Mini Courses (Full Summary)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9 (10:45 AM - 12:45 PM)

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

Creating Space to Heal; Classroom Ritual and Teacher Self-Care

Candice Valenzuela, Teach for America

This workshop will walk participants through a hands-on, experiential exploration of how intentional rituals in the classroom, along with the teacher's practice, can create healing, calming, restorative, and welcoming classroom spaces. This will be a space in which students can thrive and teachers can sustain themselves as they grow in their practice. Engaging in group discusses, partner work and individual reflection, this workshop will centralize on teacher wellness as the most powerful place to boost student achievement and participation. Healing is a collective experience in which both student and teacher must participate and co-create.

Defining Trauma and Trauma Triggers for Young People in School Settings

Maeven McGovern, Youth Radio

Realizing that a student who seems withdrawn, disengaged or who is struggling in class may be struggling with PTSD gives educators more tools and resources to engage students and mitigate the impact of traumatic experiences on student success. Learn culturally relevant tools to implement trauma-informed health and wellness activities in school or group settings. Engage in relevant activities including song analysis and guided self-regulation that are rooted in youth development and trauma-informed care philosophies from Youth Radio.

Integrating Social Emotional Learning and Academic Content Learning

Carrie Wilson, Daniela Mantilla and Mills Teacher Scholars
Juliana Houston, Heather Porter, Molly Shannon, Malia Tayabas-Kim

What are Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies and how are they connected to academic content learning? How can participants use this inherent interconnectedness to strengthen learners’ cognitive and non-cognitive skills? Deconstruct a video clip of Bay Area students engaged in an academic discussion, then 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 the 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 more broadly, how using video data for practice improvement, is a valuable tool by making the process of student learning visible.

Decolonize your Educational Practice

Derek Fenner, Jessa Moreno, Mariah Landers, Serian Strauss, Integrated Learning Specialist Program

This is an interactive workshop, held on Ohlone land amongst the redwoods at Chabot Space and Science Center. Be inspired to create and think in decolonized ways for your classrooms and communities. Through movement and embodied pedagogy around the social body of teaching and learning, learn to disrupt power structures. Engage in an immersive circle process supporting indigenous and ancient ways of knowing. Learn about finding the comforting place in connecting in affirmative ways with students beyond the realms of our classrooms.

Playback Theater - Embodying Stories From the Community

Eric Engdahl, Cal State East Bay

Playback Theater (PT) finds and embodies stories from the community, drawing participants together and allowing them to see their stories from fresh perspectives. It is through seeing their story that the teller can gain insight and see their story through a different lens. Through enacting/embodying another’s story, we can deepen our understanding of others, building compassion. Playback Theater is a tool that educators can use to develop Social and Emotional Learning Skills in a classroom. Learn these basics of PT, how to use these techniques with students, and some of the educational applications of PT.

Taking Off the Mask

Ashanti Branch, Ever Forward Club

Taking Off the Mask team works on the premise that all people have a desire to be respected, held in high regard, held to high expectations, and held accountable for their actions and supported to achieve their goals in life. And there is often a disconnect between our work-lives and our true selves. Through team building and learning strategies to look behind the mask we will engage more deeply to see those things that adults often hide, deny, repress, or ignore. Learn tools to reach your youth in a more powerful and meaningful way. Explore ways to better understand your students, grow closer and stronger. Learn how to provide groups of individuals with the space and freedom to release emotional baggage that could be causing blockages in their daily life.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9 (1:45 PM - 3:45 PM)

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

"I Wish My Teacher Taught This Way"

Kimberley D'Adamo Green and Her Students from Berkeley High
Jonah Arreola-Burl, Emily Christensen, Xalli Gordon-Chavez, Claire Haug, Sajdah Nasir, Chloe Wanaseija

What are the ways that our curriculum structures engage and disengage kids? Students from Berkeley High School talk frankly about their experience in the classroom, and how they wish teachers would teach. They will discuss the importance of community building, metacognition, peer-to peer teaching, and the benefits of involving students in curriculum design. They will also explain how understanding constructivism helps them learn better, and how various grading and assessment structures impact students. Their teacher, Kimberley D'Adamo Green, will be available to provide a teacher's perspective on how changing her own curriculum design and delivery made teaching easier and students more authentically engaged.

Self Care 2.0: An Exploration of Compassionate Practices

Michelle Holdt, Arts Ed Matters, Andrew Nance, Mindful Arts San Francisco

Are you passionate about your work, but struggle to find compassion for self and others? In this hands-on workshop, participants will be introduced to some very simple and effective tools to move from survive to thrive. Learn to cultivate a mindful and creative self-care practice to use in your own homes, and bring to your classroom to share with your students.

TLC- Trauma Literacy and Compassion: Restoring our Capacity to Care

Carlyn Scheinfeld, Michele Hamilton, Oakland Unified School District

Only recently, the medical community and society at large, have begun to accept the impact of stress and trauma on human development. Science is finally catching up to what those who have suffered from trauma or chronic stress, have always known. The chemicals produced by stress in the body have been shown to cause all of the leading causes of early death, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. If we hope to build a healthier world, we have to start with ourselves and our classrooms. In this workshop, participants will examine the wide spectrum of responses to stress and trauma to build our capacity to identify stress responses in students, and to widen the lens on what is required to create safe learning spaces for all students to learn, heal, and ultimately find and express their creative selves.

Recycle Your Energy: Play to Reinvigorate Yourself and to Create Community

Clara Kamunde

We know that play is essential for developing the social, emotional, cognitive and psychomotor skills in children. However, play is not just for kids. Play is deeply involved with human development and intelligence at all ages. Play is fun, yes, but it also sparks imagination, ignites spontaneity, relieves stress, improves brain function, and improves our capacity to learn! It’s also energizing and revitalizing. Think of it as the fountain of youth wired into our DNA. Discover your play personality and better understand how you can actualize it to bring pleasure, well-being, creativity and vitality into your life. Learn to understand the practices and benefits of play in private and public life, and the risks of play deprivation.

Oral History: Amplifying Unheard Voices

Cliff Mayotte, Voice of Witness    

If you had a meaningful story to share with someone, what would you need in order to feel safe, to feel brave? Explore this inquiry through authentic dialogue about power dynamics, representation, agency, difference, and empathy. The point of entry into this process is through oral history, storytelling and art making. Engage in practice oral history interviews, a "chalk talk" activity, small group readings of oral history narratives from the Voice of Witness series, reflective writing, and explore of how to best share classroom/community stories (live performance, photo essay, and podcast). Learn how oral history projects connect with Common Core Standards related to Speaking and Listening, Reading History, and Language. Take away sample lesson plans, rubrics, and oral history resources that can be adapted for various grade levels and communities also gain practical information about the kinds of creative "delivery systems" that are best suited for your students/communities: books, photography, and live performance.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10 (10:45 AM - 12:45 PM)

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

Arts Integration for All Kinds of Minds and Every Body

Nancy E. James, San Leandro USD Resource Teacher

Explore an approach to Arts Integration that recognizes neurological and physical-diversity in every learning environment, and builds on multi-sensory supports to meet the individual strengths and needs of typical and atypical learners. Learn and experience a variety of strategies that can support building flexibility into your instruction from the ground up. Consider the learning differences and think about how educators can make room for a variety of learners. Reflect on your teaching practices and explore and reshape your learning environments.

Build, Tinker, Hack: Becoming Sensitive to Design through Maker-Centered Practice

Brooke Toczylowski, Carl Barone, Andrea Maoki, Agency By Design (ABD)

Educational initiatives that emphasize making, engineering, and tinkering are becoming increasingly popular in K-12 education. Makerspaces, fab labs, and design classes are bringing with them exciting new tools, technologies, and curricula. Learn what the most salient benefits of these maker-centered learning experiences are? Dive into a series of hands-on activities exploring how pedagogical practice can support the core principles of maker-centered learning from ABD’s Oakland Team Experience. Use thinking routines developed through the Agency by Design project at Project Zero, to consider what it means to develop a sensitivity to the made dimension of the world.

Verbatim Theatre: Performing Community Voice with the Students of OakTechRep

Ena Dallas, Oakland Tech High School, Jessa Moreno

Engage in arts research and expand your view of a collaborative classroom space with the youth leaders of the award-winning theatre company OakTechRep, from Oakland Tech High School, as they lead you through a lively experiential process of creating theatre from interviews, observations, and deep listening. Develop basic performance skills and qualitative research practice under the guidance of the real educational authorities…young people!

LUDICrous: Restoring the Role of Play

Nicole Sumner, Artways, Playways

How playful is our teaching? How playful is our classroom, and our school? Beyond current research about children's need for frequent play "breaks," how do our teaching practices actually include ludic, the Latin word for spontaneous and undirected playfulness? This workshop addresses the joys and challenges of in-class constructivist learning practices from a multi-arts and internationalist perspective. Our raw materials include mini-life stories, games as interconnective tissue (play theory), and the use of provocations (Reggio Emilia). Additional tools we'll use include, the Studio Habits of Play, Studio Habits of Poets/Storytellers, and Making the Learning/Thinking of Play Visible. Be challenged to mine your inner playfulness and outer play mentoring skills in service of teaching and learning goals.

Recognizing and Representing Cultural Wealth

Jessalyn AalandJulie Charles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

How do we help students recognize the strengths in themselves and in their communities? Anchored in the concept of cultural wealth by scholar Tara J. Yosso, participants will apply Yosso’s six types of capital to their own experience and artwork from SFMOMA’s collection. After analyzing images for cultural capital, create your own collage, assemblage, drawing or poem that demonstrates the types of cultural wealth you possess. Engage in hands-on art-making, strategies for discussing artwork and social issues with students, and resources for writing and reflection. Learn to integrate critical theory and/or visual art making and discussion into your practice. While this workshop is aimed primarily at high school teachers in the humanities, educators across grade levels and content areas will find connections.

Unfolding Practice: Accordion Books as Maps of Learning

Todd Elkin, Washington High School, Fremont and Integrated Learning Specialist Program, ACOE
Arzu Mistry, Shristi School of Art and Technology Design, Bangalore, India

Accordion books are handmade maps of our thinking. Their artful form and layered functions are about unfolding our practice as learners, teachers and artists. Learn to make accordion books to tell the story of your learning, allowing for multiple strands of reflection, connection and inquiry to be occurring simultaneously. Through inquiring, documenting, reflecting and building on practice, learners, teachers, and artists will be given a space for reflection as well as a springboard for new investigations. 

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10 (1:45 PM - 3:45 PM)

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

REPEAT - Build, Tinker, Hack: Becoming Sensitive to Design through Maker-Centered Practice

Brooke Toczylowski, Carl BaroneAndrea Maoki, Agency By Design

Educational initiatives that emphasize making, engineering, and tinkering are becoming increasingly popular in K-12 education. Makerspaces, fab labs, and design classes are bringing with them exciting new tools, technologies, and curricula. Learn what the most salient benefits of these maker-centered learning experiences are? Dive into a series of hands-on activities exploring how pedagogical practice can support the core principles of maker-centered learning from ABD’s Oakland Team Experience. Use thinking routines developed through the Agency by Design project at Project Zero, to consider what it means to develop a sensitivity to the made dimension of the world.

Scribbling Our Way to Profundity: The Art Jam Lesson Plan Even The Most Jaded 'Non-Artist' Will Love.

Todd Berman, The Art Don’t Stop

Begin with a scribbling exercise and escalate into a meaningful multi-media collaborative art project to understand how even 'non-artists,' can use art for teaching, learning, and building community. Learn how art can function as a practice in observation and experimentation; how drawing can help students connect with the intentions of an author, or the emotions of a character; how, like math, art can get the mind focused on solving a problem. We will incorporate learning experiences through emotional recordings, and then allow for other elements to come into play, based on the inspirations and accidents of the art process.

Your Voice Matters: Using Story to Communicate Value

Angela Zusman, Story for All

The ability to draw out and assimilate community voices is an essential tool in building connection, increasing respect, and enhancing creativity. In this workshop, we will learn and practice how to uplift the voices of our students and community members, and harness their wisdom for a collective cause. This workshop elucidates the power of listening and reflection as essential components of deepening connection and inspiring creativity, allowing for storytelling to become a means for increasing creativity, respect, engagement, civic pride, and self-esteem.

Experimenting with Perception, Exploring Arts Based Research

Susan Wolf, Integrated Learning Specialist Program, ACOE

Pinhole camera obscura visors, Origami Microscopes, and Virtual Reality viewers, each allow us to see the world from a shifted vantage point. How do contemporary artists play with ideas of perception (and perspective) in their work? How does their curiosity fuel their own learning? Test, explore and question how these scientific tools lead to generative student driven inquiry.

Remixing Our Community

Maeven McGovern, Youth Radio

How do my students define health and wellness? What barriers to wellness exist in my students' community? How can my classroom and curricula be a platform for addressing overall community health and wellness? How can I help my students find connections between the curricula and their lives outside my classroom? Through their new music project Remix Your Life toolkit, Youth Radio’s team will address these questions. Explore wellness and barriers to wellness that exists in our community.  Make connections between classroom content and community life.  Learn hands on, step-by-step overview of the toolkit and implementation guidelines/best practices.  Receive both digital and hard copies of the project and toolkit and ongoing technical assistance from Youth Radio to support implementation your classrooms. Develop the cultural knowledge necessary to effectively connect with and support your students.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11 (10:45 AM - 12:45 PM)

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

Hamilton the Musical: Powerfully Positioning Representation, Rap and History in K-12 Curriculum

Mariah Landers, Jessa Brie Moreno, Integrated Learning Specialist Program, ACOE

Hamilton the Musical has sparked worldwide attention since it's debut on Broadway in April 2015. This historical retelling of Alexander Hamilton, based on the book by Ron Chernow, has brought a nation to its knees to explore the incredible life story of Hamilton and our founding fathers. However, this is not your average telling of history. In the musical, all the founding fathers are played by people of color and the entire musical score is a love letter to hip hop. Explore the ways that educators can incorporate Hamilton the Musical as a tool for expanding history and raising generative topics. Compelling learners to investigate in ways that change the paradigm of how we understand ourselves, our shared history, and how we can move forward in revisioning a future that reflects the global majority, making room for all of us.

Understanding White Privilege and Power as a 21st Century Leadership Skill                         

Shakti Butler, World Trust

Groups working on social justice and racial equity, who include attention to white culture and privilege as part of that work, reap important benefits. Understanding white culture, along with its embedded historical and associated privileges, provides insight into integral parts of a larger system of inequity. Explore dominant cultural assumptions and perspectives about what is considered normal, appropriate, desirable and/or valid. Dominant culture narratives or norms – e.g. what constitutes a “family,”’ who is considered dangerous, intelligent, acceptable and whose perspectives are valid – are codified in customs, laws, institutions, policies, and practices.  They reinforce stereotypes and limit fair access – who belongs inside and who remains outside circles of human concern.  In addition, cultural assumptions are part of what continue to advantage some groups and disadvantage others.  Even when those inequities are persistent and obvious, the foundations that drive them often may not be.  Explore white culture and its embedded privileges. Begin to fill gaps in understanding while providing an impetus for considering norms, policies and practices that explicitly include a lens that is often not considered when opening up new entry points for policy and systems change.

Storytelling for Social Change: Oral History and Be/longing

Carla WojczukZeph Fishlyn, Community Artists: Rachel HughesHannah McDonough, Washington High School Students, Fremont

“Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created.” -Toni Morrison The radical act of narrating experience (and of listening), creates and transforms us individually, interpersonally, and collectively. Explore community organizing and community building through oral history and art making. We start by looking at the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, as a local case study for the power of gathering and connecting narratives in shaping the movement for housing justice. In the second half of the workshop, as part of an active public project displayed throughout the institute, we   will build a shared story about home and belonging through a mobile art installation. This installation will explore community organizing and community building through oral history and art making.

Decolonizing & Unschooling Poetry Writing

Derek Fenner and Special Guest, Tongo Eisen-Martin

We seek to enter the space that Cherríe Moraga, invokes (in, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness,”) where we are “writing to remember / making rite to remember / having the right to remember.” Many creative writing curriculums are created as a vehicle for youth voice, but are so wrapped up in the structures of schooling and dominant narratives, that the end result is that the young person ends up writing the poem they think the teacher wants them to write. This experiential session gives participants the opportunity to create and interact with language and poetry in ways that amplify a radical resistance to colonialism and its effects on how poetry is normally taught. 

What is Advocacy? A Journey Into Empowerment

Jean Johnstone, Teaching Artists Guild

Using guidelines, exercises, and resources developed by Teaching Artists Guild, Americans for the Arts, The Kennedy Center, and others, explore the concept of advocacy from the point of view of an individual artist, educator, or hybrid of these. Ever feel like you’d be great at spreading “the message,” but not sure how or to whom? Shy about standing up for your cause? Not sure what advocacy means to you and your group? We will learn to examine what advocacy is, and how best to approach it from our unique place as an educator, artist, or teaching artist, in service of what we care about. Politics, philosophy, social justice all intersect at this point, where we will take a close look at what we hold dear and what needs to be done.

LOVE IN ACTION: Moving Our Stories and Shaping a New Narrative

Teaching Artists, Destiny Arts Center

This interactive workshop will explore simple and practical ways to support positive classroom culture, engagement, and creative expression through hip-hop movement and theater games and exercises. It will give participants an introduction to Destiny Arts’ creative framework for creative youth development and a taste of creating original, visionary movement/theater in the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company style, as outlined in Destiny's curriculum guidebook called Youth on the Move. For over 27 years, Destiny Arts Center has provided a home away from home for thousands of young people throughout the East Bay. As a violence prevention center and cultural institution in the heart of Oakland, Destiny is committed to engaging young people as artists and change makers. The workshop is designed for educators in both school and out of school settings.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11 (1:45 PM - 3:45 PM)

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

REPEAT - "I Wish My Teacher Taught This Way"

Kimberley D'Adamo Green and Her Students from Berkeley High
Jonah Arreola-Burl, Emily Christensen, Xalli Gordon-Chavez, Claire Haug, Sajdah Nasir, Chloe Wanaseija

What are the ways that our curriculum structures engage and disengage kids? Students from Berkeley High School talk frankly about their experience in the classroom, and how they wish teachers would teach. They will discuss the importance of community building, metacognition, peer-to peer teaching, and the benefits of involving students in curriculum design. They will also explain how understanding constructivism helps them learn better, and how various grading and assessment structures impact students. Their teacher, Kimberley D'Adamo Green, will be available to provide a teacher's perspective on how changing her own curriculum design and delivery made teaching easier and students more authentically engaged.

Five Simple Strategies for Promoting Critical and Creative Thinking

Indi McCasey, Destiny Arts Center

Looking for ideas to support students’ growth as lifelong learners? In this interactive workshop we will explore five key Visible Thinking Routines developed by Harvard’s Project Zero. These simple strategies provide a structure that makes students’ thinking visible to themselves and their peers, while at the same time helping educators to assess their students for understanding. We’ll learn how the routines can address Common Core English Language Arts Anchor Standards by involving students in separating evidence from claims, generating potential research questions, making connections across disciplines, and promoting empathy and perspective taking. Participants will get ample practice using the routines in a variety of activities, as well as time to identify how to make these thinking routines work for them and their particular learning community.

REPEAT - Unfolding Practice: Accordion Books as Maps of Learning

Todd Elkin, Washington High School, Fremont and Integrated Learning Specialist Program, ACOE
Arzu Mistry, Shristi School of Art and Technology Design, Bangalore, India

Accordion books are handmade maps of our thinking. Their artful form and layered functions are about unfolding our practice as learners, teachers and artists. In this workshop, participants will learn to make accordion books to tell the story of our learning, allowing for multiple strands of reflection, connection and inquiry to be occurring simultaneously. Through inquiring, documenting, reflecting and building on practice, learners, teachers, and artists will be given a space for reflection as well as a springboard for new investigations.

Conversations That Promote Adult Learning

Carrie Wilson and Mills Teacher Scholars
Juliana Houston, Kathleen Mitchell

In the age of Common Core many educators are working to strengthen academic discussions for students in their classrooms. Yet these same educators often work in environments that lack opportunities for powerful adult learning conversations.  What do powerful collaborative professional conversations sound like and what are some of the practices that can begin to shift culture so that these learning conversations become the norm?  Learn how to lead an activity at your school/organization that generates awareness around what it means to have a learning conversation. Identify the common barriers and pitfalls in setting up adult learning conversations and become equipped with some tools for handling this.

Performance Assessments and Socio-Emotional Learning

Ben Kornell, Executive Director of Envision Learning Partners

College and career readiness is not just a measure of what a learner knows; more vitally, it’s about what a learner can do and how they reflect on their work, themselves, and the world. Performance Assessments are an essential tool in measuring what a learner can do and in providing rich opportunities for reflection and metacognition. In this workshop, you will become grounded in the principles of Performance Assessment and the KNOW, DO, REFLECT paradigm that pushes learning beyond content to cognitive and nob-cognitive competencies.