Mini Courses IoF 2015

TUESDAY, AUGUST 11

Mobile friendly view of Tuesday's Mini Course abstracts and Presenter bio's here

A Pedagogy of Healing: Education for the Possibility of True Democracy - The Need for Trauma-Informed Practice (Repeated Wednesday)

Carlee Shienfeld, Consultant at Oakland Unified School District
Michele Hamiliton, Co-Owner/Thought Partner of the Pear Tree Preschool

The medical community and society at large have only recently begun to accept the impact of stress and trauma on human development. Our stress responses are tied to how we experience the world, deeply influenced by our place here, and often influenced by our levels of exposure to oppressive systems and/or situations. In this workshop: examine the wide spectrum of responses to stress and trauma; build capacity to identify stress responses in students; and widen the lens on what is required to create safe learning spaces in which all students are able to learn, heal, find and express their creative selves. Reflect on the relationship between your experiences and the experiences of your students — within greater systems — and how those experiences inform your lens on classroom systems and structures, curriculum, and your students.

Is Growth Mindset Enough?

Mary Hurley, Social and Emotional Learning and Leadership Team at Oakland Unified School District

Explore the power, challenges and dilemmas of developing and maintaining growth mindsets for ourselves and our students. Engage in activities and strategies that support a growth mindset in fixed mindset situations. Grapple with how mindset is impacted by culture, race and access to resources.

Self Care 101: Art Making, Storytelling, & Mindfulness for the Busy Educator

Michelle Holdt, Founding Executive Director at Arts Ed Matters
Andrew Nance, Board Trustee of NCTC, Arts Ed Matters and The Mindful Life Project

Are you passionate about your work in education, but sometimes feel overwhelmed? In this hands-on workshop, create a personal and nourishing self-care practice. You will be introduced to some very simple and effective strategies to try at home and with your students. Envision the life you want to be living every day!

Working in the Classroom and Schools Amidst Tragedy and Trauma

Rick Ayers, Assistant Professor in Teacher Education at the University of San Francisco

How do we work with students and within schools when tragedy and trauma strike? This is not an uncommon question. In fact, all teachers deal with it, but there is no professional conversation about it. Explore what kinds of curricular themes help students develop or strengthen social ethics to help them with decision making and empowerment; learn how to contextualize while discussing causes of violence; envision how to build community and work with students for resilience and hope, whilst connecting to parents and families.

Play & the Brain (Repeated Wednesday)

Shirley Brice Heath, Professor, Emerita, English, Linguistics, and Dramatic Literature at Stanford University
Kenneth Wesson, Education Consultant, Neuroscience

Come to the workshop with memories of your own childhood play. Discuss tasks at which you are an absolute expert, and share thoughts about how you gained this expertise. This kind of thinking highlights the critical role of play in the development of the human brain. The development is most critical in the years leading up into our twenties, and also in those years after we have retired from what we think of as our “job.” This session focuses on the importance of having play at the center of our thinking about what goes on as the brain stores skills and information.

Enhance Student Learning through Movement and Theater

Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director at Destiny Arts

Explore fun, practical ways of incorporating movement and theater into academic and enrichment environments with youth of all ages.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12

Mobile friendly view of Wednesday's Mini Course abstracts and Presenter bio's here

A Pedagogy of Healing: Education for the Possibility of True Democracy - The Need for Trauma-Informed Practice (Repeated from Day 1)

Carlee Shienfeld, Consultant at Oakland Unified School District
Michele Hamiliton, Co-Owner/Thought Partner of the Pear Tree Preschool

The medical community and society at large have only recently begun to accept the impact of stress and trauma on human development. Our stress responses are tied to how we experience the world, deeply influenced by our place here, and often influenced by our levels of exposure to oppressive systems and/or situations. In this workshop: examine the wide spectrum of responses to stress and trauma; build capacity to identify stress responses in students; and widen the lens on what is required to create safe learning spaces in which all students are able to learn, heal, find and express their creative selves. Reflect on the relationship between your experiences and the experiences of your students — within greater systems — and how those experiences inform your lens on classroom systems and structures, curriculum, and your students.

Integrating Social Emotional Learning and Academic Content Learning

Carrie Wilson, Executive Director, Mills Teacher Scholars of Mills College School of Education
Daniela Mantilla, Associate Director at Mills Teacher Scholars of Mills College School of Education

What are Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies and how are they connected to academic content learning? How can you use this inherent interconnectedness to strengthen learners’ cognitive and non-cognitive skills? Actively deconstruct a video clip of Bay Area students engaged in an academic discussion, identify the SEL competencies required to be successful in the instructional practice, and build a plan for enhancing an aspect of the instructional routine through attending to students’ SEL competency needs. Consider your own instructional environment and identify the SEL competencies embedded in high leverage instructional practices in your classroom. Leave with a deeper understanding of what SEL and academic content integration looks like, how to integrate SEL competency building with academic learning, and how using video data is a valuable tool for practice improvement through making the process of student learning visible.

Empathy Based Classroom
The following two mini courses are a one of a kind session. Participants join one of two tracks — Empowering the Other or Theater Activities to Build an Empathy-Based Community — benefit from both. At the center of the shared work is the importance of building connections through mindfulness and flexibility. The throughline of this session is that the purpose of public education is to provide an environment that nurtures students’ emotional, social, and intellectual need to grow, mature, and become life-long learners.

Empowering the Other
Ken Klieman, Author at Social Studies School Services

Theater Activities to Build an Empathy-Based Community
Eric Engdahl, Chair, Teacher Education at California State University East Bay

Meeting as a whole for the first 30 minutes, the group will work on how the neurological research on Mirror Neurons applies to real world classroom practice. The groups will then separate. One half will join Ken and delve deeper into the causes behind student behavior and walk away with practical skills to create empathic student-centered learning communities. The other half will join Eric as they explore how to use the skills of Improvisation Theater to build classroom community and apply the practice of Boal’s “Theater of the Oppressed” in education. These tools enhance the four “C’s” of the Common Core State Standards: Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication. Coming back together for the last 30 minutes, participants will share their work and reflect on how to put these skills into practice.
By the end of this session, you will leave with the interpersonal tools to reach your hardest to reach and build community for all students. Additionally, we will offer a self-reflective tool to monitor students’ emotional and cognitive growth that unifies 8 Studio Habits of Mind and Attribution Theory.

Play & the Brain (Repeated from Day 1)

Shirley Brice Heath, Professor, Emerita, English, Linguistics, and Dramatic Literature at Stanford University
Kenneth Wesson, Education Consultant, Neuroscience

Come to the workshop with memories of your own childhood play. Discuss tasks at which you are an absolute expert, and share thoughts about how you gained this expertise. This kind of thinking highlights the critical role of play in the development of the human brain. The development is most critical in the years leading up into our twenties, and also in those years after we have retired from what we think of as our “job.” This session focuses on the importance of having play at the center of our thinking about what goes on as the brain stores skills and information.

Activate Potential: Connecting Cultural Disconnects Activates Children and Families

Eugene Rodriguez, Executive Director at Los Cenzontles

Many teachers aren’t aware of the disconnect between their students’ personal and public lives. Los Cenzontles (LC) is committed to researching, creating and promoting Mexican American songs and stories from the community that reflect a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Through these projects, LC shares solutions for the challenges this community faces using ancestral strengths and strategies that are carried within for generations. We will watch Tata’s Gift, a short animated video that was created to reveal the strengths and assets we carry that help us deal with challenges in our lives, such as bullying. This session will help teachers activate their students’ potential through a fun and engaging presentation.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 13

Mobile friendly view of Thursday's Mini Course abstracts and Presenter bio's here

Tracing Ana Mendieta's 'Siluetas' in the Redwoods

Derek Fenner, Consultant at the Alameda County Office of Education

Reflect on Ana Mendieta’s stance, that “the obsessive act of reasserting my ties with the earth is an objectification of my existence.” Explore land-based performance art inspired by Mendieta’s major work, Siluetas, as we contemplate, observe, trace, compose, and reveal our works to each other in the Chabot redwood forest.

Come Hell or High Water: Building Racial Justice in the Face of Climate Change

Carl Anthony, Co-Founder at Breakthrough Communities
M. Paloma Pavel, Co-Founder at Breakthrough Communities

Water is a precious resource, a force of nature and a living system that connects our bodies, land, and planet. Communities of color will be hit first and hardest by sea level rise and drought, and our schools play a vital role in these challenges. Through role play, collaborative map-making, and the power of song and ritual, we will learn to develop frontline community resilience and water justice in the face of climate change.

Creating a Journey From Scraps to Bionics

Mercedes Thorne, Makerspace Facilitator at Wood Middle School
Nga Nguyen, TAD Teacher at Wood Middle School

Learn what it takes to create a successful model middle school maker space. Identify tools needed to begin making, and discuss perceptions that impede the making process. Learn about simple ways to bring making to your site. Explore how paying closer attention to process and reflection can help you be a better maker and teacher of making.

Scaffolding Creativity

Gaia Pine, Instructional Coach at San Leandro Unified School District

Dancer/Choreographer Twyla Tharp noted that “before you can think outside the box, you must have a box.” This workshop aims to demystify the journey from the “box” to the creation of original work and ideas. Teachers are experts at scaffolding many skills, yet actively teaching creativity remains elusive for many. We will model a vehicle for diving into a generative topic and creating opportunities for students to practice skills, think deeper, and gain mastery with increasing complexity and independence. We will learn visual art techniques that can open up common classroom activities to invite a greater degree of imagination, creativity, and student agency.

Shadow Play

Daniel Barash, Director at The Shadow Puppet Workshop

Shadow puppetry with its bold shapes, vivid colors, and dramatic movement, fascinates early learners making it an ideal medium to explore a child’s world. In this workshop with Daniel Barash, puppeteer and Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, discover how to introduce this art form to early learners, and then discover hands-on shadow puppetry techniques used to explore stories, songs, poetry, science, math, and creative play in the primary years. See you in the land of shadows!

Superhero: Artistic Practice for Social Change

Jessalyn Aaland, Program Associate, Teacher Engagement and Resources at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Julie Charles, Deborah and Kenneth Novack Associate Curator of School Initiatives at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

How do artists use their practice to advocate for social change? With inspiration from the work of artist Amy Franceschini, create superheroes addressing community issues. This workshop will provide hands-on art-making, strategies for discussing artwork, social issues with students, and resources for writing and reflection.

Moving Towards Justice, Seeing Vulnerable Children as Whole: A Dialogue

Shakti Butler, President and Founder at Social Impact through Film & Dialogue

As a society we pay a high price when we engage in policies and practices that throw children away rather than engage their talents and intellect toward building a just and fair society. Many well-meaning people do not understand the systemic role of racialization in maintaining the school-to-prison pipeline and in denying the promise of huge populations of children.

Together we will illuminate the system of inequity and how it works, in particular the subtle and not so subtle way it impacts and squanders potential. Come explore educational practices that are transformative in nature and have the potential to generate approaches that address and eliminate this costly waste and examine how implicit bias and the current structures that feed and service the school-to-prison pipeline are informed by history, economics and culture. Learn and discuss restorative justice methods that improve the well being of vulnerable children of color, methods such as: conflict resolution, stress-management and communication skills, self-esteem building, community, team building, and arts-based expression and more.