Monday, March 20, 2017

Launch Week 7: Navigating Ideas

What do you think of the authors' brainstorming ideas and process? Do you see how this would work in your classroom? Or do you see modifications that you could make to the brainstorming ideas or process that would make them more useful with your students?

Next week we will read chapter 8, "Creating."

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105 comments:

  1. The school library is a great place to brainstorm ideas! I was so excited to read the first part of chapter 7 because my library is sometimes chaotic, loud, and messy! My cadet teachers are now creating classroom games to utilize in the elementary school. One section of the library is filled with any type of craft supply one can think of. Games are being designed and created. It is awesome!

    This chapter did help me realize that I was skipping a most important step...creating a plan. As the author states, I need to "put on the brakes" and have my students create a plan first. I learned that I need to have the students brainstorm individually first and then experiment with a group. This chapter helped outline exactly what I need to do to instill a brainstorming process with my students. The acronym "parts" is what I need to teach my students before they make anything. This collaborative process will help my students to work on ideas together while creating a product.

    This chapter opened my eyes to the importance of brainstorming. At first brainstorming seemed very difficult and scarey to me but as I read the remainder of the chapter, I can see it working with my students. The ten brainstorming ideas presented in the chapter will help me to use brainstorming in a positive way with my students. I will allow them to brainstorm individually and then move on into groups. I will use every step to see what works with my particular students. I may have to modify the process, but learning is what makes this so interesting to me.

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    1. I agree that brainstorming seems difficult, and that perhaps I've been doing it all wrong! I, too, appreciate the different ideas presented in the chapter. I think they are very hands on!

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    2. I too wish to utilize my library more often. The only difference between my library and yours, though, is that whiles yours is chaotic an messy, mine is quiet and lifeless. So much so, that students avoid it! It's not that the atmosphere alone creates such animosity toward that specific wing of the building, it's the fact that there are very few resources actually exist in the library:( If I develop a plan going into it though, giving the students intentional direction, they may get more out of what little resources we actually have.

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  2. Since I only have a few kids at a time, I would start off individually like they suggested then pairs and then back to whole group. My entire class would have max 5 students at a time. I also liked the way they could brainstorm. Using butcher paper and markers could give my students that like to draw out their ideas an outlet for that. On the computer they would barely be able to get their ideas out. Keyboarding is still a new skill for some of them, so it takes awhile to type out their ideas. I also like that they can think about "bad ideas". I will definitely tell them the story about Pixar. They all love to talk about movies and make comics.

    Brainstorming when I was in school was always a web centered on a prompt from the teacher. Most of the time multiple students would come up with similar ideas because we were never required to think outside of the box and not just reword the teachers ideas. I also like that you don't have to put a time limit on the brainstorming. I think the students would benefit from this because this would allow them time to think about their ideas and build on others.

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    1. It does seem that the schools are moving away from the one way of thinking style, and are now encouraging students to think deeper and more outside the box. I had kind of forgotten the way things were when we were all in the younger grades. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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    2. The "bad ideas" as examples is a good change and would allow some students to be more at ease when sharing. I agree with you.

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  3. Brainstorming is always a struggle for my students. Often times, I feel like I am “spoon feeding” them what I or my co-teacher are looking for, then they take our ideas as their own. I often think this happens, because they are afraid of being wrong, but also, sometimes their ideas are way off topic. For my students, especially, I would have to modify the process. First of all, I would have to teach my students how to brainstorm, and come up with their own ideas, then, I would have to teach them the entire process of coming up with new ideas, and which ideas are better than others. My students do not work well together in groups, and mainly, we work on independent work, because that way, everyone submits something physical and are actually working, instead of having someone do the work for them.

    As a general education teacher, I could see great use for this process with regular achieving students. As a student, I often remember doing group projects trying to come up with ideas, but I like the way the authors separate group time; students often need that break from group time to re-gather their thoughts, come up with new ideas, then work as a group to narrow down ideas. I think the rationale part is great as well, many times students aren’t taught directly what a rationale is, even if they have been doing it for a long time. Its a great way for students to prove that maybe one way is better than the other, whether everyone agrees or not.

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    1. I feel your frustration. Especially with my high-achieving students, they seem to want to be spoon fed, shown many examples, and do very little creative thinking of their own. They are chasing the Almighty A. I struggle with giving them too much and also not directing them enough. Our seniors are about to launch on a PBL assignment; I felt reaffirmed to see that we have given them individual time to brainstorm before meeting with their groups.

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    2. I agree that some students are afraid to share their ideas because they do not want to be wrong. I begin lessons by asking students a question and hoping their answers lead into the lesson. However, I can understand how it would be frustrating if students did not give an answer you are looking for and responding with "That's not what I'm looking for. Yeah, but what else?".

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    3. Elizabeth Stracener
      I too have problems with the high achievers, as they are all about the A+ and don't want to give a "wrong" answer. This book has helped provide some ideas about modeling the sharing of ideas, so with practice, maybe I can draw some of these students away from that mindset.

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    4. I'm right in there with this problem and my 6th grade Honor's English class. I find they want everything "laid out" for them, are slow in coming up with creative ideas, and get frustrated quickly! They are less likely to share ideas because each student thinks their ideas are better than anyone else's. I did appreciate the idea of modeling the sharing of ideas and hope this will cut down on the "mine is better than yours thinking!"

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  4. I like how the book talks about how to avoid Group Think, and getting even the most silent students to speak up.
    I love the idea presented about how students should brain storm on their own first in isolation, then move into pairs, then into a group. I can see how that would take more time to do the brainstorming segment, but that it would really help the shy students to get their ideas out there, and keep the "excited" students from running the show. I really love how the book says to rotate the groups so you can gain ideas from other members of other teams. I'm not sure I would have thought of that on my own.
    I wrote a note in the book on page 135 where it says you shouldn't set a timer and to let the brainstorming end naturally. I think that would be a little harder to do on a high school schedule than an elementary level due to the high school students changing classes every 50 mins.
    I think narrowing down the ideas might be hard for some students. I could see some students getting upset because their idea wasn't selected.
    I could see students really loving this process because it is so student centered.

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    1. I agree, Ami. I was one of those "quiet students" (still am) and it was good to see them acknowledged and to be given ways to help with getting their ideas out there. I, too, like the idea of having quiet brainstorming sessions at first and then moving into pairs. I'm not sure why an individual can't do their own project instead of working with a group...some are just better at this than others and actually thrive off of either working alone or with a group.

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    2. I also really like the idea of having students brainstorm individually, then in pairs, and finally as a group. It holds all students accountable for brainstorming. I also think this is great for students that are shy because before sharing with all of their peers, they can work one on one with a peer.
      Not only do I think it's a great idea to rotate groups so students can gain ideas from other groups, but I also think this is a great idea because then students get to work with everyone. It gives students the opportunity to work with other students that they wouldn't work with normally. It also holds them accountable for sharing their ideas and thoughts with everyone.

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    3. This concept caught my idea too. I loved the idea of allowing the students time to brainstorm on their own first. For the students who are quieter and more introverted, it allows them some positive reinforcement when they hear others having similar ideas. It may give them the confidence to actively participate in the group brainstorming. I am thinking that this would be especially beneficial in the late elementary/middle school age group where our kids are already feeling awkward and sensitive to what everyone else is thinking about them. This is was the part of the chapter that really stood out for me.

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    4. I agree with your thoughts on the different ways of sharing to include all kids in the process. It's easy to let the "leaders" lead instead of listening to all ideas in many situations, and his suggestions were great ways to avoid that. I thought the exact thing about time frame being limited and avoiding the use of a timer. I think that's difficult in any class setting, because everything is pretty schedule-oriented.

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  5. Brainstorming always seems difficult for elementary students. If I give any hint of an example, then they only write my ideas. If I do not give any examples it's a room full of silence. I like the idea of playing roles. I can see my students being able to come up with answers if they didnt' hear the word "brainstorm." If they were acting out or allowed to think as they were someone else, the ideas may come easier. I also know to watch for the quiet kid as that was usually me. As a child I watched others raise their hands and share ideas, or just shout out their thoughts, but I was most likely too afaid to share my ideas. So, finding new ways for all students to share is important to me.
    I like the idea of setting some ground rules and keeping them consistant for each time a brrainstorming session is going on. I am leary of the no dumb ideas....as elementary kids could come up with some very interesting topics, but finding a way to cross them off the list later seems fair.
    I am also going to stop using a timer to limit the amount spent on brainstorming. I read "don't use a timer" and I had to read it again. I ususally have certain times to get things done, so this is new to me. LOL
    But, I guess ideas don't come in a certain amount of time, so leaving a place up in the room where kids could add their ideas later seems perfect!
    This chapter was a great read with several examples! Now I can't wait for an idea session to arrive in my plans. :)

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    1. I agree! This chapter gave so many practical ideas of what to do, and how to do it. Good luck!

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    2. Yes, there are a lot of good ideas to use from this chapter. It's always a struggle to get students to share so I'm excited to try some of the ideas in my own classroom.

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  6. I feel like I've been missing the boat on brainstorming! I appreciate the practical-ness of this chapter. When reading the chapter and thinking about the way in which I have students brainstorm, I feel like "duh" of course that didn't go as well as I wanted to. I'm getting ready to have a class of 5th graders brainstorm ideas for a math project here soon, and I look forward to having the opportunity to try out all these new ideas and put them into action!

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    1. This is exactly how I felt after reading this chapter. I think I was missing the boat too! I can't wait to try out these ideas either. Thanks for not letting me think I'm the only one who missed out on brainstorming with her students!

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    2. I love your honest reflection, Natalie. Sometimes we forget that the reason an activity didn't work for kids is in how we guided the activity. As the guide in this process I became aware in this chapter that I need to have a strong focused topic to kickstart their brainstorming session. This chapter also made me realize that trying a variety of visual methods to list their ideas is worth a try. Using a Google Doc or Today's Meet might work in some classes, but the large butcher paper might work better in others. One thing I would add to this process is sharing the list beyond their walls. Share with other classes or even parents and ask the question used in the book, "What might be missing or can be added to their list?" and revisit.

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    3. I like the idea of using butcher paper at stations and having them brainstorm at one station and move to another. The traditional way never works for me. Sometimes I like to call it chalk talk and give a question and have students come up and write their ideas on the smart board. They like calling it something other than 'Brainstorming". I love the idea here about sharing their ideas outside the classroom.

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  7. I like this chapter because it gave me ideas that I can start incorporating into my classroom immediately. I feel that so often it is hard to students to brainstorm their own ideas for whatever reason, and I think the more opportunities they are given to practice, the better they'll be. I also think the time constraint being omitted will help because you can't limit creativity and that is what we're truly after.

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  8. I liked what the author had to say about his ideas for brainstorming. It never occurred to me that by brainstorming in a large open forum style, the quiet kids are shut out of the process. I agree that the louder voices are the ones usually heard whether their ideas are better or not. I liked the idea of doing it in levels (individual - small group - large group) so that every person's ideas are heard. I am going to be doing another composition project with my 5th graders soon. I am going to try this method.

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    1. Amanda, I was thinking the same thing when reading how the quiet students get shut out in the process of brainstorming. Also, those students who are not sure of their ideas whether the ideas are 'stupid' have a difficult time sharing them and small groups specially beginning with paris of students are great ways to get the ideas out there. No idea is too wild or strange to put out there.

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  9. I feel after reading this chapter I do not allow my students enough time to "learn" how to brainstorm. I have modeled ways to brainstorm for my Second graders and often times probably give them more help than allowing them to freely brainstorm on their own. I agree that the more opportunities they are given the better "brainstormers" they will be.

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    1. I am sure I have given my students more help in brainstorming than they really needed also. I have to remind myself to step back and see where they can go. Sometimes I lose track/get to caught up in the control that I forget to see what my students really can do for themselves. Then on the flip side, I maybe haven't given enough support at times because I knew it was in them and wanted them to see it was there all along and they didn't need me.

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    3. Elizabeth Stracener
      I agree! I have not provided the modeling for brainstorming like I should. This chapter has given me several options for making brainstorming more inclusive, and developing the skill with my students.

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  10. The one facet of ‘ideating' that catches my attention is Step #4: Narrow Down the Best Ideas. This step seems to bring a measure of practicality to a project as students decide for themselves what is ‘realistic’ and what they can ‘actually accomplish with (their) time constraints and (their) materials?’ (Spencer and Juliani). It is a relief to me that this responsibility is on the students. I had been moving from week to week through this book thinking about supporting students creativity, while questioning how practicality would sometimes conflict with students' plans. I did not want to be the one to cross off students’ ideas because of my own vision of limitations; however, it should be a natural progression that students seek feasibility and come to those conclusions on their own. I also appreciate the suggestion of a pros-and-cons chart as this brings logic and definition to the process. I am starting to see the parts take shape as the proof of this statement from chapter 1 is revealed: Creativity Is a Process That Requires Structure (Spencer and Juliani).

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    1. I agree, Tammy. I was so thrilled to see the map for brainstorming roll out in this chapter. I have used brainstorming forever, but not so structured. I feel like this map will guide my students and our ideas to greater success.

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  11. I love the idea of using part of the time to add bad ideas. It combines well with the paragraph they wrote about the Pixar getting unstuck idea. Adding bad ideas could be a great way to encourage kids to think outside of the box. I also like the comments they made about how to engage quiet kids during group brainstorming sessions. I see this a lot with kids with disabilities. They do not keep up with the conversation and end up shrinking into the background. As long as they stay quiet, people do not ask them to join in or ask for their opinions. By starting the brainstorming activities as 1:1 and groups of 2, this might allow quieter students to organize their thoughts and present them to one other person before entering into a group.

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    1. I also was fascinated by the 'bad idea' plug. I can't count the number of times a student has said, "this is probably a dumb idea..." Here that student doesn't get a pass to opt out, and everyone is challenged to see something from a different perspective.

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    2. The "bad idea" part put a smile on my face! I never thought about asking kiddos to put that up to help maybe spark other ideas or get the quieter kiddos to add to it! I also couldn't agree with you more about some kids keeping quiet to they can be "passed" up...I think this method makes them feel safe and allows them to add to the brainstorming process.

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    3. I love the "bad ideas" too. I think it will really help everyone gain some confidence to add to our brainstorming sessions!

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  12. I liked the author's thorough take on brainstorming. While I do believe "old-school" brainstorming shouldn't be ruled out, I can agree that it or parts of it don't always work. Sometimes it works better for one student than another.

    I remember using the brainstorming process with my students to create a list of foods to eat for our class Thanksgiving feast. Since I work in a Kindergarten classroom, I started by creating food categories...Can you name a meat you like?, Name a vegetable, fruit, bread, dessert, drink etc. After we covered each food group, we went back and voted on each food and drink mentioned. I didn't attach any names to their ideas, and most of them forgot who said what by the end of the process. I think this helped to avoid someone thinking your choice didn't get picked, so you aren't any good at this or smart, etc.

    Around Christmas time our school did a service project to help the poor through World Vision. We held a bake sale and used what money we raised to buy what he thought those people could use the most (I read information from the catalogs provided by World Vision) and what they might like. During this process, we got in small groups, looked through catalogs, and then as a whole group we said some things we wanted to purchase and made a list. Next, we looked at how much money we had and asked ourselves do we have enough money to buy this item? As we decided if something was too expensive, we crossed it off the list, narrowing down our options. My students loved have a lot of ownership of what they bought for someone else. I could see their motivation to keep going until the end.

    I can relate to numbers 6 and 8 of what to do if old school brainstorming doesn't work...I learn a lot from working in a group and seeing from the different perspectives of others. They help me be more creative in coming up with my own ideas that I didn't even know I had. It makes me more confident in my creative ability and answers as well.

    I don't think I would have thought to put "bad things" on a list of what I want to choose. However, it makes sense, because it can spark creative thoughts that might spur something that does work. Also, I agree that is would help reluctant sharing students to feel more comfortable to share. Also, the "no dumb answer" rule relates to this since anything goes and there is a less chance of something being considered odd.

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  13. I think this is the chapter I have most felt like I could implement in my classroom. Many parts of the process could be used as basic guidelines in a classroom. The rule that there are no dumb ideas allows students to feel safe to take risks. Brainstorming in isolation first is good for students who have impulsivity difficulties, students who tend to go blank when presented with presenting an idea in front of peers, and students with processing disorders. By assigning a brainstorm leader, each student is given an opportunity to have an authentic leadership experience in the classroom. I liked the fact that the process can be applied to a variety of age groups and subject areas.

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    1. After reading about individual thinking, partner sharing, and then whole group thinking is something that I really loved about this chapter. It helps to foster that no idea is a dumb idea. I also loved your point about the brainstorm learder. I think that students need to be given that chance to be a leader. In doing so it gives each of them a chance to grow as a leader and as a student. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Brainstorming as a group is especially difficult in middle school. So often, at this age, kids are so worried about fitting in or not being picked on or looked at for having different ideas. I like the ideas of self-reflection before a group brainstorm. Additionally, I like putting kids into groups and having one group member shift to a different group. It is so important to do the front loading work in a classroom to create as "safe" of an environment as possible to encourage risk-taking.

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    1. You hit the nail on the head with middle school behavior. My daughter told me she didn't want to be the best math student in the class because she was afraid to go on stage and be recognized. She told me that "all of the kids will make fun of me for being different." Great job recognizing this and adapting the idea of shifting the group leader. That is a great idea!

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  15. I love what the author used as ideas in the brainstorming chapter. My favorite take away was the "individual thinking, partner/small group thinking, and finally whole group thinking". I think this pushes students to think on their own and then work together to combine ideas to make something awesome.

    I also loved the idea that the authors suggested about putting "bad" ideas up and working through them. I had never thought about this and I think it makes students think outside of the box then they are already doing!

    The one thing that is sticking with me in this chapter is that I feel that it is geared to students (grades 2 and up). I teach kindergarten and I feel that we do a lot of guided/modeling. I think allowing them to do this independently would be a disaster--even using it this late into the school year. Maybe I could be mistaken, but allowing all of this higher ordered thinking is hard for kindergarteners.

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  16. In this chapter, I especially like the idea that the introvert was addressed. Allowing for private think time and generating time before moving into pairs and then into the group would be beneficial to many. Groupthink is definite common phenomenon within all ages and I'm glad it was addressed.

    However, I honestly didn't learn too much in this chapter. Ideas and methods were clarified a bit but what I kept hoping for was an example or two of this process being carried out with a specific assignment...or two. I think this would have helped me "see" the whole idea better and in a big-picture sort of way. I continue to want to see more specific assignments related to the LAUNCH theory, in all different subject areas, carried out as examples. Perhaps that is just my learning style and that's good to keep in mind for like-minded students I may have.

    I like the new word I learned, "ideating." It's a great synonym for brainstorming and the period of narrowing down the ideas into one specific concept.

    Using humor once again was appreciated. In the "Have a firm rule that there are no dumb ideas in the brainstorming phase," the example of a dragon was brought up and, of course, their enormous poop. It's a good reminder that while we hunker down and get busy with all of these phases, humor is always a welcome relief and often a great way to give examples.

    I also like the idea of adding "bad ideas" to the list while brainstorming. We often (and students too, I'm sure) get caught up in finding the "right" answers that we forget that sometimes, the best ideas can come from "bad" ideas and other places we least expect. I guess that is the power of divergent thinking! This came up in the "Rules for Storytelling" too...making a list of what wouldn't happen next.

    It's good to remember that humor, thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas that are the opposite of what is asked are effective methods to use.

    Finally, great idea about telling the biography not of a person, but of an idea. Highlighting the fact that ideas are often conglomerations of many ideas from many people that get tweaked and adjusted is highly useful, especially with this step in the LAUNCH process. This may be an idea for me to use in English class as a research paper idea. Students could pick ideas that fascinate them and then study how they "came to be."

    All good ideas; more examples of this coming to life from start to finish would be helpful.

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  17. Every time I read a chapter I'm a little overwhelmed by everything it's suggesting and I always think I'm so far from the steps. But, when I come to type out my answer I realize I'm not always completely in left field. While I am guilty of sometimes doing group-think I realized I do also give them brainstorm time on their own for certain projects before coming together. What I'm realizing is I do the things this book is laying out for me but I'm not currently doing them all together or all the time. Can't wait to finish the book so I've got all the steps and see how to transfer it to my class.

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  18. I like the idea that student should be given quiet time to brainstorm to themsevles and then bring everyone together either in groups or as one big class. Personally, I think individual brainstorming time, then group time, then class time as a last step would be very helpful to students. I wish when I was in school we were always given some individual brainstorming time. Usually in groups the "popular" kids like to do all the talking and thinking and shut everyone else out - which was my personal experience in elementary school. So after a while, short while - I really learned to dislike and even hate working in groups.

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  19. Love the idea of brainstorming in isolation first! That will help all students to engage with the topic and will allow them to come up with some ideas that they don't think are "dumb." As an introvert myself, I can really relate to the idea of backpacking ideas instead of sharing them. Sometimes brainstorming in isolation can give a student time and
    confidence to unload at least one idea from his backpack.

    I also like the concept that there's no such thing as a bad idea. So called bad ideas can lead to questions, discussions and related ideas that will lead to other ideas that are deeper and can be defended. It's about the journey, not just the destination.

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  20. As I read this chapter I really had to pick my brain on how to use this method...especially the silent brainstorming session with 3 year-olds. But in the part that talked about building legos it began to hit me. It made me think of my 4 year old. One time he wanted to build a lego house. I said..great what do you need to get started. He told me (a floor, a rood, door, windows, etc) and began to build...so even he had a plan...just learning how to get it out there took some steps. And...he did it he built a great house! So it can be done. I know that when I ask questions in group style...if one child says an idea like 5 more respond with the same idea. So what I have come up with is a one-on-one idea. Chatting with each child and getting a few ideas written down for them (they can't really write their ideas or even draw pictures at this age...) I would have to focus on not prompting them. Once we had all their ideas I would write them on a big chart paper...and go through each one and using their ideas to eliminate duplicates and narrow it down to the "best ideas" and continue the process from there.

    I loved so many parts in the chapter that seemed to give me some "Ah-ha" moments: write down bad/silly ideas those can lead to great ideas, that group brainstorming can tend to focus on quantity ideas rather than quality and it can prevent risk taking (leaving those quiet kiddos out), and let brainstorming end naturally. All ideas that make total sense...these seem so student directed and I love that!

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    1. I teach Kindergarten and am also concerned of how to use this process in my classroom. Some of my students can write a sentence, some can sound out a word, and some can only draw a picture. When I ask my students to brainstorm, I am going to ask them to draw and color a picture and to make sure they add details in their picture. We have talked about details and what makes a good picture versus a not so good picture. Then I am going to ask my students that can write a sentence to write a sentence explaining their picture. Afterwards, we are going to sit in a circle on the rug and share everyone's picture and talk about our ideas as a group.

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    2. I love your idea of sitting in a circle...that sharing time is so valuable!

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    3. I love the example of your 4 year old with legos. Kids have so many awesome ideas, and they just need to be shown a few steps on how to turn those ideas into real things!

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  21. I found the idea of individual thinking and partner group thinking very interesting. I tried this today and liked the results my students seemed to find it fun in a way. The brainstorming techniques do seem to work although I am kinda limited by board space. Its hard to get kids to thinking that they can all have good ideas and they can all be a part of the discussion. I still blame texting!!!!

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    1. I wonder if you could use texting to a spreadsheet as a way to gather the ideas.

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  22. I love brainstorming ideas. The author has a few steps that I may have skimmed over before but am willing to try. I do not utilize the individual reflection well enough, so I will incorporate that more as well as not using a timer. I probably rush the whole process too much. Slowing the process down will help the students process the "PARTS" better.
    I really like the author's statement about making the biography about the idea rather than who developed it.

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    1. I feel as if I also rush my students at times. I am constantly checking the time trying to make sure we cover everything planned for the day. However, I need to relax a bit because it is more beneficial for my students to brainstorm and explore all their ideas versus me trying to rush through a lesson.

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    2. I loved that it was talked about slowing the process down. To give them time to think and come up with ideas. Too bad we are given so much pressure on state tests, and feel we never have enough time to do things that might be very beneficial to the students.

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  23. Just the other day I was beginning a new project with my 7th graders in which they could team up with others to have a theme for their Pop Art Sculptures. I immediately let them begin their brainstorming in small groups. Later, when I had time to read the chapter, I realized that I could have done this differently. Instead of letting them team up from the get go, I should have given them time to brainstorm independently and then merge together with other students and see what results they could come up with. I will remember this for next time.
    As far as a daily routine in the art room, students are brainstorming constantly. It may not look the same as the authors laid out but it is happening. Each project I have students begin by sketching out ideas (brainstorming). During this time it has been individual brainstorming with feedback from myself and sometimes from their peers when students have asked another student. I have never thought of having students brainstorm together when working on an individual project, but I may give this a try. Although I am offering up suggestions during this time they may take more stock in other ideas if their peers are suggesting them.
    Food for thought...

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  24. I can definitely see how this process would work in my classroom. I teach Kindergarten and Kindergarten students are already naturally curious. My students love to share their ideas and thoughts. However, I am concerned that I will have trouble getting my students to work independently. We do everything as a whole group or small group. I could have students draw a picture as an independent brainstorming activity. However, I would still have to help every student and make sure they are staying on topic. Afterwards, we could sit on the carpet and share ideas. I am curious how other Kindergarten teachers plan to utilize this in their classroom!

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  27. After reading this Chapter, I would like to try several of their ideas on brainstorming especially with my 8th graders who tend to be quite a bit quieter than the 6th and 7th grade students. I agree that sometimes students' are afraid of throwing an idea out there because it may be a "bad" idea or an obvious one.

    Also, I am sure our students' have many ideas that they do not share with us or others, and I would like to try more group brainstorming in our Health classes. I like the idea of giving students' numbers so they have to rotate and go to different groups each time instead of always picking their friends. I also think sometimes in group discussions/projects one or two students will take over, and maybe these students' can be the leader's of the groups to assign each person in the group a task to complete. I would like to see myself do a better job of getting everyone in groups to participate, and have a rule that each student must come up with at least three ideas. Once the ideas have been formulated, then they all can debate on which ideas they like the best and which one would solve the problem or be the best solution to the problem(s).

    I don't know if anyone else is worried like me about the "bad ideas" section. I get it, I understand that sometimes a lot of great ideas are left out because students think they do not have anything to do with the problem. I do worry about explaining to my middle schoolers that they can create "bad ideas", I guess I would have to explain a lot at the beginning of the brainstorming session.

    I have gained some great ideas for brainstorming in groups and individualized as well in this Chapter, and will try in Health when we have our next projects.

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  28. I enjoyed reading the authors thoughts on brainstorming. It is certainly a difficult task to complete and I can see how having a plan will help the process. I really like the idea of having the student work out ideas individually and then getting together in groups. I was also thinking that the individual could work the idea on a sticky note and the sticky notes could be put in one central location. This allows for some students to express their thoughts anonymously and then work them into feeling at ease in front of the group. If we are brainstorming or even just discussing a topic I try and call on students that are not as verbal whether it is due to being shy or just not having an answer. If they can not come up with a response I ask them to continue to think about it and tell them that I will come back to them for a response. This takes the pressure off and they can them hear other responses to help generate thinking.

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  29. Love to brainstorm! Learned a lot in Chapter 7 about breaking the process down much further than I tend to. Sometimes actually finding a problem to solve in my Literacy classes is challenging, but doable! The chapter started with individual brainstorming which I typically do, but not always group. I like putting them together in a group and having the students combine their ideas by connecting similar ones. The group is a great way of incorporating the introverts in a way that they may open up better than brainstorming as a whole class. So often my students disregard who their audience will be, which is vital to the success of the project. It seems very important to have a student in charge of the group and all having his/her own role in the project. this helps each member stay on task better as others will be depending on them completing his/her own part. Navigating the group's ideas could be a challenging concept to the extroverts along with cooporation skills comimg into play. I liked this chapter a lot and it got my mind thinking about new ways to to use group work.

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    1. I loved this chapter too. I loved that it always you to pull in even the shyest and quietest person in the class and make them part of a group. To allow them to share their ideas.

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  30. I loved this chapter. I often have kids brainstorm individually, but then usually move straight in to whole group sharing and add to a class chart.I can't wait to try putting the kids in small groups and having some of them rotate. What a great way to expand thinking and add ideas to brainstorms! I do wish I could see this type of work in action. I have a hard time wrapping my head around my 3rd graders accomplishing so much planning prior to jumping in to creation. I am sure it can be done, but it seems a little daunting because I it seems that it is going to take a lot of practice.

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  31. After reading this chapter on brainstorming it became clear to me that this LAUNCH process would be very difficult for me to do in the role that I have as an educator. The time that I have with the students each week is definitely not enough time to work with this process. It does though have aspects that I could use in the media center.
    As I was reading I wondered if during this brainstorming process for a class the space in the media center could be used . We have a great space that could be used for whole class instruction and small group brainstorming. Maybe the media center could be the 'hub' for LAUNCH.

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  32. Elizabeth Stracener
    I came away from reading about brainstorming with a new perspective. I appreciated the authors message about silent brainstorming, followed by pairs/small groups. It is easy to forget that our introverted students or students with ISPs may feel inhibited by whole-class brainstorming and shouting out ideas. I currently use some of my journaling time for brainstorming silently, but I don't always follow that up with whole-class participation.

    I also appreciated the questions suggested, such as, what are we missing, and what might not be a good idea. I am so encouraged to allow the students to start working on a whole class project that they can get excited about!

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  33. I was so glad to be reminded of the introverts in class too! I have one class of students that is especially quiet, so when we do whole class discussions, only a few students talk. With that, I want to try including more individual, then small group brainstorming with all of my class, especially that class, just to get more students thinking for themselves. We do a lot of group work on a daily basis, but I think reviewing what brainstorming looks like and thinking for one's self and expressing those ideas, even if someone else in the class has said them before is important. I want students to be able to not only communicate effectively, but be confident in their ideas when they leave my classroom. I think the idea of Think, Pair, Share would really help students with that, so I want to try it more.

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  34. I loved this chapter! For once I can say “Ah Ha! I have really worked hard in these areas and it is working!” I felt like I was reminded of when I was a very young teacher and these particular sections of brainstorming would get away from me. I might have gotten one down, only to find the other flew out the window. For example, I was prepared with the statements about “all ideas are accepted and not dumb” but the time factor would get away from me very quickly. Having gotten the time factor down, I realized that bringing all the information together with a class that was ‘on task’ became the challenge. At this point, I truly feel that I have found the rhythm to make this work as it should. I so enjoyed the in-depth definition, yet short and comprehensive layout that the authors pointed out to us. It was as if there was a checklist and a real-life way to make these happen in the classroom. And pretty much, they all take place at some level. So, I thought they were spot on! Nothing, and no one is perfect, and though as stated in my first sentence, I do see success in my class using the brainstorming ideas, I feel that I still need to use multiple visuals to bring some variety into the plan. Chalk and chalk boards can surely be improved on due to the year 2017… this is my goal. Continue growing, using what works, and reaching through what is uncomfortable.

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  35. As a history teacher, I love Clapp's concept of the Biography of an Idea. When dealing with old topics, I have struggled with how we can expand on them, and bring them into my students world. As I was reading this particular section, I immediately thought of how I teach that Samuel FB Morse invented the great-grandfather of their hand held devices and the most important factor in their universe; the internet! He gave birth to telecommunication. Now, I can see how we can use this process to allow the students to really examine how this is true! I have encouraged them to celebrate the creative genius behind the telegraph, but I stopped there. Now I see that we can reflect on how his idea grew, changed and morphed into something bigger than he could have ever imagined. And we need not stop there, this reframing of creativity is something I can use over and over to truly show my students the answer to that age old question of "why do we study history?" I LOVE IT!!

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  36. I definitely need to give students more time when I am able to use this process. The book explains the process well and I want to try and use it in my small groups somehow. I need to make sure to let the students work on coming up with a plan and not make my own agenda for the projects. I think the students will love learning when implemented this way.

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  37. The idea of having students make a list of bad ideas is new to me. I can see how it creates a pressure free environment of sharing and would pull all ideas out. Definitely good for anyone that might be lacking confidence or feeling inhibited in their ideas. The Pixar story is similar in getting every idea out. Sometimes the greatest ideas aren't shared, but this is a partical idea for getting everything out there.

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  38. I'll admit that I don't give my students the opportunity to brainstorm as often as I should. I feel like the students that contribute would be the same students that would contribute in a class discussion. The quiet students seem to sit back and observe. I can't imagine the idea of letting my students brainstorm for an undisclosed amount of time. I love my timer! This will be difficult for me to try, but I'm definitely going to give it a shot. I'm always anxious to work with my students after each new chapter I read.

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  39. I did enjoy this particular chapter. I like the idea of the individuals brainstorming on their own first. I can see many uses for this in faculty meetings. Too many times we start with the group brainstorming which typically leads to the stronger personalities speaking and the softer personalities staying quiet. Doing the individual brainstorming and then adding the thoughts to a shared google doc will give everyone an equal voice.
    I also like the "bad ideas". As the authors stated a lot of great ideas come from bad ideas in the beginning. When brainstorming, nothing is a bad idea.

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  40. Wow!!! Information overload! But really great information. I'm not sure where to begin processing this information.
    Things that stuck out to me in this chapter: how structured brain storming can be, how organized/messy it is, and how much time you could make this take. I always feel like I'm rushing through instruction for a project. If I used this method maybe students would a.) understand the concept of the project and b.) be more creative on their approach instead of just a simply GoogleSlide research. I could see how this could work in my classroom, but I also can't connect it to a current project or idea. I think I would have to invent a project for this to work well with, not modify something I already have. I would love to start something this year, but I think this process REQUIRES careful planning on the teachers part. I could see something in the works maybe over the summer.
    I also started looking at this from a cross-curricular standpoint. This would be great for two or more teachers with students (if class size allowed) to work together and maybe make this more manageable.

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  41. This is a tricky one for me. I think brainstorming is a tough concept. If you like the topic, ideas are easy to come up with but if you don't have interest in the topic, brainstorming takes time. How much time should I allow them to brainstorm? The strong writers are typically done well before the struggling writers get done brainstorming and then they feel the pressure to get done and don't always do their best. Obviously I try to help the struggling writers with ideas but this doesn't always work. The other thing I struggle with is our ISTEP is timed so I feel I should give them a good idea of a timeframe for brainstorming so they are prepared to write on that test. This is an ongoing struggle and I look forward to reading more posts.

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  42. I loved the opening of this chapter. The quote by Laura Fleming, "you have been given the tools you need to get started. Where it goes is up to you. The world is your platform." This is so true. Brainstorming allows us to get started and then where we go with our creativity is up to each of us individually.

    I loved the ideas of brainstorming individually, but also loved the part where you come together and accept anyone's ideas. That no matter what the idea is, they are all good, there are no bad ideas. Even the weirdest idea can end up being a good concept.
    I have never liked the ISTEP test myself because they make you brainstorm, or give you an area to brainstorm, but I think if teachers would teach this concept it might make it easier for them to come up with an idea and run with it.
    Think, pair, share will be something that I will introduce into my lessons .. whether it be math or ASL. Great chapter.

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  43. My students always seem to need a extra push when brainstorming, in order to think outside of the box. Without this extra help, alot of the student rely on vague answers. I really like how the author gives some other ways to brainstorm. Before I even have the students go on their own I make sure that we brainstorm together, as an example. The author said that there "are no dumb ideas in the brainstorm phase". I think that is so important because alot of the time students think that they are going to get laughed at or be wrong. When brainstorming i like for the students to first start by themselves, then discuss in groups. After that they go into groups, and we rotate until every student has shared with everyone in the class. It takes time but every student has the chance to listen to everyone's ideas.

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  44. I really cringe when a student says, "I can't think of anything!" I was glad to be reminded in this chapter that this comment most likely means "I'm not sure if my ideas are good enough." In 5th grade many students lack condfidence in their ideas. I plan to use more of the ideating suggestions from this chapter. I will start with the brainstorming in isolation and move into small groups that collaborate on brainstorming and turning their ideas into a thinking map of their choice. I really like the idea of moving students around at this point. I believe this will really help boost their confidence throughout this framework. We recently read The Giver in class. It is based on a perfect society that creates sameness. I could pose a question of something that would benefit their society to promote their quality of life.... Students could do the PARTS Framework to come up with this product or even create more jobs than the ones in the story. I really was intrigued by the Biograhy of an Idea in this chapter and I am trying to think of guest speakers I could pull in for kids to interview or even we could watch Shark-Tank clips to see where ideas were born. The modifications I would make are to help the students that are less confident in their ideas by working with them more in the beginning of the process.

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  45. I love the messy, busy classroom environment that is created during brainstorming sessions! “Ideating” is a new term for me, and I was surprised to read that this phase works for all grade levels, but the Lego-building/fort-building example makes sense.
    I found the new brainstorming suggestions to be very helpful! Sometimes old-school brainstorming ideas can definitely leave out the quiet students who have good ideas in favor of the “shouters”, although I seem to have the opposite problem with the students I work with. It is often very difficult to get them to participate in a group brainstorming session. That’s why I especially liked the idea of letting students brainstorm in isolation first, then share their ideas after they’ve had time/quiet to really think. This is definitely a process that I think would work better with my students and I am excited to try this for our next project.
    Part Two:Choosing an Idea has five steps, and this part of the process seems like it would be the most time-consuming. While Part Three:Figuring Out the PARTS seems more clearcut. Using the PARTS framework and the chart on page 144 would certainly help keep the group organized and make sure everyone is participating. This is often a problem with group projects when it is time to actually get the work done.

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  46. I enjoyed reading the process and various aspects of how to go about getting a certain goal out of your students. My current class is a difficult one; they bicker and argue quite frequently and many cannot stand to work in any type of partner or group settings. We have done this process this year only as a whole group or individually within my classroom. Luckily, we have Project Lead the Way at our school and it is taught several times throughout the school year by a separate teacher. The students work wonders in there with this process! I love getting to see them in there as their actions are usually total opposite of how they work in our classroom (they get excited and are eager to participate).

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  47. This chapter was filled with ideas!! I thought it was going to be along the regular lines of gathering ideas. Wow, was I wrong. Each of the sections had lists to help lead the kids through the process of brainstorming ideas and gathering the necessary items and ideas to make it successful. My favorite part was the brainstorming. Each student having the time to come up with their own idea and then incorporating those into the small group setting. This would be the best way I've seen to involve the quieter students. Part 2 rounds it together with the list to make your idea solid. Along with Part 3 to pull it completely together to share. This is the fine-tuning stage to be sure all is ready. I'm eager to try this out.

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  48. The part that stood out the most for me was when the authors talked about the silent brainstorming before students made their ideas know to the group. Very often the introverted students have much more to offer than others may think. They are more intelligent but it is not obvious because they don't put themselves out there. It is extremely important to tap all possible ideas before settling on a final plan of action. I like the idea of a round robin to give all a chance to contribute.
    The power of a group can be overwhelming and for the best to be produced. All ideas need to be placed on the table. Criticism of ideas needs to be curtailed until everything is presented.
    I guess that what hit me as being most vital, is the importance of all persons participating in the brainstorming so that no stone is left unturned so that the very best collaboration has the best chance of coming together to have a successful product.

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  49. I enjoyed the variety of ways listed to accomplish brainstorming. Over the years I’ve tried variations of these but never in series, which I think would help refine whatever we were aiming for. I have often been concerned with the quieter kids, who have lots of ideas but are afraid to share, and the “A chasers”, who are only concerned with their grade. I like the idea of having students brainstorm in isolation first, then talk it over in pairs, then maybe in groups, then as a class. I also think that having the “there are no dumb ideas” rule is great fun, because sometimes silly ideas spur some truly great ideas. Sometimes we also make a list of “non-examples” (the so-called “bad ideas” from chapter 7.) I am a fan of having a group write with markers on a large paper, which is nice when each person uses a different color and I can really see who is saying what. They can also connect their ideas with lines or doodles, and draw what else they mean. I have always thought that moving students around, like having all the #3s move to the next group and have a new perspective. (We often move the tallest, the one with the darkest eye color, youngest, earliest birthday in the year, etc. It’s fun to use different categories other than just a number.)

    When doing a brainstorm, I also have used an alphabet board filled with post it notes for each letter of the alphabet, each group member has a marker, and the topic is written in the middle for all in the group to see. Then students try to think of a word/idea that begins with each letter of the alphabet. It’s a way to move the focus around and get some creative answers since you sometimes have to stretch to accommodate letters like Q and X. This even works using one board and a small class, with me writing the ideas in the front of the room. We’ve used it for jumping-off points for writing assignments, story ideas, reviewing for a test, and finding out what we want to know about a topic.

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  50. I liked the discussion on promoting divergent thinking, and how "often, this leads them to reconsider their own blindness." This statement is so very useful in several areas of education.

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  51. I really liked the idea of having students begin the brainstorming process alone. "As the ideas bounce around, back and forth, introverted students tend to hold their ideas in mental backpacks - and the group never has access to their genius" (132). As an introvert myself, I can understand where the author is coming from. I rarely spoke up in a classroom setting when I was a student. However, as a teacher, I need to do a better job of avoiding "traditional brainstorming" with my students. My math classes brainstorm (on a small scale) when solving word problems. This chapter provided me with ideas and different approaches to try as I attempt to have all students participate and allow multiple ideas to be presented.

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    1. I understand where you're coming from. I had the same thoughts about my introverts in class. I have found that I have become more of an introvert as I have gotten older. Good luck with your classes in the future.

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  52. I loved the idea of mixing things up a bit and going divergent! If my classroom was “drop a pin” silent, I would wonder what wasn’t getting done! Middle school students lack patience, and they attack without a thought of planning. They want attention, so they make the most noise so everyone hears their idea first. There is so much truth to the statement that learning as a group most often ends with a large amount of poor quality ideas. Instead of brainstorming as a group, I am going to have students brainstorm alone, without any talking in the room, and then let them pair-share, followed by group brainstorming. I think my favorite part was adding “bad ideas” to the list. I know this will require practice, but the results will be what works best for each class. The divergent thinking would work really well with my Honor’s English class. It would challenge them, and offer more creativity for finding an answer that is not the obvious. What a great way to promote debate and discussion!

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  53. I really like the processes that they use to get ideas flowing. I often struggle getting my students to brainstorm, so I am looking forward to using things like the butcher paper and markers. I also like how they take the design element and get their students to think about an idea rather than the person behind that idea. Even as an adult, I find myself getting stuck in this mindset of great people rather than great ideas. As a history teacher, I really like when they discussed Clapp's idea of analyzing the progression of an idea. I'm thinking I may incorporate a project where students will work on a flow chart, development web, or timeline highlighting the progression of an idea through its different stages. I think this would be a more interesting and in-depth approach than simply looking at the idea at its nexus. I am looking forward to developing this idea further and implementing it in the future!

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  54. This chapter has really got me thinking about brainstorming techniques. I'm afraid that I rush my students, too often, to try and accomplish things and don't allow enough time for them to be creative and brainstorm. I liked the step-by-step process from individual to pairs to groups regarding brainstorming ideas. I think this allows the kids to begin to process their own ideas in a safe place and share without the fear of first sharing in front of the whole group. It also allows the student to modify and think about his/her idea prior to presenting. I love that the process allows the student to think freely and get creative!

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    1. I too, felt the same when reading this chapter! I often feel pressed for time and want to ensure that my students have enough time to research and put together their project that I push them to quickly complete the brainstorming process. But now, it is evident that this step makes the compiling phase even more meaningful! Students are individuals and are not, often, given the chance to express that individuality at school. Brainstorming is a great way for all, and like you, I too agree that this chapter highlighted ways in how to engage all students-talkative or shy- in this step so they can be successful.

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    2. I would have to agree that I believe I rush y students through the brainstorming techniques due to time and trying to get to the "work" of the project. I believe that giving the students each a role with give them some accountability and feel proud to be a true part of the group. We all know there are known leaders in each class and they seem to just take over the group and the quiet kids or less confident just sit back and do not share their ideas. I can't wait to try all of these steps in my next project and see each of my students blossom with the roles they are give and the ownership they will feel to truly be a part of the end result!

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  55. I love the brainstorming ideas laid out in this chapter. The ideas accommodate all personality types and different learning styles. It also allows for fresh perspectives and total collaboration.

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  56. I love the word "ideating". I wish I could take credit for creating it. I think it is a word that the kids can understand when introducing the concept of brainstorming. Brainstorming is one is one of those processes that the kids have been told to do so many times that they think they already know how to do it well. I like how this chapter actually defined a process. As I have read this book, I have been formulating ideas as to how to take what I have learned and turn it into a professional development for my team. This chapter can be key to so many things and may be utilized to discuss how we plan out summer since our education program won't close. I think having roles in the brainstorming process is brilliant. I also think starting individually brainstorming prior to joining a group allows all to have their own thoughts. As people we need to value our own ideas and have our own thoughts prior to always being part of a group. I think in today's society we often forget to allow our youth to be individuals. This process allows for this opportunity.

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  57. I really enjoyed reading Chapter 7 because I feel that navigating ideas and brainstorming are major areas of improvement in my teaching. When I taught high school in my first year of teaching, students competed in the National History Day competition with project topics that they reached entirely through their own choices and brainstorming methods. I used methods such as a Google Document of ideas, whiteboarding, and webbing on large pieces of paper and smaller pieces of paper. However, now that I teach seventh grade social studies, I have struggled with this step of the process. The authors’ brainstorming ideas were extremely helpful. I have many shy students- I liked that the authors’ recommended having group sessions so many ideas are out in the open, but also allowing for individual brainstorming to begin and also periods for individual reflection as well. This way, my outgoing students do not monopolize the whole session! I also liked the suggestion to give each group a brainstorming leader. I have had groups brainstorm in the past, but have never given one person a specific role to record information. I think this is a great way to keep my squirrely seventh graders on track and hold them accountable to recording their ideas.
    I do, however, think I would need to make modifications-specifically the tip about not using a timer. Timers help my students stay on task and keep structure. If I forget to set a timer, they panic. While I understand the authors’ point, I like to have a timer on the board just to remind my students of when the class period ends so they do not panic when the bell rings! In addition, I also make modifications in the ‘role’ step. I usually define the roles in a group already for my students and have them simply sign up for which role they are going to complete this way the more dominant personality in the group does not try to take on all of the roles but knows the parameters of what he or she is expected to do. This also holds those who slack off in group work to be more accountable. I worry if I left this up to my students that some of the over achievers would define their responsibilities as practically the entire project whereas others would be content with doing the bare minimum.
    The authors’ brainstorming method, specifically Step 3: Setting up Criteria, also caught my attention. I usually provide students with a rubric so they understand what I am looking for in a project-but I have never asked students themselves to sit down and consider what they need to do, discover, and record so they can be successful. This “needs assessment” for completing a successful project, I now see, is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked because it allows them to better be able to evaluate their own ideas to reach a conclusion but also allows students to have a game plan before they begin to determine their project.
    In terms of applications in my own classroom, I do wish there were more examples of what these steps look like in a middle school setting within the chapter because I am struggling to think of what this step may look like for future projects. However, if I go back and think about projects my students have already completed this school year, I think this brainstorming process would have been much more helpful. My students studied the growing water crisis in the Middle East, specifically the causes of this crisis and then also examined which solutions they think would work best to solve this problem. When students were given the project, they researched the causes of the issues, and then I gave them a list of solutions they could pick from along with sources that went along with said solutions. In the future, I would give the students time to brainstorm their own solutions to the problem, then I could provide them with the resources to help their research afterwards.

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  58. I really like how the book breaks down the brainstorming process. I personally do not feel that it is necessary to take quite that many steps. I suppose if you have been alive as long as I have you learn your own technique for everything including brainstorming. One of my favorite tools is the color changing bic pen when I am jotting down notes. It allows me to easily change colors and categorize ideas roughly on paper. I also tend to use different forms of layouts such as idea web's and lists. After I have decided what my objective is I highlight the most important and re-fine. I believe choosing what media I will use to present is very important. Just as I have my own process of doing things so does each student. That is why I leave the brainstorming techniques up to them. This allows their creative process to flow much more easily and establish what works for them through practice. If someone is struggling I try to give suggestions.

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  59. I loved the authors ideas on brainstorming in more non-traditional ways to get all kids included in the process. This is so important at any age that kids feel part of the overall project and process. I also like the suggestion on using webs to help kids see connections between different ideas as they navigate through their thoughts.

    I remember one of the teachers I used to teach with in the room next door who had a huge sign in her room that said, "Everything is connected!" I didn't really agree quite as much with this statement at first, but the more I taught the more I realized how true this statement is.
    I went to a liberal arts college, so we constantly talked about the connections between different subject areas in many ways, but it wasn't until I started teaching that I realized myself how many connections there are between so many different things that we learn and do. Furthermore, my brightest students were the ones who were able to see connections in even the most random areas that I never thought of myself. Nevertheless, his ideas on making these connections I found very interesting. :)

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  60. I am in the process of putting a poster up with the PARTS Framework so I have it to reference when giving assignments that require brainstorming, specific roles, etc. I am hoping this will help the students in all classes and grades on their educational journey.

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    1. Let's take this one step farther, Kari. Have you considered this as something that could be placed in the view of the entire school? I could see it being useful in all areas of the middle and high school!

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  61. Middle School students present their own unique challenges, especially when it comes to brainstorming in large groups. Peer pressure, acceptance, and compliance to group standards often inhibit my students' participation in classroom activities. Being unique in their thoughts or actions weighs heavily on their minds - they do not want to stand out!

    Before group brainstorming sessions, I think it is brilliant to have students do individual brainstorming. It would help them to get their own thoughts flowing freely.

    Creating a classroom environment where students are not afraid to try new things (where they have no fear of failure) is the utmost priority for me. It assures that my learning goals for my students can and will be met effectively and efficiently. The idea of placing students into groups and having one group member shift to a different group or having students round robin into other groups allows students to share ideas and avoids "groupthink". These thoughts had never occurred to me before reading this chapter.

    I love the quote in the book about divergent thinking:
    "The best brainstorming happens when students engage in divergent thinking...[the] process of seeing multiple options and viewing solutions in different ways...what happens when you find connections between things that initially seem disconnected...what happens when you find unconventional uses for a specific item."

    Navigating through ideas in large group discourse causes innovation and inventiveness to occur, which is our goal in the LAUNCH process. I will use many of these suggestions in my classroom strategies.

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    1. I really liked that quote too.

      I think that Launch projects will really help students learn how to effectively collaborate with others which is essential in the working world.

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  62. Yay! This is the first chapter that didn’t start with an exact example of what I was doing wrong (or not the best practice for creativity I mean) in the classroom. I feel like I approach the brainstorming process very closely to how John describes it. While I certainly have fallen into the trap of sometimes doing a traditional class brainstorm when short on time, I almost always start with a “Think, Pair, Share.” I absolutely agree that isolation, partner or small group, and large group brainstorming are essential for everyone to participate in their own way, to get as many diversified ideas as possible.

    One thing that I don’t do, however, and an idea I absolutely love is to have students not just START with individual brainstorming, but to also come BACK for individual reflection after discussing with others. I also think that I do a good job or moving students around, changing their physical environment and working with diversified groups. However, one modification that seems easy enough would be to try multiple visual methods; I tend to go back to some of the easy tried and true traditional methods, and I would love to find new and exciting ways to brainstorm thoughts and organize ideas.

    One thing I find very interesting is the discouragement of a timer. I absolutely understand the idea that it could make students panic and then lack creativity; however, at the same time, especially depending on the age group, a time structure might be necessary as long as it is plenty of time.

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  63. Something I am guilty of is putting a time limit on brainstorming. It is hard to give kids days or weeks to brainstorm for a projects when you have other curriculum to get through, but I can see why having time limits would limit the creative process.

    Next time I have my kids brainstorm, I will give them the whole period or however much time they need. I will also try the technique of having students brainstorm in isolation before putting them in groups to discuss ideas. This will help the introverts feel more confident.

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    1. I agree- I will admit to rushing the process. I think some of this depends on the curriculum design of the district you work in as well. I remember feeling so rushed to "get through it all" that creative work was hard to fit in, and that is a shame.

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  64. I love the idea of brainstorming. Students don't seem to know how to put their ideas on paper anymore or they get caught up in negative thinking. They assume they do not have any good ideas and that they are all dumb. One of the things I liked about this chapter was is communicating to students that there were no dumb ideas. I try to encourage creativity on projects but sometimes students are stuck in a rut and/or don't want their others to know their ideas. They think their ideas are inferior to others. I think emphasizing this particular point would be beneficial.

    Another thing I liked in the steps to brainstorming was to have a more specific topic for the brainstorming than just the general topic of the project or unit. It will help student to narrow down their brainstorming and keep things more relevant.

    Being in a secondary building, time is limited. It is hard to not time parts of a class such as the brainstorming. This is an area where I think I could do better. Some students get anxious just knowing the timer is ticking.

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  65. I really like the idea of having students brainstorm in isolation first. I tend to do brainstorming as an entire class, and now that I reflect on that technique, I can think of instances when students were unwilling to share their ideas either because they are introverts or they feared being laughed at for one of their responses. If I give them time to brainstorm in isolation, they will be more likely to share when we continue to brainstorm in a group. I think I could modify this process by using an online platform called canvas. We use canvas at our school to post assignments, projects, have classroom online discussions, etc. I think I could use canvas to have students brainstorm in isolation. They would be required to post, but could do it either in the classroom or from home. This would allow all students to have a voice. We could then continue to brainstorm the next day in class. I am excited to try this in my classroom.

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