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Image and Question or Question and Image?


In the “Grow Creativity!” article, Candace Hackett Shively shares four aspects of creativity: fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. This article had me hooked from the beginning:

The world needs creative thinkersscientistsengineersleaders, and contributing workers. yet research repeatedly shows creativity is schooled out of us. 

The Creative Thinking Challenge prompts focus on areas in all of these aspects and use ideas inspired by many different sources.

I would love for you to participate …

  • even if you don’t think you are very creative
  • the point of these prompts is to get the creative juices flowing 
  • even if that only means letting small ideas begin to trickle out

I find that I get lots of new ideas from looking at the things others have done … and I bet we all interpret the prompts in unique ways.

The best part is that you get to choose how you want to respond to this prompt. And there is no deadline. 

(I post past prompts on the Creative Thinking tab at the top of my blog)

If you have an idea for a Prompt, please let me know!

Creative Thinking Prompt: Image and Question or Question and Image?

Looking at this site and this site gave me an idea for this Creative Thinking Prompt!

First, pick an image …

It can be an image you find online, an image you create, a photo you take, or anything …

And create a thinking question to post on it …

You can write the question on the image

You can attach the question to the image

You can use something like Picmonkey or whatever you want to place the question with the image …





I wonder if you would get different results if you developed the thinking question first and then found an image ...


Just Breathe!

For some reason August is a stressful month for me …

I am not really sure why since my birthday is in the middle of the month …

Maybe it is from remembering my days as a student and as a classroom teacher …

Added to now having a daughter beginning a new school year each August …

Creating things is a stress-relief for me, so I don’t know why I haven’t been doing more of it!

But that changes today!

Well, actually yesterday …

I picked up an old Nancy Drew hardcover book from the discard pile at a library and started doodling on the cover page.

It may not look like it, but doing this is quite relaxing for me …

I can sit and watch/listen to TV (football games today) …

Or conversations in a meeting (who else doodles on the side of the page where they are supposed to be taking notes?)

I don’t really have a plan, I just start drawing lines or circles and see what happens …

When I showed this to someone, they told me that they did not have the patience to do that type of doodling …

But I don’t think it about patience … 

That is not one of my strengths!

I think creating this way makes me calm down and focus …

I guess in many ways I use art/creating to calm down but also to just let it go …

Maybe for me it is using black and white is where I calm and focus

And when I use color, I just get it all out!

I found myself telling others (and reminding myself) to remember to breathe a lot this month .. 

What do you do for to help you relief stress and focus?



Using what you find ...

Once you have found information and evaluated it, how are you going to use it?

Maybe the question needs to be, how are you going to use that information correctly?

You probably know how to copy and paste …

But is that the best thing to do?

Probably not in every case!!

Just copying something directly and using it word for word is QUOTING and there are specific ways it needs to be done and attributed to the author. You would not want someone else taking credit for what you have created, and that person who created whatever you are using doesn’t either.

Taking the material you found and using it by putting it in your own words is another way to use information. It is called PARAPHRASING and again there are ways to do it correctly and give credit to the original creator.

After you read the information you found, you may decide that using the main points to support your ideas is the way to do. Using resources that way is called SUMMARIZING. As you probably expect, there are ways to summarize correctly and ways to once again give credit to the original source since those are the words that gave you the ideas to use!

The Online Writing Lab  has a section that covers the differences between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. It also shares ideas about the how and why for each of those ways of using resources. I think that is a great reminder for teachers and students … and I use it a lot too!

Here are some good examples and non-examples of ways to use resources (as well as some lesson ideas):

photo credit: cobalt123 via photopin cc


Newspaper or Tabloid?

Which story are you more likely to believe … one you find in a reputable newspaper or one you find in a tabloid?


Can you think of websites that are more like reputable newspapers?

Can you think of some that are more like the tabloids you see waiting in line at the grocery store?

How do you know the difference?

That is where evaluating comes in …

How many times have you searched for a topic on Google or something similar and gotten back a ga-zillion results? That can be a bit overwhelming, so you have to figure out ways to wade through the madness and get what you wanted in the first place!

What do you think most students do when faced with that plethora of possibilities?

Choose one of the first few resources?

Are those always the best?

What can we use to help ourselves and our students when faced with this situation?

We can ask questions!


The Online Writing Lab encourages you to become a detective when evaluating resources by looking for clues about the information and where it came from, as well as using other resources to support it!

The Library of Congress and the UNC Writing Center also have some ideas for topics to consider when you are asking questions about your resources!


**** I think using some of the links on this website for an activity about evaluating might work well:

photo credit: via photopin cc


What Does the First Day of School Mean for You?

Yesterday was the first day of school for students in the county where I live. 

It was the first day of 3rd grade for my daughter!

I don’t know how in the world she is that old already … especially since none of the adults are getting any older … :)  

Do teachers look at the first day of school the same way students do?

How do parents look at the first day of school?

Does it matter if it is the FIRST first day of school or the THIRD first day of school?

One of my friends who is a teacher shared that yesterday was her 38th first day of school and she teaches Kindergarten!

I wonder what changes she has seen in those 38 first days …

Even though my daughter has only had a few first days of school so far, they have each been different …

Thinking back to when I was a classroom teacher, I think the first day of school was a bit of blur … no matter how many times it happened!

There were procedures and expectations to cover as well as getting-to-know-you activities …

Do you jump right in?

Do you slide into things slowly?

When you start out, they say to start strict on the first day and then gradually ease up since it is MUCH harder to do the reverse …

What do you remember about your first days of school?

I remember my FIRST first day as a 4th grade teacher …

Yesterday, my daughter’s teacher sent an email to parents at the end of the first day mentioning a few of the things they did in class …

Good Parent-Teacher communication right from the start …

And my daughter was surprised when I asked her who she interviewed that had the same lollipop flavor in class that day?  :)

I guess I have seen the First Day of school as a student, as a teacher, and as a parent …

I think first days of school are full of potential and promise

They can set the year off to a good start

And they are a time for learning

Learning about the teacher

Learning about who else is in the class

Learning about the environment

Learning about the the expectation

Learning about the plan for the year

Learning about the learning …

It all boils down to learning

From the first day on …