This goes back to one of the Guiding Principles of the Responsive Classroom approach: How children learn is as important as what they learn. I'm critical of how I have my kiddos practice skills and demonstrate their understanding because I want to ensure that they are always learning and creating in authentic ways. While I incorporate art in my classroom, I try to avoid "craftivities" that don't actually allow students to be creative, use teamwork, or demonstrate genuine learning.
My kiddos share their thinking through jotting in the margins of books (or on post-its), journaling, debating, or discussing. They learn how to write short stories, articles, and letters to share their individual ideas and interests. They sketch and draw to visualize concepts and capture observations. Sure, they also cut and paste into their notebooks, but I try to make sure they are also thinking and writing independently.
|Readers make notes and discuss their books.|
|Scientists record observations of what they find in nature (after a field trip).|
|Mathematicians understand fractions by creating visual representations.|
|Authors share favorites sections from their books.|