Touch Someone Who…

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Mingling at Central Iowa Yoga Retreat

Yesterday at CAS training we worked on compliments, one aspect of giving and receiving honest feedback. Compliments are difficult to receive, especially for women it seems to me.The Chrysalis After-School mentors and facilitators discussed the kinds of compliments we like to get–about our work, being on time, and those we are not so fond of–our looks, the back-handed kind, those … Read

Learn about Women’s History

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

Even though I’ve been around for several decades, I’m still sometimes surprised by how much I DON’T KNOW about the part women have played in history and the evolution of women’s rights around the globe. Right now I’m reading a book called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It has some pretty excruciating descriptions of foot binding and the second … Read

Discover Creativity

Martha McCormickArt for Life, Mindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

I listened to Speaking of Faith this morning while I did yoga. I use this routine to focus on spirituality and fitness; it’s easier for me to meditate when I’m moving! This week’s podcast was titled “Fishing with Mystery” and James Prosek said that creativity is our gift from the Creator. Discovering our own creativity and expressing it is a … Read

Divide Your Group

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As I facilitate experiential education or group discussions, I like to divide any group that is larger than seven people into smaller groups. This makes it easier for quieter people to be heard. If I’m with a group for more than an hour or so, I mix the groups up so everyone gets to know each other better. I’ve experimented with … Read

Mingle Mingle!

Martha McCormickTeam Building2 Comments

This is a really fun way to mix a group up and then divide up cliques without anyone being the wiser. Here’s a video that is worth 10,000 words of explanation for a game I’ve used for years.

Celebrate Justice!

Martha McCormickSocial Justice3 Comments

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

“I do believe there are gender and ethnic stereotypes that propel people to assumptions about what they expected me to be,” these words from Sonia Sotomayor, our newest Supreme Court Justice, encapsulate the reasons for Chrysalis After-School. Girls need to overcome those assumptions and women need to challenge them! So many articles have been written about how she has overcome … Read

Web the Group’s Words

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This planning technique is a group version of mind mapping; I use this system of visual note taking all the time to capture memories and ideas. Tony Buzan developed mind mapping in Britain a number of years ago; it’s used a lot more in Europe, but a good friend of mine used it in graduate school for everything from  notetaking … Read

Connect Service to Life

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Processing the experience is a core component of an effective service learning experience. You can process in a group or have group members create journals or portfolios. The questions here can be used for any of those methods; choose the ones that will help your group members internalize their service learning experience. This first group of questions will help reflect … Read

Process in Concentric Circles

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Concentric Circles works great both for processing and for getting your group to get to know each other. I’ve used it many times to create “teachable moments.” As a processing technique, it’s a good illustration that the facilitators don’t always have to be part of the processing discussion for it to be effective. When I heard this in a Matty … Read

Write a Six-Word Memoir

Martha McCormickArt for Life, Philosophy & Musings4 Comments

Last winter, my daughter, one of her friends and I wrote six-word memoirs to sum up our days. This exercise was based on the very popular book called “Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure.” I found it a challenging and interesting way to review my day. We shared news about a sister’s engagement, … Read