As the weather warms up, I remember the summers I spent at Camp Whispering Oaks, a Girl Scout resident camp in Southern California. Now that I am a teacher and a mom, I know that I can’t go back, but I can bring camp into my classroom.  The improv game Questions Only is one of the games that my students enjoy. As a little background, at Camp Whispering Oaks, the entire camp attends a large opening campfire on the second night of each session to welcome the girls.  These are upbeat evenings filled with singing, staff introductions, and skits performed by counselors.  In order toRead More →

Whether or not we are aware of it, most of us have traumatized youth in our classrooms.  While teaching at San Pasqual Academy, a residential high school for foster youth, many of my students had experienced trauma.  In an effort to learn how to best support this special population of students, I began reading books about trauma.  As I read The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. I learned that the development of empathy, relationships, and healing can be supported through participation in improvisation activities. I remembered the improv games the staffRead More →