“Be Here. Be You. Belong. This classroom belongs to us all.”
Providing a safe and supportive learning environment allows students to focus their energy on learning. A sense of belonging fosters greater engagement and in turn academic success. Taking the time to create and maintain a positive classroom culture will have year-long benefits for your students - and you!
How do you do it?
We’re glad you asked!
This week’s Share Out features some of our favorite activities from the Team Builder Category to grow community and connection in your classroom. We chose activities that develop many different social skills like empathy, sharing, and appreciation to deepen connections to one’s self and others. Pick one that features a topic that would benefit your students and give it a try as a morning warm-up exercise, a mid-day break, or as a closing activity for the week!
Mindful Monday: Emotion Charades, a playful way to practice identifying emotions, build social awareness and strengthen communication.
Together Tuesday: Issues Step-In, an exercise to encourage sharing how challenges affect each of us
Wellness Wednesday: One Step Forward and One Step Back, an active partner game that builds communication skills.
Thoughtful Thursday: Touch Someone Who, an easy way for students to share their appreciation for one another.
Fun Friday: Quick Caricature, a silly drawing exercise that facilitates eye contact and empathy.
Download the Kikori App today to learn more about these awesome activities!
Each new day we have the opportunity to begin again and set the scene for success. Morning Meetings are the perfect moment in the school routine to set a positive tone for your classroom and create a safe environment in which to learn. “Openers” are engaging activities designed to establish purpose and build relationships.
We’ve gathered together a week worth of Openers ready to use in your classroom. Whether you are meeting in-person or online, these simple activities are a great way to start your day with a focus on social emotional learning and developing your classroom community while having fun!
Mindful Monday: Fold Your Arms An easy way to introduce ideas about comfort and learning
Together Tuesday: Human Uno A sharing activity great for building relationships
Wellness Wednesday: Fruit Salad A simple “repeat after me” song that is fun for young children
Thoughtful Thursday: Comfort Zone A trust-building ice melter exploring comfort zones
Fun Friday: Are You More Like…? An ice melter with get-to-know-you questions and metaphors
Download the app now to check them out!
I am one of the lucky ones.
From the beginning of my attendance at the Association for Experiential Education conferences, Karl Rohnke was a name that I heard frequently and always spoken with reverence and love. When I heard that he was coming to Northeastern Illinois University to lead a full day workshop, I jumped on the chance to attend. Throughout this workshop, I remember a happy energy from the moment I walked in the door, and the activities that I learned that day have influenced my own work and mindset ever since. One of the activities was a splitting activity. During this activity, Karl had us separate into two groups based on a heap of different tasks - cross your arms, which one is on top? Fall backwards, which foot did you put back first? Draw the face of a dog in the air, which way is it looking? Within each, it was never a perfect split between the group. Finally, he asked us to pair up and have one person get on their knee proposing to the other person - and there we had it - two even groups. Throughout the day, I remember wheelies that we tried getting into a bullseye, traversing the length of the gym with my eyes closed, straws being used in crazy ways, and making up the rules of the game as we went.
Most of all, I remember Karl’s motto - FUNN - 'Functional Understanding Not Necessary.'* As someone who was always so focused on my ability debrief and facilitate meaning for my participants, the importance of FUNN and joy is an idea that has never left me since. Goals of connection and laughter have been infused into my practice ever since, and everything about Karl Rohnke’s presence - his laughter and smile and silliness - was foundational in building that mindset. This workshop was at least 8 years ago, and I still remember every game we played that day.
I knew I was lucky the day that I attended that workshop and now even more so. Throughout our experience building Kikori, we have learned time and again that all roads in the experiential education world lead back to Karl. When we talk with people in the field, their stories so often begin with working with Karl at Project Adventure along with so many other places - work that spread from forests to fields to gyms to around the world. We’ve heard stories of games created on football fields and ice buckets and the first-ever ropes courses. We’ve heard about young people inventing and playing and laughing and creating. And we make a promise to the world that we will work every day with the principles that Karl shared with the world at the forefront of our hearts.
Karl Rohnke passed away on September 22, 2020 at the age of 83. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family, friends, students and the education community at large.
*Please see FUNN explained beautifully by Playmeo's, Mark Collard.
Written by Kikori co-founder, Kendra Bostick
By: Kelsie Dawe
In the hectic and ever changing world of startups, the thought of becoming the next Steve Jobs seems slightly more attainable. In a recent meeting, the conversation of the next version of an app build was at the center of discussion. A more experienced tech advisor brought up the point in relation to developers, he stated the capabilities of the modern day tech development are light years ahead in comparison to not even five years ago. The journey from having an idea and turning it into a tangible product has curtailed. It is almost too easy to accomplish, and with a small amount of capital nearly anyone could have an app developed in very little time. However, the chances of a SaaS product to redirect into a profitable business is not as effortless. There are extensive factors playing into what could make a startup successful that span over multiple categories. One thing that I am absolutely certain on however, is a founder’s gender should not be a contributing factor in the probability of success.
While it is true the industry is becoming more diverse, with more and more people of all backgrounds breaking into the startup ecosystem, there is still a long way to go. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women account for 36% of majority owners of small business. While this fact is discouraging to hear considering women make up half of the population, it is even more disheartening to learn that female founders account for only 9% of VC backing, out of the $678 billion it invested in 2019. It begs the question of why seeking private investment is a more challenging endeavor for one group over another? What is the reasoning behind the blatant lack of support for female founded business from the PE industry? Even if one were to assume the average female business ideas were less lucrative than male generated concepts, the percentage of investment should still far surpass a measly 9%.
In an attempt towards an explanation for this occurrence, there is a data-based explanation, and it suddenly becomes very clear why many VC partners pass on investment. Female founded startups backed by VC financing under perform their male counterparts, nearly every single time. This is always the case. Always.
There is only one exception to this information:
If there is a female GP backing investment within the firm, the performance gap disappears. With a female investor, the gender of the founder is no longer a factor in the likelihood of a startup’s success.
The interesting dynamic of this information pushes towards the necessity of an increase in both female founders and investors. As a baseline for growth, there must be an overwhelming understanding that equal representation will lead to equal opportunity. The importance of recognizing the ambition and innovation of female leaders works to break down internal bias of incapability in the eyes of stakeholders. It is the responsibility of a consumer, first-backer, supporter, and investor to actively attempt to improve the climate of the startup ecosystem to reinstate the ability for anyone, of any background, to reach prosperity within their venture attempt.
The beauty of the startup industry, in my eyes, is the potential to change the world. Look back to certain companies responsible for completely redirecting the societal norm. It is the uniqueness of innovation allowing the once-believed impossible to become tangible, taking our environment from zero to one. True growth can only be achieved through extensive and overwhelming support. A sole contributor cannot change the world, it most certainly takes a village. I cannot contain my excitement at times envisioning the small unlikely ideas who will eventually transform the modern world. The PE industry can be a huge propeller to these ventures and uphold the responsibility of being an initial contributor. This is why I become especially frustrated when considering the missed opportunities because of internal bias, misunderstanding through communication, or lack of confidence in an idea or founder on the basis of gender.
To move forward, no matter what role you may play in the unusual territory of startup ventures, anyone can make a difference. By supporting female founders we can work towards equality and true change. Of course, this can only happen one step at a time. This is one of the reasons I have been so grateful to work directly in the heart of this problem. I’ve witnessed first hand, many individuals wholeheartedly support Kikori due to this very reason. I attentively worked towards building the crowdfunding campaign, through Kickstarter, and feel very passionately support the startup as a whole because of my exposure to the people who created it.
Technology in the times of coronavirus
As we adjust to new routines in quarantine, people are turning to technology more than ever. Screen time has increased for most of us due to schools closing, jobs going remote, and classes moving online. For parents, this drastic change has left them grappling with how to deal with their children and technology.
According to Caroline, Knorr, a senior parenting editor at Common Sense Media, “While parents are trying to figure out how to run the household under new conditions, it’s fine to allow more screen time than usual.” This calming message on media and tech use is exactly what we all need to hear right now!
Since we are all getting extra screen time, why not use technology to communicate with children about how they’re doing, too? Here are three simple ways you can use technology to check-in:
check in with nature to connect with your Family & Yourself!