This week I really wanted to look into the creativity aspect of math. What can I do as a teacher to better suit my students and their learning? In education, our goals should be to build the student up from the tools they already have. We can’t force rules on a being who functions completely different from their peers. Therefore, I spent some time listening to videos and researching ideas on cultivating creativity and giving the kids responsibility over some of their schoolwork.

I watched one of the TED talks that was on Sir Ken Robinson’s website. This particular video was discussing the drop out rates of high school students. What and alarming rate! It mentioned 1/5 students drop out every year before graduation. That’s nearly 1 million students a year not completing their educations.

The first speaker was Dr. Ramsey Musallam, a high school chemistry teacher. He mentioned that questions and curiosity transcends all technology. Therefore, our biggest and most valuable tool as a teacher is not our technology or how advanced our equipment is, but rather the inquiry of our own students. It’s interesting how caught up we can get as educators in making our classroom the best of the best. We install smart technology, use computers and virtual equipment, and we continue to shove all these resources that we have stumbled upon in workshops and in-services. What our students need most is not our technology, but our time. How can we better cater to their personal educations? That’s what matters.

I also spent some time diving into patterns. I began looking at patterns in architecture right here at GV. Here are some pictures I took:

Interesting how things we find visually pleasing usually consist of a pattern. Bricks, glass, windows, chairs, etc.. all of these things are made in a specific way, and usually a pattern ensues.

I also thought about where I see patterns in nature. One of the most obvious, is the Fibonacci sequence. I loved learning about this in high school because I was so intrigued by its natural state. Spirals of sea shells and in flowers and rocks. WOW! Go nature! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, look here… or here.. ORRRRR even here! How neat is that?

Another pattern I realized I use a lot (especially in the summer) is where the sun is in the sky in relation to the time of day. My sketch looks a little like this.

Patterns are everywhere! From the smallest to the biggest of things (like the sun). Weather patterns, climates, bricks, the Fibonacci spiral, life and death, ripening of fruits and vegetables. So many things to consider and look at in a new way.

The exercises I did this week helped open my eyes to creativity in the classroom. I would hope to bring these tools to my students and challenge them to look at these things like I did.

I’d love to hear feedback on how much more I could do for this. I hope that this was suitable for a project. Also, I spent some of my daily work sketching vihart style! Check it!