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Always Protect The Downside – Darius Foroux

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What’s a big goal or dream that you have? Do you want to start a business? Become a fulltime author? Travel the world? Become financially independent? Change careers?I bet you’ve thought about it, and at some point thought, “I’m not sure I can achieve that.”If you’re anything like me, you always think about risks that are involved with making a big move in life. And that’s not a surprise. We’re collectively risk averse. We truly hate risk. I’ve never met someone who said, “I love to lose everything. But what can we do about our risk aversion? If you think about it, most of us are put off by fear. You think of doing something, consider the risks, and decide not to do it. Here are some examples……….

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25+ Stunning Photos From Burning Man 2018 Give a Glimpse of Its Wild Creativity – Sara Barnes

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With Labor Day weekend past, the festivities of Burning Man now exist as memories for its temporary citizens. More than 70,000 people made their way to Black Rock City in the Nevada desert for the unique event this year. They were accompanied by incredible artwork and structures—adhering to the theme of I, Robot—designed by artists and architects from around the world. With the help of many volunteers, the larger-than-life pieces were a mixture of futurism and nostalgia, featuring strategically arranged shopping carts and characters from the Pac Man video game……..

Read more: https://mymodernmet.com/burning-man-2018-compilation/

 

 

 

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Working From Home? No Problem Here’s How To Be Productive – Shelcy V. Joseph

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While many people would choose to work from home if they could, some actually prefer going to the office every day. One of the reasons being that they find it easier to focus at their desk, than when they’re in pajamas, working with a laptop on their bed. And it makes sense. When you’re left to yourself (without the scrutiny of your boss and other people at the office), staying disciplined and productive can be a challenge……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelcyvjoseph/2018/09/15/working-from-home-no-problem-heres-how-to-be-productive/#56f69a934a95

 

 

 

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Is Our Obsession with Multi Tasking Ruining Our Creativity? — ELLAVATE 7

We’ve got to find our own personal balance between our outside reality… the one that keeps our material world going and our other very true (and what I feel is our most important) reality. Our internal creative reality is that part of us that longs to do the things we are meant to do opposed to those things we have to do to survive in this made up society. We risk losing our creative selves when we focus too much of our time juggling the demands of what is outside of us.

via Is Our Obsession with Multi Tasking Ruining Our Creativity? — ELLAVATE 7

 

 

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The Difference Between Being Busy and Being Productive – John Spencer

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Breaking Up with Busy

When I was a new teacher, I believed I had to give 110% in everything I did. I thought that the best teachers were the ones who arrived first and left last. I was a busy teacher, taking on all kinds of committee work and saying yes to every project. But then I had a moment when I decided to “break up with busy.”

About eight years ago, I arrived home from work and my five-year-old son was already holding up a baseball.“We can play, but I don’t have a lot of time,” I told him.

All I could think about was my to-do list. I had a department meeting to plan, papers to grade, and small projects to finish. However, as I slipped on the baseball glove, something changed. I forgot about my list. We tossed the ball back and forth.

But my son kept asking, “Is there still time?” Is there still time?I couldn’t answer it. So, that night, I met with my wife and talked about my schedule. It was a hard conversation, where we talked about long-term priorities and what kind of a dad, husband, and teacher I wanted to be. I realized something critical: I was chasing perfectionism and trying to make a bunch of people happy and neglecting the people who mattered most.

That’s when I broke up with busy. I quit committees. I limited my projects. I set a curfew for myself at work. I learned when to give 110% and when to give 11 or 12 percent.

See, I was drowning in busy and yet I’d been wearing busy like a badge of honor; like I was winning some imaginary competition. But life isn’t a game. Actually, Life is a board game and I think it’s also a cereal (at least according to Mikey).

But here’s the thing: You don’t get a trophy for packing your schedule with more projects and more accomplishments and more meetings.

All you get is a bigger load of busy. But busy is hurried. Busy is overwhelmed. Busy is fast. Busy is careless. Busy is a hamster wheel that never ends and a sprint up the ladder without ever asking where it leads. There are moments when life gets busy. I get that. But I never want busy to be the new normal. I never want to look back at life and say, “Wow, I was really good at being busy.”

I Became More Productive When I “Broke Up with Busy”

When I made the leap and decided to “break up with busy,” I noticed something happening. I actually became a better teacher. After the difficult conversation with my wife, I remember thinking that I would be making sacrifices as an educator. However, that’s not what happened. I actually had more time, more energy, and more mental bandwidth to create epic projects for students. It turns out that I was more productive when I was able to rest. Here’s what I mean:

  1. I crafted better projects. I finally had the time to prepare project-based learning unit plans and resources because I wasn’t spending insane amounts of time inputting grades or putting together bulletin boards.
  2. I took creative risks. Once I found the root cause of overworking, I began to experiment with student-centered learning and get over the fear of making mistakes as a teacher. I had already been shifting toward project-based learning and design thinking but now I felt the freedom to take it to the next level.
  3. I started transforming my practice. I began to focus on the things that mattered most and giving myself the permission to be less-than-perfect in areas that were not as important. This ultimately helped me to prioritize and focus on transforming instruction in my own classroom.
  4. I became more of a maker in my own life. I began to engage in creative work in my spare time. For example, I started to do a Thursday evening Genius Hour project which ultimately led to things like a novel or sketch videos. I still make time for passion projects each week. For years, my wife and I have both taken one night a week to go work on our own passion projects.
  5. I shifted further toward student agency and empowerment. I had already been asking the question, “What am I doing for my students that they could be doing for themselves?” I was on the journey toward empowering students with voice and choice. However, once I was truly able to “break up with busy,” I took this student ownership to the next level by letting students self-select the scaffolding, engage in their own project management, and assess their own learning.

Being Busy or Being Productive?

There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. Being busy is about working harder while being productive is about working smarter. Being busy is frantic while being productive is focused. Being busy is fueled by perfectionism while being productive is fueled by purpose. Being busy is about being good at everything while being productive is about being great at a few important things.

As I shifted away from busy, I found myself asking the following question:

“How do I make time for the things that matter?”

We’ve all asked ourselves that at some point, and I bet these statements sound familiar, too:

  • I’m completely overwhelmed.
  • I’m struggling to differentiate between the urgent and the important.
  • I want to engage in my own creative projects but I can’t find the time.
  • I want to do creative and innovative projects with my students but I’m feeling tired, overwhelmed, and stressed out.
  • Being a teacher has consumed every spare minute of my life and honestly, I’m not enjoying it as much anymore.
  • I work on school stuff constantly and yet I’m never done . . . and I still feel like I’m not doing enough.
  • Something has to change.

I often meet teachers who want to innovate in their own practice but they are tired and overwhelmed. However, this requires a break away from the busy and toward the productive. Sometimes that can feel overwhelming.

The Need for a Roadmap

Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re to blame or just need to manage your time better. There’s nothing wrong with YOU. The problem is the overwhelming demands of the job and the culture of perfectionism in education. When you’re overwhelmed, you don’t have the time, energy, or mental bandwidth to figure out HOW to change, and you’re too exhausted to follow through, anyway. You move into survival mode and grow risk-averse. In other words, your productivity plummets as your busy-ness increases.

You need an actual plan. It’s not enough to say, “I’m just going to break up with busy.” You ultimately have to tackle the root cause of the stress and overwhelm (in my case it was perfectionism). It also helps to create your own boundaries and find practical strategies for spending your time differently. But it also requires a different way of thinking about time.

It’s possible to figure this out on your own but you may want a coach and community to help you along the way. For me, it’s like the difference between going for a run or joining a gym and getting a personal trainer.  This is one of the reasons I love the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club.

It’s a teacher-tested system that’s guaranteed to work, and ongoing support so you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. There is no one in the world better at helping teachers solve this problem than Angela Watson. When I first chose to “break up with busy,” Angela had specific ideas and frameworks that I could use as I moved forward on this journey of time and stress management. She gave me concrete action steps that I could implement from day one.

The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club has already helped teachers around the world shave hours off their workweek, and become purposeful with their time. I am excited about partnering with her as an affiliate of this club. She provides necessary resources along with a trusted community that helps you to do “fewer things better.”

Angela Watson continues to inspire me in my own practice of prioritizing and making time for what matters. It’s not about working 40 hours a week, it is about finding the number of hours per week you should/could/can be working and make those hours productive and meaningful so you can thrive as a creative teacher. It’s about shifting the focus toward student ownership and empowerment so that you can innovate in your own practice.

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Emotional Creativity: How We Become Better Creative Thinkers – Brett Steenbarger

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An interesting realization came to me recently: I’ve never achieved a creative insight in a routine setting.

It’s a sobering thought. Think of all the time we spend in routine settings, engaged in routine activities. Consider the typical business meeting, for example. How often have you experienced a creative insight – from others or from yourself – during one of those meetings?

While traveling, however, I’ve experienced many fresh perspectives and generated quite a few new ideas. The more unique the travel destination, such as the glacier shown above, the more likely it’s been that I’ve arrived at important realizations.

The interesting thing is that I never go into those travel experiences expecting or needing creative outcomes. Rather, they seem to come naturally.

Why is it that we can find creativity on a simple walk through the neighborhood, but not in a business meeting where it might be most needed? Why is it that I find the trading floors among financial firms to be among the least creative settings I’ve encountered – so much so that traders and portfolio managers routinely concern themselves with “positioning”: the degree to which trade ideas are widely subscribed?

If creativity were simply an inborn trait or an acquired set of skills, setting should not matter so greatly in the generation of new ideas. When we look at business settings that are successful in cultivating creativity, such as those described by Ed Catmull of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation, we find that they feature vigorous debate, laughter, and participation; research trips; and active experiments.  Even during meetings, participants actively move around the room, draw on boards, and try things out. In short, they are actively engaged, emotionally and physically. They are doing and feeling new things, and that helps them generate new ideas.

Just like a trip to a glacier: creativity seems to be a function of fresh experiencing.

A provocative line of psychology research from James Averill, Ph.D. of the University of Massachusetts supports this notion. He has researched what he calls “emotional creativity”: the capacity to experience the world in novel, authentic, and effective ways. Creativity, he maintains, is not limited to the domain of ideas; it is expressed equally in our responses to people, places, and events.

Consider the artist who travels to a beautiful area of the world and experiences a vista with a sense of awe. The combination of clouds, sky, and mountains evoke for the artist an otherworldly sense that becomes the inspiration for a painting. In such an instance, the creative work is facilitated by an emotional creativity: the ability to experience the world distinctively.

Emotional creativity is hardly limited to artists. I recently met with a portfolio manager who was visibly excited about the opportunities in financial markets. I expressed surprise, as most market participants perceived few opportunities at that time. The manager exclaimed that this was precisely why he was excited:

In his experience, the consensus of the herd was never correct and now there was a market consensus – not about a trade but about an absence of trading opportunity! Perhaps not coincidentally, this occurred days before the Brexit vote and considerable dislocations in markets. He perceived the same lack of conviction as other money managers. What differed was his emotional response to the situation.

Averill makes the interesting point that emotional creativity may lie at the heart of spirituality, the ability to experience the ordinary world in extraordinary ways. If we think about how we generate spiritual experiences, whether through the disciplines of meditation or yoga or through religious worship and practice, we can see that a common ingredient is a shifting of our focus and state of awareness.

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If we wish to engage the world spiritually, we invariably exit our daily routines and cultivate distinctive states of consciousness. This is not so far from what happens in the creative business practices described by Catmull: we become more physically and emotionally engaged.

The implications are profound for the business world and for our personal lives. Much of what we do is structured to get things done efficiently by turning activities into habits and routines. Yet it is in the mode of habit and routine that we are least likely to be distinctively engaged with the world emotionally and physically.

Quite literally, our modes of physical and emotional engagement with the world are too dialed-down to generate the fresh perspectives that will enable us to adapt to changing markets and changing business landscapes.

We become better creative thinkers when we become more emotionally creative, and we become more emotionally creative when we actively engage the world in fresh ways. Whether in our careers or our relationships, new doing can catalyze new viewing.

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6 Handy Charts for Performing Critical Thinking Assessment – Lee Watanabe-Crockett

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How do we know when our learners are thinking critically? Critical thinking assessment can be tricky to perform as it encompasses such a broad area of skills. However, we can begin to assess critical thinking by breaking it down into more basic components, and then determining criteria you can use with your learners.

The following rubrics cover some crucial aspects of critical thinking. These charts are included along with the amazing critical thinking activities we offer in our popular Critical Thinking Teacher’s Companion. You’ll find specific criteria for each category within the rubrics that will make an initial critical thinking assessment possible.

6 Categories for Critical Thinking Assessment

These rubrics for critical thinking assessment are based on the stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy. They can be used for either teacher or peer assessment. Here are the 6 basic categories we cover:

  • Questioning Abilities—This is all about a learner’s capacity for formulating questions and framing relevant inquiries around a problem or challenge. It also refers to their ability to state questions clearly and concisely so as to be easily understood by anyone else.
  • Use of Information—Information is everywhere today and the amount we have available is growing exponentially. Part of the critical thinking abilities learners need involves finding information that is useful and relevant to their needs in school and in life.
  • Keeping an Open Mind—It takes many cultures, beliefs and stories to make a world. There are also many possible answers to the questions we face every day in life. Critical thinkers remain open at all times to the multiple possibilities within their environments.
  • Drawing Conclusions—When we draw conclusions, we see the true purpose of an information quest come to its fruition. It gives us an opportunity to clarify whether or not our question was answered or our challenge was met. It is also the recognition of new learning.
  • Communication & Collaboration—The classrooms and workforces of today and of the future are places of teamwork and trust. Learning how to build connections and manage a role in a collaborative group is an essential modern learner skill. Such skills are life skills.
  • Self Awareness—By far, one of the most important aspects of being able to think critically is based in self-awareness. It’s knowing potential without any expectation, limits without judging, and ability without arrogance. In short, it is mastery of the self.

A Word of Caution

It’s important to note that critical thinking assessment isn’t exact. As such, there are many other factors to take into account beyond what’s presented below. What we want to provide for you here is a starting point for contemplating how critical thinking assessment can be approached.

These charts will provide a good baseline to work with. Beyond this, feel free to expand on their concepts as you develop different assessment strategies for different learners.

Develop Critical Thinking Skills the Right Way

Honing and assessing critical thinking skills in your learners can be even easier with the right teaching tools. The above charts are essential companions to the learning you can create with Wabisabi, a revolutionary new way to teach

Imagine real-time reporting against standards, rich media-driven learner portfolios, a vibrant collaborative learning experience, top-notch unit plans from teachers around the world, and much more. Schools all over the world are using Wabisabi to transform instruction for their own learners, and you can too.

Prepare to get excited about the learning journey every day. Check out Wabisabi now—it’s teaching simplified, and learning amplified.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $5, you can donate us – Thank you.

Top 5 TED-Ed Lessons On Creativity – Ellen Ullman

“Do schools kill creativity?” asks Sir Ken Robinson in the most-viewed TED Talk of all time (more than 51 million!). In the video, Robinson challenges schools to promote and inspire creativity, but it’s difficult to know where to start, and some teachers aren’t sure if it’s possible.

“I don’t think creativity can be taught,” says Rayna Freedman, a fifth-grade teacher at Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield, Massachusetts. “It’s an experience that inspires students to think beyond their potential and see things differently. It’s about giving them tools and choice to complete tasks and let them fly.”

Other educators disagree.

“Everyone is creative in their own way,” says Nicholas Provenzano, makerspace director at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan and blogger at The Nerdy Teacher. “Too many people view creativity as a connection to the arts. The idea that creative students are the ones that can draw or effectively use glitter glue is nuts. Some students are super creative when it comes to solving problems or creating games during recess. Some are amazing storytellers.”

Doug Johnson, a former classroom teacher who now serves as technology director for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage Schools in Minnesota, agrees: “One of the biggest myths is that creativity only belongs in the arts. We may think of creativity as a nice extra, but a lot of us have to be creative on a daily basis.”

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Johnson asks: “Do I want a creative dentist? I’d rather have someone who follows best practices and isn’t experimenting on my mouth, but I do want a creative problem solver who will use nontraditional methods when the traditional ones don’t work.”

How to inspire creativity

Johnson recommends several things teachers can do to encourage creativity, such as asking for multiple possible answers to questions or giving points for “design” on assignments, in his blog post “Myths of creativity” and in his book Teaching Outside the Lines: Developing Creativity in Every Learner.

For Provenzano, creativity is about giving students a time and place to be creative. “I am always an advocate of teachers modeling what they want to see from their students,” he says. “Teachers cannot give students multiple-choice tests and worksheets all year and then wonder why their students are not more creative.”

If you’re looking for more ideas and resources, here are the 5 most popular TED-Ed Lessons on teaching and assessing creativity.

1. The power of creative constraints
Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or … does it? if you’re like most people you’d probably be paralyzed by this task. Why? Brandon Rodriguez explains how creative constraints actually help drive discovery and innovation.

2. Why should you listen to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons?”
Light, bright, and cheerful, “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi is some of the most familiar of all early 18th-century music, featured in numerous films and television commercials. But what is its significance, and why does it sound that way? Betsy Schwarm uncovers the underlying narrative of this musical masterpiece.

3. Music and math: The genius of Beethoven
How is it that Beethoven, who is celebrated as one of the most significant composers of all time, wrote many of his most beloved songs while going deaf? The answer lies in the math behind his music. Natalya St. Clair employs the “Moonlight Sonata” to illustrate the way Beethoven was able to convey emotion and creativity using the certainty of mathematics.

4. How playing an instrument benefits your brain
When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

5. Can robots be creative?
People have been grappling with the question of artificial creativity— alongside the question of artificial intelligence—for over 170 years. For instance, could we program machines to create high-quality original music? And if we do, is it the machine or the programmer that exhibits creativity? Gil Weinberg investigates this creative conundrum

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How To Encourage Creativity

First know what I am good at. I am good at problem solving so I approach creative projects as problems. I am great at coming up with crazy solutions and multiple solutions. That is the first way to solve problems. By trying every possible combination to see what works. This is quite painstaking but it […]

via How to encourage creativity — Scott’s Blog

How creativity can help you be healthier

Have you ever come down with feelings of exhaustion or sickness, like a sore throat, when you’ve felt sad or stressed? It might seem a little hippie-dippy, but your emotions have a ton to do with how you feel physically. We reached out to Dr. Chris Gilbert, the author of The Listening Cure: Healing Secrets of an……

via How creativity can help you be healthier — BayArt

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