"Take Out Your Magic Markers!"
My opening-day handout makes it mandatory for students to carry magic markers to class.
Why are magic markers good educational practice -- even with high school and college students?
a) Color excites the mind. The markers give students art to look at and art to create.
b) They ask students to invest in their work. "Aesthetics count!" I like to say."Make it look good."
c) It's so flexible: It positively impacts everything from notes in class to study sessions to projects meant for submission.
d) Color is inspiring.
e) Color emphasizes creation - artistic creation.
f) It changes everything. It makes my classroom the special place where art and creativity are recognized, taught, and encouraged.
My former student Alexia was nice enough to send me this reflection on how color continues to impact her academic life - even at college:
"I recall several days of class in which I would walk in and Mr. Weinstein would give us a prompt for a mindmap, such as 'People who deserve a Thank You' or 'My Goals.' After we all doodled and scribbled to our hearts’ desires, everyone stated something listed or drawn on their mindmaps. From there, ideas evolved. The unique exercise of mindmapping is so memorable not only because I still use mindmaps today to sort thoughts out, but also because they encourage organization, creativity, and appeal in pieces."