Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creative Thinking and Problem Solving

A few months ago Darren Kuropatwa suggested an activity as part of the Powerful Learning Practice. In his words, the activity was going to be "something along the lines of" Presentation Tennis.

Specifically, here is what Darren asked us to do.
We will collaboratively create a 20 slide presentation (not counting the title slide) called "Teaching Well". 20 slides in 10 pairs of contrasts: "Teaching well is more like < slide 1 > than it is like < slide 2 >." or however else you want to create contrast.

Each day one slide is added to the deck that builds on those that came before. The final 4-6 slides must bring the presentation to some sort of close.

The collaboration continues after the deck is done. The completed slide deck will be uploaded to as a "Master Deck". To view our final project, click here

Time to Model

I was so impressed by the results of that activity that I decided to adopt the strategy and use it in my 8th grade computer class. The goal of the activity was to have each student develop a slide(a few made 2)that depicts what it means to be a creative problem solver. They were required to have an image and a quote that would assist them in depicting what constitutes creative thinking and problem solving. To view the slideshow, please click here.

I hope you enjoy my students' perceptions on this topic.


dkuropatwa said...

Hey Hiram! This is fantastic! Slides 10 and 14 are my hands down faves.

You really got them thinking here:
- find a relevant quotation to use
- find an engaging picture
- use only cc licensed images and cite properly
- all the while thinking about the overall theme of creative problem solving.

You inspire me ... thinking about how to bring this idea into my math classes in a meaningful way ...

"Factoring Well?"

Nah. Gotta think some more. ;-)

Hiram Cuevas said...


Thank you for your kind words.

The activity you developed is certainly a powerful mechanism for understanding the perceptions our students have for a wide variety of concepts.

I've also been considering using this format to elicit responses from students about controversial issues.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is a fantastic idea that can be explored in so many ways! A real positive twist on using powerpoint to pull good pedagogy into Creative Commons enabled online learning! Fabulous - thanks for sharing.

SCMorgan said...

I love this idea, Hiram. Do you mind if I steal it for my ninth-graders? I'm thinking of doing something similar for Frankenstein...

Hiram Cuevas said...


Steal away, but I stole it from Darren first. :-)

Please share your results with the Frankenstein piece. I am interested to see what your students will create.

Anonymous said...

Good post on "Creative Thinking and Problem Solving".

karim - Positive thinking

Hiram Cuevas said...


Thank you for your comment.


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