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Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 4Cs: Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking

As you are aware, we work really hard to use the 4Cs all day, every day. They are embedded in everything we do. Sometimes, however, we want to talk a bit more about one of the Cs so we do an activity that helps us think more about that particular C.

One activity that we do is having a Maker Station as one of the rotations of our Build and Create Station. At this station the students must think creatively to use recycled objects and turn them into something else. They must also think critically as they try to actually build their idea and think about things like building strength and balance so that their creation can stand up if necessary. They also collaborate and communicate by sharing ideas with their station partner. Together they can come up with ideas to overcome a tower that just won't stay standing or what to do when the glue isn't strong enough to hold their creation.
A finished Maker Station project.

Another activity we do is a morning meeting game called, "What could it be?" For this game, I  grab an item from our pile of recyclables and we pass it around the circle answering the question about what it could be. The first time we played this game the crew was worried that they wouldn't be able to think of any ideas. Now they know that not only will they have an idea but that they will have many ideas and will want to build their idea during their next visit to the Maker Station.
A few of the objects we have passed around our circle.

Sometimes we adjust an "old" activity to make it more collaborative. For example, we normally create our ShowMes on our own during our station work time. Today we tried to create a ShowMe with a partner about something we have learned about a patriotic symbol or holiday or famous American. We had to work together to decide what content we wanted to include, how we wanted to present it and what parts each partner would do.

We will continue to work on learning these skills and to begin to use these words in our daily discussions.

No homework for the long weekend. Read a few good books with your child. See you back at school on Tuesday.

Our IA next week is Art. Be sure to check out Ms. Pam's blog, Renaissance Art, for Art information including the Pages tab which has information for each grade level.

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