We started off our brainstorming with the "Bad Idea Factory" again. We believe that this is such a great way to break the current mold of how students think about brainstorming and coming up with ideas. Kids have been so trained to think and do things the "teacher way".
The idea is that the students put up ANY idea they come up with: the good, the bad and the ugly! We want them to realize that brainstorming is a messy process and sometimes it is just about putting ideas out there and seeing what sticks. We want them to feel comfortable sharing any and all ideas, realizing that even good or great ideas come from bad ideas. This is just the brainstorming process and nothing, we say, NOTHING, should be perfect about this process. It should be messy, creative, organic, even inspiring. We want kids to put up every idea that comes to mind without fear of judgement. You never know what idea will take off or even inspire another student to come up an idea of their own.
We use this lesson to help our students break down the current paradigm of the traditional school model where teachers tell students what to do, they do it (all in the exact same way) and turn it in. We want to see our students' creativity, thoughts and aspirations. Our favorite phrase: It is amazing what kids can accomplish if we just get out their way.