Thinking skills are an essential reason why kids are in school. It is all about fostering them and getting them to think creatively. Recent studies about America have shown that children since the 90s have stopped progressing in the realm of creativity. (see Po Bronson's Newsweek expose or watch the famous Ken Robinson TED video). We need to do more in our classes to foster this precious skill. I also outline in this blog post - many ways teachers can foster creativity in their curriculum.
So in that vein, I offer some nice ONLY CONNECT games I made and which can be used as a template for you and your students to make their own. Even better if they make their own games and then challenge others to "connect" . 10 min. to make the game - 10 min. to play! The games I made highlight 3 variations of the basic game.
1. Student / teacher created (either draw or spell)
2. Picture only
3. Word only (students draw the word too)
One good idea is to also have students cut and make cards. Then, the cards are simply put into categories, groups.
Enjoy and feedback always welcome. Please share your own games here too!
Still my favorite too Ellen! Simple but oozing with creativity.
Those studies are interesting. Intelligence has kept growing (each generation increases almost 10% on many indicators) but creativity has dropped. why?
I'm sure you have your own reason -- I really think it really isn't the fault only of teaching/tests but also that kids don't spend time outdoors. Just being outdoors, opens the imagination so much more than numbing TV and video games. On the face of it, video games appear to promote creativity but I really don't think so - in most cases, how most kids play them.
Teaching to the standardized test is the single most destructive practice to creativity (for the teacher and the students) that has FLOURISHED since the mid 1990's. I think video games/computer time has played a secondary role, as well as kids' free time being more structured- more lessons, after-school care, etc.
Also, the outdoors continues to be perceived as more and more dangerous in urban areas. Could probably write a better reply, but I gotta run!
Still, teaching to standardized tests- a crime against education.
I don't think making kids take standardized tests is particularly destructive past the 3 hours of their time and energy you have wasted. It's the teaching to the test that is the real devil, and inevitable when a teacher's performance and the quality of the school is based on those results.