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Back to School: 10 Ways for Teachers & Students to Get Creative in 2022

Want to get creative in the classroom? Here's how teachers and students can make school fun this back-to-school season. 

Posted 30 Sep 2022
Back to School: 10 Ways for Teachers & Students to Get Creative in 2022

It’s that time of the year again: students begin raiding the cool stationery section, and teachers are loading their elaborate lesson plans. Welcome to the back-to-school season of 2022!

After months of just online classes, many schools and universities are calling students back to the old-style classroom. Bustling hallways, packed classrooms, and cheerful lunch tables are sure to raise students’ spirits. So, how about channeling some of that energy into academics, too?

Whether you’re a primary school teacher, a high school teacher, or even teaching a creative online course in your spare time, here are five ways teachers can better engage their students, invigorate their classrooms with creativity, and make learning fun this back-to-school season. 

5 Ways For Teachers to Get Creative in School

Keeping students engaged in the classes can be challenging, especially when the lethargy of study-from-home is still in the air. Here are some ideas to make learning fun.

1. Digital Scavenger Hunt

The mobile phone has become an extended part of every student, whether used for taking virtual classes, sharing notes, or scrolling social media. 

While smartphones have clear negatives, they also have some clear benefits, meaning it doesn’t make sense to take them away altogether. Instead, encourage them to invest their time in productivity apps.

Here’s how to create an app scavenger hunt:

  • Create a PowerPoint presentation to share with your class.
  • Choose a template that isn’t just text. Make it interesting with screenshots of the application or other relevant graphics.
  • Shortlist useful apps to help students budget, choose an optimal student debit card, learn new languages, read, apply for scholarships, etc. Some of the good examples are Duolingo and Evernote.
  • Initiate an open discussion with the class where students can share tips to make the most of the app and talk about their progress

2. Personalized Activity Calendars

Activities and events are an excellent way to boost camaraderie and teamwork among classmates. Planning this carefully for the upcoming months will keep the students excited while giving you ample time to organize things.

How to create a personalized activity calendar:

  • Pick a calendar template and customize it per your requirements. 
  • Separate events to avoid fatigue and chaos. Start with simple ones like poster making, enactment of a historical event, or creating a time capsule.
  • Personalize the calendar by clicking a class photograph at the end of each event. 
  • Share the calendar with the whole class and invite suggestions from them to improve it.

3. Awards For Peers & Students

Everybody loves recognition for their hard work, and even a little gesture of appreciation will motivate them immensely. You can plan to hand out awards to your peers or students to let them know their contributions are valued. 

How to create student or peer awards:

  • Design a certificate of appreciation to hand out as a souvenir.
  • Use inspiring recognition awards that endorse good values among the rest.
  • Keep these awards monthly or quarterly as per your choice.

4. Lesson Plans & Checklists

Nothing is more satisfying than crossing off items on your to-do list. 

Lesson plans and checklists are a great way to get work done without overwhelming your students. These are necessary to ensure students stay organized and up-to-date on crucial information or tasks.

How to create a lesson plan or checklist:

  • Start designing the lesson plan with a template that gives you various data representation formats. It will allow you to present information in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • Use a single-page checklist with all the assignments required to submit in the month. A good checklist is specific, short, and regularly updated.
  • Share these with the students and their parents for better collaboration.
  • You can even create guides for your peers describing a process. For example- create a guide to managing scholarship applicants to improve efficiency among the staff.

5. Quizzes & Academic Trivia Games

If you constantly bombard students with information, it can make it challenging to retain. Handle this problem with style by introducing quizzes or trivia activities to your lessons. 

  • Include trivia in your monthly calendar, so students have adequate time to prepare. Also, share the subject or topic for the trivia. 
  • Keep the trivia exciting by using different question formats. You can use videos, images, and multiple-choice questions with relevant templates. 
  • It’s an exciting way to revise the topics and allow every student to participate actively.

5 Ways For Students to Get Creative in School

As Mary Lou Cook said, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking the rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” And what better place to do this than school? 

Here are some ways for students to broaden their horizons, get creative, and find innovative ways to learn. 

1. Montage of Summer Memories

No one wants summer to end! While you can’t hold on to the warmer months forever, you can undoubtedly compile your most memorable summer moments through a video.

How to create a photo slideshow:

  • You don’t have to be an expert at videography for this. Use an online video template that takes care of the music, frames, and fonts so that you can add your images or videos to it.
  • You can even create a documentary on any subject that interests you. 

2. School Clubs For Boosting Skills

Do you want to learn a new skill or hone your academic or cultural abilities? Creating school clubs is great for bringing like-minded students together to learn.

How to create a school club:

  • Create appealing posters for your event or club to get the audience’s attention.
  • Invite students to join the club and take their suggestions for running it.
  • You can start reading, finance, or a career club, where you can begin by teaching students how to write an effective resume (even without job experience).
  • Focus on life skills to stand out from the other clubs your school might have.

3. Monthly Newsletters

Students love staying updated with what’s happening with their peers, school, and the world around them.

Creating a newsletter summarizing the last month’s events and the upcoming month’s developments is a great way to circulate information.

How to create a newsletter:

  • You can send an email or a physical newsletter, depending on your preference and feasibility. Templates can be a great way to produce these quickly and easily.
  • Share information about the activities that took place in school and what you’ve planned for upcoming weeks.
  • Invite students to share their guest contributions for more engagement.

4. Goal Milestones

Visualizing your goals helps you stay focused, and creating a goal milestone is a perfect way to put your aspirations on paper.

How to create a goals planner:

  • You can use a timeline infographic to align your goals with the time. It will help you boost your productivity.
  • Add the milestones and what exactly you will need to achieve those.
  • Keep your goals SMART- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bounded.

5. Flash Cards For Lessons

Flashcards contain essential information about a topic, making it easier to revise your studied topics. It’s a popular method to retain and reinstate what you have learned. Similarly to the other activities mentioned, you can create flashcards quickly and easily using a template.

How to create flash cards:

  • Use templates that allow you to add data representation for number crunching. You can even use PowerPoint to maintain the collection of all flashcards. If new to it, learn the tips and tricks for effective PowerPoint presentations.
  • You can even distribute it among your friends or divide subjects among the group.

Get Creative this Back-to-School Season

Irrespective of how good your ideas are, you have to bring them to life with creativity. And this is easy with the right tools!

 Envato Elements offers a wide variety of templates to inspire you to create your best work without spending hours searching for ideas. It’s a global platform where thousands of authors regularly upload templates for videos, photos, infographics, cards, music, and images. It’s a goldmine of creative resources for students and big businesses alike. Happy teaching & learning! 

Guest Author: Robert Davis

Robert Davis is the Founder, and President of SmarterSelect, a Dallas, TX-based SaaS company that provides online application management services to scholarship, grant, and award providers such as foundations, universities, corporations, and associations. Before that, he served as President and CEO of network management firms Tavve Software and Oculan. He has served as a VP and General Manager at IBM/Tivoli Systems. Mr. Davis held several executive roles and was one of the first employees with The Tigon Corporation, a $250M telecom startup acquired by Lucent/Avaya. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

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