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Teacher Workshops

1) Pre-reading Strategies: Supporting Student Engagement with Text

Reading OwlEncouraging students to engage with reading assignments, from textbooks to complex genres can present an ongoing challenge. The ability for students to, not only read, but also identify main ideas and reflect upon an author’s intent represent critical literacy skills. Use of pre-reading strategies can support teachers as they model an expert approach to a particular text at the same time it is assigned. In this workshop, teachers will experiment with pre-reading strategies that include simple data visualization techniques. These strategies require little preparation; yet, research shows that using them consistently may lead to many positive results for students.

Encourage Students to Read through the Use of Data Visualization, Bandeen & Sawin, College Teaching, 2012
Pre-Reading Strategies: Connecting Expert Understanding and Novice Learning, Bandeen, The Teaching Professor, 2010

2) Active Learning Strategies: Enliven the Classroom & Create Assessment Opportunities

active learning1Active learning can be integrated with formative assessment to create a classroom environment where students are, not only engaged with a given topic, but also have multiple opportunities to demonstrate understanding. In this workshop, teachers will choose a series of active learning strategies to incorporate with existing lessons. They will then determine how students’ understanding might be measured over time through the intentional use of active learning strategies. Such strategies may range from peer feedback to open-ended questions to structured critical reflection – so that students benefit from rich learning opportunities while teachers gain useful data.

Daydreaming or Deep in Thought? Using Formative Assessment to Evaluate Student Participation, Ives, Faculty Focus, 2014
Angelo, T.A., & Cross, K.P. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Cooperative Learning Desktop Companion, Kagan
Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding, Edutopia

3) Managing Effective Discussions: So, What Do You Think? 

DiscussionWhen students listen, ask a variety of questions, and explain ideas – they simply learn more. Sometimes, it can be challenging to encourage everyone to participate; yet, with some easy planning strategies, discussions can become transformed into dynamic opportunities where students explore new ideas and ask questions. In this workshop, teachers will choose from an array of approaches to facilitating a great discussion – whether in pairs, small groups, or even as a whole class – designed to support the current curriculum. These approaches will, not only bolster student engagement, but also support critical thinking and an increased interest in learning.

Managing Effective Questioning, Differentiated Instructional Management, Chapman
Question Stems for Enhancing Class Discussion, Bloom’s Taxonomy
Socratic Seminar ResourcesThe National Paideia Center

4) I Still Don’t “Get It” – Exploring Varied Approaches to Learning

QuestionWe are constantly learning, whether in a classroom or in everyday life. The truth is that, for students, learning can be exciting but also, at times, confusing and even daunting. In this workshop, teachers will engage in discussions related to a time when they remember learning something new. What elements of these experiences ultimately led to deeper understanding?  Teachers will then complete a series of practical exercises to analyze their own personal traits, as learners, and reflect on the processes of instructional planning to explore what it might mean when students finally say, “Oh, I get it!”

Promoting Engagement: Novice vs. Expert Learning, Carlton College
Graphic Organizers: Guiding Principles & Effective Practices, College of William & Mary School of Education
Multiple Intelligences Self-Assessment, Edutopia
Less Lecturing, More Doing: New Approach for Advanced Placement Classes, Seattle Times

5) Virtual Tourism: Experience a Parade of Technology Resources for Teaching & Learning

tech parade1Limitless technology resources grow exponentially in this plugged-in world. At the same, it seems like a full-time task to keep track of the best choices for teaching and learning. In this workshop, teachers will be introduced to user-friendly Web 2.0 options that expand opportunities for creativity and connectivity. If you are interested in developing a website, using data visualizations, or writing a virtual storybook, this session will demonstrate ways that teachers and students can publish and connect instantly. These technology resources have the power to shape engaging lessons and also create networks with teachers from all over the world.

Common Sense Media & Graphite
New Teachers: Resource Roundup, Edutopia
Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2013, American Association of School Librarians
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards
Blackboard, Desire-to-Learn, Moodle, & Coursera
Making the Most Out of MOOCs: The Ins and Outs of E-Learning, National Public Radio, 2013


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