Cally Flox

Another Way to Listen

National events during this difficult year evidence a need for better models of civil dialogue and respectful communication to solve the complicated issues we face. How can each of us reach across the aisle to shift the direction of the widening divide? As educators who teach by example, how can we think critically about the challenges before us and practice effective communication for synergistic collaboration to achieve creative solutions?   I have learned a lot about this while participating in the BYU ARTS Partnership Native American Curriculum Initiative (NACI). NACI works across various cultures, belief systems, and values. It offers a…

Including the Arts in Classroom Rituals

Rituals are an important part of building a physically and emotionally safe classroom environment. Arts activities can be used as rituals to help students and teachers feel connected as a classroom community. Rituals are used to greet students, say goodbye, honor student work, establish procedures, organize materials, and transition between activities and the arts can help. For example, meditation with music serves to invite focus and calm, a tableaux engages interest, and a braindance can release physical energy.  Rituals create emotional continuity. A rhythmic call-and-response game between the teacher and class members can help students regulate their internal chronometer and…

Recruiting the Body for Mindfulness Practices

When I was growing up, my family had a 14-foot Sunfish sailboat. It was a perfect size for a pair of teenagers to lift off the roof of the car and carry to the water’s edge for an afternoon on a local reservoir. The single triangular sail made it easy to tack across the lake and back. What kept us upright was the daggerboard, a four foot by 18-inch board placed into a center slot on the deck of the small boat which extended into the water as a ventral fin to provide balance and stability when the sail caught…

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