Double SessionsSingle SessionsRoundtables

Double Sessions

Thursday, November 5th, 2:00-4:45pm

You Got an Attitude Solution: Instilling the Growth Mindset in Our Young Learners
Herbert Hoover Middle School, San Francisco, CA
Mistakes are the catalysts to many of our learning experiences. Learners with a growth mindset are capable of making mistakes and embracing their mistakes by “shaking it off” and creating alternative solutions to get to their goal. By design, mistakes are an iteration of our progress and with deliberative action planning and risk analysis, progress and growth can happen. How does a learner develop a growth mindset? In this workshop, we will be reframing the growth mindset using Arthur L. Costa’s 16 Habits of Minds as learning outcomes and growth indicators to look at 1.) how teachers and school leaders can develop a learning culture that allows students to make mistakes and learn from them and 2.) how teachers and school leaders can infuse the growth mindset attitude into their instructional design. Essential Question: How can teachers and school leaders instill an attitude that allows our young learner to be resilient so that they can reflect and learn from their past failures?

Student as Protagonist, Teacher as Researcher: Reggio Emilia Tenets as Primary Principles
Reggio Inspired Network of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
What are the commonalities between “little-kid” (Reggio Emilia) and “big kid’ (CES) progressive education? Join Reggio-Inspired Network of Minnesota Co-Chair Rie Gilsdorf and Blake School Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher Dennis Gilsdorf in a comparison of the CES 10 Common Principles and the Key Principles of the Educational Project of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Unpack your Image of the Child and examine the use of the Reflective Documentation as tools to reframe the roles of teacher and student in a primary school context. Learn how the “Pedagogy of Listening” leads to personalized learning in the ultimate emergent curriculum for young children.

Creating a Maker Classroom: One Approach to STEAM Learning
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Devens, MA
Everywhere we turn, people are talking about STEAM. Why would we change our curriculum to incorporate this? In this session, we will describe why we decided to start teaching our current course, Engineering, Programming and Making. We will share some of the learning that we did before we started and what we learned as we went. For the majority of the session, participants will be visiting stations where they will get exposure to some of the technology/activities we use with our students. These include paper and sewn circuits, Scratch programming, Arduino and Paper Houses. We will give an overview of course content and share some student work.

Essential Conversations: ReEnvisioning the Faculty Meeting
Watkinson School, Hartford, CT
If we view regular faculty meetings as an essential part of our work in schools, how can we ensure that the precious time we dedicate to these meetings is truly meaningful for adults and ultimately beneficial for students? Time in schools is limited, too short to replicate old patterns that convene teachers but which seem to have little connection to what educators would consider their “real work”. This session is an exploration of the idea of deepening adult collaboration on behalf of sustaining a focus on teaching practice and addressing institutional dilemmas through the creation of a faculty meeting structure that elevates teacher voice, involves choice, and helps foster a culture of reclaiming meetings as critical professional development time. We will explore the idea and associated challenges inherent in utilizing time in schools to “get what we need”, focus on meaningful questions of adult and school practice, and we will share our first year utilizing this approach at Watkionson School in Hartford, Ct. This session will be an active one in which we will work together to uncover assumptions about the nature of adult learning and collaboration, the essence of critical friendship as defined by the School Reform Initiative, and how a collective focus on the classroom and the schoolhouse benefits students and teachers alike. We will explore ways to shift the notion of faculty meetings as static gatherings to active sessions, directed by the needs of teachers and students.

Friday, November 6th, 9:00-11:45am

Designing Adult Learning
Gene Thompson-Grove & Associates, Brookline, MA
Designing Adult Learning Strong, responsive facilitation is not all we need to support adults as they learn – the design of that learning is equally important. And if you believe that adults all come with the capacity to do the work involved in learning, it becomes critically important that we create designs that maximally support them. In this session, learners will: • Explore assumptions (their own and others) about how adults learn • Review the principles of adult learning, and map those principles onto their own experiences • Identify how to make learning real, meaningful and relevant for adults • Consider a sequence for adult learning tasks • Analyze eight steps of design • Create an agenda they plan to use, and and get feedback on it from others. Pre-Reading: Learning to Listen Vella chapter 1

Friday, November 6th, 1:30-4:15pm

Six Heads are Better than One: Maximizing collaborative power on behalf of students with “Kid Talk”
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Devens, MA
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all held the key in knowing how to support a particular student? Wouldn’t it be helpful if you had a second set of eyes to look at student work? What perspective on your practice might you gain from taking a step back? “Kid Talk” is a term that describes the practice of sharing best practices, asking rich questions and digging deeper into a student dilemma collectively with colleagues. Participants will learn about three different types of Kid Talk, see examples of how they are used, practice parts of each protocol, and gather resources to help them take these practices to their home schools.

Extreme Differentiation in the Math Classroom
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Devens, MA
In this session, participants will learn techniques to differentiate in the math classroom, by experiencing instructional and assessment methods from the perspective of a student and discussing these strategies with fellow participants. Participants will be led through the structure of a typical unit of study, have an opportunity to try out the activities from the perspective of students in their class, and view video of students working with these lessons in the classroom. Participants will then have an opportunity to experience an open-ended assessment that focuses on the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, where they will do the assignment and experience the possibilities for what an array of kids can do as they work authentically with the same problem. We will use this problem to see how we can shift our thinking to examine what kids can do from a problem solving standpoint. Participants will also have the opportunity to examine student work from this same problem as we discuss the variety of ways that kids can show success.


Single Sessions

Session A: Thursday, November 5th, 2:00-3:15pm

Teaching the Beautiful
Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA
Teaching Beauty: Why we believe that part of the goal of any Humanities/Social Studies course is not just about teaching, information, reading and writing skills, analyzing human behavior, but about recognizing what is beautiful, what is wonderful about humans. Even more so, Teaching Beauty is about how that actually really works for kids in a school/classroom setting.

The Purpose of School: A Radical Proposal
Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment, SeaTac, WA
This session will bring us back to our roots facilitating a dialogue around the purpose of school in 21st-century America. First, presenters will provide a framework for thinking about schools divergent from prevailing frameworks. In short, we will suggest that schools should serve as incubators for a civil society that promote humanity, peace, love, and justice. We will, together, critically examine commonly espoused purposes of school. We will consider the role of community in school and consider insights from indigenous/first peoples’ ways of learning, knowing, and being.

Diversity Responsive Pedagogy: Connecting Students, Teachers, Parents and Communities Through Dialogue
Watkinson School, Hartford, CT & MidWestEd, Chicago, IL
Schools are faced with an ever-increasing population of students representing a wide range of cultural diversity. We will use case studies to contextualize theory and practice, activities to build and develop skills, and dialogue to share new learning and understanding.

Session B: Thursday, November 5th, 3:30-4:45pm

Starting with their Stories: Rewriting Our Classrooms
Habla: The Center for Language and Culture, Mérida, Yucatán, México
By telling stories, we create who we are. When students tell their stories in the classroom, they recreate their identities and shape “positive social futures.” This workshop will demonstrate how stories can be used to help students narrate their lives and share their stories with each other and the larger community. Len Newman has used stories in the classroom to develop literacy and language for over forty years particularly focusing on students with learning needs and English Language Leaners. Newman will take teachers through the same storytelling process he uses in his classrooms, as well as showing concrete examples of how his students have brought their stories to the community.

Make A Difference with the Power of Acknowledgment
Heart Productions & Publishing, Newton, NH
This emotionally grabbing topic – Make A Difference with the Power of Acknowledgment – is built upon the inspiration of the world renown flash online movie – the Who I Am Makes A Difference Story (viewed 3 million times within its first 3 months) about a teacher in New York who acknowledged and honored every one of her high school students. Then she invited her students to honor people making a difference in their community. One of these acknowledgments dramatically altered the life of a business man and his 14 year-old son. It is a reminder to us all that we just never know when … Our Presence May Be The Very Present Someone Needs.

Physical Computing with Urban Students
Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA
The goal of this session is to present culturally responsive approaches to creating interactive art and technology projects based on themes. Projects showcased will include physical computing, or building interactive physical systems by the use of Arduino-based software and hardware that can sense and respond to the analog world.

Session C: Friday, November 6th, 9:00-10:15am

The Deborah Meier Reader
Deb Meier Institute for Progressive Education, Washington, DC
I am working with Deborah Meier to write a book that will tell the story of progressive education through the biographical lens of Deb’s 50 years as an reformer and activist. The story of the Coalition of Essential Schools will feature prominently in Deb’s narrative, as several chapters will be dedicated to her relationship with Ted Sizer, her involvement in the early years of the Coalition, and her collaboration with Ted to establish a network of Coalition Schools in New York City in the 1990s. Deborah and I will be presenting together.

Interschool Collaboration: Models for School and District Improvement
New York City Department of Education, New York, NY
In this interactive session, participants will learn about two new and innovative programs within the NYC Department of Education, Showcase Schools and Learning Partners. These programs bring teachers and school leaders together to share promising practices aimed at improving student outcomes. We will share how opening doors across the city supports a culture shift from competition and isolation to collaboration and cooperation among educators. Participants will also walk away with ideas on how to share promising practices with other schools in their district/city to support the success of all students.

Forcing the Issue: How the Implementation of a New Grading and Reporting Tool is Transforming Instructional Practice
South Portland School District, South Portland, ME
For ten years South Portland School District explored how to transition proficiency-based grading practices from its elementary schools into the middle schools and high school. Teachers and administrators read and discussed the literature, listened to various speakers, and researched other schools’ transitions. While the district embraced certain tenets of proficiency-based grading, actual implementation stalled. School and district administrators wanted to focus on changes in instructional practice; teachers rightly stated that there was no efficient and thoughtful way to track and report data in a proficiency-based environment. Through the implementation of a tool to do just that, one that supports mastery tracking by standards, the need to shift instructional practice has become apparent. Our conversation has evolved, as it should have, from theory and logistics to what really matters: Instruction.


Unconditional Positive Regard: How to Radically Care About Your Students
Centerpoint School, South Burlington, VT
We all want to be caring educators, but how exactly do we make that work in practice? Whether you teach one student or a hundred, whether you’re public or private, little kids or adults, the core values of unconditional positive regard can translate to YOUR setting. We’ll explore how to demonstrate your caring to students, how to embed it in your class structures and curriculum planning, and how to emotionally sustain the hard work of caring so deeply.


YouTH-Ink: Connecting Conversations Between Youth Using the Language of Poetry
Eagle Rock School, Estes Park, CO
Participants of the YouTh-Ink workshop will learn how to both join and create spaces where youth can create connecting conversations with others (both within and outside their own schools) using the language of poetry. Participants will learn to use a pedagogy designed to incorporate and reinforce academic knowledge through poetic art. Finally, participants will learn how personal stories can connect youth with each other to create political dialogue. The YouTH-Ink workshop models these connected conversations as it will be co-presented by Eagle Rock School faculty and students and their community partner Kane Smigo (an internationally recognized spoken word poet).

Youth are one of the largest and most marginalized groups in contemporary society. Their quantitative “inexperience” is the basis for the overlooking of their wisdom and insight, which are qualitatively unique. Youth often have perspectives on societal issues that are distinct from those of any other group, and which are often lost by the individuals themselves as innocence surrenders to adulthood and the conditioning to societal norms of thought. Youth-based spoken word poetry provides an outlet for the expression of these fresh perspectives during this critical period, and a means for their documentation through the written and spoken word. Our goal is not so much to “empower” youth through our teachings, as it is to stimulate them in finding their own ways to “empower” and give voice to themselves. In other words, we do not concern ourselves with teaching youth how to write good poetry, but rather seek to introduce them to as many tools as possible that may aid them in strengthening their communication skills, as well as “finding their voice” and their sense of purpose in society. “Finding their voice,” as we have come to call it, involves an exploration of diverse identities, both on and off the stage, in order to define oneself and gain a sense of self-worth and confidence. Considering this, the programs we offer are designed to be relatable and relevant to youth across the spectrum of race, class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation.

Embodied Research is for all of us!
Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA
Embodied research is an Inquiry based process, involving the physical response to stimuli. In this workshop we will begin with the creation of a movement language specific to the participants. (You do NOT have to be a dancer to do this workshop!). Your movements (and all of us move every day, every minute), serve as an access point, Participants will collaborate in the development of movement studies, deepening their understanding and connection to content. The goal is to create a response that is authentic, interpersonal and collaborative, while incorporating various forms of literacy. The technique you will learn today can be used in any classroom in any content.

Session D: Friday, November 6th, 10:30-11:45am


An Ecological Approach to Teaching & Learning
Antioch University New England, Keene, NH
This new way of thinking about teaching and learning takes an “ecological” view of classrooms and schools. Drawing from what we know about living systems, this approach envisions students and teachers as connected to one another in a learning ecology. Building on principles of the natural world we will identify practical strategies for designing successful, safe, and sustainable classroom environments.

How to Make Change Stick: The Secret Sauce in Implementation
Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, Estes Park, CO
Most change efforts (initiatives, projects & programs) fail during the implementation stage. What does it take to make change stick? Learn about the struggle of managing change and the tools for successful navigation through a case study of one of our partners with which we work. In addition to receiving materials on this successful innovation, you will also gain an understanding of how to implement any change in your local context.

Creating and Improving an Internship Program at Your School
The Met, Providence, RI
Many schools want to offer internships to their students, but don’t know how. Others have internship programs, but want to expand them or create better systems to support them. And others have students in internships, but they want to get more learning out of the experiences, connect the learning to traditional academics, or better document or assess what students are doing and learning. Participants in this workshop will walk away with systems, structures, strategies, tools and assessment rubrics that will help them develop or improve their internship program. This workshop is facilitated by a seasoned principal who has led a Big Picture internship-based school for 8 years.

Keeping the Conversation Going
Watkinson School, Hartford, CT
This session is designed to explore the multiple ways we can facilitate ongoing conversations pertaining to multiculturalism, equity, and justice. Through workshops, online forums, affinity groups, ally groups, informal discussion groups for both adults and students we are creating a safe and progressive community environment. The ultimate goal is encourage all members in the community to connect and not shy away from having challenging and uncomfortable conversations. This session aims to share the tools we have used to create this environment of inclusivity.

Teaching Global Compassion
Lehman Alternative Community School, Hubertus, WI
Psychology Professor Paul Ekkman and The Dalai Lama have been working together to develop Global Compassion as a core element of equity, an essential component of democratic education, and as central to the curriculum of schools K through 12. Participants will learn how this work is based on recognizing emotions in themselves and others (e.g. Ekman’s book, Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to improve Communication and Emotional Life, and Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ), and will have the opportunity to practice using facial expressions to identify the seven basic emotions of anger, fear, sadness, disgust, contempt, surprise, and joy. Participants also will learn how this connects to developing Global Compassion, empathy, and altruism as essential personal qualities in light of recent incidents from Ferguson to Syria (e.g. The Dalai Lama’s books – Ethics for the New Millennium, and Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, and Ekman’s Moving Toward Global Compassion). We will look into curricular examples from the Lehman Alternative Community School and schools in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada K-12, that use various classroom activities, community service, mindfulness mediation, and conflict resolution to help develop these qualities in all students.

Talking with Texts: Applying the Common Principles to Teaching and Learning Multi-literacies
The ArtsLiteracy Project, Providence, RI
To comprehend means “to grasp.” What does it mean for students to connect with and respond to texts in memorable and meaningful ways that will serve them for a lifetime? The Common Principles provide an effective framework for addressing this question. They provide a foundation for approaches to differentiating, personalizing, and supporting students as they master and share their work with texts. Using and combining a rich array of multiliteracies and a range of texts, this workshop will demonstrate many ways to apply the principles and to create a lively and engaged teaching and learning environment that emphasizes comprehension of content and concepts. We will present and share approaches that help students work with specific texts in depth with focus and insight. Additional approaches will emphasize breadth, or ways to combine texts across topics, content and genre. Participants will leave with materials they can apply in elementary, middle and secondary classrooms as well as access to a website that provides further models and exemplars.



Session E: Friday, November 6th, 1:30-2:45pm

The Habit of Mindfulness
Wildwood School, Los Angeles, CA
The Habit of Mindfulness Workshop offers educators practices to use in the classroom to relieve stress and improve learning outcomes. We will provide participants with mindfulness exercises that can be practiced with students of all ages. Practices will included mindful breathing, relaxation techniques, verbal and non-verbal cues that teachers can use with themselves and students, mindful contemplation, and the practices of compassionate listening and speaking. The session will also address the importance of making mindfulness a constant part of the learning process rather than an occasional experience by demonstrating how it can be used on an everyday basis.

Living Your Life… Online
Yarmouth High School, Yarmouth, ME
How do Core Values guide our conduct and affect decision making in our online lives? Our students are deeply immersed in the digital world. They learn, socialize, explore, and communicate online. Our goal is to help them make good decisions about their online presence. This session will present one way to nurture conversations about the power and potential of our connected lives.

What are They Thinking? The Power of Reflection in Emerging Teacher Practice
New Teachers Collaborative, Devens, MA
Participants will examine artifacts from a full- year, apprenticeship model of teacher preparation, The New Teachers Collaborative. Through their reflective journals, teachers in this program are invited to construct meaning of the complexities and nuances of teaching and learning, as they develop the habits and dispositions of reflective practitioners engaged in collaborative inquiry. Participants will engage in structured conversation through which they will explore the following questions: What do theses journal reflections tell us about emerging teacher practice? Where is there evidence of teacher growth and capacity? What is the value of reflection in teacher practice, and how do we intentionally develop this habit among all teachers?

Problem-based Language Learning: Working with English Learners in the 21st Century
NM Consulting, Guilford, CT
One of the buzzes in educational circles these days concerns the myriad challenges in 21st century learning—integrating technology, interpersonal skills, academically rigorous and relevant content for global citizenship—and reaching all learners including, our schools’ English learners (ELs). This session, based on research I conducted in Kenya (sponsored by USAID, Intel, and Cisco) with Science and Math teachers, and work in other content areas with ELs in the USA and in other countries, examines problem-based language learning (PBLL) as a way to engage students in thinking and acting globally. This method provides opportunities for students to use English for wider communication purposes. While technology is one way in which people increasingly communicate and collaborate, it’s not always readily available or easily accessible. Participants in this session will examine ways to include various technologies, walk through the five steps necessary to prepare and teach problem-based units, examine several frameworks for designing 21st century lessons with a look at the 5 As, including the most important—authenticity. The session includes an examination of program models based upon language proficiency levels and academic achievement and attainment, especially for students with interrupted schooling. It also contains a brief examination of a rubric for evaluating 21st century learning in the classroom.

From Cumulative Talk to Exploratory Talk
Smith College Campus School, Northampton, MA
Teachers from the Smith College Laboratory School share their classroom-based research on exploratory talk. Exploratory talk, in contrast with procedural, presentational, and cumulative talk, is a conversational dynamic in which participants take risks and float tentative ideas with one another, resulting in an idea-centered collaboration. Our K-6 school staff researched how, at different grade levels, it works (and doesn’t work!) to nudge class conversations into the exploratory zone. An interesting distinction is the difference between cumulative talk (collecting ideas from everyone) and exploratory talk (where there is joint ownership of ideas). What prompts, lessons, models, teacher moves, and external supports help students experience this productive conversation dynamic?

Session F: Friday, November 6th, 3:00-4:15pm

Restorative Circles YES, Suspensions NO
Landmark High School, New York, NY
Session will allow participants a chance to share memorable discipline incidents from their communities and ways the school dealt with it. The discussion will then focus on ways Landmark High School implemented Restorative Circles and drastically reduced suspensions and major discipline issues.

Creating an intensive experience of homelessness for middle school students to increase recognition of bias and extend capacity for compassion
Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, Atlanta, GA
Participants in this session will learn about a middle school “Homeless Immersion” course, considering the ways in which we can use this and similar models to transform our schools and families to foster greater understanding of our common humanity and enhance connection. We’ll discuss the development of this course across 14 years and share ideas about how one can bring these strategies to a range of school communities.

It’s Not Enough to Give Them What They Need: Creating Classrooms that Foster Student Ownership and Self Advocacy in Learning
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Devens, MA
Teaching in a multi-age, heterogeneously grouped, and integrated math and science classroom requires teachers to address the needs of a wide range of learners. It serves as a good model for educators who are being presented with an ever-increasing population of diverse learners and being asked to meet individual needs. Attempting to assess, address, and meet the needs of each learner is just not enough—schools must also teach students the skills of self advocacy, reflective learning, and self-assessment so that they can take ownership of their learning. As good as it sounds, this is challenging work. In this session, the presenters will share their process for developing a new model for learning—one created through a prepared learning environment where students use supports and intentional tools that personalize learning and assessments, meet diverse learner needs, and promote growth in habits of learning. Participants will have an opportunity to identify and discuss the factors that are stopping their students from taking greater responsibility over their learning, and the group will brainstorm tools that can be immediately implemented in the classroom.

Exhibitions Across Borders: International Practices in Arts Integration
Habla: The Center for Language and Culture, Mérida, Yucatán, México
Exhibitions are more than demonstrating a student’s understanding of a topic. At their very best they give students a platform to challenge, confront, and celebrate their community. If we want exhibitions that are compelling, we must find ways to give students the space to embrace what Walt Whitman refers to as “original energy.” This workshop will explore international practices where students are not only presenting what they are learning, they are finding ways to change their schools and their cities. From a cordial in Brazil, to giant puppets in the United States, to performances in Mexico, teachers will learn about a host of project-based practices for integrating the arts in any classroom or educational space.


Roundtable Sessions

Session 1: Friday, November 6th, 9:00-10:15am

Critical Connections: A Portfolio for Personalization
EdWorks, Alexandria, OH
Personalization of the learning environment has long been a goal for those of us who follow the 10 Common Principles in our daily work. A safe and purposeful school climate where every child is known well is crucial. Several years ago, we developed a framework for building safe and purposeful schools, K-TECH, which centers on five areas in which schools can focus their personalization efforts:  Knowing our students better.  Trusting our students more.  Empowering our students in authentic ways.  Connecting our students in meaningful ways.  Honoring all students in varied systems of recognition and reward. As national attention shifts to deeper levels of learning for all students, and the emergence of assessment driven instruction, how will we continue to personalize school? How can we ensure that every student experiences meaningful, personalized learning that allows him or her to thrive in college, career, and civic life? What instructional strategies strengthen a school’s personalization portfolio? If we want our students to become effective problem-solvers, think critically and apply what they have learned to new situations, if we want them to be curious, to take initiative and work with others, then we must design and deliver personalized instructional strategies and tasks that focus on K-TECH. This session will build a portfolio for personalization. Presenters: Dr. Dan Hoffman, Robin Kanaan, Lori Phillips

Boosting Home-School Connections: Proven Tips & Tactics
Fremont 79, Mundelein, IL
Aligning our family engagement system with the Illinois Family Engagement Framework has allowed us to document our progress and success in key areas of home-school connection including enhanced communications, including parents in decision making, and building a welcoming and supportive environment. Indicators of success include strong survey results, strong academic achievement results and long-term data on student and school success including graduation rates, college attainment and scholarship awards. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to implement best practices for enhancing communication with families. They will also learn how to reate an environment that celebrates collaborative practices through adopting effective policies and practices that support family engagement and home-school connection.

Tone Matters
St. Anne’s-Belfield School, Charlottesville, VA
Tone Matters Educators continually set and maintain tone: in classrooms and studios, on the playing field, in rehearsal spaces, and in the hallways and common spaces. The manner and tone with which teachers address students can make or break the success of a class, a project, and a teacher-student relationship. We model tone-setting each and every day, but we can forget about that aspect of our work when we are thinking about content, lesson planning, and student progress. This session endeavors to explore the nature and impact of tone insofar as it can be a learned, practiced, and planned aspect of our work as educators as well as a discrete skill we can pass on to our students, athletes, employees, and colleagues. This session will pay particular attention to the role of tone for discussion leadership, lesson design, formative and summative assessments, classroom management, and written communication, with particular attention to electronic platforms such as email, blogs, and comments on social media.Participants will leave with ideas for successful practices and protocols to set and maintain tone in different areas such as rehearsals, practices, tutoring or help sessions, meetings or conferences, and classes.
Calling the Doves
Brandman University, Aptos, CA
This is a interactive session in which we engage in a reading/writing activity to illustrate the incorporation of various concepts of learning theory, including multiculturalism, scaffolding, building classroom community and cognitive apprenticeship. The activity will utilize techniques such as reading like a writer, think-aloud, framed writing, and writer’s workshop.

Session 2: Friday, November 6th, 10:30-11:45am

Switching on the Thinking Muscle
Sound Training, Middlesbrough, UK
This session will provide professionals with the opportunity to observe how much can be achieved through specifically designed intensive teaching. We will demonstrate how we can teach students a deeper level of understanding across all curriculum areas and develop their essential skills and knowledge allowing them to become independent learners. Within one hour, the importance of teaching students to -learn how to learn- through vocabulary instruction and thus teach themselves will become evident.

School Wide Presentations of Learning – Lessons Learned
Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, Albuquerque, NM
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, Media Arts Collaborative Charter School (MACCS) began implementing school wide Presentations of Learning for our high school students. Students engaged in self-selected, self-directed, semester long research projects culminating in a 25 minute public presentation of learning before both an audience of their peers and outside judges. As a media school, we also required students to create and present a unique media project in support of their research. Although we have succeeded in achieving a 95 percent participation rate, we have also faced challenges in implementation, differentiation, pacing, and goals. We will share our process, projects, challenges and successes. Join us and share our lessons learned in implementing school wide presentations of learning.

Making Connections in Your Community
The New School, Kennebunk, ME
The New School is a Community Centered, Democratic High School. Our students interact with the community in a variety of ways. Basically, we will present our ways of connecting to the community and invite participants to brainstorm how they might make new connections in their own community. Representatives from some of the groups we connect with will be present as well as students and teachers from our school. We will feature our Public Policy Initiative which connects with such groups as Planned Parenthood, Equality Maine, town governments, Maine Students for Climate Justice. Another connection we would feature is our open door to Senior Citizens who are welcome to take any classes they wish with us. We are connected with a local group that helps Seniors stay in their homes. We also have an apprenticeship program that connects students with places like the Community Bike Shop, Carlisle Academy (therapeutic horseback riding), and Mustang Rescue. We will describe our 3 week Intensive Studies, but not go into this as much as those we connect with are in Argentina, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, etc. Our aim would be to encourage others to open up their educational opportunities by connecting with their community by inspiring them with our successful connections.

How Do We Know? Complex Learning and Alternative Assessment
Assessment Network, East Lyme, CT
The expression “May you live in interesting times” can be interpreted as a blessing as well as a curse. Today, it is certainly interesting to consider the range of viewpoints about best practice in education. In these complex times, while Common Core may be a buzzword, it is even more essential that students engage in learning that blends multiple content areas, divergent ideas, and varied strategies for discovery. In response, assessment must reflect those intricacies and support today’s sophisticated learners. If learning is to be authentic and reflect real-world applications, what types of assessments best align with the performances, projects, and portfolios that are produced. How can we develop rich insights into students’ learning, their complexity in thinking, and their problem solving skills? If we are to appreciate the depth of what they know, understand, and can do then we must develop alternative yet valid ways to assess that. These ideas and questions will be explored in this session that will include key elements in the design of alternative assessments, best practices in assessment, and strategies for developing purposeful and progressive assessments.


Session 3: Friday, November 6th, 1:30-2:45pm

WHO Should Help Create Schools that Serve all Students? STUDENTS!
Eagle Rock Professional Development Center, Estes Park, CO
Eagle Rock is both a school and a professional development center — this unique combination enables students to facilitate school change across the country. Eagle Rock students play various roles to fulfill our national mission that all high school students be deeply engaged in their education. In this session, we will dialogue with you about the changes you’d like to see in your setting, and draw lessons and tools from Eagle Rock’s experience. You’ll walk away feeling inspired and able to draw from a rich toolbox for students and adults to partner together to create educational change!
It’s the Design, Silly!
Education Resources Consortium, Cambridge, MA
The Essential Schools movement, since its founding pursued the same assertion that will frame this session –that the persistent challenges schools face are a function of design and practices that are in conflict with learning and behavioral science, not a result of poor performance or inadequate “master planning”. This roundtable will invite participants to explore the history of school design, as well as the assumptions and values that contributed to decisions about its basic architecture. Via inter-active strategies participants will also: explore via inter-active strategies the impact of those assumptions on current-day teaching and learning pose promising design elements and activities, and examine key action steps schools and communities can take to break out of the frustrating repetitive cycle of external solutions.
We know as a society what we don’t want schools to be. What do want them to be instead?
Educate The Whole Child, Great Barrington, MA
We all want our students to succeed. But shouldn’t success include more than grasping basic skills and prescribed content? Why shouldn’t it include becoming mature, caring individuals who can pull learning from life? To the extent that we narrow the purpose of schooling to what can be measured, we fail to engage and acknowledge those sides of children that would one day make us want to have them as friends, partners, or fellow citizens. We also increase the likelihood that they will be bored, question the value of school, or even drop out. Instead of starting with the questions “How do we prepare kids to compete in the 21st century global marketplace?” or “What will insure that graduates all have command of basic skills?” suppose we start by asking what qualities we want to encourage in children as they grow toward adulthood and become active, critical participants in a democracy. Drawing on the best holistic approaches and recognizing that children have multiple intelligences, Educate the Whole Child identifies six elements that together can make learning memorable, can fully engage the child. They are: • cognitive-intellectual activity, associated with the left brain • creative-intuitive activity (the arts), associated with the right brain • structured physical movement and unstructured, self-directed play • handwork, making things that are useful • engagement with nature and community • meaningful relationships that build respect, tolerance and understanding.
Kingian Nonviolence Reconciliation
Connecticut Experiential Learning Center (CELC), Branford, CT
As a Level One Trainer of Kingian Nonviolence, I would like to share information and explore nonviolence as a way of life based on the teachings and methodology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was trained under Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., a civil rights leader and legend in his own time. He worked directly with Dr. King, and continues to bring these teachings to people throughout the world. I will describe the curriculum that was created to train people of all ages in Kingian Nonviolence Reconciliation. This curriculum and methodology is being utilized throughout the world and is a way to bring significant change and transformation. Violence is all too common and is all around us. Nonviolence is not simply a passive surrender, but is a truly active resistance, one that is the real anecdote to violence when understood and practiced as King meant it to be.

Session 4: Friday, November 6th, 3:00-4:15pm

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Fostering Self-Care for Educators
University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
Due to challenges encountered by graduate students enrolled in a secondary MAT degree to prepare for high school teaching, teacher education faculty reached out to the social work educator to identify ways to support beginning high school teachers. These educators identified strategies of self-care to support young professionals while modeling collaboration and solution-focused interventions through classroom activities and course assignments. This session will share stories, community resources and classroom activities with participants to enhance their appreciation for this personalized approach to education–exploring the strengths and challenges of operationalizing this approach in teacher preparation as well as classroom and school-based relationships.


Collaboration and Computers in the Elementary School
MSTE – University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
George Reese and Todd Lash work with other teachers, researchers and community leaders on bringing computational thinking into the elementary school classrooms. Students have created and shared wonderful projects and teachers have created a “collaborative framework” that helps students work constructively with their peers. We’ll share that framework and other resources and ideas around computing in elementary schools.

Building Student Voice
The Étude Group, Sheboygan, WI
This session will provide an example of how secondary schools can empower students through a participatory culture that extends from social engagement to voice in learning. The founding director and a teacher within these schools will make a case for how intentional, research-based approaches to building community leads to academic empowerment both within school and for life after school. The session will provide insight into the development of an Advisory program, project-based curriculum, and a school culture that interdependently foster students’ agency as learners and community members beyond their school experiences. This session will provide an example of how secondary schools can empower students through a participatory culture that extends from social engagement to voice in learning. The founding director and a teacher within these schools will make a case for how intentional, research-based approaches to building community leads to academic empowerment both within school and for life after school.
Bringing Performance Assessment into the Accountability Arena
Center for Collaborative Education, Boston, MA
How can we change the discourse and policy at the local and state levels on how we assess student learning and school progress by creating strong performance assessment systems that can become the new norm for accountability purposes? The presenter will briefly share about performance assessment work going on in several New England states, and then open up the discussion.
How do we support leadership development? An examination of personal and professional growth and support.
Bank Street College of Education, New York, NY
Building upon the work of James MacGregor Burns and Robert Kegan, my graduate research at Bank Street College of Education found that one’s stage of adult development influences his/her leadership style. As school leaders are shaped by experiences both in and outside the field, this session examines the role personal and professional growth play in leadership development. It asks school leaders (and those in supervisory roles) to reflect upon current leadership pipelines and consider a new framework for supporting the development of aspiring school leaders.