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Anchor Day 1 Summer 18

Day One (AM)

Social Emotional Literacy: Culture and Climate 

Social Emotional Literacy: the ability to manage emotions and navigate group interactions to build a community of learners 
Session Focus Question: What does it take to create a school culture that brings in all voices and values to the learning such that it creates a climate that fosters growth, compassion, and connection?

Welcome from Kelly Baysura,

Executive Director of Elementary Education

School District Indian River County

Kelly Baysura kicked off the week and thanked everyone for participating. She explained that this institute is unique as it satisfies the new legislative requirement that elementary school teachers have 40 hours of training in Direct, Explicit, Multi-sensory Instruction. 



Participants are greeted daily when they arrive with gestures that connect thematically to the text. On the first day, they had their picture taken. These were used later in the morning in an exercise to further explore their identity through writing and art.



  • Understand the importance of fostering compassion and building a classroom community from the start of the school year

  • Be able to effectively use essential questions to drive instruction

  • Know that it is essential to address students’ social and emotional well being for successful learning

Debbi Arseneaux, Moonshot Institute Program Manager and Teaching Artist with The Learning Alliance, kicks off the day by highlighting the objectives for the week.

Setting Intentions

In response to Malala's words, "One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world," participants took a few moments to reflect on a child who they would like to impact, a teacher who impacted them, and an inspirational book. They wrote these on strips of colored paper and hung them on the Cordel as a way to frame their intentions of the experience for the week.


A Moonshot Talk with Kurt Wootton

Inquiry: Inspiring Questions in the Classroom


Kurt Wootton presented on how inquiry is a natural driver of learning. He reported that knowing how to ask the right questions is more important than having all the answers.

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Kurt Wootton is the Co-Founder of the Arts Literacy Project at Brown University and Director of Habla: Center for Language and Culture in Merida, Mexico.

Micro-storytelling. Participants paired up and shared stories with each other using prompts to think about their childhood such as a favorite meal, a treasured item, or a favorite place. This activity is a quick way for students to share their own stories and to connect with each other around a topic that relates to the text. This helps to create "thick air" around the big ideas of the book. 


Where I'm From Poems. Participants were given time to write their own poems using prompts based on the George Ella Lyon poem, "Where I'm From." The previous micro-storytelling activity helped to prime their thinking for this writing exercise.

Photographic Portraits. Cynthia Weiss,  introduced the work of photographer Wendy Ewald on how to bring the voices and values of students into the classroom. Participants were given photos that were taken at the beginning of the day and marked them up with art work and writing from their Where I'm From poem. They then added them to the cordel.


Cynthia Weiss is an award winning professional artist, program director and arts educator. She is the Director of Education at the Marwen Foundation and a founding member of the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE).


Transfer Time

Participants broke into groups according to grade and brainstormed how they could transfer strategies learned in the morning to their classroom practice.


Day One (PM)

Social Emotional Literacy: Connected Learning

Social Emotional Literacy: the ability to manage emotions and navigate group interactions to build a community of learners 
Session Focus Question: How can we design learner-centered experiences to ensure that students feel safe, emotionally invested, and connected to the content and each other?


  • Learn how to create connections and build a community of learners through rituals and routines

  • Understand that connections on the outside build connections on the inside

  • Understand how the brain, learning, and memory inform teaching and learning.  And how Direct, Explicit, and Multi-Sensory instruction can support this process

Self-Regulation: Me Want It

Who better to sing about self-regulation than the Cookie Monster. The afternoon kicked off with an adorable video that could be used in the classroom and adults like it too!

Self-Regulation: Just Breathe

Watch this powerful video by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman of Wavecrest Films and hear students express how they relate to their emotions in their own words. Imagine a world in which all people have these critical self-regulation skills.

Moonshot Mindful Routine


Leslie Connelly, a Learning Alliance Educational Consultant, assigns table jobs such as Celebrators, Kindness Spreaders, Word Nerds and others. Participants then engaged in a Moonshot Mindful Routine to Unite, Disengage Stress, Connect and Commit.  

The goal of the Activity to Unite is to bring the scattered energy of the room into a more, cohesive whole. We started by having everyone dance to the song "Do You Believe in Magic?" and introduce themselves to each other when the music would stop. 

The Activity to Disengage Stress is a chance to practice breathing and resetting the nervous system to be more mindful and ready to learn. We called this breath "Peace Out" to connect to a main theme of the book. 

The Activity to Connect is a chance for students to connect one on one. As Dr. Becky Bailey says, "Connections are made through eye contact, touch, presence, and a playful situation." So in Buddy Up, participants were given a prompt to discuss the story of their name with a partner.


Fran McDonough, Educational Consultant for The Learning Alliance, leads the group in Moonshot Mindful Routines.

The Activity to Commit is about goal setting and establishing accountability from day to day. Participants made a group commitment related to the goals for the day, and a personal commitment about their own learning journey. 

A Moonshot Talk with Liz Remington:

Learning is a Connection Project


Liz Remington, Co-Founder and Director of Professional Development, presents on the power of connection as the foundation for all learning.

How do we grow compassion and create connections with our students? Why is it critical to create the conditions for students to feel safe and loved? Liz Remington tackled these questions in this Moonshot Talk. Participants learned that it starts with our brains. Without the right connections, students are simply not available to learn. 

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The Brain State Players demonstrate the 3 states of the brain: Survival, Emotional and Executive. Based on the Conscious Discipline approach developed by Becky Bailey.

What is Direct, Explicit, Multisensory Instruction?

Direct, Explicit, Multisensory Teaching Supports Learning

How do we prepare children for deeper learning? Three questions guide this process: 1. What do we want our students to know and be able to do? 2. How do we know they got it? 3. How do we support their learning?

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Meaning Making Machines

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Debbi Arseneaux demonstrates the Actor's Tool Kit: Body, Voice, Mind and Imagination. Educators learn how to help their students embody their learning to make it more meaningful and memorable.

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Actor's Tool Kit in action with students

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Meaning Making Machine: Participants then made their own machine out of their takeaway from the Learning Machine Framework.

Reflection and Transfer Time

The day wrapped up with reflection and discussion of how educators could transfer what they learned into the classroom.


Pictures from Day 1

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