Practice Project

Please post a description of your proposed practice project here by midnight on Thursday, February 15. That will give me time to review your project before we meet on Saturday.

Here are some elements I think will help guide you in your project:

  1. Why did you select the project?
  2. What will you do, investigate, practice, and with whom?
  3. How long will you do it?
  4. How will you reflect on the project, e.g. journaling, blogging, asking the participants, or??? – and how would you improve on the project if you were to repeat it?
  5. How will you share your learning with the class? And others?

Following your first draft, you may want to make some edits. The final project description will serve as a learning contract. If you make changes to the plan, please get me involved.

You will have to provide updates on your project (I will let you know how) on March 23, April 6, and April 20.

6 thoughts on “Practice Project

  1. Emma Florek
    EDU 598: Trauma Informed Care
    Practice Project Proposal: Art Therapy Camp
    Spring 2018
    Proposal: For my semester project, I will design and facilitate a week-long summer camp centered around art therapy. The camp will last for one week at the beginning of August of this year in partnership with the New Kent Parks and Recreation Department. Rising seventh grade through eleventh grade students will be offered the opportunity to enroll. I have taught the majority of students in New Kent that are in those age ranges, which provides some familiarity for both myself and those who participate. The program will be opened to a maximum of twenty students and will expose them to a range of media and subject matter that relate to the study of art therapy.

    Why did you select the project?
    Art therapy is a field that I have always been passionate about. Given the amount of content I am expected to cover each school year, however, I am limited with how I can incorporate art therapy practices into my curriculum. I am eager to align the strategies and concepts we’ve learned thus far in the semester with what I teach. I think that within the context of a summer camp it will be the perfect opportunity for me to use what I’ve learned from our readings and class discussions. I’d like to see how different modes of art can be used to meet students’ basic needs of belonging, achievement, autonomy, contribution, and purpose. I plan to design projects around these needs. I am also interested in mindfulness practices and would like to explore how they can be used in the visual arts.

    What will you do, investigate, practice, and with whom?
    My objective in planning this camp is to better understand how trauma-informed practices can be fused with visual art projects. I plan to develop mixed media projects that promote mindfulness amongst students and teach them how to use art as a tool for relaxation. I also would like to address one of their five needs each day through individualized projects. I plan to use a variety of materials during the camp, however, students will be tasked with journal collaging daily as a common thread throughout the program. In addition, we will beautify our building by collaborating on murals and bulletin boards that promote positivity within the school for both faculty and students. I hope to investigate how the strategies we learn can teach students more about self-expression, self-understanding and self-regulation. Given the grade levels I plan to gear this program towards, I am hopeful that they will walk away from the camp with a better understanding of their own emotions and how they can be expressed through the visual arts.

    How long will you do it?
    The camp will take place for one week this summer, with each session lasting 3-4 hours daily. Planning, however, will take place from March – May of this year.
    How will you reflect on the project? (e.g. journaling, blogging, asking the participants)
    In terms of reflection, I plan to journal about the successes and pitfalls of the camp on a daily basis when it takes place. While in the planning process, I will create written reflections about what is going well and/or any challenges I encounter. In addition to documenting students’ work in photographs, I plan to survey the group at the end of the program to provide feedback about the camp and evaluate its success.

    5. How will you share your learning with the class? And others?
    To present this project to my peers, I will be using some sort of presentation tool (i.e. Prezi, Google Slides, Emaze) that details the activities that will take place during the camp. I will also include my own reflections about the planning process. In addition, I will display examples of the projects I plan to complete with students and explain their relation to trauma-informed practices. Given that the camp won’t actually take place until August, I won’t be able to present survey results, however, will provide an example of the document I plan to present to students.

  2. Carmen Frayser- Practice Project – Peer Mentoring/tutoring

    1) Why did you select the project?
    a) I decided to work on a project that focused on relationship building, which will not only help students fulfill the growth needs of belonging, contribution, and hope and purpose. When we discussed in class how relationships matter, I always knew that relationships between students and teachers matter, but it never occurred to me how important peer relationships were, and not only relationships with same age peers, but also relationships with (in this case) younger students.

    2) What will you do, investigate, practice, and with whom?
    a) I will be working with my 5th grade class, in addition to a K-2 class (not sure what grade/teacher is willing and able yet). We will be doing some peer tutoring/mentoring with the younger students, which will include allowing the younger students to “teach” the older students they new skills in reading/math, and vice-versa, (older students will mostly read to, and help with new math concepts). My plan is to have students in my class complete a survey at the beginning about how they felt within their school and classroom (welcomed, needed, accepted, etc), and then get them to complete the same survey again after peer mentoring with the younger class for 3-4 weeks. The hope is that building these relationships with the younger students will not only give both classes a sense of belonging, but also allow all of the students to feel as though they have a purpose and help to contribute to our community by helping the upcoming students.

    3) How long will you do it?
    a) The goal is peer mentoring/tutoring for about 3-4 weeks, meeting 2-3x a week, so hopefully we will have 6-12 interactions, and possibly continuing throughout the rest of the year if things go well.

    4) How will you reflect on the project, e.g. journaling, blogging, asking the participants, or??? – and how would you improve on the project if you were to repeat it?

    a) I plan on journaling each time we meet with the other classes, recording (notes) on the conversations I have within my class, and the younger students, taking pictures/videos of interactions and projects students may work on and also collecting the data (from the surveys) and reflecting on (in written form) the outcome. I also want students to journal on their experience each time we meet, as a period of reflection.
    b) I would love to incorporate service learning into this peer mentoring process, but I am not sure if I can do it all this time, or see how this goes, and then venture into the service learning portion next year.

    5) How will you share your learning with the class? And others?
    I plan to put together a presentation with pictures/videos of interactions/sessions and possibly having a video portion where participants express their feelings on the process, and/or share the students’ journal reflections.

  3. Kirsten Logan
    Developing Character Strengths in First Grade Students

    For this project, I will be taking the 24 character strengths and exposing my first graders to each of the strengths. I will also be tying in mindfulness to this project. I will begin with exposing my students to guided mindfulness practices. After we have an understanding of mindfulness in the classroom, I will introduce the character strengths. I will have a poster for each strength, including the symbol and other words used to describe it. We will introduce each character strength in our morning meeting and discuss how we can utilize the strength each day, having students model how to show each strength. I will also make little paper cards with the character strength and symbol on them to pass out to students as I see the character strength. At our next morning meeting, we will discuss the cards that were passed out the previous day and what strength was being used.

    Why did you select the project?
    I selected this project because I am interested in building my student’s self-confidence, esteem, efficacy, and overall mindset. We introduced the growth mindset at the beginning of the year with many books and activities, however, due to the nature of the beast of education, it has seemed to take the backburner since introducing it in September. I am hopeful that bringing forth character strengths and exposing my students to each of the 24 strengths, we will be able to focus on the growth mindset and realize that these characters are not a weakness, but rather strengths that we can strengthen even more so!

    What will you do, investigate, practice, and with whom?
    I will start this project by investigating mindfulness practices and elementary setting, the character strengths, and incorporating the two together. I will explore Ryan Niemiec’s work of bringing mindfulness in character strengths to the early childhood classroom as well as other published material on the topic. Once I have completed the research on mindfulness, I will incorporate the practices with my first grade students. We will then expose the character strengths individually and discuss how we can use mindfulness and intentionality to call on the character strengths throughout the day.

    How long will you do it?
    I will conduct this mindfulness and character strength lesson plans for 6 weeks. We will introduce 4 character strengths each week.

    How will you reflect on the project, e.g. journaling, blogging, asking the participants, or??? – and how would you improve on the project if you were to repeat it?
    I plan to set aside a reflection period during each morning meeting for students to discuss the character strength, how it was utilized throughout the day or how they want to utilize the character strength. Because my students are emerging writers, instead of having students personally journal or blog upon their reflections, we will keep a class reflection journal to record our thoughts. I am eager to try this project and reflect and improve upon to use for future classes!

    How will you share your learning with the class? And others?
    I plan to put together a presentation on the “lesson plans” that were created in introducing mindfulness and the character strengths to my students. I also want to offer pictures or videos (if appropriate) to demonstrate the students “in action” practicing mindfulness or a specific character strength. I also plan to share student reflections that were made during our class meeting time through our class reflection journal and identify any trends if relevant.

  4. Practice Project Proposal
    Marchia Swanson

    Proposal/Why Did I Select This Project?
    For my practice project, I would like to explore relationship building as a way to motivate some of my more challenging students. As we discussed in class, building positive relationships is a powerful way to connect with a student and understand where behaviors and attitudes may be coming from. Currently, I have three students in fifth grade who seem to have lost their motivation and desire to do well in school. These students (boys) are a mystery to me, and I feel like I don’t really know them. They are struggling in their general education class, and they seem to have lost their motivation to do well in school. I decided to develop this project not only to help me better understand these three boys, but also to try and find a way to increase their academic achievement.

    What Will I Do, Investigate, Practice?
    I decided to try the two by ten strategy of relationship building to begin this project. The two by ten strategy is a management strategy that focuses on developing an understanding of your students. The focus is on spending two quality minutes each day for ten days, getting to know a student on a personal level. For two minutes, your only focus is them. I would like to investigate the impact of this strategy on these students. The question to be answered would be “can building this positive student/teacher relationship help motivate these students to work harder and improve their academic achievement?” I have three specific students in mind for this project. While these boys may not be students who have experienced extreme trauma, they are definitely students who seem to need a champion and someone who really knows them.

    How Long Will I Do It?
    The initial phase of this project will only be ten days. However, I would like to use those ten days to get some ideas for developing new ways to build social relationships with these boys. I would like to use the ideas and things that we explore to develop a peer support groups.

    How Will I Reflect On The Project?
    I would like to reflect on the project by journaling about each session. After completion of the project, I will track classroom performance through test and quiz grades, to document improvement.

    How Will I Share My Learning With The Class?
    I am most comfortable with the idea of writing a formal paper to document my experience with this project. For sharing my experience with the class, I will develop a presentation, probably in the form of a power point.

  5. Proposal:

    Why did you select the project?
    For my project I chose to create a group curriculum based around social-emotional learning, implementing character strengths (strength-based practice) and the growth mindset to build resiliency. I currently work with middle school students who exhibit challenging behaviors and are labeled “at-risk” and I am constantly trying to come up with strategies that focus on one deficit or another. What I want to do is begin focusing on “what’s strong, not what’s wrong” and help students to embody the universal growth needs model. Many of our students that have experienced trauma, and some that have not, lack the social and emotional competencies which affects social interaction, academic achievement, and overall well-being. I am hoping that this curriculum will improve student perception of themselves and develop the skills needed to achieve life goals.

    What will you do, investigate, practice, and with whom?
    I plan to develop a group curriculum for middle school students that have been identified as being tier 2 and/or tier 3 students (based off of behaviors and number of infractions). The groups will consist of 6 to 10 students of the same gender. This curriculum will focus on identifying character strengths and applying them to grow mindset and meet social-emotional needs of our students. The social-emotional learning will focus on self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision-making, self-management, and relationship skills. The agenda will consist of discussions, scenarios, role-play, video clips, and goal-setting. During this time, I will keep open communication between the students’ teachers and parents/guardians to get feedback on any improvements they may observe. In addition, I will keep a record of grade changes and the number of infractions in order to compare any changes.

    How long will you do it?
    These groups will run for 8-10 weeks, meeting once a week for 45 minutes. For the purpose of this study I will most likely meet 2 times a week due to time restraints.

    How will you reflect on the project, e.g. journaling, blogging, asking the participants, or??? – and how would you improve on the project if you were to repeat it?
    I will reflect on the project by journaling after each session from my perspective on any changes that I observe. In addition, I will have students provide a reflection as a “homework” assignment which can be completed using a Bingo style chart to give students the option of ideas ranging from essay style writing, poems, brochures, and blog posts, to art, photography, etc. I think this will help them to express what they’ve experience/learned through this process in creative ways.

    How will you share your learning with the class? And others?
    I will share my learning through a presentation to include a PowerPoint slideshow which may include photos, sample reflections, etc. I hope to implement this curriculum in the county so that it can be utilized county-wide and beyond. My expectation is that this program will benefit students and in turn improve school climates.

    4.Increasing awareness of my own cultural practices
    Week of March 19th-23rd
    Evaluation for Educators – Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE assessment)
    3.Teaching with the brain in mind 5.Using growth needs as a framework for lesson-planning 8.Application of solution-finding practices
    Week of March 19th-23rd
    Ted Talk Videos for Staff in Schoology –
    a. Nadine Burke-Harris: Public Health Threat, Health Care Intervention
    b. Sarah Jayne Blakemore: Brain Development
    c. Martin Seligman: Positive Psychology
    d. Staff members introduced to IRAP philosophy
    e. Identifying Executive Functioning Skills: board/card games or video game play
    2.Teacher-student relationship approaches
    Week of March 26TH-30TH
    Eagle Hour Lesson Topics (Extended Learning Time for Students)
    a. First Student Lesson – Principal’s Corner (video)
    • Connecting with students, building relationships
    • Students to complete Trusting Adult Survey – ‘building trust for disclosure, relationship matters
    1.Teaching and using character strengths 8.Application of solution-finding practices
    Week of April 2nd-6th
    Eagle Hour Lesson Topics (Extended Learning Time for Students
    b. Second Student Lesson – Assistant Principal’s Corner (video)
    • Youth Character Strength Assessment
    • Create school-wide Character Strength GRIP outline
    1.Teaching and using character strengths
    Week of April 9th-13th
    Eagle Hour Lesson Topics (Extended Learning Time for Students
    c. Third Student Lesson – Assistant Principal’s Corner (video)
    • Identifying and Discussing Students’ Character Strengths
    • Students complete school-wide Character Strength GRIP outline
    1.Teaching and using character strengths
    6.Integration of learning activities related to strengthening executive functions
    Week of April 16th-20th
    Eagle Hour Lesson Topics (Extended Learning Time for Students
    d. Fourth Student Lesson – Assistant Principal’s Corner (video)
    • Students practice demonstrating top character strength in school setting
    • Teachers implementing character strengths in learning environment
    • Implementing Executive Functioning board/card games or video game play

    To strengthen student-teacher relationships; create school-wide Character Strength Campaign; encourage students to build autonomy; educate teachers on brain development and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences; identifying strengths-based approaches; teach integration of executive functions learning activities; Intentionality Response to relationship building; Adults understand the impact of psycho-social pain and the three levels of stress – Toxic, Tolerance, & Positive; create social belongingness culture;
    Grade levels, 6th – 8th; grade level teachers and administrators; integrating culture shift of open-mindset; short-term goal will be to identify and practice top tiered Character Strength; long-term goal will be to identify the impact of strengths-based approach to academic growth and gap achievement; online-learning system, Schoology; How supporting relationships transcends behaviors;
    Project will be a five week-long practice; Five week sessions will occur every Friday during Eagle Hour (Community/Classroom Meeting);
    End of the week blogging; pre-post assessment for teachers; post-GRIP model of students’ top Character Strengths; formative and summative student performance assessments; post-reflection of project
    Schoology presentation; Qualitative and Quantitative Data; Perspective Survey

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