The key to achieving any of these goals is a core learning process called micro-VCoLing. This process leverages the brain's built-in learning mechanisms to ensure that everyday learning opportunities are translated into highly effective learning experiences. Micro-VCoLing allows us to learn the way the brain likes to learn—and it's the best way to build a robust and agile mind.
We think everyone deserves the opportunity to develop optimally, so we're making it simple to build micro-VCoLing skills with easy-to-use tools called Micro-VCoL Makers™ (MVMs). MVMs help learners, parents, educators, and coaches create embedded practices that build a wide range of skills for life and work—including micro-VCoLing skills.
The complimentary MVMs available on the Micro-VCoL Maker page are for anyone who wants to take the first step toward micro-VCoLing virtuosity.Before you check out the MVMs, here are some ideas for putting MVMs to work:
Most of us would benefit from further development of our emotion regulation skills. With the Noticing Emotions MVM, you can create a wide variety of custom micro-VCoLs that, practiced as written, will help you learn to notice emotions before you act on them.
Make your first micro-VCoL by clicking on the "Noticing Emotions MVM" button at the top of the page, selecting from the menus, then clicking on the "make" button. Your micro-VCoL will show up below the Maker form.
When creating your first micro-VCoL try to create one that you are likely to practice at least 6 times per day. Practice it for an entire week, trying to keep each practice simple and quick. Spend no more than a few seconds on each practice (unless you are taking notes). Micro-VCoL cycles are best kept quick and frequent.Show more »
Start by practicing a simple micro-VCoL with your kids. There are two ways to do this. If you think a child needs guidance to learn how to do a particular micro-VCoL, you can literally do the micro-VCoL together until per learns how to practice it alone. Most often, however, you will simply practice concurrently, with everyone doing the same micro-VCoL for an agreed-upon period.
Focus on situations or emotions that are relevant for your family. For example, if bullying is a problem at school, choose a context that relates to bullying.
When family members practice a micro-VCoL together, it's important to share your experiences. Depending on how frequently family members have an opportunity to practice, this could be anywhere from every day to once a week. During discussions, create a safe space in which the contributions of all family members are heard and appreciated without judgment.
Consider keeping a record of the specific feelings reported by family members over time. This could be done on the fridge or a white board with tiny post-it notes. From time-to-time, working together, choose a situation from the MVM's list and work together to identify all of the feelings family members have associated with that situation.Show more »
There are many ways to engage students in emotional awareness micro-VCoLing. For example, micro-VCoLs can be practiced in class during regular learning activities. They can be used to enrich projects or homework assignments. Even entire schools can become involved in building emotional awareness around existing social issues.
A fun (and informative) way for students to begin learning to micro-VCoL is by assigning an emotional awareness micro-VCoL around boredom. Begin by asking students to practice a micro-VCoL focused on noticing boredom during the day's lesson. At the end of the lesson, have students discuss when and why they felt bored.
During a later lesson, ask students to repeat the process with a micro-VCoL focused on feeling interested. Afterward, ask students to compare their experiences with boredom to their experiences with feeling interested.
During middle and high school, students tend to be obsessed with the social world. Emotional awareness is the first step toward learning how to regulate the kinds of emotions that arise in social interactions. Practicing emotional awareness micro-VCoLs that relate to relevant social contexts will not only help students recognize emotions as they occur, it will help them build a vocabulary around emotion that will enhance self-expression and increase their engagement in literature, the arts, history, and the social sciences. In fact, micro-VCoLs created with the Noticing Emotions MVM could echo and amplify themes in course material.Show more »
Coaches often find themselves working with clients who find it difficult to recognize and regulate their emotions. Micro-VCoLs created with the Noticing Emotions MVM can help these clients build skills for recognizing emotions before they act upon them, a necessary first step in emotion regulation.
You can get started by helping clients identify situations that trigger the emotions they'd like to work on, then building their first MVM micro-VCoL around one of these situations. Relevance is a critical motivator for busy adults, so help them choose a situation that resonates and a reflection they find do-able, then encourage them to reset their intention to practice on a daily basis. (BTW: If a client comes up with a situation that's not in the MVM, let us know. We might be able to add it.)
Adults, in particular, often find it difficult to stay focused on the specific task assigned in an awareness micro-VCoL. Often the two most important micro-VCoLing skills they need to practice are (1) quickly identifying emotions, then (2) observing them without judgment or analysis. Many more complex emotion-regulation skills build upon these fundamental practices.Show more »
IES (US Department of Education)
The Spencer Foundation
Dr. Sharon Solloway
The Simpson Foundation
The Leopold Foundation
Glastonbury School District, CT
The Ross School
Rainbow Community School
The Study School
Long Trail School
The US Naval Academy
The City of Edmonton, Alberta
The US Federal Government