Skills that Last a Lifetime – “WIGGLE”

Corey Shuffle

Whether it was through a book or TV, any exposure to a military aircraft, train, or Star Wars would trigger one of my favorite sounds of my son’s childhood, something we affectionately called the “Corey Shuffle.” Without saying a word to us, we would begin to hear it. Scratch, scratch, scratch, shuffle, shuffle, click, click. Those were the sounds of the search and rescue operation of Lego pieces from the several crates we collected over the years.

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This cycle of sounds would continue, often for hours, until he emerged from the room with an amazing creation. He would then embark on a detailed explanation of the function of each part of this creation.

We are examining Qi Skills proposed by Dr. Laura Jana. This blog will address the “WIGGLE” Skill. [For an introduction to Dr. Laura Jana’s Qi Skills, please visit the introductory blog in this series]

Anyone who has observed an infant knows they explore their surroundings with all five senses. Their eyes are wide open, their hands are outstretched, and their mouth is prepared to accept whatever they can reach. And then when we get to school, we are told we need to the wiggles out before we can begin to learn. When we arrive at the workplace, we begin to recognize the value of action again. We call people movers and shakers, praise them for reaching for the stars, and love the taste of victory. The Qi Skill of “WIGGLE” is absolutely necessary as an adult. “WIGGLE” is both physical and intellectual restlessness.

How to inspire “WIGGLE” in the classroom?

There are many strategies to encourage “WIGGLE” in the classroom, however, I am going to focus on the “Design Thinking” strategy as it engages both the intellectual and physical restlessness with applications in the classroom, manufacturing and the office.


Students are engaged in listening to the voices of those who face the challenge to be resolved. It means truly setting aside immediate assumptions to gain a better understanding of others involved.

Define the problem

As they have gained an understanding of the challenge to be met, students identify as a specific problem by defining it in the simplest possible terms.


With a clear problem to solve, the students can brainstorm solutions allowing all ideas to be discussed and listed. The individual strengths of the group members provide multiple perspectives.


The students must choose which idea or combination of ideas to plan and develop. This is an opportunity to move from idealism to reality as they consider the assets they have available. “Do we need to build something new?” “Do we have to bring others into agreement?” “What skills do each of us have to create this?”


Students, then, must test their prototype in a real-life setting to determine if the defined problem is being resolved in the process.


This aspect is essential to problem-solving and critical thinking. In many ways, the students are actually giving themselves a final exam. “Did the prototype solve the defined problem? Completely or partially?” “Did those to whom they listened at first benefit from the prototype.” “Did this solution create a new problem to be solved?”

Design Thinking integrates the seven Qi Skills of “ME,” “WE, “WHY,” “WILL,” “WIGGLE,” “WOBBLE,” and “WHAT IF” in preparing young people to face the workplace challenges of our rapidly changing world.


Dam, R., & Siang, T. (2018, June). 5 stages in the design thinking process. Retrieved August 2018, from Interaction Design Foundation:

Elmore, T. (2018, July 12). How to Launch “Design Thinking” in Your Classroom or Home. Retrieved from Growing Leaders:

Jana, L. (2017). The toddler brain. Boston: Da Capo Press.