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My humorous thoughts about life.

"My Humorous and Helpful Thoughts About Teaching / Educational Resources for Your Classroom / Music and Random Fun"

Monday, November 25, 2019

Creative Problem Solving about Toys

In the gifted and talented program, kids were often asked to problem solve. This too is a skill that can be taught. Let's start with a problem about a toy. Suppose Honey Bear, a golden retriever, has lost her ball under the television set. What can she do to retrieve it?

Teach creative problem solving activities in your gifted and talented class.

In order to retrieve her ball, we must go through the steps of creative problem solving.

1.) Brainstorm - In a group, students will think of as many ideas as possible. Accept any idea given, even if it seems silly. Sometimes bad ideas have a way of sparking good ones from a team member.

2.) Evaluate - Is this a good idea or not? Students must decide if it will work, is easy or possible to do, costs money, or if it is safe.

3.) Decide - Which idea is the best way for Honey Bear to get her ball back? Looking at the criteria, the group decides on which strategy to use.

4.) Act - The group will put on a skit showing Honey getting her ball.

I have two packets that present problems for practice in creative problem solving.

Creative Thinking Exercises for Gifted and Talented students. #TpT

Creative thinking activities about famous women in history.

I send these posts to my mailing group; however, they get free resources along with the article. You can, too. Just join my group by clicking below!

You will also receive a FREE No Prep Problem Solving Pack!

Now for Music

Since we're talking about dog toys, I've got to include my favorite song about dogs! After all, without dogs, there would be no toys under the television. Also, my dogs ARE my toys!

Next up, "Barbie Girl" by Aqua

Friday, November 22, 2019

Last Day to Win & Friday Freebies

LAST DAY.... We are thankful for teachers! A group of thankful teacher-authors have come together to help one lucky school employee or homeschool parent win...
💚 a $400 Teachers Pay Teachers OR an Amazon gift card. Yes, you read that right! You choose!
No photo description available.
Today, is Friday, so you can find a lot of freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers! I'm focused on free reading passages. Just go to TpT and search #fridayfreebie3!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Teachers: Enter for a Chance to Win $400 Gift Card to TpT or Amazon

Link to a contest to enter and win $400 in TpT or Amazon Gift card for teachers.

Because we are thankful for teachers, several Teachers Pay Teachers sellers and myself have gathered together to offer an amazing contest. Just think of all you can buy for your classroom with $400!

Please clip on the link provided and enter this fabulous contest, today!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Creativity in the Gifted Classroom with Creative Music

Not only is creativity a part of most gifted programs but also creativity can be taught. The best way to teach creativity is to give kids prompts and have them solve these creatively.

For example: What if everyone is asked to pose multiple ideas for the design a coffee cup and the best creative thinker wins!

Blog post on teaching creativity in the gifted and talented classroom. #iteach

The $1,000,000 Question is, "What makes a specific coffee cup the best?" The answer guides students in the creative process.

A. Originality - To receive the most points, students should come up with ideas that no one else has ever thought of. If more than one person has the same idea, maybe it's not so unique.

B. Flexibility - How different are student ideas? You could mention having a golden retriever on the cup for one idea. If your next idea is to place a labrador retriever on the cup, is that a different idea or the same idea with a slight tweak? Flexibility means that your students should devise ideas unlike their previous ones.

C. Fluency - How many unique ideas can each student think of? The more ideas the better. This is a numbers game that relates to flexibility because if the ideas are not new and different, who cares how many they come up with?

D. Elaboration - This is the skill of going into details about a given idea. For example, I would draw a picture of a bright red golden retriever retrieving a coffee cup with another golden retriever on it. Both retrievers would be wearing green Santa coats and hats with dog bones where white fur would usually be. Is this enough detail to picture the cup in your mind? Is this idea original? If so, award points.

With these guidelines, students are ready to engage in a creative activity. You might want to put a time limit on the students brainstorming ideas and then have them go back to revise these before sharing with the class.

I have two lessons that relate to this topic.

Creative Thinking Exercises for Gifted and Talented students. #TpT

Creative thinking activities about famous women in history.
I send these posts to my mailing group; however, they get free resources along with the article. You can, too. Just join my group by clicking below!

You will also receive a FREE No Prep Problem Solving Pack!

Now for Music

Since my post was on creativity, I'm posting creative songs for this Monday Music Moves Me blog hop

First up is an oldie with a new twist. Watch Crazy Frog in "Popcorn" by Gershon Kingsley. This song was written in the early days of the Moog Synthesizer.

Next up is a strangely unique song, "Blue" by Eiffel 65

Finally, how could a post of original songs not be complete without the classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Logic Puzzles & Music

Are you looking for a fun way to make your kids think? I've found that my students always loved logic puzzles. What makes logic even better is that kids have a sense of accomplishment when they finally find the solution. Furthermore, logic puzzles come in all types from the little students to adults. I've even bought a few logic puzzle magazines in the drug store for a fun break!

To get started with these, I introduce my students to the basic puzzle just to get the feel of what I want them to do.

gifted and talented, bright kids

I'll treat the rows of the grid as ownership. For example, Aundrea owns all of the boxes next to her name; however, ownership is shared with the colors. Blue owns all of the boxes in the column below the word.

teaching logic, education

Next, I'll point to different boxes and ask, "Who owns this one?" Once the kids understand how the grid works, we move on to the symbols.

I will ask a child, "When you make a mistake on a paper, how does your teacher let you know something is wrong?" I am looking for the idea of an /X/ to show incorrect. Once that is understood, I introduce /O/ to show that something is right.

We will then work a puzzle together.

logic problem, puzzles
If your student is an older child, you'll need to challenge him or her with a multi-grid puzzle. These work just as the basic grids, except students are solving three puzzles at once. Also, kids will need to look at the other grids to solve the one they are working on. I call this feeding off of the grid.

matrix logic grid

Sometimes, I will use side notes to help organize my thoughts, too.

logic instruction, how to logic

Once your kids get the hang of it, logic puzzles make for great centers, work for early finishers, or just a fun and challenging reward for the students. Logic puzzles involve higher level or critical thinking skills and may be worked independently or in cooperative groups. Also, we all know the boy or girl in class who is brilliant, finishes everything early, and constantly needs something to do, so here you go!

If you'd like some free puzzles to try out your students skills, I have a lot at my store. Click HERE to check these out!

I also have a lot of logic bundles: Click HERE for logic bundles!

I once had a friend refer to me as the logic queen. LOL!

Since it is Monday, it's time for a musical selection. Our theme is Native American music.

First up is Cher with "Half Breed." If the kids were against Cher when growing up, they shouldn't be now!

Since we're talking about Cherokees, here is another favorite of mine from Paul Revere and the Raiders, "Cherokee People."

Monday, November 4, 2019

Accountable Talk

Can you believe it's already November? With the new month comes a new blog topic. This month, I will focus on those higher level thinking skills that gifted and talented students love and those in the regular classroom need.

There is nothing like an active discussion in a classroom. I love seeing every kid excited and hands raised. Of course with the excitement comes those who can't wait to be called on, too, but that's okay. At least they're engaged. I have found the secret to how to get kids talking. The first step is to arm them with key phrases that you want to hear, such as: 

I agree with ____________ because . . . 
I disagree with ________________ because. . . 
In addition to what ______________ said. . .  
Can you tell me more? 
And my favorite, "What makes you say that?" 

All of these sorts of phrases enhance accountable talk. The next thing needed is that topic that not everyone agrees on. In this political climate, you can easily find this, but you may not want to. How about a story where the character is faced with a challenging decision? You can follow these with your lively discussions on whether or not the right thing was done. This works well with just about any story or novel.

To help you have fun getting your kids talking, I have many short passages that are purposely written to be vague!

Here is a free product that will get kids talking. My only request is that you leave feedback so that others can find it.

Free resource for educators to enhance accountable talk

Are you thirsty for more? Please find the bundle. All of the resources in the bundle can be purchased individually as well.

Money saving bundle for gifted and talented classroom

And now, for musical selections!

First up is Bonnie Raitt with Something to Talk About.

Remember Tears for Fears? Here is Shout.

Those who have been with me for awhile, may have seen this one on my blog, but it's worth posting, again. Two of the greatest musical talents of all times have joined together, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson are classic in Say, Say, Say!