Session Block Four | Saturday, November 12 | 10:15am-12:00pm | 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 2 (Friday, November 11, 4:00pm-5:45pm)
  • Session 3 (Saturday, November 12, 8:00-9:45)

 Updated 11/5/11

Equality Building

The Answer to Your Social Media Woes | Lynne Damiano and Keith Nalbach, The Met School
Tired of collecting cell phones and yelling at kids to get off Facebook? Two innovative Met School advisors reveal strategies to engage students AND educators with technology and social media. Learn how to incorporate technology into student learning plans mirroring how it is applied in the real world. Leave with a collection of resources, a new network and a deeper understanding of how technology can be integrated into the learning environment every day.

Strategies to Sustain Quality Service Learning: Leading Change in Your School and Community | Joanne Harriman, Mount Desert Island Regional School System and Tracy Harkins, KIDS Consortium
Mount Desert Island Regional School System (MDIRSS) and KIDS Consortium have worked as partners to embed service-learning into students’ school experiences. Learn from KIDS Consortium what quality service-learning is, tools to implement and essential elements (policies/practices) of sustainability. Hear about MDIRSS’s vision and story about using service-learning as an instructional method to improve students’ academic success, engagement in school, and civic attitudes.

Theory Into Practice: Project Based Learning in the Elementary Classroom, or Moving Beyond the Craft Project | Frankie Allmon and Emily Navarette, Austin Discovery School
Austin Discovery School is implementing Project Based Learning (PBL) in K-6. Learn about PBL in the elementary classroom: How does one help students to develop inquiry questions that are age and grade appropriate? How do we help students create work that is not simply glorified “craft” projects? How do we manage time, resources, assessment, and reflection with PBL? The session will include examples from K-6 classrooms, including lesson plans, timelines, student examples, and practical tips on classroom management with PBL.

Going Global: The Development and implementation of a Global Competency Diploma | Todd Maguire and Nancy Mirra, Masconomet Regional Schools
As economies and cultures become more interconnected, and technology creates instantaneous links across the globe, cooperation, success, and peace in the 21st century will increasingly require knowledge and understanding of the world beyond our borders. Learn the importance of exposing secondary school students to a global education through foreign language, travel, authentic electives and community service, and how to develop a global competency diploma in your school through Project Based Learning that will make your students competitive in a growing global society.

An Even Keel: Supporting School Change Agents to Reach Academic Excellence while Maintaining a Strong School Community | Elaine McNeil-Girmai and Melissa McNeil-Pleasant
The facilitators have worked in public schools over the last decade in teacher, coach, counselor and administrator roles. Through experience and research they have observed the difficulty of maintaining collaborative school community when the academic focus shifts to higher levels of achievement. Participants will have an opportunity to review the characteristics of effective educators needed to lead the way and the steps to assembling a school team focused on inviting and utilizing community strengths to reach school-wide goals. The facilitators will share relevant research outlining specific strategies to support a culture shift while maintaining a sense of community and continuity.

Culinary Kids: Students Transform a Cafeteria and School Store into Healthy Eateries | Regina Sullivan, Souhegan High School
The aroma of freshly baked muffins fills the school hallways each morning. A blender in the distance prepares healthy smoothies. Pictures of scrambled eggs and hot oatmeal at the school store appear in our inbox. What is all this about?
Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, find out how Souhegan High School went from Snickers and Pop-Tarts to smoothies and scrambled eggs; and from plates of white foods to plates of color, transforming the cafeteria, vending machines and school store.

Mastery of One Subject is Demonstrated by Mastery of the Other: Arts Integration in a High-Stakes Era | Elizabeth Richards and Jennifer Patten, TAPA: Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts
Every day, Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA) academic and arts specialists meet to plan lessons and design a curriculum that is academically rigorous through its interdependence with the arts. At TAPA, integration of the performing arts (Drama, Dance, Music, Film) allows students to acquire higher order thinking skills and master not just the artistic disciplines, but also standardized tests. Learn how TAPA’s students are making significant progress as artists and scholars, while immersed in a personalized, equitable, academically challenging school.

FEM: Think Diversity | Cassandra Wheeler and Yasmin Abduljalil, Encina Preparatory High School
We may be different, come from different social classes, we may be different ethnicities, different ages, different sizes and religions, but we’re all alike. Two students from Encina Preparatory High School in Sacramento, CA started a club named Female Empowering Movement to inspire young women to achieve their fullest potential. FEM is a diverse group of young women who decided to actively discuss what it means to be diverse and how we are all deeply affected by the various stigmas and stereotypes that come along with diversity. View the student-made documentary and participate in an eye-opening discussion.

Serving English Language Learners: Inclusion with Support | Jill Weseman, Leslie Schicht, Rick Harwood, Mahlet Takele, and Jasmin Delgadillo, Global Connections High School
Participants will learn how we have created an inclusive academic program for all English learner language levels. We will share structures and supports we have implemented to ensure that all students can access a rigorous education while developing English literacy, including Advanced Placeent English Composition and Literature classes (“AP for all”). Participants will learn about the range of ELL students they might support in their own schools. Through student case studies, they will learn about the background, cultural context, English language level, academic strengths and challenges of selected ELL students served at Global Connections High School– where 30% of students are ELL. This will give participants a foundation in factors affecting language acquisition.

Justice Building

Prometheus Unleashed: Create and Implement an Interdisciplinary History of Science Course | Tammy Due and Chris Fay, Masconomet Regional High School
Many of the dilemmas facing societies today have parallels throughout history. For example, by studying the influenza pandemic of 1918, students understand how this event impacted human populations then, and how it guides decision making about prevention and/or response today. Learn about offering a course that presents science from multiple perspectives, helping students draw parallels from history and preparing them to be more informed citizens, capable of making logical choices in their personal lives and politics.

How Are We Personalizing Education? A Handbookof an Effective Advisory Program | George Zeleznik, Sara Narva and Dan Cunitz, The Crefeld School
To address the Common Principle of Personalization, many Coalition schools have not only lowered class sizes, but have also created student advisories. This session is for those whose schools have advisories and for those who wish to create advisories. How are such advisories working and how can they be improved? The Crefeld School has recently published a handbook of the advisory program developed at the school. Participants will engage in an interactive workshop, that includes an audio, visual and kinesthetic component, noting roles and responsibilities of advisors and systems for communication and support. The facilitators of this session are experienced advisors at The Crefeld School and authors of Crefeld’s Advisory Handbook, where the advisory is a powerful component to the school program. The handbook is both an internal document for current advisors and also serves as an external document for other programs. Each participant will receive a complimentary copy.

How to Apply Democratic Process in Traditional Settings | Jerry Mintz, Alternative Education Resource Organization
We work with hundreds of public and private democratic schools all over the world. But many teachers who want to use learner-centered approaches are in traditional situations or not even in schools. This workshop demonstrates that the democratic process can be applied wherever you are. For example, learn about the democratic process used for a table tennis club within a traditional Boys and Girls Club, and how classroom teachers can create situations in which their students can experience democratic decision-making.

Transforming School Culture Through the Introduction, Development, and Use of Performance Assessments | Joe DiMartino, Richard Dubuisson, and Jay Midwood, Center for Secondary School Redesign
Learn about a network of 13 schools linked by their commitment to provide performance assessment opportunities to all students. The schools vary widely in terms of history, context, and readiness for this work, but each school seeks to improve its students’ school experience and outcomes. In the second year of a five-year grant, the presenters discuss providing technical support to the network, and share their ideas, challenges, and successes in the pursuit of developing performance assessments to transform school culture.

Online Education as a Means of Differentiating Instruction | Alison Hramiec, Marcy Ostberg, Joanna Taylor, Janet Platt, Brian Connor, and Jennie Hallisey, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Do you serve a diverse population of students with varying interests, learning styles, reading levels, and prior knowledge? Have you ever struggled to meet the needs of ALL these students? Learn how one competency-based, alternative program is using online learning to meet these challenges. The session begins with an explanation of Boston Day and Evening Academy’s use of online learning, followed by presentations of the different models in the online course. The session will close with a top 10 list of useful online resources. Please note: for the online portion of the workshop it may be useful to bring your own laptop, however some laptops will be available.

These Schools CAN Teach Us Sh*t! A Hip-Hop Approach to School/Youth Program Design | Sam Seidel, High School for Recording Arts
For many years, hip-hop had little institutional power in the field of education. It was brought in by student-teachers, afterschool instructors, and volunteers, but it was often marginalized. Times have changed. Hip-hop heads now run schools and youth organizations. This workshop will offer participants a chance to hear from some of these leaders. Together we will think outside the box of traditional school/youth program structures and outside the (boom)box of the most common forms of hip-hop education to imagine institutional models that embrace students’ brilliance more fully and are more responsive to students’ needs.

Welcoming Allies and Mentors (WAM): A Student-Led Program that Creates Safe, Respectful Community | Beth Taplitz and Celia Clement, Lehman Alternative Community School
Our mission is to create safe communities that embrace differences, practice inclusion, and uphold the expectation that students will look after each other and treat each other with respect. At the Lehman Alternative Community School a core team of students have worked together to develop a program that combines mentorship for new and struggling students; as well as training on best practice when intervening as a helpful bystander. Students will discuss their experiences in the development of WAM. Participants will come away with resources and ideas about ways to implement such a program at their school.

Alternative Teaching Methods in High School Math: Fostering Creativity, Patient Problem Solving and Peer Critique | Alyse Schneider, Essex Street Academy
At Essex Street Academy, we aim to engage students in mathematics as an inherently interesting intellectual activity, to challenge their preconceptions about mathematics and how it is done, to develop their natural creativity, and to facilitate them in becoming confident, patient and critical academics. First, through the lens of a geometric proof-writing course, we will showcase practices we use to engender mathematical creativity, protracted problem solving and peer critique. Next, participants will look at evidence of the efficacy of these practices in student work. To close, participants will brainstorm ways to implement similar techniques within their own class structures in groups.

Liberty Building

Global Connections: Service-Learning as a Vehicle to Impact Global Issues | Ian Braun and Becky Leamon, Mount Desert Island Regional High School
Learn how eight MDIHS teachers developed an intense new course for all incoming freshman—Global Literacies: Integrated Freshman Studies. The course stresses service learning, academic integrity, individualized learning, student empowerment and ownership. Students practice using essential knowledge and skills in their quest to answer the questions: Who am I and what is my place in the world? How can I best understand other people, places and times? How do I impact the world?

Redesigning Senior Year: Model Programs for Rigor and Engagement | Larry Rehage and Janice Dreis, New Trier High School
Former directors of senior guidance at New Trier High School and authors of Making Grade 12 Meaningful, share four dynamic programs for engaging seniors. These models embrace the themes of transition, leadership, self-advocacy, and service-learning. Participants will identify and address important transition issues, learn how to design a Senior Institute, encourage project-based and student-directed learning, implement a year-long service project, and foster powerful mentoring relationships that can positively affect the entire school culture.

Science Fiction and Dissent to Dangerous Books: Using Student Choice to Create Passionate Readers and Writers | Emily Richardson and Tom Hinkle, Innovation Academy Charter School
At Innovation Academy Charter School, students in the 11th and 12th grades do not take a standard English course, but instead choose from a variety of semester-long elective courses. These courses allow students to study a topic in depth, and empower students to make choices about their own learning. English courses at Innovation Academy have ranged from Literary Feast, a class that explores the role of food in literature, to Shakespeare Boot Camp. In this workshop, you will be exposed to a variety of courses, including courses on the memoir genre, science fiction literature, and banned books. Whether your school is looking to adopt a new course model, or whether you are looking for ideas to implement in a non-elective English class, you will leave this workshop with specific ideas for units, lessons, and projects. In addition to looking at some of the courses we teach and how they are structured, we will also look at students’ perspectives on these courses, and explore students’ work.

Supporting the Ferment of Ideas: Structuring and Scaffolding Classroom Discussion | Alli Poirot, Codman Academy Charter Public School
The purpose of this Master Class is to communicate the value of clasroom discussion as a shared learning experience, a formative assessment, and an engaging clasroom tool. High-quality classroom discussion in high school can prepare students for success in college classes, but often students need structures of support to get their discussions to a higher level. This class offers teachers four original discussion protocols that they may use in their classroom to help students gain a deeper understanding of a given topic. I will also share supports that allow students of all levels to participate in discussions and discuss how a year-long class may develop and deepen their ability to discuss over time. Participants will engage in discussion protocols, view videos of the protocols in practice, and discuss how the protocols might work in their classroom or content area. The presenter teaches in a small urban charter school.

STEM School Design: Process, Principlesand Partnerships | Marc Siciliano and Lou Rosenblatt, Envision Excellence in STEM
STEM schools are emerging across the country to address 21st century learning in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. This workshop will showcase exemplary school models with an emphasis on the necessary processes and structures to design and implement an innovative school. Participants will learn about the comprehensive elements of a STEM school, including leadership development, a core instructional framework, and business and industry partnerships.

Using the Common Principles to Create Dynamic Primary Classrooms | Julie Grimm and Katherine Leatherman, Eastern Elementary School, Jeremy Trammelle, Pangborn Elementary School
Join three primary classroom teachers from public schools as they bring life to the Common Principles Become actively engage in learning about the personally relevant and compelling instructional experiences embraced in their classrooms that are designed to help students use their minds well while also promoting student empowerment, student collaboration, and student engagement. Emphases will be placed on supporting student research and problem-solving through higher order thinking, student generated questions, interest inventories, guided inquiry, and student generated rubrics. Come prepared to be six, seven, or eight years old again!

Getting Classroom Management Right for Adolescent Learners | Denise Wolk, Educators for Social Responsibility
Fewer teachers than ever feel adequately prepared to manage a high-functioning learning environment, facilitate groups effectively, and support adolescents to become self-disciplined and responsible learners. Learn proven tools and strategies for effective classroom management and supportive discipline techniques. Identify qualities and skill sets of teachers who work effectively with resistant, defiant, and struggling adolescents. Use one-minute diagnostics for responding to unwanted behaviors. Discuss ways to teach, practice, and assess habits of learning and self-discipline. Use “effective teacher talk” that invites cooperation and self-direction.

Project-based Learning + MATH = ? | Albert Solis, Buck Institute for Education
What do math projects look like? Where could I get more ideas? How do I start? These are all great questions to be discussed, but the bigger question is, “When does 1 + 1 not equal 2?” That is the key to unlocking the potential of Math & Project-based Learning (PBL). This interactive session by the leading provider of PBL professional development and curriculum materials is led by a former Math and Physics teacher at High Tech High in San Diego.


Unity Building

Supporting All Students through the Arts: Academic.Art Integration Practices | Laura Davis and Jeanne Powers, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School
Integration of the arts into the academic curriculum can support all students’ learning. Aside from being disciplines on their own, the arts can be utilized in any subject as fantastic tools to engage students in the learning process. Participants will explore how the arts allow people to make connections to their learning and gain practical ideas to start using right away. Simple activities demonstrate that you don’t have to be an “artist” to have fun with the arts. No arts experience is necessary.

Where I’m From: An Interdisciplinary Study of Boston Neighborhoods in the Second Grade | Heidi Fessenden and Annie Shah, Young Achievers Science & Mathematics Pilot School
Two second grade teachers from the Young Achievers Science and Mathematics Pilot School in Mattapan, Massachusetts, share the continuing evolution of a year-long experiential study of Boston Neighborhoods: getting students out into their communities, exploring the roles activism and social justice play in the curriculum, using technology and integrating the work into literacy, and guiding students through a process of multiple revisions and peer feedback to produce high-quality final products.

The Classroom’s a Stage: Building a Bridge to College Preparedness through the Canon | Jennifer Zamira, Lincoln High School
Urban students are often faced with contemporary texts and topics that are relevant and high-interest, but do not provide the content required for college. This workshop presents the work of a language arts class in the Lincoln Center, an extended-day, college-preparatory program on Tacoma, Washington’s east side, where students embrace the challenge of reading the canonical works of Shakespeare while making the Bard’s work their own through drama, creativity, and imagination.

Building a Yoga Program for Students: Strong Minds, Strong Bodies | Rehana Ali and Erin Wilson, The James Baldwin School: A School for Expeditionary Learning
For many students involved in the Yoga-At-School Program at James Baldwin, yoga practice has helped relieve symptoms of depression and stress, and produced feelings of calmness and peacefulness not often found in their stressful, urban environment. Students have repeatedly performed better academically after participating in the school’s semester-long yoga program. In this workshop, participants will experience yoga practices and breathing as taught to our students, and learn how to implement this powerful program in their own schools and communities.

Focusing On Instruction in a “Turn-Around” Setting | Larry Myatt and Wayne Ogden, Education Resources Consortium
Dramatic school improvement, i.e. “turn-around,” seems the watchword of the day, yet timelines are short and few attempts have shown sustained success without a definition of and clear focus on instructional leadership and the skills and habits to fulfill such a role. The facilitators, both seasoned school leaders and coaches, will present a framework for developing and maintaining a focus on instruction that invites broad participation and ownership, and supports student voice, high performance and professional gratification. Attendees will be asked to participate in small groups and to assess current efforts in this domain.

Student-Led Classroom Observations for Culturally Relevant Teaching | Gregory Peters, San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools and Gary Cruz, John O’Connell High School
Built on the Best Practices Club model, John O’Connell High School has developed a “What Works Club,” in which trained students observe teachers teaching and offer positive feedback about what seems to work for the school’s diverse, urban student body. Learn how the “What Works Club” came to be and how to get students and teachers talking about what works and what matters.

Teaching About Controversial Issues: The U.S. in Afghanistan | Amy Sanders, Choices Teaching Fellow, Brown University
Discover a hands-on curriculum that promotes 21st century skills by engaging students in an exploration of the challenges and options presented by the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Participate in a foreign policy debate around the question, “What role should the U.S. play in Afghanistan?” Gain a list of resources for covering the culture and history of Afghanistan and information on other Choices curriculum units and web-based resources. Each participant will receive a complimentary copy of the Choices unit: The U.S. in Afghanistan.

Planting The Seeds of Change Through Student Voice | Laurel Hurd, Phoebe Walsh, Jackson Hall, Mandy Peaslee, Meghan Casey, Yarmouth High School
At Yarmouth High School (YHS), a small town public school, students don’t just go to class--they participate in the inner workings of the school. Six years ago, a group of ambitious students took it upon themselves to restructure our student government. Today, students collaborate with teachers, administrators, and their peers to create a school that is more connected and community-oriented. YHS Senate accomplishments include bringing a Chinese program to the school and adding a student liaison position on the town school board. This workshop will be led by Student Senate members and will provide participants with ideas and structures to improve student voice.

Successful Integration: Creating a Peer Coaching Model in a Heterogeneously Grouped Language Arts Classroom | Karin Kayser and Loris Bjorkman, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School
We are piloting a peer coaching model for one Language Arts classroom to address some of the concerns facing integrated classrooms: student-teacher ratio; special education services needed; teacher training; school support; accessibility of the curriculum; and the learning environment. We would like to hear from teachers, administrators, and students–what has been successful and what has been challenging? How have you set up a supportive environment, in which teachers and students model for each other how to be effective learners? We especially welcome input from teachers who have used this teaching method before. 

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

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