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Category Archives: Communicates to Inspire

Emotions in the Classroom

Helping students navigate their emotions in their world is important to success throughout the school year as well as life.

Research shows that when teachers help students learn to manage their feelings during the school day, they become better problem solves and communicators when involved in an emotional issue. They are also better able to engage in the learning environment. 

In an age where the media and medical organizations are saying that teens (and even younger) are stressed out, overly anxious or even depressed, there needs to be opportunities for them to recognize and manage their emotions in a healthy way.

Watch this engaging, informative and unforgettable TED Talk by psychologist and author Susan David:

Dr. David offers 4 steps in teaching children how to work through negative emotions. They are feel it, show it, label it and watch it go.

FEEL IT

Validate the emotion instead of saying “don’t be _____”.

SHOW IT

Accept any emotion instead of using expressions like ‘boys don’t cry’. We are humans, not robots and our feelings make us honest with ourselves.

LABEL IT

Ask students, ‘how do you think (this person) is feeling?’ Teacher them to understand what is fear, panic, resentment, etc. Look at facial expressions, body placement.

WATCH IT GO

All emotions have value, but they will also pass. Give examples of what an emotion feels like and then what it feels like after it passes and what was done to help it pass.

When experiencing similar emotions in another situation, Dr. David says ask ‘who do you want to be in this situation?’ and ‘what’s important to you about this?’ Students will feel stronger as they start to learn that it is not how they feel that is important, but HOW THEY RESPOND to the feeling that makes the difference. Show students how to use emotion rather than be used by it – ‘what’s the function (of the specific emotion)?’

Literature for the Classroom

Book Riot has a great list of 23 Children’s Books About Emotions for young’ens. For teens, check out Epic Reads 10 Young Adult Books Guaranteed to Give You All the Feels.

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Summer Break!

brown wooden dock over body of water

Photo by Vincent Albos on Pexels.com

Summer break – my time to catch up around the house with gardening, cleaning, visiting, vacationing and maybe even sleep in (just a little). It is also a time for me to recharge and reflect. You won’t see me blogging until the end of August. My twitter and instagram accounts are much more active so feel free to follow those!

 

What’s Your Type?

Adobe just released this great interactive survey for people to find out their Creative Type. The 15 question survey assesses your overall habits and tendencies (how you think, act and see the world) and hones in to help you better understand your creative side.

We know that personality types are not just in one category or another, yet I see this survey a great one for teams or even students to get a better understanding of their creative potential as an individual (and if you do it and share with team, how it can used in that instance).

Here’s my Creative Type according to the survey:

Thoughts:

  • the strengths and potential section are bang on
  • I like the middle column where it further explains my Adventurer Type (in work).
  • I’ll be asking my work colleagues to complete it to see where their Creative Types land. It will be interesting to see if there is an Artist amongst us and do I already collaborate closely with them?
  • Read more about the scientific study of the creative process and the creative personality via the Adobe Create Magazine April edition.

Go ahead, I dare you to take 10 minutes (or less) to complete your Creative Type survey.

 

Finding Meaningful Connections with Each Other

In a 24/7 world, thanks to technology, we need to remind ourselves that we all have a lot in common. We just do not notice it. In the classroom or on a school staff, take time to develop relationships. Add it to scheduled meetings, events, activities, lessons, etc. There are a number of protocols and frameworks available and I will list some of my favorites below. Check out TV Danemark and how they created meaningful connections (bring a tissue).

 

  • Student Perspective from LearnAlberta Inclusive Ed Library is filled with Interest Inventories and Surveys for the classroom but could be easily adapted for adults. From this information, appeal to their interests and use it throughout lessons, morning greetings, etc. These items can be templated online in a Google Doc or via a Google Form. A class shared Google Slide with one slide per student can also share interests and thoughts for the whole class to check out.
  • Say HELLO and GOODBYE to every student every day – this is the simplest yet most important personal connection teachers can make. Watch how a Kansas teacher does secret handshakes:

  • Let students inside your world – tell stories about your own family sprinkled throughout lessons and conversations. This makes teachers more relatable and accessible. Create a bulletin board, share photos add to the class blog or newsletter, whatever you are comfortable with.
  • Use critical thinking frameworks like Inquiry-pacs, Tools for Thought, Critical Challenges, Picture Setys, History Docs, etc. from The Critical Thinking Consortium to have students involved in the thinking, learning, discussion, not just the teacher.
  • Guide students with TRUST. Discuss what it means to be trustworthy, how we earn trust and how we can break it. Chart this out, review it, create posters. It is a powerful word. For instance, if a student has acted inappropriately on the playground, a teacher can say “I trusted you to act kindly on the playground and you broke that trust” and then work with the student in regaining that trust from their classmates.
  • Kagan Structures also provide great protocols. Take a read about using them for Emotional Intelligence and another regarding Silly Sports and Goofy Games.
  • Check out Huddle’s blog about the four main types of building activities – Communication, Problem Solving, Adaptability and Trust – and the activity write-ups. You will surely find one or two for you.

Robert J. Marzano has written widely that “the most powerful message from the research is that relationships are a matter of student perception” and really that “it’s what teachers DO that dictates how students perceive those relationships”.

And, don’t forget your colleagues! Create relationship building moments throughout the year, take a brain break and visit, share family or class stories. Join the #ObserveMe movement where you invite people into your classroom.

 

Take 30 Days to Challenge Yourself

Goals. Challenges. The New Year. A new semester. A new month. The start of the week. Each of these begs our senses to think about a re-start or a fresh start. One way to get into a habit of doing something, is to establish a 30 day challenge.

Check out what Matt Cutts says about this in his TED Ed talk:

Here are a few 30 day challenges that you or your colleagues may want to take on sometime throughout the year:

And there are even more to improve your health, fitness level, relationships, etc. (My goal was to share educationally/professionally based challenges.) If you are looking for other ideas, check out these books:

What kind of challenges have you taken on? Which were successful? Which would you like a do-over?

 

#oneword2019 – MAKE

Ahh, a new year has now started and I am releasing my #oneword2019. This is something that I have enjoyed choosing and thinking about over the past few years.

After eight years, I changed office spaces and in my new office (image below), I had the words MAKE IT HAPPEN put up. (Our wonderful and creative Admin Assistant in Learning Services made the letters for me.) They sit above my standing desk (you can see the “happen” sneaking in at the top of the panoramic photo. These words remind me of the supports, services and the learning that I provide and experience in order to move our important educational work forward of Student Success and Wellness (PSD70 2018-19 Ed Plan).

So, whatever I will do over the next many months, I want to remember that I can MAKE it happen, MAKE it real, and MAKE it matter.

This #oneword activity for the New Year is not just for adults! Check out the One Word Google Slides activity that @meredithakers created that I am sharing with teachers.

Go to the ONE WORD Collaborative Slides Activity link to get started with your students! You can even print the slides in color and post them in your classroom or hallway, what about in a staffroom if staff want to share their one word? Lots of possibilities.

See my:

#oneword2018

#oneword2017

#oneword2016

 

Greetings That Make Your Day

We all want to be recognized, valued or noticed during the day. Whether we are at work, home or out in the community. At a recent sporting event, I was so enamored and excited at the musical greeting we got, it reminded me of the importance that greetings can have on a person’s emotional state and their readiness to engage in the work or event.

Here is the greeting I spoke about:

Doesn’t it make you feel good? You want to be there, you want to be part of the moment.

Check out a few of the educational greetings examples that I have scoured the internet or my archives for and see how you could start greeting your students or how they could learn to greet each other.