Make 2017 Your Best School Year Ever!

There is plenty of time to order and read this book loaded mindful tools for teachers. Make 2017 your best Teaching Year EVER! Practical strategies for teachers are offered in Cognitive Yoga with a variety of tools: for example Ten simple practices in the last Chapter.

1. Come to a complete rest before beginning a new task

2. Do one thing at a time

3. Complete each action

4. Focus the attention where the work is taking place

5. Don’t criticize yourself or others

6. Do what is needed without regard for likes and dislikes

7. Create a quiet, clean environment

8. Consider one another

9. Work for improvement, not perfection

10. Create helpful routines: study, rest, play and work in the proper amounts each day.

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Cognitive Yoga
Mindful Strategies for Teacher
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Growing Grownups

Professional Development for Experienced Teachers; Create Experiential Learning Modules that grow day workshop

Growing Grownups: Cultivating Self-Awareness, Empathy, and Responsibility.

We know that our students need to learn more than content if they’re going to succeed in college and careers. We know we need to help them develop tenacity, self-awareness, resilience, motivation, initiative, responsibility, collaboration… in short, we want them to leave our schools having gained maturity.  Antioch University 8/17/17                            Register Now

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A Model of a 6Second Lesson- Understanding Bias

Norman’s Rockwell’s  The Problem – we all live with
Grades 8 through 12

OBJECTIVE(S) To raise awareness of the historical context of Norman Rockwell’s painting about school integration–and interpretation of the situation of his characters
Writing assignment based on a Norman Rockwell picture giving the characters a voice and feelings- based on the facial expression, body language and setting of the character and historical context

BIG QUESTIONS How do the historical events affect everyday people?
For example, when school were required by law to integrate, how was that received by southern, northern, and why did people behave in that way?

Enhance Emotional Literacy Accurately identifying and interpreting both simple and compound feelings
Recognize Patterns Acknowledging frequently recurring reactions and behaviors.

Length of session: 2 – 3 hours
Materials Needed:
Norman Rockwell biography

Introduction Norman Rockwell was illustrating family and small town life from 1917 – 1963. Have the students read aloud in turn the biography of Norman Rockwell? Read his biography. Rockwell often depicted an idealized America in the same way restaurant ads for MacDonalds celebrate happiness, friendship, and warmth. Ask for the impression that people have gotten from the family friendly During that time the United States went through two major wars, ten presidents, enormous social and scientific changes.
Model, the process with one Rockwell picture, say: show the image enlarged on a screen and ask the kids to notice all the details of the Rosie the Riveter.

Notice that she has huge arms – This, by the way, was not the way the model looked. Rockwell painted Man arms to show her strength or was it a little joke? Her face is dirty, a little bit coy or shy. Does this woman think she is attractive? Is she trying to be attractive? Why is she a riveter- that’s traditionally a man’s job?

Then the teacher will bring in the real events During wwII the women did take factory jobs, and it change the workforce of the country.

During that time, the United States went through two major wars, ten presidents, enormous social and scientific changes. Choose an event that is connected to Rockwell’s painting
What happened,
Where did it happen,
Why did it happen,
What were the consequences of the event?

This will take at least one hour to research and write up-
When the class has completed this –

Next the teacher will take one of Rockwell’s picture See the one “the problem we all face.”

Ask the students to study the image silently for about 3 minutes and notice everything that is going on. Then have them guess the context of the painting. School integration around 1961. Why do you suppose Rockwell chose a little girl and dressed her in white.

What do her expression and posture suggest to you? What is the implication of the red tomato on the wall? What is the writing on the wall? If you were in the crowd, what would you be thinking and doing not as yourself but someone from that place and time? Then have the student quickly write a paragraph from the point of view of the guard, the girl or a person in the crowd. You may write as if the incident happened yesterday as you are writing a letter or making a journal entry OrYou may tell the story as if it happen a long time ago

(note: young writers will need support with this – you may have to give them feeling, words, and ideas from different point of view. Why is the painting called the Problem we all live with? What does that mean?

Have the student type these up and share with each other in class. Discuss how different people have different points of view and why they do.

For example, white people thought that having African Americans in school would ruin their school. Why?
African Americans wanted integration although they were concerned for their safety. Why was that?
Who is George Wallace? What did he Represent?

The Problem We All Live With

Artist Norman Rockwell
Year 1964

The Problem We All Live With is an oil on canvas painting by the American artist Norman Rockwell, produced in 1964. The painting is 36 by 58 inches and is displayed in the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Rockwell had produced many works with a social or political theme. This painting was created at a time when racial desegregation was causing conflict throughout the U.S. Education was no longer segregated by color, and African-American children could attend schools that had previously been all-white.
The painting shows a young African-American girl in a white dress, with white shoes and socks. She is carrying items she needs in school in her left hand. She is walking, and escorted by four U.S. marshals, two in front of her and two behind, whose heads are not shown. They are dressed in plain clothes, but wearing armbands to show their authority. They are there to protect the girl from protesters, none of whom are shown.

What is the story behind this painting/

Rosie The Riveter

Artist Norman Rockwell
Year 1943
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 52 x 40 in
132 x 102 cm
Norman Rockwell Famous Artwork
Freedom of Speech, 1943

Freedom from Want, 1943

Freedom of Worship, 1943

Freedom from Fear, 1943

The Problem We All Live With, 1964

Breaking Home Ties, 1954

Russian Schoolroom, 1967

Rosie The Riveter, 1943
Complete Works

Rosie the Riveter is an oil painting that is a classic example of Regionalism. The imagery of the piece became a symbol for the millions of “Rosies” across America working for the World War II effort. In the picture, Rosie is portrayed wearing denim work wear, eating her lunch sandwich, with her rivet gun at rest on her knee. The painting was commissioned as cover art for the Saturday Evening Post magazine in 1943.
Rockwell’s Legacy
Norman Rockwell produced a body of over 4,000 works in his lifetime. His painting methods began with small sketches, an accumulation of props to set the scene before building up to the painting itself. His work was popular and commercial and included illustrations of more than forty books, including Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, but the iconic symbol of America’s women fighting the Second World War on home turf remains his most well-known piece. The original painting was auctioned in 2002 for $4.96 million

So, what do people think about Norman Rockwell’s work?
Show the real thing photo from the news archive?
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Norman Rockwell
Most Famous Painting
Norman Rockwell
Best Paintings Ever
Norman Rockwell
Christmas Paintings
Norman Rockwell
Prints On Canvas
Art By
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Norman Rockwell
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You might grade the written response paper or extend into an essay on the topic Why is “listening well” important to a community?

Homework / Extensions: The teacher may want a quiet alternative to a discussion or a follow-up homework that would be:

I was surprised that….

I noticed I had a tendency to …..

The most important thing I learned was ….

I think I could improve my listening if I ……..

I think I could improve my communicating if I

As an observer, I notice that people often ….

The reason listening is important to the community is…

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Social Pragmatics, Tone and Music

Social Pragmatics and the tone  (the attitude ) of a sentence is frequently a mystery to student who are on the autism scale.  Was speaking to a young teacher who was working with children on the this spectrum.  We discussed the challenges of teaching them to comprehend “the tone” of a sentence, identifying whether the string of words were spoken in a  sarcastic, patronizing, a questioning or hostile way.    Had an “aha”moment when I connected using notes on a piano to simulate the pace, inflection, and pitch of each word in a sentence.  Since music is left brained, I wondered if it would support spectrum kids to “get” the meaning in that way.  There is a chapter on Tone in the Book Cognitive Yoga. What do you think? Would this work?

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What skills will remain valid for the next generation?

What skills will remain valid for the next generation?

Cognitive Yoga –

What skills will remain valid for the next generation?At the rate of knowledge expansion and  technological advances, if we went to sleep for 5 years and suddenly woke up, our day would be a challenge.  Technologies, sciences, trends  are mutating so rapidly that what we know how to do will be obsolete progressively at a more accelerated rate.  However,  the mind- body set up, our character and our social- emotional skills will continue to serve us well.   Skills that will sustain students have more to do with character than facts.  That’s why Social Emotional Learning must become a part of  curriculum. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

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Social Emotional Learning


Social Emotional Learning is the foundation for all other learning. Teaching students to regulate emotions and work together makes it possible to learn well.  From the beginning, the American educational system was seen as the great equalizer so that diverse immigrant populations could learn a common language, break down culture barriers and create literate American citizens.  Now the best practices in education have evolved to include the neuro-science of learning and the benefits that result from creating a positive social climate.  Educational Leaders have recommended that we move from a presentation of facts  and subsequent skill practice to the recognition that subjects must be meaningful, relevant to the community, and that personal engagement is required to learn.

We can no longer afford to be a competitive society where some win at the expense of others.  In order to have respect for diversity, and combine their talents, students must understand themselves, empathize with others, and collaborate.  S.E.L   is the science of creating a transformational environment for our students.

What the world community needs most is:  creative solutions to complex problems, ethical personal and social behavior and sustainable systems to save our planet.

C. Lee Guerette

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School Stress Takes A Toll On Health, Teens And Parents Say …

A  parent friend of mine commented that  “mindfullness” teaching in the schools was gaining a toe hold in her neighborhood. She further questioned but if Mindfullness is the antidote to  STRESS in the schools – why are we creating so much stress for the kids?
Is this the cost of modern life?  If we consider most of the work done one hundred years ago was physical labor for the majority of the people and even for the wealthy people had to walk a great deal, somehow our life style seems to bottle us all up in the head.
Many folks go around thinking and thinking  as if our bodies were transportation for our brains.  Emotions though are laced through our entire systems.  A practice that might help is this- one that  I was taught on a recent retreat.   Lala said, “What is recommended for CPR:   STOP, LOOK,  LISTEN  AND FEEL.
We could do that everyday.stress for kids
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Cognitive Yoga -Redeux

Cognitive Yoga will be published on February 15th,  2014, available through Amazon. Cognitive Yoga is packed with useful strategies for any teacher, coach or counselor who works with groups of young adults. It supports teachers who have to transform, bored, bewildered, angry kids into curious, industrious, collaborative students who are invested in their own achievement. Cognitive Yoga draws from the ancient tradition of Advaita Vedanta but brings immediate value to our understanding of the neuroscience of learning, emotional intelligence, and mind/body health.   My apologies to anyone who has tried to buy it before – just another glitch.  [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

BookCoverPreview (3)

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Knowing Better

The problem with always knowing better
When my son was 6, he taught me a lesson in equanimity. My mother, his beloved meme, loved green beans and she would snap off the ends one by one to make a pot. One day, I showed my boy how I did it. I take a whole bunch, a dozen or so, line them up on the cutting board so the ends are in the same place and with one swoop of the knife – cut all ends off. I called my son over – with evident superiority and said “ See, look how mommy does this. He looked and said “So what! Just because you do it that way doesn’t mean you’re better.
Ooops, my mother was  just as happy, not being in a rush. Why do we think that “my” system is better because it characterized by “my” preferences? Daffs on PinkDaffs on Pink  3D painting by Ken Gidge

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A Miracle for an ordinary day

GidgeWorldWas observing that when I put an itty bitty seed in the ground – this free sun, water and nutrients and a little time turn it into food, and flowers. It really is a miracle!

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