I don't really like to advertise on my blog, but when I find something useful, I want other people to know about it too. I bought a copy of this book by Taro Gomi while I was in New York City for a vacation, and I painted in it with my portable watercolour set on the plane ride back to Australia. The people on the plane must have thought I was really 'special', but I found it helped pass the time, and kept me somewhat sane.
I have been really inspired by the pages in this book. Unlike the average colour-in-book, this book helps you to think outside the box and gives some direction to your creativity. As a teacher, this is what I try to do for my students - to give them some guidance, but allow them to create something that is truly their own. It is important to me that my students not produce work that looks like a carbon copy (or in these days photocopy!) of everyone else in the class.
Combining the ideas of 'exploring creativity' and 'maintaining sanity', I set up a CREATION STATION in my classroom. It is really just a table with some watercolour paints, some crayons and some creative colour-in sheets. When students have been working well, or when I just feel like treating someone to something special, I invite them to the CREATION STATION while the rest of us continue as normal. For 20 minutes or so, they are free to get creative and use a different part of their intellect.
So far it has been working really well, and the kids have been loving their chance in the CREATION STATION. It's a simple reward, costs me nothing, and has benefits for all of us.