The Powerful Link between Creativity and Play

Creativity and Play

Designer Tim Brown shares the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play during the 2008 Serious Play conference. Brown includes many playful examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn’t).

Schools 2.0

Chris Lehman shares some of his ideas about school reform. I challenge you to consider his ideas with an open-mind.

Just a Note

I think the structure for presentations at this event is clever. Speakers could use 20 slides with 15 seconds allowed for each slide. I think I’m going to begin using this strategy in several different areas of my work. Maybe we could begin something like this in Memphis! Anyone interested?

It’s Good to Be Back

Kannapolis City SchoolsI’m excited to be working with Kannapolis City Schools again (Previous Posts: 1, 2). I’m helping provide professional development for part of their grant funded technology integration initiative called IMPACT. I’ve been asked to facilitate the following workshops:

Please share any resources, information, cases, scenarios, etc. that you think will help teachers learn more about these topics by clicking on the session titles above and adding your contribution to the Notes and Resources from My PLN section at the bottom of each wiki. Rest assured that I welcome your input in this endeavor!

Did You Hug Your Kids Today?

e m b r a c e . . .
Creative Commons License photo credit: carf

Don’t Take My Playdough


The following story comes from my friend’s blog. It was told to him by his sister-in-law.

The funniest story happened yesterday at church. Our minister [Mike] was preaching…All of a sudden the side door of the auditorium burst open. A little three year old is running and yelling, “No, no, they are after me.”

Mike [the preacher] stops and asks, “Ryan, who is after you?”

“They are after my playdough.”

Mike laughs and yells – “Run, Ryan, Run, here they come. Don’t let them get your playdough. Run to that door over there, that side.”

The little boy takes off squealing, gripping tight to his playdough. The whole congregation breaks out in laughter and applause as Ryan breaks through the side door with his playdough and the embarrassed teacher enters looking for his lost pupil. It was priceless. Ryan was screeching as he broke through the door to freedom.

I wish I had been there! 🙂

THE CHALLENGE to All Educators 2007

I recently wrote a post encouraging educators to get students actively involved in service education. In it I provided my rationale for implementing service activities in the classroom and suggested some resources to help you get started.

Your feedback has caused me to decide to take this a step further. Now, rather than simply encouraging teachers (in general) to do this I’m now challenging you (specifically you) to start a service activity in your classroom. The holiday season is upon us, so I think it’s a perfect time to talk about service and initiate a project with your students.


  1. Kick-off a service activity in your classroom.
  2. Make us, the readers of this blog (there are hundreds of visitors on a daily basis), aware of your project before you begin. I’ve dedicated a new section of the blog to this activity and added a permanent link titled The Challenge to the main menu. This allows us to to share information, provide links to personal/ class blogs, wikis, websites, etc. where we can learn about each other’s projects and share resources and ideas. You can post your information by a) leaving it in the comments in The Challenge area, b) emailing me a link to your project blog, wiki, site, etc. that I’ll add to The Challenge area, or c) emailing me your information, files, links, etc. that I’ll post in The Challenge area.
  3. Keep working on your project and enjoy all the wonderful things that will surely come from it.
  4. Share. Share. Share. Let’s provide updates by which we (including our students) can all follow each other’s progress. Again, you can do this by clicking on The Challenge link in the menu, or by emailing me links, information, files, photos, etc. that I can post on Clif’s Notes for you.

Let’s make the world a better place. I CHALLENGE YOU!!! 🙂


Here are some great resources to help you get started.

In Remembrance

World Trade Center, Ground Zero


I thought we could use the Comments section to share our thoughts, reflections, hopes, etc. on this day of remembrance.

Service Education

Of all the educational curricular areas and ideas service education and moral education are my favorites. Of course I became a teacher to help students become literate and knowledgeable and to assist them in becoming excellent mathematicians, scientists, etc. I think that is all very important. However, my primary motivation for becoming a teacher was and is that I want to encourage students to be “good people.” I think it is important to teach students the value in being kind, respectful, caring, and giving. I’m a big believer that actions speak louder than words. Students often learn more by watching what we do rather than from listening to what we say. I also believe that learning is enhanced when the learner is actively engaged. Service projects provide excellent opportunities to combine all of these elements into experiences that can have great, great benefit. Who knows, you might even end up encouraging your students to start their own projects just like these kids have done: Common Cents and PurBlu.

Here are a few trustworthy resources to help you begin using service projects in your classroom.

  1. Kiva
  2. Modest Needs
  3. Touch A Life
  4. Hurrican Katrina Recovery in Pascagoula, MS
  5. Ryan’s Hope
  6. Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation
  7. Children for Tomorrow
  8. Cancer Related Charities – The Breast Cancer Site, American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Live Strong, Susan G. Komen
  9. Access even more resources by clicking on the Service tag on my blog and bookmarks.

Would you please share your service project ideas, experiences, and resources with the rest of us?