In a classic example of “old habits die hard” I still read business blogs despite having not worked in private industry for five years. One of the blogs I read had an interesting post about effective brainstorming strategies. While the post is targeted to managers in private business there is a lesson for teachers and school administrators too.
Here are two great reminders or tips about effective brainstorming from Masternewmedia.org that apply to brainstorming sessions regardless of setting. 1. “Encourage diagrams, stick figures (2-D), mock-ups and models (3-D).” This tip is very appropriate for teachers leading a brainstorming session with students. Most students despise taking notes, but ask them to draw a diagram or picture about a topic and they’ll engage in the brainstorming process. 2. “Warm up if the group are new to each other or don’t regularly brainstorm or likely to be distracted by other pressing matters.” Warm-up activities help ease students into the activity and overcome concerns about how their ideas will be received by others. Warm-up activities also have a team building effect which encourages collaboration.
Courtesy of Bioteams.com here are some things not to do when leading a brainstorming session.
Here are two great web resources for creating interactive graphic organizers your students can use to record brainstorming sessions.