Learning Like A Kindergartner



Mitch Resnickargues that the ‘kindergarten approach to learning’ – characterized by a spiraling cycle of Imagine, Create, Play, Share, Reflect, and back to Imagine – is ideally suited to the needs of the 21st century, helping learners develop the creative-thinking skills that are critical to success and satisfaction in today’s society.” 

I’ve spent at least 4 hours today doing just that – imagining what might be, measuring, erasing, thinking, creating with various mediums, playing with watercolor and the rule of thirds, sharing my work and thoughts with my brother, reflecting on the process and product, and imagining what I might do next with this project and others.

I explored and learned about the remarkable, and often surprising, properties of water color. I experimented with wet on wet, wet on dry, overlapping, the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, contrasting colors, tones and hues of the same color, and lots more. It was super fun, and filled with discoveries and learning.


My long creating jaunt made me think of another thing Mitch said GIVE P’S A CHANCE: PROJECTS, PEERS, PASSION, PLAY. (Cracks me up each time I read that title!). But, that reflection will have to wait for another time. I’m starving and need to step away from my play-filled learning, (Or is it learning-filled play?) and find some food!

Rest assured I’ll be thinking of ways to increase this type of learning in my classroom — working my innovator’s mindset — to innovate inside, and outside, the box!




Leading for Creativity with IDEO U

Woo hoo!!! I am officially  an IDEO U student in their Leading for Creativity Course.

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, is one of our instructors, along with many other creatives. Oh, and did I mention there are lots of other creative types from around the globe as my fellow students?

I’ve been craving something like this since the day I finished my Creative Thinking MA, with my cohort, and the fabulous Karl Jeffries, at the University of Central Lancashire.

I’m a combination of mild nervousness and tremendous excitement as I begin working with IDEO U and my fellow learners.

Together we shall …


Yes, that’s my plan — change the world — or at the very least, my little part.



I’m published!!!

WOO HOO!!! My first academic paper is published in the Journal of Creative Education (June 2015). It’s based upon my MA Creative Thinking research.

Here’s all the info:

James, M. (2015) Managing the Classroom for Creativity. Creative Education, 6, 1032-1043. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.610102.

AMAZING to see my name – Molly James – as the author in a research journal. I hope it is the first of many.

Please feel free to join me in a happy dance and a lovely cup of tea!


Then, pop over to Creative Education Journal and take a look at my paper. CE is an open access journal, so you will be able to download and read my paper without the need to subscribe. (YAY!) Here’s the link:

Managing the Classroom for Creativity

It’s a great read – if I do say so myself! My hope is it will help many educators create classroom environments that encourage deep thinking, academic excellence, and creativity.

The blank page

Funny, I have several blank art journals and a good number of them are empty!

I enjoy buying them. I stand in the art paper aisle contemplating the various art journals available. I compare the paper, the journal size and the way it is constructed. I think about the different art medium I want to use in the journal. I happily buy one or two journals, bring them home, and …. don’t fill them with anything!!! LOL!

LOL! I want to do some sort of art but I really like the beautiful piece of paper and cannot bring myself to begin. What is this strange sickness????

Diana Trout, author of Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression quotes Pablo Picasso “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” WOW!!! That’s it! My creativity – the first word, the first line, heck sometimes even the whole thing – feels so destructive to this perfect, beautiful page.

I’m working on it! I have one journal I’m using for poetry and another I’m filling with artwork. I’m breathing through the angst of destruction!

I was inspired by one of Donna’s ideas but was stymied by that blank page. What to do? As I looked around my room I spotted a magazine slated for the recycling bin. I got it! I could use that as a pile of scratch paper.

face magazine pages

It worked GREAT! I used the faces on the page for some sense of proportion, and the fact that the pages were already covered with print and color, and the mag was already going to be junked, gave me a great sense of freedom! I made many, many faces with sharpie marker – trying different weight lines, different shaped features etc etc etc. It wasn’t a big deal if I messed up, I just flipped to a new page and started again. I learned a lot from my practice pages.

I decided to do my final piece with colored pencils instead of sharpies, as I wanted a more muted look. I filled my blank page with words that bring me joy and comfort … and others that were just tangentially related… and then I picked up the grey/black pencil and added the face. I liked it! A bit of color finished it off.

face with words

The most unassuming things are often much more than they seem.

Who knew a magazine – ready for the recycling bin – could hold such power?!?!!!