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Social Emotional Literacy: A Recipe for Connected Learning

September 8, 2018

What does it take to create a compassionate community of learners? Inspired by the classic tale of Stone Soup, in which a community comes together to create something out of nothing, participants explored ways to bring individual student stories and family history into the classroom and create collaborative projects to strengthen community connections. They learned strategies to support foundational reading skills, oral language development, and creative writing. They left with a unit plan to implement in an extended learning program.



Essential Question: How can I contribute to my community?


​Focus Standards

  • LAFS.3.RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

  • LAFS.3.RL.1.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

  • LAFS.3.W.1.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

  • LAFS.3.W.2.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

  • LAFS.3.SL.1.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Social Emotional Skills:

  • Students will develop positive relationships with their peers.

  • Students will increase their ability to self regulate and manage emotions.

  • Students will demonstrate perseverance by working through difficult tasks.

Success Skills

  • Students will work collaboratively to create original work and solve problems

  • Students will develop speaking and listening skills to effectively communicate

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Anchor Text: Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth 
 A record attendance of nearly 100 educators filled the cafeteria at Vero Beach Elementary, where new connections were made and existing bonds were reinforced.

"My goal was to immediately apply what I've learned in the classroom and I believe I will be able to do that this week!" - Participant Feedback

Debbi Arseneaux, Moonshot Institute Program Manager, explains the goals and intentions for the day. Objectives for the day included learning strategies to take back to Moonshot Academy and the classroom in order to meet the social emotional, foundational and applied literacy needs of students.
Mindful Moonshot Morning Routine 
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Participants go through a Mindful Moonshot Morning Routine, which includes activities to Unite, Connect, Disengage Stress and Commit. 

A Moonshot Talk: Connection and Community

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Debbi Arseneaux shared a Moonshot Talk: Connection and Community - how to grow it, why it matters, and what it looks like. We know that learning must start with relationships and making connections is key.
Enriched Literacy Strategies to Engage with Text

Fran McDonough, Moonshot Academy Program Manager leads participants through a strategy to spark conversation and incorporate oral language in the classroom. The strategy called Zoom In is a great way to introduce a text and build curiosity and excitement about reading the book while engaging in collaborative inquiry. 

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Debbi Arseneaux models an Alive Reading as a dynamic way to introduce the text. This interactive read aloud strategy is from and is a great way to engage students in a story.  

Fran McDonough introduced the Sentence, Phrase, Word   thinking routine which helps learners to engage with and make meaning from text with a particular focus on capturing the essence of the text or “what speaks to you”.  The power of the routine lies in the discussion of why a particular word, a single phrase, and a sentence stood out for each individual in the group as the catalyst for rich discussion. Learners must justify their responses and it sets the stage for considering themes, implications, predictions, and lessons to be drawn.  Source: Making Thinking Visible,  Harvard Project Zero
Tableau  is a strategy that was used in tandem with Sentence, Phrase, Word in which participants acted out their sentence, phrase or word by creating a tableau or frozen statue. This activity can be used in many ways such as creating tableaus of vocabulary words or to convey the main ideas and key moments of a story.

"My goal was to be more confident in my practice - Yes! Always is an inspiration to be here." - Participant Feedback

A Moonshot Talk: Why Reading is Hard

Liz Remington, Co-Founder and Director of Professional Development, discusses the components of language and reading.


Participants are led through an eye tracking exercise to better understand how their students might struggle with reading and pattern recognition.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions
Participants had the opportunity to learn from peers and colleagues in the afternoon sessions. They rotated through three separate breakouts which included a Unit Plan Experience with Fran McDonough and Debbi Arseneaux, Sonday  with Leslie Connelly and Liz Remington, and Fountas and Pinnell LLI, with Sue Fredrickson.
Leveled Literacy Intervention
Sue Fredrickson conducted a breakout session on Fountas and Pinnell's Leveled Literacy Intervention program. This is an excellent way to inform reading instruction and track student progress. Participants learned tips and strategies for using the intervention.

"I am now more familiar with the Leveled Literacy Intervention I plan to use. Thank you!" - Participant Feedback

Sonday Reading Program
Leslie Connelly and Liz Remington held a breakout on the Sonday Reading Program. The Sonday system offers structured, systematic, multisensory reading intervention for beginning and struggling readers. Each lesson plan uses proven Orton-Gillingham methods to provide effective intervention in small group settings.




Unit Planning - A Recipe for Success

A "Recipe of Me" template gave participants a template to write an identity poem that was eventually displayed on a cordel. 

Moonshot Academy teachers and facilitators who will be implementing the unit plan presented in the workshop, learned engaging strategies to use with their students. They grew oral language skills through activities to listen, speak, brainstorm and tell stories. All of which scaffolded them to be able to write their own story. They shared their stories with each other while learning how to offer helpful and specific feedback to revise and improve their writing.

"I was surprised by all the great things going on in our learning community." - Participant Comment

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