Dimensions of Creativity: Implementing and Sharing Ideas

flower in a shoe

Implementing the model

The FFOE model can be incorporated into projects and curriculum already in action in your classroom. You may just need to stop and notice the FFOE flowers -- then use the terms to talk openly about them. Just as you could walk right past this shoe, you could ask students to "be creative" without stopping to talk about what that means. Try these three simple steps to walk the walk with FFOE:

1. Analyze which FFOE skills your class projects/assignments require and which skills students struggle with. Plan alternatives to help each student grow by offering several project choices and ongoing whole-class FFOE.

  • Prompt teacher-pleasers and "safe" thinkers to be more original by giving them more and more unusual juxtapositions in projects
  • Incorporate fluency walls at all levels for students to continuously add word choices for "walk" or "things that have to do with energy" (or whatever current curriculum topic). Give them the real estate to be fluent thinkers
  • Use graffiti walls (real or electronic) for "what if" questions about curriculum and other original thoughts

2. Use the words as you and students build the skills.

  • "We'll brainstorm what we know to build fluency at the same time."
  • " How else could we look at it? Try some flexible thinking."
  • " Can you elaborate on that?"
  • "Zack, that was a really original interpretation."
  • "The fluency wall is getting really full. That's awesome!"

3. Notice progress and help students notice their own creativity.

  • Include FFOE elements in rubrics or comments. Give originality points or fluency points-- whatever is appropriate for the student and the task
  • Demystify. Tell parents and middle school to high school students why you are assigning certain projects
  • At middle and high school levels, spend some time helping kids figure out where and how they get their best creative ideas-- the same way you might discuss learning styles. Have them design their ideal creative environment.
  • Celebrate creative victories on a creativity page of your class wiki. Link to great examples, and encourage students to add links too