From November, 2016

Q and A: Mindfulness Session at Grandview Heights Ed Camp

On October 27 (I know; I am late!) I hosted a session for Grandview Heights City Schools titled, “Mindfulness for Teachers: Reducing Stress and Supporting Wholeness.”  Here are a couple of resources and a short Q and A from the session.

First of all, here is the research report, “Teacher Stress and Health: Effects on Teachers, Students, and Schools” from Pennsylvania State University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  This report cited research stating that 46% of teachers reported high levels of daily stress that affected their quality of life and teaching performance.  The report also cites mindfulness and social and emotional learning as two effective interventions for this burdensome stress.

Second of all, I cited the TEDTalk by Matt Killingsworth, “Want to be Happier?  Stay in the Moment” as a resource that supports mindfulness as a tool for increased well-being.  Killingsworth conducted the largest happiness study of its kind through an app that asked three questions that measured “mind wandering,” a mind-state that negatively affects happiness.  The talk is 10 minutes and can be watched below.

Third, you can watch the video on neuroplasticity here on my website under “What is Mindfulness?” and learn more about mindfulness in general from the research provided there.

Lastly here is a Q and A from the event:

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Q and A: Writer’s Workshop at the ESC of Central Ohio

On November 9, I facilitated a Writer’s Workshop at the Educational Service Center.  Below you will find the Q and A and some resources I use for the event.


During the workshop, we defined the importance of environment for the vulnerable work of sharing our writing together. The qualities the group determined were most important were: Courage, Purposefulness, and Respect, affectionately given the acronym CPR.

To begin, here is a link to the Power Point used in the workshop.  In addition, here are other resources you may find helpful:

Also, here are the TEDTalks from Brene Brown on vulnerability and shame that I mentioned.

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Q and A: Socratic Seminar on Civil Discourse

On October 26, I hosted a workshop for teachers who wanted to learn more about implementing Socratic discussion into their classroom.  More on that here.  

They left questions on their exit tickets.  See my responses below. 

Do you have any suggestions for lessons to build skills for the role of “Big Board”?  (This is a student role responsible for summarizing the discussion at half-time and at the end of each daily Socratic discussion.) 

The ability to listen to different perspectives and then objectively synthesize content is a valuable resource for all students.  However, it is definitely a skill that requires higher-order thinking.  In order to build this skill, I might suggest a lesson using a videotaped discussion.  It might look something like this:

  • Introduce the importance of being able to listen to a discussion objectively and synthesize ideas (would love to hear attention grabber ideas here!- Maybe showing a clip from the Presidential debates?)
  • Show a short panel discussion.  Here is one on cyber-bullying that’s 8 minutes.
  • As students watch the video, have them practice taking notes.
  • Share notes with one another in small groups and do the following: 1.) Share the content of each person’s notes and talk about similarities and differences in what each person wrote down 2.) Talk about strategies used to take notes, synthesize ideas, and come up with a list of best practices for note taking 3.) Create one list of the “Big Ideas” from the video to share with the whole class
  • Each group can share out their tips and their “Big Ideas” summary

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