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Monday
Oct202014

But that is the only way to get better ..

When you think of the NASA Apollo missions, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

In our recent visit to the Kennedy Space Center, we had the chance to eat lunch under one of the 3 remaining Apollo rockets …

But that is not the story I want to share …

Did you know the first Apollo mission was not a success?

According to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (as well as our tour guide last week):

January 27, 1967

Apollo 1 Astronauts

Tragedy struck on the launch pad during a preflight test for Apollo 204, scheduled to be the first Apollo manned mission. It would have been launched on February 21, 1967, but Astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives when a fire swept through the Command Module (CM).

That had to be devastating to not only the families and loved one of those Astronauts but also to all who worked to make that mission a possibility.

Did the people who worked toward that mission just give it and write it off as a loss?

No, they examined everything that happened …

They reviewed, recreated, and investigated …

In hopes of making changes so it would not happen again

Apollo I was clearly not a successful adventure …

But it was a learning opportunity

And that learning opportunity led to the eventual launch of Apollo 4 and 5 …

(by the way, there was never an Apollo 2 or 3)

How many times do we and our students give up the first time something doesn’t work exactly the way we think it should?

The idea of REVISION made my students tremble … and it is still something I don’t really like tp do but should do more …

That involves looking for the things that we got wrong and figuring out how to make them better  …

It also involves examining why what we tried did not work and if it was even the best idea to use in the first place …

That may mean admitting we are wrong …

This “recovering perfectionist” still does like that idea! :)

But that is the only way to get better ..

To be more effective …

To grow …

What is something that may not have worked just the way you thought it should that you need to go back and try again?

 

(Ouch that question hurt … but stretching does at times …)

Sunday
Oct192014

And Doing More ...

Last week my family went to Florida!

Although we were all looking forward to visiting NASA Kennedy Space Center, I think I ws the most excited about it!! :)

I think I have been a little obsessed with NASA since my Social Media Press Pass to the Antares launch …

Last year when we visited Kennedy, we did bus tour due to the government shutdown.

We still had a great time exploring the visitor center and the Atlantis exhibit.

Madalyn even got to meet and learn from a lady astronaut!

But this year we looked forward to even more …

As we began our bus tour to view launchpads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the museum of the Apollo missions, I began to consider the literacy opportunites available as a result of this trip or one like it …

  • What words could be used to best describe what we were seeing and experiencing?
  • Could something other than words be better to use?
  • What stories could/would the objects around us tell?
  • How could the stories from the rockets be used as examples of personification and point-of-view?
  • How is what we are seeing part of history and a part of the future at the same time?
  • What questions would you ask the rockets, shuttles, and astronauts?
  • How would getting answers from those source differ in impact from getting answers from a book or website?

 

Notice how these questions and ideas take the thinking so much deeper than an assignment to list what you saw and learned.

It is about taking what you saw/learned and doing more …

Getting to higher order thinking skills by reflecting on what one sees and learns does not require taking a trip to NASA …

It is all about observing the things that are around you wherever you are …

And noticing the details and questions that arise …

Those details and questions are not the end of the exploration

But only the beginning …

 

And don’t worry, I will share more about what we saw and learned on our bus tour soon!

Thursday
Oct162014

Maybe it is a time to do small things ...

As I sit here and watch the sun come up this morning, I see organge and yellow break through the blue sky and wonder what opportunities today holds …

Will there be chances for learning?

Of course there will be …

The opportunity for learning is all around us all of the time …

We just have to notice it and grab on!

I have been quite reflective about the chances for learning over the last couple of weeks

That reflection has taken place in my head and not on my blog where it normally happens

Maybe that is one of the reasons the reflection has taken so long …

It has been all jumbled up inside my head!

I know that getting started writing is the hardest part …

But I just haven’t taken that leap to get started …

Watching the sunlight slowly break through the dark sky could be seen as symbolic of my thoughts and ideas slowly starting to break through my head and out through my fingers …

I have done a good deal of reading recently …

Mostly fiction to let my mind rest …

I have also done quite a bit of work in my sketchbook …

But using only a black pen

By limiting my options, I am raising my level of creative thinking …

I have also started once again to take pictures of interesting patterns and from interesting angles …

Maybe it is a time for growth …

Maybe it is a time for looking back in order to move forward …

Maybe it is a time to do small things …

While still dreaming big!

Wednesday
Oct012014

Heroes and Villians

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: Heroes and Villians

Today is the first day of October …

Since the last day of October is Halloween, this lesson from ReadWriteThink caught my attention:

So this month’s creative challenge involves creating your very own hero or villian!

If you could create a hero and/or a villian, what would he or she look like?

The same all the time or different depending upon special circumstances?

Any distingishing characteristics or features?

Special powers?

Sidekicks?

Enemies?

Mode of transportation?

Theme song?

Location?

Unique living arrangements?

Method of communicating?

What will you write, draw, build, create, record …

Please introduce us to your hero/villian!!!

 

Monday
Sep292014

Every Minute ...

How are the choices you made today going to impact your tomorrow?

How will the decisions you made today affect someone else?

What did you choose to learn today?

What did you decide to push away?

Did you take that chance when you knew you might not succeed?

Did you play it safe and not risk anything?

How did your actions speak louder than words?

How do you feel about not taking the opportunity to say something?

What chances did you have today that will never be available again?

How did the choices you made yesterday influence your options today?        

So based on what you did today, what are you going to do tomorrow?