Creativity News - Volume 7, Number 3 (11/03/2013)

Creativity Is for Everyone

Creativity can happen anywhere, anytime.  It’s likely that we let a lot of creativity slip through our fingers simply because we’re not watching for it. 

The October ASCD Newsletter urges us to design a creative environment where creativity can flourish without being trapped.   Here are some of the ways to coax creativity from your team members:

  • Brainstorm! Generate as many ideas as possible without judgment.
  • Change your environment to stimulate ideas.
  • Expose students to different cultures to explore different perspectives
  • Think visually by organizing your ideas within the context of your challenge
  • Encourage creative synthesis by exploring different ideas to possible conclusions
  • Use technology to bring your ideas to life.
  • Draw connections to unrelated ideas to give them richer and unexpected meaning.

Destination Imagination meetings are the place to record creativity to make sure your team can use it when they need it. Team Managers you can act as the team’s secretary to keep notes, pictures and videos as the team starts generating and exploring ideas.  Your records of their process will allow them to revisit ideas again and again as they move toward their challenge solution.

Host Creativity Events

While not everyone wants to be on a Destination Imagination team many people enjoy participating in an evening where their creativity is challenged.  A fun evening for the entire family or teams of schoolmates can be a good way to awareness about Destination Imagination and a fundraiser for your program. You can either design your own Instant Challenges for your event or download games for a  Destination Imagination Family Game Night from Think Fun. Many of these games use common household materials. DI teams that host one of these Family Game nights have a chance to win a set of games from Think Fun.

Setting Team Ground Rules

Great teams learn to identify weaknesses and store their strengths for future problem solving.  Your team needs to be able to work as a unit and that means being able to tell each other when things are going exceptionally well and when things are falling apart. 

Have your team talk about how they will talk to each other respectfully at all times. Beyond that, talk to your team about how they might be able to talk honestly to each other during debriefing. 

  • Team members need to be able to separate what they like and dislike about how they are working as a team from what they like and dislike about each other. This means that as individuals they need to develop “thick skin.”  Explain that the team can’t improve if the members can’t talk about strategies that worked and those that didn’t. 
  • Personal put downs and/or favoritism are never conducive to good team building and problem solving.  Have your team members talk about the kind of language they will use to make the distinction between constructive criticism and put downs. Also talk about why it is not a good strategy to hold back constructive criticism to teammates who are close friends.  
  • Develop a policy of throwing away the garbage and storing the treasures in the vault. There is no need to relive a bad experience unless it shows up again.  However, before starting a new challenge you might want to remind the team of the treasures in vault. This will start them in a positive mode with tools they developed to build on.

Stay tuned for more debriefing tips as your team grows this tournament season.

Tournament Registration and Dates

The online tournament registration form is available on the Montana Destination ImagiNation Website.  Make sure you create a log-in before trying to register your team.  Don’t forget to register your appraiser(s) too. 

Regional tournaments will be at the end of February and beginning of March.  The Affiliate Finals will be March 22, 2014 in Manhattan.

Alumni Spotlight

Robyn Ostahowski is a Registered Nurse on the surgical floor in Billings MT.  She enjoys outdoor sports year round.  Robyn participated in DI for 4 years.  Her team placed 7th at Global Finals in the Improv Challenge. 

Robyn felt that DI was a great extra curricular activity.  It helped her to learn to think on her feet and be creative.  She also said DI helped her to learn to be both a strong leader and a good team member, characteristics she has continued to use through college and in nursing. She would recommend DI to all students because it is fun, challenging, rewarding and teaches all participants important life skills. DI was something she looked forward to doing each year.

We’re always interested in hearing about any alumni stories, successes, and achievements! We would like to spotlight Montana Alum.  Their stories help tell the DI story! Tell us what your alumni are doing now. Send your stories to montanacq@mt-di.org

Team Manager Tip

Start every meeting on a high note.  Ask each team member to share the best thing that has happened to them over the past week.  This exercise forces students to relive something positive that will put their brain in the mood to participate and learn throughout the meeting. It also helps team members understand what makes each other happy which is essential for teamwork success. For more insight to happiness and success check out this funny and inspiring 12 minute “Ted Talk.” http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html

Team Building Activity: 

RAILROADIn an open area, use tape, chalk, or Carpet squares to make a railroad with 7 spaces, Line up 6 members of the team in groups of 3 with the groups facing each other? with an empty space in between. (see diagram)The two groups then attempt to switch positions, following these rules:1. No one may pass a teammate from his/her group of three, When the Challenge is completed, each threesome will be in the order in which they began.2, A person may move into an open space immediately in front of him/her.3. Backward moves are not allowed.4. A person may not step around someone from the opposite threesome to move into an open space.5. Only one person out of the entire group should be moving at a time.6. Stepping around a group of two or more people from the opposite threesome to reach an open space is not allowed1t may require several attempts before: solving the Challenge. Younger students may become frustrated while trying to solve the Challenge. 

Instant Challenge:

Fit for a PresidentChallenge: Your task is to make the perfect “political” sandwich for the president.Time: You will have 5 minutes to use your IMAGINATION to create a PERFORMANCE in which a “political” sandwich is fed to a president who is starving for something “good” to eat, and up to 3 minutes to present your performance.The Scene: It’s the day before the election and the President is watching the returns. He suddenly realizes that he is both starving and desperate for some good political news. His aide calls the DI Political Catering Company to whip up something fast and bring it right over. What are you going to serve? This is your chance to win a “culinary landslide!”Materials:• 1 paper bag, 1 block of clay, 4 ping pong balls, 1 roll of masking tape, 6 rubber bands, 2 paper plates, 6 mailing labels, 6 color markers (may not be used as part of the performance)Scoring: You will receiveA. Up to 40 points for the creativity of the sandwichB. Up to 30 points for the creativity of the performanceC. Up to 20 points for how well your team works togetherUsed with permission from Students for a Creative Iowa.  http://www.cre8iowa.org