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The Creative Classroom with John Spencer

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I want to see teachers can transform classrooms into spaces of imagination and wonder. So, here's where I explore what it means to make this a reality.

I want to see teachers can transform classrooms into spaces of imagination and wonder. So, here's where I explore what it means to make this a reality.
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Location:

United States

Description:

I want to see teachers can transform classrooms into spaces of imagination and wonder. So, here's where I explore what it means to make this a reality.

Language:

English


Episodes

10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers

12/10/2018
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A few years ago, my son opened a Google Document and started typing. I asked him about it and his eyes lit up as he described the shared story he was writing with classmates. This was the first day of summer break but he was choosing to write for fun. It might not sound like […] The post 10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers appeared first on John Spencer.

4 Surprising Truths About the Creative Journey

12/5/2018
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About a year ago, I watched La La Land for the first time. It was as enchanting and mesmerizing as people had told me. And it struck a chord, in terms of the deeply human longing to chase your dreams, captured in the lines: Here’s to the ones who dream Foolish as they may seem Here’s […] The post 4 Surprising Truths About the Creative Journey appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:20:42

Making Time for Project-Based Learning

11/30/2018
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I’ve been at the college level for a little over three years and every time I visit one of my college students in the midst of their practicum, I am struck by how fast time moves in a classroom. It’s easy as a professor to forget the frantic pace, with the bells and the announcements […] The post Making Time for Project-Based Learning appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:18:28

Taking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership

11/15/2018
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Recently, I asked my students (pre-service teachers who are currently in their practicum) about the ultimate goal of education. Some described the need for raising democratic citizens who will think critically about the world. A larger group described the need for preparing students for the global economy. Others wanted students to develop into life-long learners. They […] The post Taking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:12:12

Why Balance Is Critical for Creative Work

11/9/2018
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Earlier this week, my friend George Couros wrote a wonderful post about seeing the value in balance and it had me thinking about the role of balance in creativity and teaching. Years ago, my friend Wayne gave me some great advice about balance and self-care. Although this was about the non-profit world, I think it […] The post Why Balance Is Critical for Creative Work appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:07:21

Why Teachers Should Experience Productive Struggle

11/3/2018
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I’m sitting in front of the computer blinking, ready to press the “submit” button; knowing that if I missed this problem, the progress bar will drop down another 25% and I’ll spend half an hour trying to get back up to where I was. At this point, I have spent well over ninety minutes on […] The post Why Teachers Should Experience Productive Struggle appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:10:27

Seven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating

10/26/2018
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I used to believe that creativity began in the mind. Ideas popped in and people responded externally by making things. I would get frustrated when students came into class having only used technology to consume rather than create. I would beg them to take risks creatively. Make something different. Be bold. Branch out even if […] The post Seven Stages in Moving from Consuming to Creating appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:15:36

Three Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects

10/17/2018
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We’ve all been there before when we were students. You’d hear the dreaded words “group project,” and immediately begin calculating the additional work that you would need to do to keep the group afloat; especially if the teacher chose the members. You check the list of names on the board. You’ll be with the drifter, […] The post Three Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:19:48

Seven Things That Happen When Students Share Their Work

9/30/2018
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When my middle son was in the third grade, he volunteered to share a joke with a big audience at a family camp. As I watched him standing in the line with older kids and quite a few adults, I felt nervous. What would happen if no one laughed? Would he be crushed? Did he […] The post Seven Things That Happen When Students Share Their Work appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:14:05

Seven Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour Projects

9/12/2018
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Genius Hour (or 20% Time) projects begin with a simple idea: give students a dedicated period of time to pursue their passions, interests, and questions in a creative way. In this blog post and podcast, we explore the benefits of doing Genius Hour projects. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d […] The post Seven Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour Projects appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:19:48

Five Structures for Helping Students Learn Project Management

8/31/2018
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If we want students to think like artists, entrepreneurs, and engineers, they need the chance to design real projects. But this also requires students to learn how to engage in project management. The following is a short video on the project management process: Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like […] The post Five Structures for Helping Students Learn Project Management appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:23:08

Ten Old-School Tech Skills Your Students Never Had to Deal With

8/24/2018
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I was born in the Ice Age, when Ice Cube, Ice-T, and Vanilla Ice were all the rage. If you had told me as a child that Ice-T would someday play a cop on TV, I would have thought you were crazy. As a kid, my biggest technology concern was making it through the Oregon […] The post Ten Old-School Tech Skills Your Students Never Had to Deal With appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:12:06

Five Ways to Boost Metacognition In the Classroom

8/13/2018
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If we want students to develop into critical thinking, lifelong learners, we need them to develop metacognitive skills. Metacognition is vital for helping students become self-directed learners (both self-managers and self-starters). It will help them navigate the complexities of a changing world and it will help them as they engage in creative work. In this […] The post Five Ways to Boost Metacognition In the Classroom appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:05:10

Seven Reasons to Pilot a Game-Based Learning Unit

7/22/2018
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Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like to listen to it on the go, just click on the audio below or subscribe via iTunes/Apple Podcasts (ideal for iOS users) or Google Play and Stitcher (ideal for Android users). Exploring Game-Based Learning For the last two weeks, I have worked with on a team of […] The post Seven Reasons to Pilot a Game-Based Learning Unit appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:17:23

The Seven Myths Keeping Teachers from Designing Makerspaces

7/15/2018
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In a previous post, I explored this idea that every student deserves a makerspace. In this post, I look at some of the most common myths I see regarding makerspaces. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this blog but you’d like to listen to it on the go, just click on the audio below […] The post The Seven Myths Keeping Teachers from Designing Makerspaces appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:19:44

What Can Video Games Teach Us About Instructional Design?

7/3/2018
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When I was a kid, I used to spend hours playing Tetris. I would zone out everything else and hit a state of hyperfocus. I was fully engaged. I could spend hours playing Tetris. Over the years, the trending games have changed. I may or may not have created my own fair share of Sonic […] The post What Can Video Games Teach Us About Instructional Design? appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:17:06

The Difference Between Being Busy and Being Productive

6/26/2018
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I recently wrote about the power of rest to increase productivity and creative thinking. For that reason, I also want to share a phenomenal resource from my friend, Angela Watson, that empowers teachers to make this a reality. She also has a summer planning guide you might want to check out. Listen to the Podcast If you enjoy this […] The post The Difference Between Being Busy and Being Productive appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:13:20

Three Reasons to Try Video Prompts in Your Classroom

6/18/2018
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Last summer, my son started an online writer’s workshop. Although it fizzled by the end of the summer, there was a period where they were all working on a collaborative story and writing their own editorials back and forth. This wasn’t a school-sponsored activity. It was a spontaneous act of creativity. But actually, it wasn’t […] The post Three Reasons to Try Video Prompts in Your Classroom appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:15:19

Making Rest a Priority in the Summer

6/8/2018
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Teaching is an exhausting gig and when teachers take the time to rest during the summer, they able to find a place of renewal and restoration. Research has demonstrated that rest is vital for maintaining our passion and reaching our creative potential. However, it’s easy to go through the summer without finding any true restoration. […] The post Making Rest a Priority in the Summer appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:18:03

5 Myths About Classroom Management in PBL

5/13/2018
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I want to make something clear before we dive into this topic. I made huge mistakes in classroom management as a teacher. I let certain disruptive behaviors go unchecked because I was tired and I didn’t want to put out another fire. I had moments when I shamed a student or yelled at a class. […] The post 5 Myths About Classroom Management in PBL appeared first on John Spencer.

Duration:00:25:11