Creativity in the American classroom is almost as extinct as the dinosaurs. Standardized tests have handcuffed teachers, and forced them to teach within a government sponsored framework that the students must learn. In my classroom I attempt to have the students be creative by having them think of reasons as to why historical events happen. For example instead of telling the students why communism is unpopular, I have them figure it out. I also stress to them that there is no wrong answer, and that I prefer them to be original than historically correct for that given activity.
Creativity is thwarted in much of my class. This is the case because the students have to pass a test both to get a good grade in the class, but a statewide star test at the end of the year. This limits my ability to have my students philosophize about freedom, and their lives. However the students do have ample opportunity to collaborate with their peers.
In my class the students break into groups of two on a daily basis for think, pair, share time. This time is for them to collaborate, and come up with the best possible idea for the class. Information literacy is also greatly supported in my class.
For every unit of study my students have to learn vocabulary word. These vocabulary words help increase the academic literacy of my students. To enforce some creativity, the students have to make a link with the vocabulary word and their lives. One literacy that is left out in my class is media literacy. Due to the lower socio Economic standing of many of my students, we cannot explore technology that the students do not have a t home.
Technology is seldom used because of a lack of access for my students at home. One place it is used is to communicate with parents via email. This can be problematic for the parents who do not know how to speak English, or do not have computer access.
Students are however taught to be independent this is done by making them responsible for their assignments even if they are late. The students can make up assignments late if they are willing to put the time in and be responsible to approach me after class to make up the missed work.