While some may opt for a more traditional learning environment, Ignite School uses a diverse array of strategies to appeal to various learning modalities, keep students engaged, and enhance academic outcomes. The following are some ways in which we harness creativity at the elementary school level. At Ignite School we:
- Develop an inviting physical learning environment and non-restrictive emotional learning environment.
- Create a classroom setting as an ‘error-free’ zone where students are comfortable with not answering a question correctly, which makes students more apt to participate in discussions and activities, and to freely express themselves – use incorrect answers as an opportunity for further investigation and to question other possibilities
- Encourage students to creatively develop multiple paths to solving problems, with intentional praise for students’ creative thoughts
- Incorporate fun, interesting games as warm-up activities to begin the day, introduce a lesson, or re-teach skills
- Create a socially supportive atmosphere – this allows students to feel comfortable with asking questions, facilitating and/or participating in class discussions
- Use different voices and dress as story characters when providing instruction or during read-alouds
- Explore cultural differences to make the classroom environment ‘all-inclusive’ so students can see themselves in a variety of ways
- Integrate art and music to promote engagement and participation
- Encourage curiosity and allow wait time when questioning
- Design project-based assignments around student interests that allow for divergent and convergent thinking
- Design collaborative problem-solving lessons and activities
These and other strategies harness creativity in students as they begin to understand the role they have in their own learning process. They begin to take ownership of their learning and build confidence in their abilities. The seek knowledge and answers to own questions about the world around them. Elementary School is only the beginning, our students are preparing for success in the future now.