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Practices of Spring 2018: The No-Fault Classroom book

Lesson 1: Energy Shifters, Calm Alert, Inner Space Power Panel & “Weird” (1/28)

We talked about Outer Space exploration and how much information we have with the research that has been done.  This series will focus on our Inner Space to create a peaceful life experience, with our inner self and outer relationship connections.  Learning to speak from our heart first requires getting to a place of Calm Alert.  We reviewed parts of the brain: Amygdala (Security Guard) and the Pre Frontal Cortex (Wise Leader).  We talked about the options we have to shift agitated energy into calm alert and created our own Inner Space Power Panel (ISPP).  

Book: Weird

Started a story about a girl being bullied in school.  We stopped half way to explore how Louisa was feeling.  We used iGrok cards to identify Louisa’s feelings and needs.


Other: NVC Journals

Kids received Journals with encouragement to record Giraffe or Jackal moments using the 5 steps to write about the experience.

Lesson 2: “Weird," Journal Sharing, ISPP (temperature), NEED Cards (2/4)

Book: Weird

The group completed the story to learn how "Louisa" sought help and found the courage to be who she really is, including her polka dot shoes!  The group worked together to identify some of Louisa's needs that were met at the conclusion of the second half  of the book.  Following the needs dialogue, each participant chose to make five needs that resonated with them.  













Other: NVC Journal Sharing Moment & Inner Space Power Panel

A couple of friends chose to offer their Giraffe and Jackal experiences from the past week. We used the Inner Space Power Panel (ISPP) to talk about our extreme or not so extreme temperatures during the week.  And used some imagery of kids and water to reflect how strong and balanced feelings may look like.  Children told us about how they themselves or through the help of their parents were able to shift the conflicting energy of non-sharing to a peaceful resolution.

Lesson 3: Learning from Experiences, Power to Meet our Needs (2/25)

Activity: Write or Draw about an experience where things did not turn out the way you wanted

We revisited why we are learning NVC, and where we can use it.  The group identified sources of conflict in our   

 daily lives: family, friends and pets.  Participants chose to draw or write about a recent experience that did not turn out the way they wanted.  As scientists do, we also focus on learning from every real life experiment without judging or blaming. 
















We talked about using NVC to unpack our emotional backpack.  If unchecked over time the backpack will weigh us down and burst at its seams.  Based on the sharing, we identified 2 needs and brainstormed many strategies for meeting those needs.  For each need we have there are many strategies to meet those needs.  When we realize this, we can relax into conflict by working towards the starting point of Calm Alert and know we will find a strategy that will be satisfying.

Lesson 4: Power to Read Feelings (3/4)

Book: Tough (Kids read the color part and enjoyed being active participants; the book was from the perspective of a Bully)


Activity: Connection Between Feelings & Needs

The group identified the feelings we feel when needs are met: calm, peace, satisfied and content.  And spoke of feelings felt when needs are not met: sad, mad, frustrated and afraid.  So, we can choose to read our feelings and learn to work with them.  Feelings five us vital messages about what is important to us and what we need.


Exploration: How to Tell a Feeling from a Thought

Sample: "I feel that is so unfair."

Analyze: A way to test this thought is by asking how would I feel if something were unfair.  That is the underlying feeling covered up by a thought.  It is important to know the feeling so we can get to the need with clarity.


















Lesson 5: Power of Observation (3/25)

Activity: Describe through observation (sight, smell, hear, touch and taste) a strawberry and a sketch.  Our impediments to observation: bias, stereotype, mind, thoughts, filters, previous experience, jumping to conclusions, judgements and evaluations.




"Thoughts are like having mud on the windshield of your car: it's hard to see through it." - No Fault Zone

Activity: Covered some examples of Adding Thoughts to Reality vs. Observing Reality exercises.  The children worked on determining Observations from Evaluations and then matching Jackal Talk vs. Giraffe talk sentences.




Real Life Explorations: For the next 3 weeks group was asked to use their observation skills/ muscles and listen to conversations around them that are examples of Observations and Evaluations.

"Observations" from kids at the beginning of the practice

Lesson 6: Power to Listen (4/15)

Introduction: The group first reviewed our last learning, Observation vs. Thought (evaluation/ judgement words).  The group easily identified words within a statement that made the statement an evaluation rather than observational.

Learning: Covered the 4 ways to listen: either from a critical perspective (to self & others) or from the heart (to self & others).  With critical listening we pointed our critical/ blaming finger out to others or inwardly to ourselves; with heartful listening we hugged our bears as we would others with care or hugged our hearts as an expression of self care and kindness.

Activity: Covered some examples of the 4 different ways to listen.  

Book: Ginny Be A Good Frog: Ginny the frog wants to do as her mother wishes,

but she does not understand exactly what  that is, or how she should do it. The magic of

listening with her heart helps her understand what her mother tells her, and turns

communication into an enjoyable new game!





Book: A Listening Walk: On a listening walk with her father, a little girl awakens to the many unexpected sounds of their neighborhood.  "Put on your socks and shoes — and don't forget your ears!  We're going on a listening walk." "Shhhhh." Do not talk. Do not hurry. Get ready to fill your ears with a world of wonderful and surprising sounds.


Exercising Mindful Listening

Lesson 7: Power to Navigate the Fault Zone (4/22)

Introduction: We began with a heart hug and a friend hug, to recall our Giraffe (compassionate) listening skills.

Learning: Covered the experiences of being in the fault zone where Blaming, Demanding, Complaining and Labeling looms large.  And we learned how to navigate from the Fault Zone to the No-Fault Zone, through our choice cards.  

Activity: Broke into two teams and looked at scenarios from the Fault Zone perspective and then moving to the No-Fault Zone through choice cards.  

Because Anger is such a strong feeling that can harm relationships, we learned the Anger Code: D.E.F.U.S.E. (Detect anger, Eject should thoughts, Focus on energy shifting, Uncover the need behind anger, Sit with your need, and Explore possibilities to meet need.)

Book: Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions - Playfully

encourages children to correct their negative thinking patterns in order

to live happier and healthier lives. Comical illustrations bring the story

alive as our main character, Captain Snout, reveals the super power

questions that can rid us of our automatic negative thoughts (ANTs)

and lead to accurate and truthful thinking.





Lesson 8: Power to Co-operate to Solve Problems & Conflicts  (5/6)

Learning: Covered the 9 Steps to Solutions.

Activity: Brainstormed conflicts that the kids are facing in their world.  We 

then agreed to use the 9 step solution to explore a conflict between siblings

that several people could relate to. 

Book: Completed the third book in the series...Dare!




Jayla feels threatened by her classmate Sam, who has bullied her in the past for her "nerdy" love of astronomy and stars. Sam is now bullying Jayla’s friend Luisa, and she enlists Jayla to participate. Jalya reluctantly joins in but soon realizes it is wrong. With the help of caring adults and friends, Jayla comes to sympathize with Luisa and finds the courage to dare to stand up to Sam and put an end to the bullying.


The Weird! Series
These three books tell the story of an ongoing case of bullying from three third graders’ perspectives. Luisa describes being targeted by bullying in Weird! Jayla shares her experience as a bystander to bullying in Dare! And in Tough!, Sam speaks from the point of view of someone initiating bullying. Kids will easily relate to Luisa, Jayla, and Sam, as each girl has her own unique experience, eventually learning how to face her challenges with the help of friends, peers, and caring adults.


Lesson 9: Power to Create a No-Fault Zone Wherever You Are (5/20)

Introduction: The group reviewed the Inner Space Power Panel and what choice cards to use to get into the No-Fault Zone, versus the choice cards that will get us into the fault zone.

Learning: Circles of Connection taught us about looking at our feelings and needs, then in connecting with our outer life circles, we guessed at the feelings and needs of others in hopes to see the commonalities we can work with. 

Activity: We all drew three circles.  

The inner-most circle for self, the 

next one to focus on a close friend,

or sibling, and then finally the family

circle (mostly focusing on the 

feelings and needs of the parents).  

The participants then identified

some choice cards they could use

to benefit the connections within

their families.

i am peace.jpeg

Book:  As much of the success of the Inner Space Power Panel depends on our ability to get to calm alert, we read about finding our peace as a starting point to experiences with others. 

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