Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Assessing Creativity

I love challenging kids! I love seeing what they can come up with and guiding them in being better critical thinkers. Believe it or not, even GT kiddos when they start in early childhood, don't always have those creative thinking skills. You CAN help them learn to think more creatively but it's important to see where they are at the start. So the beginning of the year is when I like to do some activities to see just what kind of creative skills they already have.

1) Divergent Art-this is actually what they use to assess creativity when they do research. Give the students a line (I like to start with the "S" shape) and ask them to use their creativity to turn it into something. Quite often on the first day of school with that shape I get a bunch of snakes. However, the more we learn about being creative throughout the year, the more creative their answers get.

2) Problem-solving classroom community activities-I like to give them some materials (what I use varies-pattern blocks, counters, plastic cups) and the goal is to make the highest structure in the room. Usually their first instinct is to just stack all the pieces up and what happens is it starts to fall down a lot. They have to think about a way to make it stay up or scaffold it somehow.

3) New uses for everyday things-give the kiddos an object and ask them to come up with something new you can use it for. This is particularly challenging for them because it really means to think outside what they have always known. School supplies make great fodder for this the first week. What can I use a pencil for besides writing?

(my all-time favorite answer using a paper clip-it's a hanger for ant clothes.)

4) Open-ended art projects. I know I'm in the minority when it comes to Kinder teachers here! :) Most teachers are having the kids cut and paste a cut little first day activity they found on Pinterest so they have something cute to put on their bulletin boards. Me, not so much. I would rather give them something more open-ended and see what they can do creatively. Yes, you get a lot of questions like what color should I use or where should I put this, but it's a great way to lay that foundation of "you're the artist" which is my philosophy.

Just a few ways to see where the students are in their creativity levels from the very beginning. It is also great to see the growth throughout the year as you use these activities regularly.


  1. You have a radar awareness for this. Your kids are blessed to be in your care!

  2. Awww Tammy you are so sweet! Thank you!