Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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3 Signature Practices for Adult Learning


Time: 1-10 minutes

Activities for Inclusion

Adults bring their experience, allow them to use it! Establish safety and predictability. Support contribution by all voices. Set norms for respectful listening. Allow people to connect with one another and create a sense of belonging.

Culturally-responsive Commitments and Examples

  • Commit to community building
  • Check in with the Mood Meter
  • Check in with your team charter
  • Share a common poem or verse, TED talk, expressions/sayings/”dichos”
  • Explicitly name equity implications of work/learning for today’s topic
  • Interactive check in: Begin with a sentence starter:
    • “A success I recently had was…”
    • “One thing that’s new about…”
    • “One norm/charter agreement I will hold today is…”


Time: 1-15 minutes

Sense-Making and “Brain Breaks

Adults want to make their own meaning and have fun. Engaging practices are brain-compatible strategies that can foster: relationships, cultural humility and responsiveness, empowerment, and collaboration. They intentionally build adult SEL skills. These practices can also be opportunities for brain breaks that provide a space for integrating new information into long-term memory, otherwise it is soon forgotten.

Culturally-responsive Commitments and Examples

  • Offer 30-90 seconds of silent think time before speaking or sharing
  • Provide opportunities for turn and talk, share and listen
  • Give brain breaks, have people stand and stretch
  • Cultivate practices that involve interactions in pairs, triads, small and whole groups
  • Go over RULER lessons: Mood Meter strategies, Meta-Moments, Blueprints, restorative conversations
  • Utilize funds of knowledge and collaborative problem-solving: including expertise of students, parents, teachers, communities and each other in our work
  • Connect work to issues of bias, privilege, equity, stereotype threat and opportunity gaps at every opportunity


Time: 3-5 minutes

Reflections and Looking Forward

Adult learning occurs when behavior changes. End each meeting or professional learning by having adults reflect on and name something that helps them leave on an optimistic note. This provides positive closure, reinforces the topic, and creates momentum towards taking action.

Culturally-responsive Commitments and Examples

  • Consider:
    • What are my next steps?
    • What’s the next conversation I’m going to have about this, and with whom?
    • Who do I want to connect with about this topic?
    • What is a word or phrase that reflects how I feel about moving forward with this?
    • What is one thing I appreciate about our team and community?
    • Who are our RULER Charter Champions?