Creativity is a major component in my classroom. I try to have the students do activities that engage multiple areas of their brains. The majority of the creative aspects of the class is through the use of drawing and coloring pictures on posters or graphic organizers. The main reason I like to assign these is that it engages a different part of the students brains and creating a visual representation for a concept can help many students to further their own understanding. Many students will be able to understand a concept from a picture more than from text or lecturing.
The promotion of critical thinking is also an ever present aspect of my classroom. Students are often asked to analyze a historical document or answer a critical or persuasive prompt. My CT and I believe in the importance of developing life skills within the classroom and the use of document analysis and critical writing are things that the students are going to need to know for life.
We use discussion, communication and collaboration on a near daily basis. I teach World History, which is a social science; the key description of the subject is that it is "social." The use of discussion is of dire importance because open discussion and collaborative learning is, in my opinion, how a society will learn and grow. Furthermore, it is statistically proven that students learn at a much higher rate by participating in discussions, rather than with lectures and taking notes.