Creative Learning for Kids

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There is a new place to look for drama news. I’m writing a book about creative learning with students on my new website, Creative Teacher Librarian.

Drama remains one of the things I love most about teaching but I also have a life-long interest in creativity and brain-based learning. My new website gathers useful, easy-to-use activities to foster creativity. Visit me there for regularly updated free content, including activities and ideas to inspire and stimulate learning.

After a year-long self-funded sabbatical I am returning to teaching with renewed energy. Over the course of the 2014-2015 school year,  I will share my ongoing discoveries, as well as past experience writing, directing and producing school plays, creating videos with students, writing a collaborative book with students, ebook publishing, making a yearbook as a student club and creating a podcast. There will be a focus on classroom teaching,  librarianship, media literacy, gifted education, and teaching French and English as  Second Languages.

I hope Creative Teacher Librarian will be useful to educators, community leaders, parents looking for creative projects to do with kids. Sign up for my newsletter to receive exclusive content such as activities, resources and articles.

Maaja

“KNOWN TO POLICE” by NOMANZLAND at Young People’s Theatre JUNE 15-17

Today I heard an interview about “Known to Police.” It’s real community theatre, not because the venue isn’t professional, it is, but because it is by and for the  community it depicts. It’s not a kind of theatre I would feel qualified to create, but I admire its goals, stated today’s CBC interview: humanizing and giving voice to neighbourhood youth in  violent situations. Click the link for more info:

“KNOWN TO POLICE” a play created by NOMANZLAND hits the MAINSTAGE at Young People’s Theatre JUNE 15-17.

Post-show blues cure: Make an eBook of Script or Screenplay

Have you ever felt post-show letdown? No matter how appreciated a stage play is on opening night, once it’s over,  pretty soon it feels like it never happened. The post-show blues used to be an inevitable part of theatre but I’ve found a solution. Publish your original script and share it with your cast.

This goes against common advice. Commercial publishers are not interested in plays, we are told. They don’t sell. Only dramatists with big production credits need apply. What’s a creative educator to do? 

One route is to experiment with Smashwords (easy) and Kindle (harder to format). With epublishing, it will cost you effort rather than money and it will give your actors a lasting souvenir. This year, for example, it’s taken me some time to get the formatting right for my play, “The Fiendish Plot of Doctor Cyclone.” Fortunately, by spending a few late nights figuring out how to use Sigil for Mobi file conversion and the Smashwords ‘Meatgrinder,’ I’m finished by the end-of-June deadline. I’m giving this years’ grade eight grads and former cast members a Smashwords coupon for a free eBook of the screenplay in their choice of epub, Mobi or PDF.

Innovative High School Production of Pride and Predjudice

The Toronto District School Board emphasizes inclusion. This high school production of Pride and prejudice involves more departments and students than any other event on the calendar. Check out the article on the TDSB website here: Pride and prejudice.