue guesses, we wonder about
    varied elements, we question.
  • Example What would you like to ask someone who
    has lived aboard the International Space Station
    for three months about living in zero-gravity?
  • --------------------------------------------------
  • Imagination We visualize ideas and objects, we
    go beyond just what we have in front of us
  • Example Imagine building an undersea colony for
    500 citizens, most of whom are scientists, a
    kilometer below the oceans surface. What factors
    would you have to consider when building and
    maintaining the colony and the happiness of its

  • Steal, borrow, and steal some more.
  • Incorporate others work and ideas in your own.
    From T.S. Eliot Immature poets imitate. Mature
    poets steal.

  • Share freely.
  • We are often better served by connecting ideas
    than we are by protecting them. (P. 22, Johnson)
  • P.61 Instead, most important ideas emerged
    during regular lab meetings, where a dozen or so
    researchers would gather and informally present
    and discuss their latest work. If you looked at
    the map of idea formation., the ground zero of
    innovation was not the microscope. It was the
    conference table.
  • The Fox televsion show, House, used this model

  • Children are creative because their filters and
    censors havent activated yet.
  • You are seven years old, and school is
    canceled. You have the entire day to yourself.
    What would you do? Where would you go? Who would
    you see? Two groups, one with these
    instructions and one with the same instruction
    minus the first sentence. Both groups wrote
    ideas for ten minutes.
  • Then given various tests of creativity, such as
    generating alternative uses for an old car tire
    or a brick. The group that experienced imagining
    being seven years old came up with twice as many
    ideas a the other group. (P. 110, Lehrer)

Discern the Pattern and Fill in the Last Row of
  • 1
  • 1 1
  • 2 1
  • 1 2 1 1
  • 1 1 1 2 2 1
  • 3 1 2 2 1 1
  • 1 3 1 1 2 2 2 1
  • 1 1 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 1

- From, Creative Thinkering, 2011, Michael
Michalko, p. 44
  • Regularly do automatic tasks and let the mind
  • Walk, run, drive a long distance without
    listening to music, take an extended shower or
    bath, wash a lot of dishes, mow the lawn, weed
    the garden, paint a room, crochet, clean gutters,
    shovel snow, stare at the ocean, watch birds for
    45 minutes, swim freestyle, water walk, or tread
    water for an extended time. All of these put us
    in a more associative state.

  • Do activities that have no extrinsic reward
    associated with them.
  • In Drive, Daniel Pink reminds us that, Rewards,
    by their very nature, narrow our focus. (p. 44)
    Creativity happens more often because people are
    curious, not because it satisfies financial
    incentives. Yes, we do some things in order to
    increase our salary step or receive a bonus, but
    creativity is usually a casualty of such
  • Teachers can write articles and blogs on topics
    they enjoy, not just on topics that get pay. As
    we have time and interest, we can mentor new
    teachers, sponsor a club or sport of interest,
    write articles and blogs on topics of interest,
    and we can participate in training and teach a
    class about ELL, gifted, technology, coding,
    library/media services, learning disabilities,
    and drama.

  • Ask the larger questions of what we do and why we
    do it.
  • Whose voices arent heard in our deliberations?
  • How are our current structures limiting student
  • What does this classroom incorporate what we know
    about how the mind best learns?
  • What is the role of homework? Grading?
  • Do teachers feel valued?
  • Will time on task increase achievement or is it
    the type of task we assign that increases

  • Publicly declare your teaching philosophy and
    Invite professional critique.
  • Come across as accessible and inviting of
    critique. Enjoy the interaction between teacher
    and critic. This is where most of the
    transformation occurs not only in the
    information offered by the one critiquing, but in
    the back-and-forth between the two people
    involved. This is hard, of course, because in
    order to accept a new idea teachers have to first
    admit what they were doing was ineffective or
  • What goes unlearned by students because we
    werent open to critique?

  • Challenge assumptions.
  • Get your personal Socrates going. Why cant
    students re-do final exams? Look at limitations
    of the research study, and ask to see the raw
    data from which conclusions are drawn. Are we
    sure the classic was symbolizing mans inhumanity
    to man? Develop data analysis skills. Look for
    what the writer/speaker is NOT saying just as
    much as for what he IS saying. Ask colleagues to
    articulate positions thoroughly Dont let them
    get away with generalizations. Explore layered
    meanings, consider the source of information and
    possible bias.

Reframe the question or endeavor. Instead of
trying to invent a better mousetrap,look at
other ways to mouseproof your home. Maybe the
mousetrap isnt really the problem. People
dont want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want
a quarter-inch hole! (p. 101, 102), Creative
What would this look like in schools?
  • Re-frame
  • How can I get students to pay attention to the
  • How can I get parents off my back?
  • How can I find the time to teach these standards?
  • How can I teach this many students in one

  • Sleep.
  • Seriously, a lot. Sleep aids creativity in many
    ways It creates the relaxed, associative state
    of mind. It improves alertness, working and
    long-term memory, and positive, Can do
    attitude. It may be one of the most influential
    factors in thinking.

  • Creativity is Powerful, but Meaning also Matters!
  • An English professor wrote the words, A woman
    without her man is nothing, on the blackboard
    and directed the students to punctuate it
    correctly. The men wrote A woman, without her
    man, is nothing, while the women wrote, A
    woman without her, man is nothing.
  • ----------------------------------------------
  • Lets eat, Dad!
  • Lets eat Dad.

Meaningful Arrangement and Patterns are Everything
  • d-a-o-o-u-i-d-y-v-l-e

I love you, Dad.
  • To a person uninstructed in natural history,
    his country or seaside stroll is a walk through
    a gallery filled with wonderful works of art,
    nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to
    the wall.
  • -- Thomas Huxley, 1854

  • Expertise increases engagement and
    understanding. (Physics students example)

Put another way
Chance favors the prepared mind. -- Pasteur
Yes, teach students to memorize content.
We cant be creative with what we dont have.
Which one leads to more learning of how
microscopes work?
  1. Kellen plays with the microscope, trying out all
    of its parts, then reads an article about how
    microscopes work and answers eight comprehension
    questions about its content.
  2. Kellen reads the article about how microscopes
    work, answers eight comprehension questions about
    its content, then plays with the microscope,
    trying out all of its parts.

  • Worthy they were,
  • Rafael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello.
  • Theirs a chromatic and plumed rebirth,
  • A daring reflection upon man.
  • Beyond Hastings and a Wifes tale in Canterbury,
  • Galileo thrust at more than Windmills,
  • He, Copernicus Gravitas.
  • And for the spectre of debate,
  • religion blinked then jailed,
  • errant no more,
  • thereby errant forever.
  • Cousin to Pericles, Son of Alexander,
  • The cosmology of Adam fanned for all,
  • feudal plains trampled by trumpeters,
  • man and woman lay awake --
  • calves on wobbly legs,
  • staring at new freedom
  • and Gutenbergs promise.  

Creating Background Where There is None
  • Tell the story of the Code of Hammurabi before
    discussing the Magna Charta.
  • Before studying the detailed rules of baseball,
    play baseball.
  • Before reading about how microscopes work, play
    with micros copes.
  • Before reading the Gettysburg Address, inform
    students that Lincoln was dedicating a cemetery.

Creating Background Where There is None
  • Before reading a book about a military campaign
    or a murder mystery with references to chess,
    play Chess with a student in front of the class,
    or teach them the basic rules, get enough boards,
    and ask the class to play.
  • In math, we might remind students of previous
    patterns as they learn new ones. Before teaching
    students factorization, we ask them to review
    what they know about prime numbers.
  • In English class, ask students, How is this
    storys protagonist moving in a different
    direction than the last storys protagonist?
  • In science, ask students, Weve seen how
    photosynthesis reduces carbon dioxide to sugars
    and oxidizes water into oxygen, so what do you
    think the reverse of this process called,
    respiration, does?

  • Chess masters can store over 100,000 different
    patterns of pieces in long term memory. Chess
    players get good by playing thousands of games!
  • Experts think in relationships, patterns, chunks,
    novices keep things individual pieces.
  • Physics experiment in categorization
  • Solid learning comes from when students make the
    connections, not when we tell them about them.

Exposure to a wide array of experiences creates
is the basis for creative solutions. Insulation
embalms the sentiment that the world we know is
the only one that matters.
  • To create meaning in students learning
  • Connect new learning to previous learning
  • Connect new learning to students backgrounds -
    Sousa If we expect students to find meaning, we
    need to be certain that todays curriculum
    contains connections to their past experiences,
    not just ours.(p. 49)
  • Model how the skill or concept is used
  • Demonstrate how the content or skills create
    leverage (how it gains us something) in other
  • Include a, So, why should we learn this?
    section in every major lesson
  • Increase the emotional connections
  • Create more access points in the mind
  • Prime the brain
  • Separate and combine knowledge analyze,

The Inner Net - David Bowden
Finger Mitosis
  • a lot Running to each wall to shout, a and
    lot, noting space between
  • Comparing Constitutions Former Soviet Union and
    the U.S. names removed
  • Real skeletons, not diagrams
  • Simulations
  • Writing Process described while sculpting with

  • Have Some Fun Anything Can Be A Metaphor!
  • An apple
  • a star (the birth place of energy on our planet)
    in the middle (the seed pattern makes a star if
    we cut it the right way)
  • we must break the surface to get to the juicy
    good parts
  • the outside doesnt reveal what lies inside
  • the apple becomes soft and mushy over time
  • the apple can be tart or sweet depending on its
    family background
  • its parts are used to create multiple products
  • A cell phone
  • lifeline to the larger world
  • an unapologetic taskmaster
  • an unfortunate choice of gods
  • a rude child that interrupts just when he
  • a rite of passage
  • a declaration of independence

  • A pencil sharpener
  • Whittler of pulp
  • Tool diminisher
  • Mouth of a sawdust monster
  • Eater of brain translators
  • Cranking something to precision
  • Writing re-energizer
  • Scantron test enabler
  • Curtains
  • Wall between fantasy and reality
  • Denied secrets
  • Anticipation
  • Arbiter of suspense
  • Making a house a home
  • Vacuum cleaner antagonist
  • Railroad
  • Circulatory system of the country
  • Enforcer of Manifest Destiny
  • Iron monster
  • Unforgiving mistress to a hobo
  • Lifeline
  • Economic renewal
  • Relentless beast
  • Mechanical blight
  • Movie set
  • A foreshadow of things to come
  • A hearkening to the past

Body Analogies
  • Fingers and hands can be associated with
    dexterity, omnidirectional aspects, working in
    unison and individually, flexibility, or artwork.
  • Feet can relate to things requiring footwork or
  • Anything that expresses passion, feeling,
    pumping, supplying, forcing, life, or rhythm
    could be analogous to the heart.
  • Those concepts that provide structure and/or
    support for other things are analogous to the
    spinal column.

Body Analogies
  • Those things that protect are similar to the rib
    cage and cranium.
  • The pancreas and stomach provide enzymes that
    break things down, the liver filters things, the
    peristalsis of the esophagus pushes things along
    in a wave-like muscle action.
  • Skins habit of regularly releasing old, used
    cells and replacing them with new cells from
    underneath keeps it healthy, flexible, and able
    to function.

Body Sculptures (Statues) Frozen Tableau
  • At your table groups, identify one concept,
    principle, or idea from yesterday. Then, using
    every persons body, create a frozen tableau that
    symbolically represents the concept, principle,
    or idea.
  • Evaluative Criteria
  • Its comprehensive of the idea It represents
    all of it, not just a portion of it.
  • Once viewers know what it is, nothing in the
    sculpture would create a misunderstanding of the
    concept, principle, or idea.
  • Every member of your group can explain the
    different elements of the sculpture.

Metaphors Break Down
  • You cant think of feudalism as a ladder
    because you can climb up a ladder. The feudal
    structure is more like sedimentary rock whats
    on the bottom will always be on the bottom unless
    some cataclysmic event occurs.
  • -- Amy Benjamin, Writing in the Content Areas, p.

Same Concept, Multiple Domains
  • The Italian Renaissance Symbolize curiosity,
    technological advancement, and cultural shifts
    through mindmaps, collages, graphic organizers,
    paintings, sculptures, comic strips, political
    cartoons, music videos, websites, computer
    screensavers, CD covers, or advertisements
    displayed in the city subway system.
  • The economic principle of supply and demand
    What would it look like as a floral arrangement,
    in the music world, in fashion, or dance? Add
    some complexity How would each of these
    expressions change if were focusing on a bull
    market or the economy during a recession?

Same Concept, Multiple Domains
  • Geometric progression, the structure of a
    sentence, palindromes, phases of the moon, irony,
    rotation versus revolution, chromatic scale,
    Boolean logic, sine/cosine, meritocracy, tyranny,
    feudalism, ratios,the relationship between depth
    and pressure, musical dynamics, six components of
    wellness, and the policies of Winston Churchill
    can all be expressed in terms of food, fashion,
    music, dance, flora, fauna, architecture,
    minerals, weather, vehicles, television shows,
    math, art, and literature.

Common Analogous Relationships
  • Antonyms
  • Synonyms
  • Age
  • Time
  • Part Whole
  • Whole Part
  • Tool Its Action
  • Tool user Tool
  • Tool Object Its Used With
  • Worker product he creates
  • Category Example
  • Effect Cause
  • Cause Effect
  • Increasing Intensity
  • Decreasing Intensity
  • Person closely related adjective
  • Person least related adjective
  • Math relationship
  • Effect cause
  • Action Thing Acted Upon
  • Action Subject Performing the Action
  • Object or Place Its User
  • Object specific attribute of the object
  • Male Female
  • Symbol what it means
  • Classification/category example
  • Noun Closely Related Adjective
  • Elements Used Product created
  • Attribute person or object
  • Object Where its located
  • Lack (such as drought/water one thing lacks
    the other)

  • Creating and interpreting patterns of content,
    not just content itself, creates a marketable
    skill in todays students. A look at data as
    indicating peaks and valleys of growth over
    time, noticing a trend runs parallel to another,
    or that a new advertising campaign for dietary
    supplements merges four distinct worlds --
    Greco-Roman, retro-80s, romance literature, and
    suburbia is currency for tomorrows employees.
  • To see this in a math curriculum, for example,
    look at algebraic patterns. Frances Van Dykes A
    Visual Approach to Algebra (Dale Seymour
    Publications, 1998)

A submarine submerges, rises up to the surface,
and submerges again. Its depth d is a function
of time t. (p.44)
A submarine submerges, rises up to the surface,
and submerges again. Its depth d is a function
of time t. (continued)
Consider the following graphs. Describe a
situation that could be appropriately represented
by each graph. Give the quantity measured along
the horizontal axis as well as the quantity
measured along the vertical axis.
Descriptions With and Without Metaphors
  • Friendship Family
  • Infinity Imperialism
  • Solving for a variable Trust
  • Euphoria Mercy
  • Worry Trouble
  • Obstructionist Judiciary Honor
  • Immigration Homeostasis
  • Balance Temporal Rifts
  • Economic Principles Religious fervor
  • Poetic License Semantics
  • Heuristics Tautology
  • Embarrassment Knowledge

4-Square Synectics
  • Brainstorm four objects from a particular
    category (examples kitchen appliances, household
    items, the circus, forests, shopping malls).
  • In small groups, brainstorm what part of todays
    learning is similar in some way to the objects
  • Create four analogies, one for each object.
  • Example How is the human digestive system like
    each household item sink, old carpet, microwave,
  • Example How is the Pythagorean Theorem like
    each musical instrument piano, drum set,
    electric guitar, trumpet?

Great Resources on Metaphors
  • From Molecule to Metaphor A Neural Theory of
    Language by Jerome Feldman
  • Metaphor A Practical Introduction by Zoltan
  • Poetic Logic The Role of Metaphor in Thought,
    Language, and Culture by Marcel Danesi
  • Metaphors Analogies Power Tools for Teaching
    any Subject by Rick Wormeli
  • I Is an Other The Secret Life of Metaphor and
    How It Shapes the Way We See the World by James

Great Resources on Metaphors
  • Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff
  • The Political Mind Why You Can't Understand
    21st-Century American Politics with an
    18th-Century Brain
  • by George Lakoff
  • A Bee in a Cathedral And 99 Other Scientific
    Analogies by Joel Levy
  • On Metaphor (A Critical Inquiry Book) edited by
    Sheldon Sacks

  •  Analyze Construct
  • Revise Rank
  • Decide between Argue against
  • Why did Argue for
  • Defend Contrast
  • Devise Develop
  • Identify Plan
  • Classify Critique
  • Define Rank
  • Compose Organize
  • Interpret Interview
  • Expand Predict
  • Develop Categorize
  • Suppose Invent
  • Imagine Recommend

Change your verbs.
One-Word Summaries
  • The new government regulations for the
    meat-packing industry in the 1920s could be seen
    as an opportunity,
  • Picassos work is actually an argument for.,
  • NASAs battle with Rockwell industries over the
    warnings about frozen temperatures and the
    O-rings on the space shuttle were trench
  • Basic Idea Argue for or against the word as a
    good description for the topic.

Summarization Pyramid
__________ ______________ ____________________ ___
______________________ ___________________________
___ ___________________________________
Great prompts for each line Synonym, analogy,
question, three attributes, alternative title,
causes, effects, reasons, arguments, ingredients,
opinion, larger category, formula/sequence,
insight, tools, misinterpretation, sample,
people, future of the topic
  • 3 Identify three characteristics of Renaissance
  • that differed from art of the Middle Ages
  • 2 List two important scientific debates that
  • during the Renaissance
  • 1 Provide one good reason why rebirth is an
  • appropriate term to describe the
  • 3 List three applications for slope,
  • knowledge in the professional world
  • 2 Identify two skills students must have in
    order to
  • determine slope and y-intercept from a set
    of points
  • on a plane
  • 1 If (x1, y1) are the coordinates of a point W
    in a
  • plane, and (x2, y2) are the coordinates of
    a different
  • point Y, then the slope of line WY is what?

Unique Summarization Formats/Products
  • A soap opera about valence among chemical
  • A Wanted Dead or Alive poster about
    Preposition Pete (He was last seen in the
    OverHillnDale Saloon, at the table, in the
    dark, under close scrutiny of other scalawags)
  • Compose a ballad about the cautious Massasoit
    tribe coming to dinner with Governor Bradford and
    his colony in 1621.
  • Interpret the Internet for Amazonian inhabitants
    that have never lived with electricity, let alone
    a computer.
  • Argue for and against Democracy as a healthy way
    to build a country Provide at least two
    arguments for each position.
  • Classify the Greek gods and goddesses according
    to three different criteria.
  • Predict the limiting factors for this habitat
    twenty-five years from now.
  • Retell a fairytale of your choosing with one of
    the following concepts as its central theme
  • Courage is not the absence of fear, but the
    judgment that something else is more important
    than that fear. -- Ambrose Redmoon
  • A setback is preparation for a comeback.
  • The one who never makes mistakes takes his
    orders from one who does.

Unique Summarization Formats/Products
  • A comic strip about the mantissa (the
    decimal-fraction part of a logarithm)
  • A mysterious yet accurate archeological map
    concerning the quadratic formula
  • A field guide to the asymptotes of a hyperbola
    (the diagonals of the rectangle formed by the
    lines x a, x a, y b and y -b in the
    hyperbola x squared over a squared y squared
    over b squared)
  • A coloring book about Amendments 1, 2, 3, 4, and
    10 to the Constitution
  • A rap song that expresses the order of
    Presidential succession
  • A grocery list for Taiga biomes
  • A mural that accurately expresses the checks and
    balances nature of our Federal governments
    three branches judicial, legislative, and
  • A sculpture or mobile that teaches observers
    about latitude and longitude
  • A pop-up book on liquid and dry measures

Word Link
  • Each student gets a word.
  • In partners, students share the link(s) between
    their individual words.
  • Partner team joins another partner team, forming
    a word cluster.
  • All four students identify the links among their
    words and share those links with the class.
  • -- Yopp, Ruth Helen. Word Links A Strategy for
    Developing Word Knowledge, Voices in the Middle,
    Vol. 15, Number 1, September 2007, National
    Council Teachers of English

Ropes Course Games
Ropes Course Games
  • Electric Fence (Getting over triangle fence
    without touching)
  • Spider Web (Pass bodies through webbing withot
    ringing the attached bells)
  • Group Balance (2X2 platform on which everyone
    stands and sings a short song)
  • Nitro-glycerin Relocation (previous slide)
  • Trust Falls (circle style or from a chair)

  • Groups of students line up according to criteria.
    Each student holds an index card identifying
    what he or she is portraying.
  • Students discuss everyones position with one
    another -- posing questions, disagreeing, and
    explaining rationales.

  • Students can line-up according to
  • chronology, sequences in math problems,
    components of an essay, equations, sentences,
    verb tense, scientific process/cycle, patterns
    alternating, category/example, increasing/decreasi
    ng degree, chromatic scale, sequence of events,
    cause/effect, components of a larger topic,
    opposites, synonyms

Human Continuum
Human Continuum
  • Use a human continuum. Place a long strip of
    masking tape across the middle of the floor, with
    an "Agree" or Yes taped at one end, and
    "Disagree" or No at the other end. Put a
    notch in the middle for those unwilling to commit
    to either side. Read statements about the days
    concepts aloud while students literally stand
    where they believe along the continuum. Be pushy
    ask students to defend their positions.

  • Mindware www.mindwareonline.com
  • Fluegelman, Andrew, Editor. The New Games Book,
    Headlands Press Book, Doubeday and Company, New
    York, 1976
  • Henton, Mary (1996) Adventure in the Classroom.
    Dubuque, Iowa Kendall Hunt
  • Lundberg, Elaine M. Thurston, Cheryl Miller.
    (1997) If Theyre Laughing Fort Collins,
    Colorado Cottonwood Press, Inc.
  • Rohnke, K. (1984). Silver Bullets. Dubuque, Iowa
    Kendall Hunt.
  • Rohnke, K. Butler, S. (1995). QuickSilver.
    Dubuque, Iowa Kendall Hunt
  • Rohnke, K. (1991). The Bottomless Bag Again.
    Dubuque, Iowa Kendall Hunt
  • Rohnke, K. (1991). Bottomless Baggie. Dubuque,
    Iowa Kendall Hunt
  • Rohnke, K. (1989). Cowstail and Cobras II.
    Dubuque, Iowa Kendall Hunt

Petals Around the Rose
The name of the game is, Petals Around the
Rose. The name is very important. For each
roll of the game, there is one answer, and I will
tell you that answer.
Petals Around the Rose
Petals Around the Rose
  • Clues to give students if they struggle
  • All the math you need to solve this problem you
    learn in kindergarten or before.
  • The sequence of the dice patterns has no
    bearing on the answer.

  • Processing Activity
  • I used to
  • think,
  • but now
  • I think
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