Must I be anxious to be creative? Sometimes…..maybe….

Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity. T. S. Eliot
Does wondering have to be worrying?
I wonder…therefore I worry? It seems that way sometimes.

The process of wondering sometimes sparks off of worry..what to do?  What direction to go?

In my gifted endorsement class on creativity I read that one theorist feels that creativity can come under pressure, stress, anxiety.

I can see that.


I am a teacher…it’s summer…I’m off of work…Are you sure?

I am a teacher...it's summer...I'm off of work...Are you sure?

This is where the excitement builds. Summer is the time to reenergize, learn new things and revisit great ideas. Teachers, what are you doing this summer?


“Since a person can behave creatively in an almost infinite number of ways…it would be ridiculous even to try to develop a comprehensive battery of tests of creative thinking that would sample any kind of universe of creative thinking abilities.” E. Paul Torrance

“Since a person can behave creatively in an almost infinite number of ways…it would be ridiculous even to try to develop a comprehensive battery of tests of creative thinking that would sample any kind of universe of creative thinking abilities.”

E. Paul Torrance


“An artist is not a special kind of person. Every person is a special kind of artist.” Meister Eckhard

We are all capable of creativity...hmmmm

Week 10 “Creativity cannot be measured, and efforts to do so are not a waste of time.”

This statue is considered valued and very creative...but for the life of me I cannot figure out what the artist's message was except for something fun to hang around in...

In response to my creativity class….

“Creativity can/cannot be measured, and efforts to do so are/are not a waste of time.”

Support or refute this statement in your journal, you may write, draw, graphic organize, or respond via poetry that you create.

There are currently a range of assessments that work to measure the concept of creativity.  They look at novelty, fluency and flexibility as well as divergent thinking.  Although some assessments seem to have an acceptable amount of reliability and validity…there does not seem a consensus that any one test is the best.  In addition, creativity is cultural…the value of a something being creative will depend on the community it is presented in.

My thoughts….

Although I very much feel that creativity cannot be measured with accuracy…at the moment…I believe people understand how it can be encouraged and cultivated…and how necessary it is for our future.

Creativity seems to be a concept that can be grasped in our thinking although not defined and explained completely.  It reminds me of how people consider the ‘soul’.

We know there is an essence of life that makes us unique…more than just being ‘alive’…as humans we have an awareness, a mental capability that research can ‘see’ but not completely prove and define.  We have found no other creatures that have the ability to step outside oneself and contemplate, consider and ‘create’.

As a result…I used both parts of the quote.  I don’t think we are at a place we can measure creativity accurately.  We can sense it, ‘see’ it and experience it…but not truly limit or define it in a way to measure it.

However, I believe the search to try to measure creativity is not a waste of time.

In fact, I think it is a path that will lead to a better understanding of who we are as a race.  The more we try to understand creativity and the more it eludes us…the more we see how amazing we are, how unique life is…thinking is…creating is…our planet is…

The path to learning and uncovering more about being creative is the very direction we need to head in order to encourage and cultivate the creative ideas needed to help us navigate the challenges of this century and beyond.


“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Edward de Bono


I find that as I learn more about teaching and learning, I look at my own children, my world so differently.

I become even more amazed and intrigued by people and who they are growing to be.

I wonder

And love….. This break has been such a blessing with its challenges and it’s moments of joy!

This break has been about taking time to look at my life in new ways and refocus my goals.

This break has also been very much about reconnecting with my husband and my children.

I have been spending a great deal of time on work and this week my family let me know exactly how they feel about that.


Creativity…finding the problems of and solutions for our world’s future…


Creativity Module 4: #gifted #gtie Gifted Project – Digital Poster design… linking photography to a quote to inspire

this picture was taken by the student in our school garden then edited to highlight the quote!

This past term I wanted to take look at the creativity my gifted students could unleash.

I was inspired to do this project based on an activity we were asked to do in my creativity class ~ give students an object and see the ideas they come up with regarding its use.

Well, rather than give my 6th grade an object I gave them a software project – Using PICNIK.com to design a poster to inspire people.


MUST: create using a picture with no copy right restrictions and another’s quote.
SHOULD: use another’s quote and take your own picture.
COULD: create you own quote and take you own picture.

Must: using a quote and picture from another

We discussed “inspiration” and learned how the software worked. Once that was done, they knew they had the free reign for design.”

Here are some samples.

What I noticed was that some students could design with other people’s quotes and photos but did not venture into any photo or quote creation of their own.

Even after assembling multiple posters linking pictures and quotes they found. These students were still creative in the editing process but they needed someone to set the foundation to leap off of.

Could: design using your own photo and created quote

Some students started with their own quotes and planned, then took and edited their own pictures from the moment they were free to start. These students had a knack for seeing something new without needing any stepping-stones!

should: using another's quote and their own planned photograph

And of course, some students were inspired by a quote and planned, then took their own picture…..having that foundation but being able to mold something new out of it.

A different point of view in a given entity…..

In my creativity book the author shared different theories such as the need for knowledge and skill within a discipline before creativity can emerge and that sometimes higher IQ seem to show increasing levels of creativeness.

I believe all my students felt creative. After watching the initial work of some students we reviewed some basic designs of adverts and posters around school – discussed space and coloring, impact and message. I led that more as an inquiry asking them what they noticed and how they felt about the designs and spacing, fonts and colors….the words, phrases, the photos.

I believe all of the designs you see were created prior… but there were students who the “skill and knowledge within the discipline.poster art seemed to help them finish a project started.

In the end…there were students who created numerous posters during class and at home through their own desire and there were students who used three class sessions and completed just one…working and thinking…engaged the entire sessions given.

I was fasinated….at the differences between the content of the posters, the editing, the quotes created or used

PICNIKS.com will only be available until mid April and then I am not sure what Google has planned.

This student worked on this poster over weeks...reviewing and modifying his edits until it was just so.



Module 7 Creativity – Thinking aloud on Julius Frontinius and the links of inventions to creativity in the classroom

Julius Frontinus was a Governor of Roman Britain who then became the Water Commissioner and overseer of the Aqueducts. He was quite inventive and creative with war and with waterways.

“Inventions reached their limit long ago, and I see no hope for further development.” Julius Frontinius in the 1st Century A.D.

As part of my creativity class, I was asked to watch the YOUTUBE video about Time Magazines 2009 Inventions of the Year…then consider: What parts of the video inspired you?  How does the quote tie in to this video?  How does this impact student learning in creativity?


  • The 2009 Inventions of the Year by Time Magazine were:
  • Raising blue fin tuna in tanks for more sustainable food production
  • Microsoft – body game controller to give more diversity and authentic game play
  • Phillips  – an “energy hub” that sets next to your thermostat and tells you how much energy your appliances are using and how much it is costing you.

The video itself was not inspiring, the inventions were.  I was touched by the focus on sustainability and the research that continued until scientists found a way to raise blue fin tuna in tanks.  With waters becoming polluted, having a fish source that is healthy and replenish-able will help people in the future meet their needs to food.

I wasn’t too impressed by the game controller…but glad to see children moving versus zoning out on the TV.  However, even though this technology is still available, I feel children are not using it as much as they are still using the basic game controller and sitting more than being active.

The energy hub seems sound.  I was surprised it existed and that I was not aware of it.  Researching more, Philips just recently received another award from the US Department of Energy.  So I am happy that people do not rest and continue to innovate.

I was intrigued by the quote…and researched Julius Frontinus.  The quote, as shown above, is taken out of context.

The original quote… “I also lay aside all ideas of any new works or engines of war, the invention of which long-ago reached its limit, and in which I see no hope for further improvement …”

was pulled from Julius book on War strategies and has to do with the designs of war rather than his view of invention.  In fact, the quote stands more to mean that the invention of war has reached it’s limits (of usefulness) and he feels it’s use cannot be improved.

I would agree with his view that the invention of War has run its course.  

from Google books- Julius Frontinus

Julius was a Roman…who was Governor of Britain up in the area of Wales who returned to oversee the maintenance and restoration of the Roman aqueducts.  He was actually quite an inventor – coming up with creative ways to defeat his enemies (he diverted water to create a flood) and restore the water quantity and quality going into Rome.

With that said…I think the author of the quote links strongly to invention and creativity…although his quote as stated seems to suggest otherwise.  In content, I do believe that ‘invention’ of war as opposed to conflict and strife among people and countries – as it is designed to kill, conquer or limit…is an invention that has run it’s course and has not developed beyond it’s original design.

As far as the impact for children in the classroom, his original quote would be something for students to reflect upon.  The idea that all inventions are good and useful throughout time is one that would easily be thrown out.  Maybe inventions seem wonderful and remarkable when first developed (aerosol, petrol cars…).  However, over time, there are dangers that the original inventors could not foresee or limits to the usefulness of their designs long-term.

Therefore, maybe students could look at some inventions from long ago, consider their current usefulness and either improve upon them or create a timeline measuring their impact on today’s generation and future so see if the invention is one that in fact ‘has reached it’s limit’.