Students focus their social, emotional, intellectual and physical energy.
With new content, students negotiate, take risks, experiment, imagine and innovate in the pursuit understanding and meaning.
Students demonstrate their discoveries in a dynamic revelation of student learning.
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Dina has been working with K-12 educators for 9 years. She has worked with teachers to develop and implement innovative and unique STEM projects, each leading to students becoming more engaged with both content and their community. Her work led to long-term development of classroom–business collaborations that continue to work together on projects that expose more than 12,000 students annually to careers in science, engineering, and the tech industry. Dina has facilitated professional development workshops with hundreds of teachers across Arizona as part of an educational nonprofit and partner of Tucson Values Teachers, Tucson Unified School District’s Regional Science Center, Arizona Science Teachers Association, Science Foundation Arizona, and the University of Arizona College of Science. Dina’s background is also as a fine artist with a focus on sculptural ceramics, fiber arts, and drawing. Today she’s inspired and is exploring work in watercolor. She lives in sunny Tucson with her husband and two teenagers.
I have had the great joy of teaching and connecting with children, youth and adults for 30 years! Currently I am a public speaker who delivers many keynotes in English and Spanish across the country, in Canada, and Mexico for organizations like ILA (International Literacy Association), many statewide, regional and nationwide early childhood conferences such as First Things First, ASCC, NYSAEYC, NCAEYC, NAEYC, CDL, Rocky Mountain States Conference, NAFCC, and many more. These keynotes focus on the use of our mind, brain, and body and the concepts of Embody Learning are clearly and passionately represented. I'm also the Founder and Director of Education for the Global Learning Foundation. Through this non profit organization we engage children and youth in classrooms by demonstrating many artistic techniques, many of which use the concepts of Embody Learning. This would include my physical brain games, which are a great example of Embody Learning. In addition we foster these concepts with teacher and parent workshops. Embody Learning has impacted every part of my life, including my physical and mental health. I am physical and mentally very active and energized!
Cheryl Mertz is a master teacher trainer with 29 years of experience as a Curriculum and Instruction Coach, a Gifted Cluster Coach, and an Arts Integration Coach in Arizona Public Schools. She recently retired from Peoria Unified School District in Arizona, and continues to work as a consultant for Embody Learning®, Moving Through Math, an Arts-Integration group based in Washington, D.C., and Art Full Teaching, LLC, Cheryl’s company in Arizona.
Cheryl is skilled in a wide range of arts integrated teaching strategies that connect visual arts, drama, music, and movement to all areas of the elementary curriculum. She writes Arts-Integrated curriculum and creates Arts Integration training and Professional Development.
Arts-Integrated teaching is Cheryl’s true passion. She is committed to sharing how the arts support meaningful learning through engaging students intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically.
I have been teaching in the elementary classroom for 32 years in grades pre-k-5th grade. The majority of my teaching career was spent in an elementary school that focused on using arts integration strategies as the foundation for teaching academic skills to students. Working to empower students in the learning process, I collaborate with fellow teachers and model high engagement lessons and Embody Learning strategies to use with their students . Students are up moving, creating, and demonstrating their learning through these highly engaging strategies. Seldom do I teach a lesson today that does not involve my students putting their "learning in their body." Over the course of my career, these teaching strategies have helped me to evolve my teaching practices for the 21st century.
Donn Poll believes teachers can help every student succeed. He came to that belief 10 years ago as Executive Director of Arts Integration Solutions focusing on helping teachers use the arts to engage students in academic success. Then he formed a business with his arts and education partners to train teachers to engage students at a whole new level in Embody Learning. Donn’s background is in communication — with education (cum laude) in journalism and design, he started in the newspaper business and moved through corporate communications to education and the arts. He led the development of the Embody Learning model, working with his partners Rick Wamer and Julia Barwell and teachers in preschool through high school classrooms. Donn believes teachers are the key to making school a successful experience for every student in every classroom. He is optimistic, passionate, determined.
Rick Wamer, Chief Program Officer. Mr. Wamer has Embody Learning in his bones. He has shaped the model with teachers in classrooms across the country. With his colleague Paul Fisher, he imagined and constructed the training and coaching that will become the magic of the app. Rick’s experience at Embody Learning combined with the rest of his professional career has made him a highly effective promoter. He knows how to fully engage users after decades of managing his theater and after working with world-renowned artist Marcel Marceau as well as from touring the world on his own.
Adam Deflorian, Chief Technology Officer. Mr. Deflorian graduated from high school with several LLCs and graduated the University of Denver with a thriving internet business marketing luxury hotel properties. Now, with several years of knowledge to apply, he will drive the conversion of the Embody Learning model to a technology platform and manage the customer technology interface. Adam drives analytics, look-n-feel, interface documentation, usage studies, where we are today, and where we need to be in the future.
Julia Barwell brings her passion for teaching and learning strategies to Embody Learning classrooms across the country. As a former assistant professor at Northern Arizona University’s undergraduate elementary education program, she has extensive experience working with pre-service teachers, embedding theory and strategies for student engagement into her elementary methods courses. Her over thirty years as an educator include several years as an elementary music teacher, classroom teacher, instructional coach, staff developer and elementary principal. She is an Arizona certified trainer of English Language Arts Standards. Julia taught curriculum and methods courses and supervised prospective teachers in practicum classrooms.
She has shaped the Embody Learning model and guided its research.
Melissa Shaver teachers at Frontier Elementary School in the Peoria Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona. She is one of the “Tres Amiga” with fellow Peoria teacher/coaches Jean Cole and Cheryl Mertz who have been part of Embody Learning development in recent years. Like her colleagues, Melissa has based her classroom practice on the principles of active learning and student engagement. With her colleagues, she has developed some of the training and coaching content for Embody Learning.
Michael Wolff, Development Officer leads the capital acquisition initiative and shapes cash management strategy to leverage each capital infusion for optimal return. Michael has experience working with businesses on valuations and structural changes, including mergers and acquisitions. Relations with investors and customers are a big part of Michael’s Embody Learning role, as he negotiates alliances that strengthen the outlook for strong performance.
Gallego Intermediate Fine Arts School (Sunnyside United School District – public), Tucson.
Outer Limits School Emily Meschler Early Learning Center, Flowing Wells School District, Tucson.
Sanders Middle School, Sanders Unified School District (public on Navajo Nation), Arizona.
Herrera Elementary School, Phoenix Elementary School District (public), Phoenix.
City High School (public charter), Tucson.
We spent the last five years testing and tuning Embody Learning, working with teachers and students in our pursuit of a model that will have an impact on millions of students in every classroom — in YOUR classroom — immediately.
With Embody Learning, student are engaged and excited and there is a marked increase in the test score vocabulary ranking.
High School English teacher, Chad B.
Within 10 minutes, students started sharing at an incredibly personal level. They shared stories about themselves I had never heard. They started working with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.
High School Career Director, Eve R
As students present, their teacher can see which students understand and which don't. She noted a significant increase in understanding, across the curriculum, through using Embody Learning protocols.
High School Math Teacher, Dawn P.
We have seen a remarkable improvement in students' comprehension of vocabulary and grammar. After using the Embody Learning protocol of "wording" we learned in classroom demonstrations and professional developments, every student except two got 100 percent on their quiz. It has become routine in his classroom.
High School Humanities Teacher, Brett G.
I will be doing this as often as possible in all classes! Working with Embody Learning was a transformative experience! My students were highly engaged every day, and their knowledge of certain math concepts deepened with every movement. Having the students think about math by using their bodies was interesting and a great way to internalize the math.
H.S. Math Teacher, K.C.E.
I have seen major changes in student engagement and academic grades. For example in one content unit I observed a student who, visibly, transformed his knowledge base from non-comprehension to understanding. Through the use of Embody Learning protocols, he went from failing the class to As and Bs.
Middle School Social Studies, Marisol B.
Having children engage in physical expression of words helps them be excited about new words and to make connections. Those connections make it easier for students to be engaged when they actively retell the story.
Preschool Guide discussion learning skills,
Watching the children talk about their emotions and using the (Embody Learning) strategy to control their emotions. I will keep using them. The children love them and are still making them.
Body language is as important as spoken language and vital to all my lessons in this training. Students enjoy using their bodies and their natural ability to create unique expressions of words and stories.
I would previously not have challenged my students this way. I learned my children not only rose to the challenge, but excelled at it.
Embody Learning is a versatile tool that can be used to gain understanding about how children see the world; it engages and maintains the attention of young children.
I believe Embody Learning provides AMAZING strategies to help students. I think it could be extremely helpful teaching syllables and even language for students who have difficulty communicating.
I use Embody Learning to enhance vocabulary and for quick assessments. And to make teaching more interactive.
I noticed an incredible increase in not only vocabulary retention and test scores, but most importantly the students took ownership of the words, and processes and the level of enjoyment they had with the vocabulary lessons.
Fifth grade math teacher,
Once I began using Embody Learning, students were more fully engaged and took pride in their work as it was something they had to perform in front of the whole class.
Seventh grade social studies teacher,
My students are struggling with writing and these concepts should lead to some breakthroughs.
It results in a passion for creative thinking.
More critical thinking, making connections across curriculum, and activating variousparts of the brain.
Middle School Teacher,
I like the freedom if provides to apply ideas to common core application details.