Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Classroom Creativity: The Longer Path to Success

Today our school hosted a “Conference on Education” led and facilitated primarily by our own faculty. In addition to providing AV support for the keynote and breakout sessions, I co-presented a session with Megan Thompson, our lower school art teacher. The title of our session was, “Classroom Creativity: The Longer Path to Success.” Megan and I have been collaborating the past couple of months, and among other things I’ve helped her start using a free AudioBoom channel (SeeingNewShapes) to help her students record and share reflections on their art work. It was awesome to see students, parents and staff last week during her “Lower School Art Show” scanning QR codes to hear students discuss and reflect on their artistic creations!

Casady Lower School Art Show by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Casady Lower School Art Show” (CC BY 2.0) by  Wesley Fryer 

Megan has also started a classroom website on Google Sites, which I helped her configure with a free CNAME change so her site has a custom subdomain on our website:

For our first activity during our 1.5 hour session, we brainstormed obstacles to classroom creativity using a Padlet as an interactive writing space.

Obstacles to Classroom Creativity by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Obstacles to Classroom Creativity” (CC BY 2.0) by  Wesley Fryer 

Our second activity was a “Blind Contour Study,” which I had never done before and was VERY challenging! Part of our goal was to help teachers in attendance “step out of their comfort zones” to try a new form of artistic expression. According to the English WikiPedia, “blind contour drawing” is:

a drawing exercise, where an artist draws the contour of a subject without looking at the paper.

Our third activity was a narrated art / narrated photo project, using an iPad and the free app “Voice Record Pro.” Teachers who wanted to (we didn’t force anyone to participate) shared some short reflections about strategies we’d discussed or thought about which can help develop a creative classroom culture. Our sample recording is just over two minutes long.

Megan and I will be sharing a shorter version of this presentation on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the OMLEA Mid-Level Conference. I love collaborating with our teachers, especially when we’re working with students and media to help them “show what they know!”

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