Creativity and curiosity are dear to my heart, and I was encouraged by the large number of ideas offered in this book, especially the variety of sizes: quick ideas to implement immediately as well as big ideas to build the whole year around. If you’re new to thinking about how to bring creativity into your classroom, this book will bring you up to speed on many concepts in the field and give you structure for incorporating creativity into teaching.
Many times, as teachers of gifted students, our biggest need is materials designed for our most advanced learners. Frequently, we need to provide them with in-depth, independent work. Our textbooks, however, never cater to this population. We’re left to develop our own projects, which may take weeks to prepare and years to tweak.
Smith uses his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology to target gifted students’ unique thinking processes. Units are designed for deep exploration with many avenues of thought. All projects are based on ill-structured problems, with no “right answers.” He also runs his district’s enrichment program, so the units are designed for busy teachers. Each unit is structured into step-by-step, daily lessons (even including homework ideas!).