In October, our technology classes celebrated the Global Cardboard Challenge. This may be a tad late, but I once heard it is never too late to share the wonderful things we do in our library! After all, we are always busy.
What is the Global Cardboard Challenge?
The Global Cardboard Challenge gives children an opportunity to collaborate, learn, and build the things they imagine through a simple process called Creative Play. The Challenge lets children explore their interests and passions; teaches critical thinking, resourcefulness, perseverance, teamwork and other 21st century skills; and brings communities together to foster and celebrate child creativity!
Creative Play and the Design Process
The ability to dream, take risks, and create the things we imagine… these are the skills of entrepreneurs, innovators and change makers. Children are born with these exceptional talents, but research shows that over time they begin to lose them.
According to a survey conducted by IBM of 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries identifies creativity as the “most crucial factor for future success.” Why creativity? The world is changing at a fantastic speed. The future requires people who can problem-solve, adapt and communicate in workplaces and environments that are increasingly complex. Creativity creates jobs, drives economic growth and provides answers to societal needs. And it also maximizes human potential. Research quoted in Newsweek says that children with high “creative self-efficacy” are better able to handle stress and are more “confident about their futures.” -- Imagination Foundation
With the knowledge of how critical including learning experiences with opportunities for students to express their creativity is, how do we balance creative play with our curriculum? It was my attempt with our Global Cardboard Challenge to go beyond playing with our cardboard to make meaningful connections within our curricular standards. To make an authentic learning environment in which students could think more critically about the content they are learning in their classrooms-reading, writing, problem-solving, math, science, and social studies connections.
I'm not going to pretend this was an easy project to accomplish with second and third graders, especially with students I only see once a week for fortyish minutes, but it was a wonderful experience to learn how to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and be creative with each other. We learned a lot about each other while having fun and learning! My only real complaint was the lack of time. Between scheduling, vacation days, hurricane days, and a million other reasons why specials time was adjusted we just did not have enough time to finish everyone's projects as we had to move on to other lessons. I was very proud of how well our students worked together, used their problem-solving skills to accomplish their goals and adapt to the needs of their projects, and willingness to share their learning with each other. We definitely need to include more time for students to have open-ended, creative projects for them to feel even more comfortable with stepping outside their comfort zones and taking risks.
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