Ms. Maggie’s kindergarten students have been tapping out patterns with their rhythm sticks.
In this kindergarten music unit, language and rhythm concepts were combined to give students
verbal, tactile, and kinesthetic experiences. Through participation, students became familiar with some
basic elements of music and could recognize a steady beat and simple rhythm. Students performed simple rhythm patterns for our Friday Town Meeting.
As a visual arts educator and an arts coach I am often asked about creativity, and more specifically for advice on how to foster more of it. Here are some tips I came across that I think apply quite nicely to the students and families of IAA.
How Adults Can Encourage Creativity:
- Encourage curiosity, exploration, experimentation, fantasy, questioning, testing, and the development of creative talents. (In other words, allow children the opportunity to play – open ended materials and toys are the best way to ecourage creative play…think playdough, blocks, legos, art materials,paper,etc.)
- Provide opportunities for creative expression, creative problem-solving and constructive response to change and stress. (Often playful and dramatic re-creations of experiences can help children to assimilate and reframe them.)
- Prepare children for new experiences, and help develop creative ways of coping with them.
- Find ways of changing destructive behavior into constructive, productive behavior rather than relying on punitive methods of control.
- Make sure that every member of the family receives individual attention and respect and is given opportunities to make significant, creative contributions to the welfare of the family as a whole.
- Use what the school provides imaginatively, and supplement the school’s efforts.
How Adults “Kill” Creativity:
- Insisting that children do things the “right way.” Teaching a child to think that there is just one right way to do things kills the urge to try new ways.
- Pressuring children to be realistic, to stop imagining. When we label a child’s flights of fantasy as “silly,” we bring the child down to earth with a thud, causing the inventive urge to curl up and die.
- Making comparisons with other children. This is a subtle pressure on a child to conform; yet the essence of creativity is freedom to conform or not to conform.
- Discouraging children’s curiosity. One of the surest indicators of creativity is curiosity; yet we often brush questions aside because we are too busy for “silly” questions. Children’s questions deserve respect.
Torrance, E. P. (1969). CREATIVITY. Sioux Falls, ND: Adapt Press.