In addition to releasing a multitude of feature length films, Pixar has also become known for its short films. These “shorts” provide the Pixar team an opportunity to try out various techniques and problem solve outside of the pressure of creating a feature length film. The Pixar team is able to take risks and find solutions to problems that they can then take into their full-length productions.
Students also need to be able to take risks in the classroom, and should be encouraged to solve problems within the classroom. When solving math problems, I encouraged multiple answers by students. Some of the solutions were incorrect, but led the class to a correct answer. I would never simply say “wrong” to a solution, but always ask the class why the solution would not lead us to the correct answer. This would put a focus on “wrong” answers as a means to a solution. In this way, students were not afraid to try a different solution, knowing that they could take a risk in finding a solution.
Figure out where students can try out different techniques and strategies in your classroom, without fear of failure. Provide them with an opportunity to create a “short.”