Back to School

Lidor WyssockyBlog

It’s that time of the year again. Whether you are a teacher or a parent (and obviously if you are a child), there’s that excitement in the air: a new school year is starting.

This year, in many places worldwide, the excitement of a new school year is mixed with uncertainty and changes. In the past months, teachers, parents, and children had to adapt to a new (and in many cases still not entirely shaped) learning mode. Teaching is always a challenging, thoughtful work, and in times like these, it is even more so.

Creativity and imagination are essential ingredients in any learning experience. It is right in regular times, and it is even more crucial in uncertain times. Spicing up learning with Creativity and imagination can make a huge difference. With Creativity, teachers, parents, and children can turn any challenge into an opportunity. And learning activities are no different.

So, here are a few ideas you can use to spice up the upcoming school year.

Ignite Curiosity

The more curious we are, the better we learn.

Sounds trivial, doesn’t it? But only if you take it literally. Research shows that when we are curious, we learn better even things entirely unrelated to the subject of our curiosity. In other words, when our mind is in a state of being curious, it absorbs everything better.

So, how about starting the day with igniting students’ curiosity? Obviously, each of us is interested in (and therefore might be curious about) different things. But when you aim for the most primal interpretation of curiosity, you will realize that practically everyone is wired to be curious when it comes to exploring the world around us and discovering new things in it.

Imagine starting the day by sending your young student to look around them for smiling things, or cute monsters, or invisible things. Whether you are all present in class or each in their home, such an exploration activity is a fun, imaginative game, full of curiosity. It sets your brain in a curious mode, and any subject that will follow will be absorbed by an open, wonder-full mind.

Use the seempli Exploration Prism and a random Seed, and ask your students to create and share photos, simple drawings, or a textual description of what they have discovered. Fifteen minutes of creative exploration before class or between classes will do wonders.

 

The random Seed above is refreshed once a day, so bookmark this page to enjoy a new Seed every day!

Celebrate Questions

Real, in-depth learning is based on questions more than it is on memorizing answers. The ability to ask questions, even ones that don’t have answers, is the essence of Creativity and innovation. In any domain that pushes humankind forward, from science and technology to art and philosophy, people first ask questions and only then explore possible answers.

No matter what subject you teach and the topic of the lesson, encourage students to ask questions. Think about the questions together, whether you know the answer or not. Don’t push away tricky questions. Celebrate not knowing and the attempt to discover possible solutions.

Many questions are already answered, and most answers are easy to find on the Web. It’s a legitimate tool to use but with a significant side effect. The more we get used to finding immediate answers to our questions, the less capable we will be when we stumble upon a problem without an apparent solution. So, try to postpone the search for ready-made answers as much as possible. Celebrate the exploration and the thought process. Encourage students to enjoy the journey.

Play!

Play is often perceived as the opposite of serious work, and therefore the opposite of learning. Nothing can be farther than the truth. Play — any play — is a wonderful opportunity to learn and evolve, with the benefit of less stress and more freedom.

Not all of us can adopt 100% play-based learning. But spicing up the predefined curriculum with playful, open-ended activities is a great way to boost engagement and discover unexpected learning opportunities.

The seempli Playbook includes Plays that will add a touch of playfulness to learning any topic. Some of them may result in new insights and understanding of the subject. But even if they don’t, they will turn learning into an experience — one that any student will want to recreate.