With Hope in Your Heart and Grounded in Faith

Margaret Boersma and I were at TEDxKitchenerEd in front of the iconic sign when we asked each other to take the picture. Our grateful salutations turned to warm hellos when we realized that we had already met as panelists on ONedMentors. Margaret is a creative educational consultant, coach, teaching artist, curriculum writer, thought leader and speaker. With over 30 years experience teaching Kindergarten to Grade 8, Margaret has honed her craft. She engages learners in a process of learning that incorporates powerful personal expression, enhancing teacher-student communication synergy. Her work sets out to reach and teach the whole child through arts-based workshops and professional development.

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Creative Education In Action
Do You Get Triggered?

Sometimes we try so hard to ‘work on our relationships’ by doing thoughtful favors, giving gifts or helping out in practical ways and still…it will come out that something is not perfect about the way we are being perceived by that person. We will have a better-quality life if we take responsibility for everything…even if we feel that only a smidgen is really our responsibility. Consider, that there may be, even a small amount, of truth to the comment. Consider, there is an unresolved issue from the past that keeps these thoughts and comments alive. Consider, that taking responsibility brings us freedom. So, clear your space whenever you need to.

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Kindness is the Cure

A grade three student says, "You mean we can be friends again after we make amistake?" Students learn the “Make-it-Right Formula" and ah-ha! moments are visible in their eyes. The thrill of those ah-ha! moments gives me great joy! And it doesn't matter if it happens with children or adults; the thrill is the same.

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Developing Innovative Minds is Vital for Future Ready Students

How do we prepare our students for the 21st century? This is a question that educators have asked for years. Teaching content no longer sets our students up for success. Many of the jobs our graduates can get now will no longer exist in a number of years. Of course, teaching the basics is important and we must teach the basics in the context of developing innovative minds.

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7 Steps to Teach Responsibility

How do we teach RESPONSIBILITY? As teachers, we often complain about students who do not take responsibility for their learning. It seems difficult for them to make good choices e.g. as to where they sit and they have a bad habit of side conversations. We worry about these students and their progress. As teachers, we work very hard to make lessons compelling and spend time scaffolding and planning. And sometimes it seems we work harder than our students! We sometimes say to ourselves at points of frustration, “Well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” What if there was a way to teach responsibility?

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Encouraging Student Voice in the Classroom

While examining the plight of modern refugees by living inside a story, students reflect on their own journeys and those of “change” in their families. This inquiry-based learning unit is a model for deepening understanding and social/emotional learning with themes of equity, inclusion and well-being.  Students experience learning in "first person" as they build empathy, compassion and a growth mindset.  Personal well-being is nurtured through immersion in the arts.  Storytelling, drama, dance and visual arts are central to this cross-curricular unit. As well, Language Arts, Current Affairs and Social Studies expectations are integrated in the work.

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Working with Values of Indigenous People

In this unit: game, writing, dance, drama; Grades 2-adult. Resource: “We are the Earth” by Bobbie Kalma Cooperative Game: Atom – One Teapot: 1 chief, 2 eagle, 3 whale, 4 grizzly bear. Information: Read and discuss pages 16 – 19 of “We are the Earth” by Bobbie Kalman. Minds On: Creative Movement: In a circle, body-storm ,the grizzly bear on the land, whale in the water, eagle in the air and fire in the forest.

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SEL Skill Development through a Story

Social and Emotional Learning through Story. This story and the strategies is adaptable for grade 1 to adult. PRE-LEARNING: Students walk about in the space when the leader calls a number. The students form groups and create a statue/tableau with that group. They must remember where they are in the space and what shape they made so when that number is called again, they quickly recreate that tableau.

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An Approach that Connects Deeply

Its August 1st, I am in Montreal and attending a workshop. We are in groups of 5 and it is time to open up and share stories of our childhood. I pause, I look to the corner of my mind and in an instant, Teresa my doll pops vividly into my head.  “I poured all my love into that doll.  She was my little precious Teresa and I loved her and she was taken from me. In an instant, my little friend was lost. ” My group of 5 develops a short play about my story.  It pulls at my heartstrings as I was 5 years old when my favourite doll was so worn and ripped and then one day I couldn’t find her.

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Building Empathy for Disabled People

In this unit: game, choral reading, dance; Grades 2-adult. Resource: Poem: “I Have No Legs” (below). Music Suggestion: Kaleidoscope 2 #13 Lake Louise-Magical by Soundtrack Performance Group. Materials: 7-8 different objects in total i.e. 6 beanbags, 6 badminton birdies, 6 ties, 6 bowls, 6 cups, 6 bread tags, 6 elastics, 6 plastic forks, 6 plastic spoons, 6 pencils, 6 paper plates…

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