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An Awfully Big Adventure in Social Emotional Literacy

August 5, 2017

This one day Moonshot Institute Workshop in Social and Emotional Literacy is designed to give educators the tools to support the social and emotional (SEL) needs of the classroom, while delivering engaging, rigorous curriculum. This live workshop also kicks off and supports the continuing learning journey to allow educators to earn a series of micro-credentials in SEL.


Anchored in William Joyce’s delightful text, Ollie’s Odyssey, participants learned how to develop engaging, interdisciplinary curriculum along with strategies to build a safe, nurturing classroom environment. This comprehensive approach to curriculum design has the rigor to meet today's standards while building empathy, compassion and the social emotional competencies of both educators and students. Learning the structures, routines, and rituals necessary for effective classroom management educators can transform their classrooms.

Essential Question/Big Idea: How do we create a compassionate community that supports risk-taking, perseverance, and adventure?


Focus Question: How can we develop structures rooted in shared values that reflect the classroom community and learn strategies that further the development of foundational literacy skills?

Mindful Moonshot Morning Routine & Jobs

Participants were assigned table jobs which included celebrators, kindness spreaders, and questioners. Next, they engaged in activities to Unite, Disengage Stress, Connect and Commit.

Debbi Arseneaux, Teaching Artist and Educational Consultant for The Learning Alliance kicked off the morning.
Dr. Rendell, School District of Indian River County, Superintendent gave welcoming remarks on the importance of Social Emotional Literacy.
Exploring Values with Wanda Lincoln:

A favorite and frequent guest speaker at Moonshot Institutes, educator Wanda Lincoln took the participants through an exercise to determine classroom values. This exercise is integral to setting the tone and course for the school year.

Educational Consultants Fran McDonough and Leslie Connelly unpack the "why" behind the importance of the Mindful Moonshot Morning Routine. 

Neuroscience tells us that establishing structures and routines provide psychological safety for students.

See the Power Point.

Notice, Name, Navigate 


Participants pair up and explore the power of connectedness as they work together to navigate tense situations. 

We must first notice what we are feeling, then name it, and only then can we navigate a solution.

Small Group / Enriched Literacy Centers

How can we make centers meaningful?

Participants rotated through literacy centers and gleaned new ideas for their classroom centers. 

Maker Center Learning: PBL & Arts Integration

What is Project Based Learning (PBL)? Why hands on learning?Why arts integration?

Participants learned the importance of meaningful, hands on learning through experiencing it. Tying to the themes of the text Ollie's Odyssey, educators made their very own "pocket friends" using recycled materials.

Focus Standards:

*RL.1.2 - Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral

*SL.1.2 - Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

*W.1.3 - Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

TH:Cn10.1.2.a. Relate character experiences to personal experiences in a guided drama experience (e.g., process drama, story drama, creative drama).

VA:Cr2.1.1a Explore uses of materials and tools to create works of art or design.

Return to Values and Planning Time

The day wrapped up with Wanda Lincoln returning to lead the group in a closing exercise. Reflecting on their classroom values, participants made connections to the content of the day.  She asked the question: What will you do to establish your classroom structures and routines this year?

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