Session Block Two | Friday, November 11 | 4:00pm-5:45pm | Fall Forum 2011, A Conversation among Friends | November 10-12 | Providence, Rhode Island

Nov 10 - 12, 2011 Providence, Rhode Island The Met School,

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Fall Forum 2011's workshops, created by and for educators and students, are the true conversation among friends, the heart and soul of Fall Forum. CES is thrilled to offer such a compelling array of choices and we're grateful to all workshop facilitators for sharing your wisdom and experience.

These workshops are designed to be personalized learning experiences for small groups. Concurrent with this array of workshops, we're also offering featured speakers and sessions and, during Session Blocks One and Two (Friday, November 11, 1:45-5:45pm) the Fall Forum 2011 UnConference; consult the full Fall Forum schedule for details.


This page features workshops for Session Block Two, Friday, November 11, 4:00pm-5:45pm. Click on the following links for additional Fall Forum workshops:

  • Session 1 (Friday, November 11, 1:45pm-3:30pm)
  • Session 3 (Saturday, November 12, 8:00-9:45)
  • Session 4 (Saturday, November 12, 10:15am-12:00pm)

Updated 11/3/11

Equality Building

Fall Forum UnConference sessions


Justice Building

The Creation of aTrue Professional Learning Community Within A Boston Pilot School | Laura Chesson, Sizer Doctoral Fellow, Maynard High School
Boston Arts Academy utilizes teacher leadership as an integral part of its school design. In this school community teacher leadership is not merely a role held by a department head or team leader, but part of the very fabric of the profes­sional lives of all the school’s staff. Supported by a Sizer Doctoral Fellowship, Dr. Laura Chesson investigated the choices that this school community has made that has resulted in teacher leadership as defined as a true professional learn­ing community. The results of this study will be interest to schools reflecting on the nature of teacher leadership in their communities.

Leverage Your Technology More Effectively | Dave Childers, Fresno Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership
Bring your laptop, tablet, smart phone, or just your paper and pen to see and experience some of the fantastic technology resources that ACEL-Fresno Char­ter High School uses on a regular basis. Most of the resources are free (or very cheap), and they can help you with everything from information management to curriculum design. In an era of tight budgets and less time, technology can be an even more powerful ally.

Performance Assessment Essentials: Keeping Teachersand Studentsat the Center of Assessment Practice | Ann Cook, New York Consortium for Performance Assessment; Christina Brown, Building Quality Performance Assess­ments Initiative at the Center for Collaborative Education; and Joe DiMartino, New England Network for Personalization and Performance at the Center for Secondary School Redesign
Performance assessment is a powerful tool in the hands of teachers. This workshop will present best practice in performance assessment from the perspective of leaders at three CES centers that focus on teacher practice and performance assessment policy. Presenters will share the essentials for creat­ing and sustaining practitioner-developed performance assessment from each initiative. Presenters will also discuss how s/he advocates for assessment policy that keeps teaches and students in the center in the current climate of commercially developed performance assessments and high-stakes testing.

Zap the Gap: High Achievement for All Subgroups| Ruth Bareket and Chelsea Toller, Campbell Union School District
To eliminate achievement gaps, some groups of students must make more than one year’s growth in a year. Learn how a district more than tripled an­nual achievement gains by implementing bold resource allocation and specific professional development. By focusing on English Learners, learn how methods designed to improve their instruction have raised the roof and are eliminating the gap for ALL.

HabitatNet: Students Learn Scientific Literacy Skills as Biodiversity Researchers| Dan Bisaccio, Brown University; Viet Pham and Melissa Chapman, Souhegan High School
Students become scientifically literate through the “undertaking” of science—an active process that allows them to develop scientific habits of mind. Partici­pants will learn how to engage students with real scientific inquiry that makes a difference. An example will be presented by students and teachers working with HabitatNet, a Global Biodiversity Monitoring Project. Student research from this project has been presented to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the Smithsonian Institution, and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Math for Social Justice: A High School Curriculum Explores Social Justice Issues through Economics and Statistics | Rachel Parsons, The James Baldwin School: A School for Expeditionary Learning
The Math for Social Justice curriculum teaches students to use mathematical skills and knowledge to make effective decisions as consumers and citizens in an extremely inequitable society. Case studies on the minimum wage or consumer debt, for example, teach students how workers’ wages are set, or how the cal­culation of compound interest and variable interest rates potentially leads to great credit card debt. Students are asked to make connections between case studies and the larger economic equalities in our society. Partici­pants will discuss and critique this curriculum.

It’s Raining!  It’s Pouring! You’re Going to Want to Chase this CES Storm! | Tracey Wolbert and Gina Zeger, Salem Avenue Elementary School
A first grade team from a CES school in Hagerstown, MD, takes you on a storm chasers journey through the eyes of a first grader. See how this storm blows in with meaningful objectives. As the rain starts to fall, open your umbrella to enduring understandings. When you hear the rumbling of challenge lessons and see flashes of protocols, you will begin twisting ideas to use in your own classroom.

The Arab Spring: Exploring Voices for Political Change | Paul Beran, Harvard University Middle East Outreach Center; Amy Sanders and Hannah Potter, Yarmouth High School
Protest movements in Tunisia, Egypt, and across the Arab world have captured the world’s attention. Often led by youth and spread through social networks, these movements have given young people throughout the Arab world an im­portant voice. This workshop will share ways to foster dialog between students in the US and the Middle East, including an innovative student-designed project and information and communication technology, such as video, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. All three facilitators visited Egypt recently and will lead a discus­sion on the causes of the protests and challenges facing the region as the post-revolutionary period continues.


Liberty Building

Are Two Political Parties Too Few? Investigating Politics to Teach the Skills of Mathematical Modeling | Joshua Abrams, Meridian Academy
Mathematical modeling involves representing and learning something new about situations from other disciplines. The focus of these efforts is on learning how to apply the mathematics skills that students have already studied. Learn the cycle of mathematical modeling and ways to teach the process explicitly. The presentation will include information on translating these ideas to the class­room, anticipating the group and assessment issues which arise, and adopting the role of modeling coach. Examples of student projects will be shared.

Keeping the Focus: Setting the Tone for Authenticand Relevant Work | Dr. Teri Williamson, Josalyn Moskowitz, and Carly Pumphrey, Fountaindale School for the Arts and Academic Excellence
At Fountaindale, our staff works collaboratively to embrace a central intel­lectual purpose by reflecting on district support, CES, administrative feedback, vertical team insights, and each grade level’s needs. This common focus pen­etrates all aspects of instruction throughout the entire year in our elementary school, including work with our CES coach, individual electronic learner portfo­lios (filled with artifacts and reflections), our Classroom Focused Improvement Process (CFIP), grade level common assignments, work within vertical teams, and all professional development. Our session will provide opportunities to experiment and have conversations around our work with the goal of taking away ideas you can transfer to your own setting.

Building Support and Interest: Communicating Complex Workto Outside Audiences| Kath Connolly, The Learning Community
Every school holds a complex set of stories. Yet public schools are increasingly judged through data that can’t express pedagogical depth, learning victories, or the work of nurturing a culture of continuous discovery. Discuss how you share your work with communities, policymakers and other external audiences. Have you used data to your advantage? Tried social media? Created publications? Examples from The Learning Community, a K-8 public school in Rhode Island, will be included, but bring examples to share.

Sharing Design Strategies that Support Access, Comprehension and Engagement | Kristen Eichleay, Consultant and Kristina Lamour Sansone, The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University
Explore how a design conscious framework can guide teacher practice. Facili­tators have expertise in Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Assistive Technology, and graphic design. Learn how to combine efforts to provoke the broadest definition of design, from the construction of a lesson plan to the choice of a typeface on a handout. Increase your proficiency in design studio strategies, thereby increasing your students’ access to, comprehension of, and engage­ment with content. Share classroom experiences to support exploration of these concepts.

Advancing the Mission of Your School While Your School is Advancing | Andrea Kunst and Nastasia Lawton, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Attend Advancement 101 and leave with a 3-year blueprint for promoting your school to a variety of audiences. Learn how to build a fundraising plan; how to create and produce engaging newsletters; how to construct a successful annual appeal; how to use free internet tools to get your message out; how to organize yourself and rally your teachers, your students, your alumni and your board; and how to create sustainable partnerships in your community.

Facilitating Intrinsic Student Motivation Through Personalized Curriculum Development | Dan Drmacich, School Without Walls and Coalition for Justice in Education
This curriculum development process, a synthesis of work developed by Carl Rogers, Howard Kirschesbaum and Pedro Noguera, will provide participants with a process, and a product they can take and use with students and teach­ers, when they return to school on Monday morning. It will address all 10 CES Principles, social justice and provide a humanistic, research-based, answer to the question of how to help poverty-stricken students develop the 21st Century skills they need to cope in a complex, technological, urban society.

It Is All About Focus: Three Key Ideas to Support Student Success | Marty Krovetz and Honey Berg, Leading for Equity and Achievement Design (LEAD)
In Mike Schmoker’s new book, Focus, he outlines three key elements, all at the heart of CES principles, that remind us that student learning results from quality professional practice. These elements are: What you teach, How you teach, and Academic Literacy. Learn about how LEAD Center is using these three elements to bring about success for students in CES affiliated schools. The focus will be on you learning and practicing the process.

Tech Support for Project-Based Learning | Alfred Solis, Buck Institute for Education
What are the tech skills and habits you want your students to develop? How do you choose technology and make it essential to a project? In an interac­tive session by the nonprofit Buck Institute for Education, the leading provider of Project-Based Learning (PBL) professional development and curriculum materi­als, participants will discuss how to use technology to support PBL. The facilitator is a former Math and Physics teacher at High Tech High in San Diego.

One Teacher’s Journey - An Approach to Embracing State Standards in a Coalition High School | Vincent Tom, Souhegan High School
Like most public high schools, Souhegan High School faces the yearly scrutiny of student performance on statewide standardized tests. In response, Souhegan has divided the state standards for Science among each grade level. Learn one teacher’s approach to honor the philosophy of Souhegan High School, a Coalition school, with the move toward curricular decisions based on state standards. This strategy seeks to balance a combination of instructional prac­tices including Understanding by Design, Inquiry-based Learning, and Differentiated Instruction.


Unity Building


Coaching for Transformation | Greg Peters and Tania Gutierrez, San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools
Learn about the San Francisco-Coalition of Essential Small Schools model of transformative coaching and their range of tools and practices. Through partici­pant-generated coaching dilemmas, explore how specific strategies and perspectives create opportunities for meaningful and sustained change. Create personal action plans to inspire transformation in your own contexts.

Co-Teaching Done Right: Supporting Teachersand Studentsin the Inclu­sion Classroom| Emily Barbara, Codman Academy Charter Public School
Facing numerous constraints, schools struggle to implement and sustain effective inclusion programs. Learn about implementing or improving co-teaching prac­tices that are productive and efficient for all stakeholders. Use resources such as implementation guides, assessment tools, and strategies for sustainability. See co-teaching modeled, and gain strategies for using available resources. Cod­man Academy uses these practices to support the staff and almost a third of its student body in inclusion classrooms.

Strengths and Growth Areas: Creating Student Success Through Open Feedback | George Nippo, Maddie Snow, Jacquelyn Henry, Jeffrey Condon, Year Up Providence
Research has shown that Millennials need constant feedback to ensure their success. At Year Up, a national college credit bearing workforce development program, we prepare students in five months for internships in Fortune 1000 com­panies or the equivalent. Our feedback model, one in which students and staff critique one another’s strengths and growth areas, is a program cornerstone. In this session we will discuss and demonstrate how an atmosphere of trust is created amongst our cohorts, how feedback can be seen as a gift, and how it can be used in a classroom setting to improve student performance.

Parents as Partners and Advocates | Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana, The Right Question Institute
Parents of students in low and moderate-income communities can become both advocates for their own children’s education and partners with schools to improve education for all children. This participatory workshop provides a model experience in the methods developed by the Right Question Institute that are nationally recognized as key tools for building the critical thinking skills of all people, regardless of educational or literacy level. The methods can be easily integrated into new or ongoing efforts to partner with parents.

How Former CES Students Become Great Teachers and Teachers Be­come School Leaders: A Competency-Based Approach to Transforming Schools | Rob Fried, Upper Valley Educators Institute
Learn how CES students become teachers focused on “learning,” and teachers become leaders who remain teachers at heart. A unique, competency-based internship program has been creating pathways to teaching and school lead­ership for 40 years that avoid “courses,” “clock-hours” and “grades,” in favor of competencies drawn from state and national standards. Participants will com­pare these “competencies” with CES Common Principles to see how graduates of CES schools, and CES faculty, can gain the credentials that will help them transform our schools.

Habits of Mind and Heart: A System for School and Beyond | Deborah Christenson and Steve Barrett, Wildwood School

The Habits of Mind and Heart—a set of values and skills that serve students throughout their lives—includes the habits of convention, perspective, evidence, connection, collaboration, service to the common good, and ethical behavior. Participants begin with an interactive activity to create personalized Habits of Mind and Heart, engage in systems thinking to make habits sustainable, and ex­amine such systems as teacher evaluation of professional habits, data collection around habits, and students in post-secondary settings using previously learned habits.

Fostering Prosocial Change in Students: What to do When Talking Fails | Charles Bauman, Almaden Valley Counseling Services
A core societal responsibility instilled into educators is fostering prosocial change in their students. A lot of time is spent “talking to students” about the student’s need to change – academic engagement, attitude, time management, be­havior, etc. Unknowingly, most educators undermine the basic principles of the Change Process and both students and educators become trapped in a Cycle of Irritation. Participants will gain insight into the Change Process, and specific strategies for facilitating a more positive “process” for promoting substantive change in their secondary students.

Creating a Collaborative Culture of Trust: Transformational Leader­ship in aTime of Change | Leigh Moss and Cinnamon Henley, Austin Discovery School

A culture of trust begins with a school’s leaders and permeates through the entire community. Every school endures change, but when large scale, power­ful and sustaining changes are made, school leaders must be able to involve all members of the community. Learn how to increase your ability to pinpoint and clarify trust issues during these times of change. Hear how changes in the Austin Discovery School — a progressive charter school—strengthened trust and created a common language and open dialogue for the community.

Differentiation: Where There’s A Will (Shakespeare), There’s A Way | Connie Borab, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Explore differentiated instruction using activities, tools, and strategies designed to help all students understand Shakespeare’s plays. Engage models of curricu­lum and assessment that have built-in differentiation. The strategies and tools, especially “stage to page” techniques, are designed to engage and energize learners on multiple levels and can be applied to other curricula, especially those that deepen interpretative skills and build comprehension. Examine a vari­ety of “multiple-intelligence” strategies and authentic assessment tools.


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Fall Forum 2011: A Conversation among Friends | November 10-12 | Providence, Rhode Island

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