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Social and Emotional Improvisation

Multiple Session Options

What is Social and Emotional Improvisation (SEI)?

Social-Emotional Improvisation is the practice of using improv to enhance social goals. The basic tenets of improv is to say “yes-and”, it helps motivate individuals to listen to their communication partner and be open with their response. The idea of "yes-and '' is practiced by actors to be ready to listen and respond on stage in front of an audience, this same practice can be done to listen to our students in the classroom as well as helping students learn to work with others!
 
No one student is the same, therefore how we respond and connect with our students can stay as surprising as the students themselves. Improv games help us keep that curiosity alive and meet each individual where they are, helping scaffold social and emotional learning in a unique and playful way. 
 
An improviser’s mindset does not replace experience, background, or previous training; instead, teaches participants to incorporate improv games with previously gained knowledge. While everyone is given direct instruction in various skills, the challenge comes in the application and practice of these skills. Social and Emotional Improvisation is a concept that believes these skills can be practiced with imagination and flexibility found within improv games.

 
What is found in these workshops?

The SEI workshops are taught by Maja Watkins, a Social and Emotional Learning Specialist in Los Angeles, Ca. Maja ties Social and Emotional Learning competencies from CASEL (www.casel.org) to the improv games found in her book The Brain’s Playground: Using Improv Games To Teach Social and Emotional Learning and these games are played in each workshop. The workshops are individualized and will get participants thinking on their feet, experiencing a unique approach to working with individuals, learning actual improv games to take home with them while laughing and having fun! Improv games and exercises provide opportunities to socialize in a safe place where you can take risks and make mistakes.

Using Improv Games to Stay Playful & Stay Present

This 3-part series of workshops allows us to exercise humor and a playful imagination to help build rapport with students while also giving students the opportunity to stay flexible and ready to learn! This course covers skills that will enhance the classroom environment and create a safe space for students. Playing and being present with students strengthens bond and trust which, in return, will improve learning outcomes and decrease negative behaviors in the classroom. The improv games played in this course let us practice critical social skills for life. Students who play have more time to implement learning in a natural way that prepares their brains for the unpredictable world. The social skills touched upon in each of the improv games include “going with the flow” or flexibility, impulse control, perspective taking, turn-taking, understanding similarities and differences, focus, teamwork, and of course... imagination! Imagination builds empathy and, like anything else, can only be fully developed through practice.

May 14,
May 21, and
May 28, 2022


Video access until May 31, 2022

11:00 am -
12:30 pm 
Central Time

All Sessions Take Place on Zoom

$299 per person 

Presenter

Maja is an author, teacher, and founder living in Los Angeles, Ca. Through her work with children in various settings, and her experience growing up with a brother on the autism spectrum, Maja has developed an understanding of how powerful communication is for all people.  Maja specializes in using improv games to teach social skills and believes improv games benefit school culture and the home environment. Maja founded the non-profit Zip Zap Zop Enrichment that builds improv curriculum to fit a school's Social & Emotional Learning needs. Maja is the author of The Brain's Playground: Using Improv Games To Teach Social and Emotional Learning as well as the author of a parenting guidebook titled: 10 Minutes of Play for 10 Days. The Brain’s Playground includes her valuable research, data, and curriculum and ties improv games to CASEL’s Social and Emotional Learning competencies (www.casel.org).  Maja holds a degree in Child Development and is also a graduate of The Second City in Hollywood where she studied improvisation and sketch comedy. Maja works as a Social and Emotional Learning Specialist and creates inclusive opportunities where the curriculum is designed to allow children and young adults to reach their highest potential in whichever way they feel most comfortable.

Maja Watkins

Maja Watkins