Creativity starts with thinking. Students must be thinking in order to be creative. Brainstorming, for example, is an activity that gets students thinking and promotes the creativeness and diversity of ideas. Collaboration and group work is another strategy to get students thinking and often results in students becoming more creative, sharing their ideas, and respecting the contributions of others. Students who work in groups are often more incline to share their own original work and take value when other students utilize it. It is crucial that creative ideas originating from students be exploited into something important and useful to other students in the classroom.
Critical thinking and problem solving occur when students are taught how to and required to reason effectively using inductive, deductive, etc. throughout the curriculum. Students will also be thinking critically when they use systems of thinking to analyze how many different parts of information interact to produce a whole idea.
Students who use critical thinking to make judgments and decisions will be practicing and developing their problem solving skills. Problem solving skills play a key role in a student’s abilities to solve problems using various methods and innovate and adapt strategies to meet each problem.
Communication, discussion, and collaboration exist in some classrooms more than others. Many effective teachers choose to use discussions and collaboration so that students develop a sense of clear communication. This occurs when students articulate their thoughts and ideas and listen to others in a group setting. Collaboration among students is most effective when each student is given a responsibility during the collaboration and when all students are required to demonstrate their abilities to work with others.
Information literacy is supported through the easy and efficient access of accurate information. Students who learn how to use and manage information have more understanding of the issues surrounding topics. The flow of information in class is very important for students. It is imperative to teach students how to sort through massive amounts of information common to our society.
Media literacy can be taught through media messages and activities during class. Many students may interpret media messages very differently and the teacher must be prepared to have class discussions with regards to this. Some class discussions should focus on the ethics and legal issues behind the media messages.
Students can research using various tools the classroom. In some classrooms iPads are available for students to perform research. Otherwise teachers can opt to go to the computer lab and have students work on school computers. By using computers and other research tools, students can effectively see many positions on issues and evaluate and criticize the information they find.
To teach students to work individually, teachers can ease into assigning individual assignments so that students inch their way toward gaining the ability to work alone without support. Students who complete tasks individually will learn to work alone more and be more confident in the work they produce.
Students who work in groups to complete class assignments learn how to interact academically with others. After students learn to work effectively with others, teachers can assemble diverse teams of students and students will begin to respect culture differences and learn tolerance. Open-minded responses will then begin to show within the class and valuable discussions can be had.