‘General’ Archive

Setting the Tone, Building Community, and Initiating Reflective Discussions: Pair Share Ideas

August is a month of new beginnings for educators and group facilitators. These last weeks of summer are filled with back to school meetings, training, student community building, and fall program kick-off events. Many educators ask me for ideas for making the most of this time of year, so I am pulling together some of my favorite past blog posts and excerpts from my books with back to school, community building, ice-breaking, meeting facilitation, and context setting activities.

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Inspired Educator Blog

Beware of the Icebreaker

Excerpt from Tips & Tools for the Art of Experiential Group Facilitation Second Edition   In chapter one, I emphasized how important it is to carefully assess your group, and be aware of putting individuals in the spotlight too early in the group process. Putting learners on the spot before they have developed trust and […]

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Embracing the Quiet and Taking Time to Reflect

In honor of the start of the new year I am re-posting this series of articles from the Inspired Educator Blog Archives on the importance of practitioner reflection. From the Archives, The Reflective Practitioner Part One, December 30th, 2011: Here in Vermont December is the darkest and quietest time of the year. The days are […]

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Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner Workshop

Experiential approaches to teaching enhance your ability to motivate learners, inspire a sense of discovery, instill a desire to learn and create a positive and supportive learning community. This workshop offers a variety of active teaching approaches that engage learners emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually. These brain-based methods will help you facilitate meaningful dialogue and […]

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Active Engagement Review and Reflection

Bag of Nouns Activity for Review, Reinforcement of Content, Formative Assessment, and Fun!

Many of the inspired educators that I work with have shared variations of this playful party game for active review and community building in the classroom or training sessions. If you like using Playdough Pictionary or Charades Race (see previous posts) you will enjoy this one too.   Purpose: Community Building, Communication, Descriptive Language, Active […]

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Physical Activity Promotes Learning

Get Them Moving! Physical Activity Improves Learning.

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the positive impact of exercise on brain development and function – and therefore memory and learning throughout life. Exercise has the long-term effect of improving blood flow thereby improving the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Neuroscientists have found exercise also increases blood flow in certain regions of the brain such as the hippocampus—an area of the brain that plays an important role in the organization of

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Group Problem Solving

WNB “Back to School Series” Ideas for Building Community and Practicing Social-Emotional Skills

Many educators look for some simple group activities to begin the process of community building in their classrooms and groups. Last year in our back to school series Jen Stanchfield author of Tips & Tools: The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation offered up a few strategies for building community and increasing engagement and buy in (see blog archives). Today she shares one of her favorite group building activities: Tin Can Pass. To read more click here.

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Key Ingredients for Teaching and Group Facilitation by Jen Stanchfield

Key Ingredients for Building a Positive Environment and Increasing Engagement

Jennifer Stanchfield’s post on the important ingredients for teaching and group facilitation. Techniques for maximizing engagement, reflection and building a positive group or classroom environment.

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Bookending a Learning Experience with Strong Beginnings and Endings, Another Fun Idea: Upcycled Computer Key Board Keys

My last two posts have focused on methods for positively influencing learning outcomes with groups through strong beginnings. I shared some of my favorite activities for starting off with style and creating a “hook” to engage participants from the moment they walk through the door including the use of postcards, objects and quotes.   These […]

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Reflective Practice or Processing in Experiential Education

Reflective Practice Versus Debriefing

Promoting new ways to engage groups in reflective practice has been a personal passion and focus of my work as an educator. From the beginning of my career as an education and clinician in therapeutic and educational settings I noticed that both facilitators and participants often struggle with engaging in reflection. In books, articles and […]

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Experiential Learning Approaches

Active Review Methods Continued: Stories from the Classroom

  In my last post I described how I have been re-purposing the well-known ice-breaker Have You Ever? into Anyone Who as a strategy to engage participants in reflecting on or reviewing content from a lesson. I recently had great success using this game in adult staff training days, in guidance groups and in a […]

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Get Them Moving, Keep Them Engaged

If you are reading this post, chances are you believe it is important to find ways to actively engage learners in your classroom, boardroom, or group counseling setting.  However, when we have a lot of material to cover in our lesson plans or agendas some of us might find ourselves forgetting just how important regular […]

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Inspired by Journaling in the Classroom- Latest WNB Friday Lesson

Check out yesterday’s Wood ‘N’ Barnes Friday Lesson Post. Inspired by Journaling in the Classroom: An educator shares how she has used journaling prompts from The Me I See, 2E with her students. Heidi Pauer, a High School Language Arts Teacher from Bow, NH, shared a couple of fun ideas with us. The first was […]

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The Firefly Group

This week The Firefly Group posted an article in their online newsletter about using the Miniature Metaphors Processing Tool.  Thanks to Brian Remer and The Firefly Group for your review! The Firefly Group works to create a collaborative learning environment by using playful methods. They work with businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in mission & […]

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More on Learning Through Writing and Reflection

Latest Wood ‘N’ Barnes Friday Lesson: Thoughts on Sharing Journal Entries With Others Excerpts from The Me I See: Click Here to Read Full Post

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Strategies for Helping Participants Practice Decision-Making, Compromise & Consensus Continued…A Method for Dividing Groups Into Teams

The Disappearance of Neighborhood Games of Kick-the Can, Part Two: Strategies for Helping Participants of All Ages Learn Through Play.     In Monday’s post I mentioned that I had observed a trend of children and adolescents missing out the development of important social & emotional skills because of a lack of time for “free […]

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The Disappearance of Neighborhood Games. How Do We Help Students Continue to Learn from Play?

In my work with students in a variety of schools and treatment programs I have noticed over recent years that they increasingly seem to struggle with group decision-making. On the playground during recess I have observed elementary students coming to ask teachers to resolve the simplest disagreements or conflicts(for instance who is going to be […]

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