Archive for October, 2011

Jen Stanchfield's Kitchen and Key Ingredients for Successful Teaching, Group Facilitation

The Right Ingredients at the Right Time: Sequencing Group Learning Experiences

As with cooking, facilitation is an art that involves a combination of practice, observation, knowledge of theory and creativity. Effective facilitators act as a good chef does, adding together the important elements in the right amounts at the right time to create a palatable and hopefully meaningful experience. Through careful observation of all of these elements involved in a group’s personality and setting, they intentionally choose and order activities or “ingredients” in order to maximize learning opportunities.

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Graffiti Art Activity: Middle School Students Reflect on Tropical Storm Irene

Today I am returning to the blog after a few weeks offline due to Tropical Storm Irene. Our little village of South Newfane, Vermont and many neighboring towns were hit hard by flooding during Irene. Some of our neighbors lost their homes. Power, phone and Internet were gone for many days and our roads are still being rebuilt. Though the damage to homes and infrastructure and the sorry state of our rivers and roads is hard to take, we are very thankful to be part of such a wonderful community and proud to be living in Vermont. This kind of event often forces people to reflect on what is truly important in life and neighbors find themselves serving their community in ways they didn’t have “time” for before and relying on those around them. The moments of reflection and of neighbor helping neighbor have been as impressive and uplifting as the storm was devastating…


I experienced one of these positive moments during a “back to school” team-building session with students at Twin Valley Middle School (TVMS) in Whitingham, VT. I was scheduled to “kick-off” the school year with community building activities the first week of school…

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