Every year, I try to have a theme that extends through the discussions all year. Last year, the students in the middle school grades worked on the concepts of copyright, fair use, and creative commons. This year, I want to work with all grades on creativity and sharing through the computer.
I have a real interest in the concept of multiple intelligences. At one point in teaching middle school math classes, I would end each chapter with a chapter closing project. Each was small in scope. My intent was to give the students a choice in demonstrating their knowledge of the concepts in that chapter. I never discussed multiple intelligences with the students. It was interesting to see the types of choices they made.
As we discuss creativity and sharing, I do want to make an effort to give the students an opportunity to learn about the idea of learning styles. I found an interesting multiple intelligences inventory online today. It is from the Learning Disabilities Resource Community. I took the inventory and it seems like the students in the middle school should have no problem with any of the questions. I might try it with the fifth grade students, too.
There are so many ways to be creative with various computer components and applications. As we work on each project, I would like to talk about how we are being creative. Whether it is the written word in a word processor, logic when building Scratch projects, musical in Garageband, spatial with the GPS, or any other number of projects - we are being creative!
Another overarching theme I would like to work on is "How Are You Contributing to the World's Knowledge". There are several resources the students have created over the last eight years. Most recently, the work has been more public. I will be able to show the students reflections and work from students who are now in high school. I want them to think more about how they, as students, can teach others.
I'm in the planning stages right now. I like the fact that everything we usually do in K-8 will fit into this framework. As always, I'm excited to be planning for another new year!