2020 Professional Learning and Networking (PLAN) Conference

Agenda

  Go
  • Closed  Closed
  • Optional  Optional
  •  
  •  
    7:30 AM  -  8:30 AM
    Breakfast
     Optional 
    7:30 AM  -  8:30 AM
    Registration
     

    Workshop I

    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Autism and Social Communication Disorder
    This two-hour interactive workshop is designed with the goal of giving teachers and paraeducators in grades K-12 specific, evidence based strategies that are effective for helping students with autism and social communication disorder. A description of the disorders will be presented and implementation of the strategies demonstrated and practiced. With a better understanding of these disorders and strategies to work with these students, teachers can impact student learning and help them feel more comfortable in the least restrictive environment. Through the use of discussion-based methodology, teachers and paraeducators are encouraged to view the whole child in relationship to these specific disorders following the social model of disability.. In addition, disability in cultural context will also be discussed.
     Optional  Closed 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Building Critical Agency
    There is an invisible lining in the North American educational system that is tainted by a series of assumptions favoring values and customs of one student group over others. One assumption is that students and families come to the classroom holding the same experiences,language and backgrounds. A second assumption is that educational institutions own knowledge and can select it and distribute it at their will. A third assumption is that some families value education more than others.Educators and administrators need to know how culture, language, race, class, religion and gender shape all forms of pedagogical acts. It is just as important for educators to understand themselves when interacting with students and families who do not look like them. Critical consciousness is an excellent tool for placing the spotlight on personal worldviews to increase awareness of and act upon inequitable structures that keep some students and families marginalized.The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to Latino Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) which sets a frame for us to explore how structural practices and policies impact meaningful engagement. Participants will also be introduced to Tara Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth model which shifts the deficiency mindset to one of assets people of color value. This model serves as another tool to plunge forward towards social justice, requiring a re-structuring of what we do and how we do things in a public-school system. Participants will be invited to gain agency and strength to develop their own educational praxis.
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Can Developing Relationships with Students of Color Make a Difference in Students Learning Content?
    Come explore how culturally relevant pedagogy can benefit students in your classroom. Christopher Emdin (2016) has explored the use of culturally relevant pedagogy in schools and has written about it as crucial way to meet each student on their own cultural and emotional turf, which he believes can play a major role in helping them to be successful in school. Instead of seeing the students as equal to their cultural identity, cultural relevance sees students as individuals influenced by their cultural identity. The teacher should not make assumptions about the student's interest or their abilities based on stereotypes or preconceived notions of who they are because of their racial or ethnic background. Findings showed a significant relationship between students of color and their teachers skilled in culturally relevant pedagogy, which translated into academic growth.This workshop will require each of us to become comfortable with who we are and how society portrays us, which may place us in an uncomfortable light at times. This workshop is designed to help us grow more comfortable with who our students are.
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Encouraging Math Discussion for English Learners and Special Education Students
    In this workshop we will engage in math activities and analyze ways to provide access for all students in the general education classroom. We will focus on the importance of choosing engaging problems, setting up cooperative work environments, teaching necessary academic language, and providing helpful scaffolds. . Each of these are essential to maintain high expectations for struggling learners and those who have limited English skills. Too often these students are only exposed to direct teaching followed by individual practice. Though these are indeed part of good teaching and learning, this workshop is directed to further engaging these learners in doing mathematics, including: investigating real problems, finding a solution, organizing their responses, presenting their thinking and defending their thinking.Participants in this workshop will solve a number of different problems and present and defend their thinking. We will discuss vocabulary needed for engaging in the problem and suggest helpful scaffolds.
     Optional  Closed 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Instructional Strategies, Repertoires, and Approaches for Students Who Possess Learning Disabilities
    This workshop will focus on how to best support students with learning disabilities, particularly focusing on methods utilized across research-based reading programs (Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Reading Program, etc.) to increase student achievement in literacy. Additionally, an overview of how to best support students who possess various types of dyslexia will be reviewed, with a clear focus on evidence-based strategies that have been proven to be effective in the field of Special Education. Furthermore, this workshop will address how to improve equity for students who exhibit learning disabilities by reviewing a number of co-teaching models that foster inclusion. Interactive teaching strategies will model explicit and multisensory instruction sequentially with the goal of maximizing student learning across foundational reading skills. Key takeaways from this workshop will encapsulate a wide range of strategies and resources that educators can utilize across their classroom settings designed for students with learning disabilities. This particular workshop is designed for K-5 Teachers, Elementary Paraprofessionals, and Special Educators.
     Optional  Closed 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Introduction to Assistive Technology and the SETT Framework
    According to IDEA, IEP teams must consider assistive technology for all students on IEPs. In order to do so, many teams use the SETT Framework to further understand the needs of the student and what assistive technology tools may be helpful. The SETT Framework is a framework developed by Joy Zabala and is an acronym that stands for Student, Environment, Task, and Tools. This workshop will cover the laws and regulations that mandate assistive technology and then go into SETT Framework so that teams can consider the specific student’s needs and determine potential solutions. Participants will learn to use this framework to gather information about the student’s academic/access problems and develop a list of potential technology solutions. Participants will also be introduced to a “feature-match” chart in order to determine the best tool to match the needs of the student. This workshop is designed for IEP team members, including general educators, special educators, related service providers, and administrators. This workshop will also share forms for gathering data regarding areas of the SETT Framework and then for further assistive technology trial and implementation.
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Scaffolding Content for English Learners and All Learners Using 2 Graphic Organizers
    How will students analyze complex texts across content areas while we meet their broad range of needs in all educator roles in K-12 classrooms? Research demonstrates that students greatly benefit from consistent use of graphic organizers. Together, we will work with two research-based, visual comprehension strategy tools, top-down webs and two- column notes, to support all our students to comprehend higher-level concepts and to assist ELs to work at a higher level while still building their academic vocabulary. Workshop topics to be covered include discussion of Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) strategies, application of top​-down web and two​-column notes graphic organizers, and review of lesson examples aligned with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Participants will collaborate to share best practices, plan, and develop graphic organizer tools and scaffolded activities that they can implement in the classroom the following day.
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Sensitivity During Troubled Times: Using Books About Crossing the Border
    In this highly participatory workshop, we will explore the complex issues of how to use books that reflect the experiences of students from immigrant families, especially those who are undocumented or from mixed status households. On the one hand, we want to use books that reflect the cultures and life realities of our students; on the other hand, we don't want to compound the fears of those who worry daily about family separation. Together, we will look at a number of picture books that address issues of crossing the border, the meaning of "documentation," and family separation. We will consider together how to select books that seem like a good "fit" for our particular students and will generate questions and activities to use in conjunction with the books. Although the emphasis will be on picture books, a bibliography of books on these topics for older children will also be distributed, and the issues discussed will be of relevance to all educators/staff who support children and families.
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Strategies for using Picture Books to Engage ELs and SE Students in Higher Order Thinking
    Picture books have long been used as an instructional tool at the elementary level, which may be why many mistake the format for ‘easy readers’. To access the learning available from many picture books, however, our students need to develop higher order thinking skills. Our English Learners and Students with Special Needs may require scaffolding to practice these skills or access the content of picture books, which is where your teaching comes in. To engage and learn, many of us, and most of our students, need to get up out of our seats. We need to move. Contrary to popular belief, picture books are not made for sitting around. In this workshop, you will use picture books to practice different teaching strategies that employ multi-modal, kinesthetic and theater-based learning. Your students want to engage in the tough learning: grappling with the experiences that our culture makes it hard to talk about or explain in developmentally appropriate ways (mental health, racism, etc.); understanding and celebrating aspects of our students’ cultures; understanding cause and effect; and using primary sources to understand historical change. Come to grow your skills for using picture books to maximize engaged and active learning with English Learners, students with special needs and all students. You will participate in learning activities that you can replicate in your classroom and peruse and share picture books that highlight the assets of all our students.
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Striving for an Equitable Curriculum: Breaking Down Bias
    This workshop provides practical strategies for educators striving for a more equitable curriculum for culturally and linguistically diverse students. The session begins with confronting examples of curriculum inequities that reveal the urgency to act. Participants will then learn about the various forms of bias in instructional materials and practice identifying them. Next, they will utilize a framework to reflect on and overcome biased curriculum materials. Finally, educators will brainstorm action steps for breaking down curriculum bias upon returning to school. This interactive workshop is relevant for pre-K-12 educators and administrators and includes lecture, readings, small and whole group discussions, and independent/small group work.Participants can take this workshop alone or can extend the conversation in “Striving for an Equitable Curriculum: Integrating Social Justice".
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    Supporting Undocumented Students in Our Schools
    Undocumented students face significant socio-emotional, financial, logistical and legal challenges to their success and well-being. Through this workshop, Unafraid Educators, a Boston Teachers Union immigrants rights organizing committee, aims to empower educators as allies and advocates for their undocumented students and families. We want to support other educators in taking a stand and to help their students access information and fight hopelessness.In this workshop, participants will understand undocumented people’s rights to public education and their responsibility to support undocumented students and families, identify one strategy for supporting immigrant students and families that is within the scope of their role and connect with a broader community of colleagues supporting undocumented students and families going forward.The first part of the workshop will be a discussion and presentation of the current challenges undocumented students face and the rights they have to education. Following this, we will break out into 3 smaller working groups to identify our own strategies for supporting immigrant students. Whether working on creating safe and culturally affirming learning spaces, mobilizing school-wide support, or supporting college access, participants will be given access to our digital toolkit and concrete tools.This strategy allows for educators to not only take in new information, but also to self select what detailed information will be most powerful for their own work context before drafting their own course to action at the close of the session.
     Optional 
    8:30 AM  -  10:30 AM
    The Effects of Trauma
    There is ever-increasing awareness of both the prevalence of trauma in the school-aged population and the impact such experiences have on the developing brain. The impact has a profound effect on children’s ability to regulate their emotions, manage their behavior, and learn the academic material. This presentation will help school staff to appreciate the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and their impact on health and cognitive development, recognize behavior and learning difficulties among students which can be indicative of trauma reactions and understand the elements of trauma sensitive schools and how to implement them in their district.
     Optional 
     

    Workshop II

    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Comics as Teaching Tools
    Comics are more popular and accessible than ever, and enjoyed by students of all stripes. As educators, we can strengthen our pedagogy and practice by embracing student interests. This presentation/workshop will explore the medium of comics, and how it may be utilized to address academic concepts, process emotions, and engage in complex ideas. Participants will create zine-style books, create their own avatars, and practice with brief writing and drawing exercises to create their own mini comics. In this workshop, we will demystify the language and form of comics, explore traditional and contemporary applications of comics in the classroom, identify methods and practices for diverse student population and strengthen our self-expression through the comics form.
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Decolonizing Curriculum: Centering Marginalized Voices
    How can we re-imagine and re-integrate marginalized voices into subject areas and grade levels? This workshop begins to make the invisible visible by looking at the curriculum development model of James Banks in the contemporary context of missing voices, culturally responsive teaching, and equity education. First Nations (Native American) contributions will be highlighted as an example of bringing cultural strengths into a model for change. All teachers from any grade level or subject will leave with strategies for transforming curriculum to include marginalized voices; having challenging conversations about race, ethnicity, and culture; and creating engaging activities that focus on cultural strengths while deepening learning on academic topics, such as, history, mathematics, English language arts, engineering, botany, and more.Participants will leave this workshop with Knowledge of curriculum change theory by James Banks, strategies for having difficult conversations about equity, techniques for creating culturally responsive classrooms, and a deeper understanding of Native American (First Nations) contributions.
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Developing a Real Understanding of Trauma, Anxiety, Spectrum Disorders and ADHD
    Think about that student in your classroom that has caused you to pause and reflect on what might help them to become more successful in their learning environment. Have you wondered what would make a difference?In this workshop, we will delve into the worlds of individuals who face challenges in the educational setting due to trauma, ADHD, anxiety or spectrum disorders. Understanding these students is complex. While many educators have a working knowledge of these challenges, in this workshop we will delve deeper and develop a true understanding of how it “feels” to experience these challenges as well as looking at effective strategies that are beneficial to support these unique individuals in any classroom. Through the use of discussion, lecture, activity and video, participants will take away tools and techniques that can be implemented on Monday!
     Optional  Closed 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Executive Function and ADHD
    This two-hour interactive workshop is designed with the goal of giving teachers and paraeducators in grades K-12 specific, evidence based strategies that are effective for helping students with Executive Function disorders and ADHD. A description of the disorders will be presented and implementation of the strategies demonstrated and practiced. With a better understanding of these disorders and strategies to work with these students, teachers can impact student learning and help them feel more comfortable in the least restrictive environment. Through the use of discussion-based methodology, teachers and paraeducators are encouraged to view the whole child in relationship to these specific disorders following the social model of disability.. In addition, disability in cultural context will also be discussed.
     Optional  Closed 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Instant Universal Design for Learning - Free Assistive Tech to Meet Student Needs
    Participants will learn about FREE assistive technology tools that they can use immediately to meet the needs of their diverse learners. These tools include speech-to-text, text-to-speech, ad-blockers, word prediction, annotation tools, graphic organizers, customizable reading content based on Lexile level, interactive videos, and more! Participants will utilize all of these tools on personal devices and develop practical ways that they can use these tools in their classrooms. Emphasis will be put on easy application of assistive technology tools - no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to lesson planning!It is recommended that participants have a Google account as many of the apps, extensions, and websites that are discussed in this workshop connect to a user’s Google account. Apps, extensions, and websites discussed in this session include Readability, Ginger, SpeakIt, Scrible, Lucidchart, Google Docs and Slides speech-to-text, Newsela, YouTube, and Playposit.Participants will leave this workshop with the ability to quickly personalize learning for their students. Help students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, executive functioning difficulties, slower processing speeds, visual needs, auditory needs and more without having to significantly alter the content of a lesson!
     Optional  Closed 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Racial Justice in the Classroom, Curricula and Beyond: Islamophobia and Muslim Students
    "Islamophobia is a very real threat to the social, emotional, academic, and physical growth of all of our young people. Young Muslims are growing up in a world where they are subjected to bullying and harassment from peers, surveilled by the state, and constantly bombarded with information that directly attacks their identities or the identities of their peers. Amidst all this, it can sometimes be challenging knowing exactly how to be an ally for your students.Racial Justice in Classroom, Curricula and Beyond: Islamophobia and Muslim Students ​is a workshop for middle school and high school educators which explores the realities of working with Muslim students by contextualizing our politically charged environment. The workshop starts with covering basic needs of Muslim students, and some 101 literacy. It will then build an understanding of interpersonal and structural Islamophobia, the relationship between both, and how they may manifest in schools and classrooms, whether bullying by peers or targeting by law enforcement and school districts. This part will cover historical roots and state policies as well. Some content that may be integrated into school curricula will be provided, as well as ideas and strategies as to how to integrate the content.Attendees will also have opportunities to discuss ways to combat Islamophobia in their classrooms, the needs of their students in the specific contexts that they are working in, how to connect the issue of Islamophobia to racial justice more broadly, and how to organize for racial justice, through the union and otherwise."
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Scaffolding Content for English Learners and All Learners Using 2 Graphic Organizers
    How will students analyze complex texts across content areas while we meet their broad range of needs in all educator roles in K-12 classrooms? Research demonstrates that students greatly benefit from consistent use of graphic organizers. Together, we will work with two research-based, visual comprehension strategy tools, top-down webs and two- column notes, to support all our students to comprehend higher-level concepts and to assist ELs to work at a higher level while still building their academic vocabulary. Workshop topics to be covered include discussion of Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) strategies, application of top​-down web and two​-column notes graphic organizers, and review of lesson examples aligned with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Participants will collaborate to share best practices, plan, and develop graphic organizer tools and scaffolded activities that they can implement in the classroom the following day.
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Sensitivity During Troubled Times: Using Books About Crossing the Border
    In this highly participatory workshop, we will explore the complex issues of how to use books that reflect the experiences of students from immigrant families, especially those who are undocumented or from mixed status households. On the one hand, we want to use books that reflect the cultures and life realities of our students; on the other hand, we don't want to compound the fears of those who worry daily about family separation. Together, we will look at a number of picture books that address issues of crossing the border, the meaning of "documentation," and family separation. We will consider together how to select books that seem like a good "fit" for our particular students and will generate questions and activities to use in conjunction with the books. Although the emphasis will be on picture books, a bibliography of books on these topics for older children will also be distributed, and the issues discussed will be of relevance to all educators/staff who support children and families.
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Striving for an Equitable Curriculum: Integrating Social Justice
    In this workshop, educators will learn how integrating social justice can lead to a more equitable curriculum for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Participants will explore the theoretical and practical applications of social justice in the classroom through videos, readings, and Teaching Tolerance’s “Social Justice Framework”. They will then overlay the social justice standards on their own curriculum and share their ideas with their colleagues. Finally, educators will consider further action steps to take in their schools as they strive for a more equitable curriculum. This interactive workshop is relevant for pre-K-12 educators and administrators and includes lecture, readings, small and whole group discussions, and independent/small group work.Participants can take this workshop alone or can begin the conversation in “Striving for an Equitable Curriculum: Breaking Down Bias”.
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    Supporting Undocumented Students in Our Schools
    Undocumented students face significant socio-emotional, financial, logistical and legal challenges to their success and well-being. Through this workshop, Unafraid Educators, a Boston Teachers Union immigrants rights organizing committee, aims to empower educators as allies and advocates for their undocumented students and families. We want to support other educators in taking a stand and to help their students access information and fight hopelessness.In this workshop, participants will understand undocumented people’s rights to public education and their responsibility to support undocumented students and families, identify one strategy for supporting immigrant students and families that is within the scope of their role and connect with a broader community of colleagues supporting undocumented students and families going forward.The first part of the workshop will be a discussion and presentation of the current challenges undocumented students face and the rights they have to education. Following this, we will break out into 3 smaller working groups to identify our own strategies for supporting immigrant students. Whether working on creating safe and culturally affirming learning spaces, mobilizing school-wide support, or supporting college access, participants will be given access to our digital toolkit and concrete tools.This strategy allows for educators to not only take in new information, but also to self select what detailed information will be most powerful for their own work context before drafting their own course to action at the close of the session.
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    The Benefits of Teaching Mindfulness Practices to English Learners
    The culturally responsive educator understands the importance of drawing on students’ strengths to accelerate learning, but what is an educator to do when students exhibit signs of cumulative stress or trauma that prevent them from being available for the critical learning and skill-building that happens in the classroom? Statistically, English Learners are more likely to be affected by cumulative stress due to discrimination, the demands of school and learning a new language, the forging of a personal identity within multiple cultural frameworks, social media usage, poverty, and trauma, to name a few. Educators strive to provide safe and supportive classrooms for students, but realize that they have very little power to change the greater environment that our students are growing up in. However, there are ways we can help. Through the teaching of self-care and mindfulness, we give our students an opportunity to instill “habits of being” that can assist them during their daily challenges, provide them an increased sense of self-awareness and self-respect, give them the language and platform for self-advocacy, and increase their focus during learning, all while building a stronger classroom culture.In this interactive workshop, PreK-12 educators will understand the dynamic ways stress and mindfulness practices affect the brain; learn about one district’s journey into utilizing self-care and mindfulness to meet the needs of students/staff; hear personal/student stories related to mindfulness and self-care practices; learn and practice several self-care breaks that you can use independently and integrate into the classroom with very little time commitment.
     Optional 
    10:45 AM  -  12:45 PM
    The Effects of Trauma
    There is ever-increasing awareness of both the prevalence of trauma in the school-aged population and the impact such experiences have on the developing brain. The impact has a profound effect on children’s ability to regulate their emotions, manage their behavior, and learn the academic material. This presentation will help school staff to appreciate the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and their impact on health and cognitive development, recognize behavior and learning difficulties among students which can be indicative of trauma reactions and understand the elements of trauma sensitive schools and how to implement them in their district.
     Optional 
     
    12:45 PM  -  1:45 PM
    Lunch
     Optional 
     

    Workshop III

    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Building Critical Agency
    There is an invisible lining in the North American educational system that is tainted by a series of assumptions favoring values and customs of one student group over others. One assumption is that students and families come to the classroom holding the same experiences,language and backgrounds. A second assumption is that educational institutions own knowledge and can select it and distribute it at their will. A third assumption is that some families value education more than others.Educators and administrators need to know how culture, language, race, class, religion and gender shape all forms of pedagogical acts. It is just as important for educators to understand themselves when interacting with students and families who do not look like them. Critical consciousness is an excellent tool for placing the spotlight on personal worldviews to increase awareness of and act upon inequitable structures that keep some students and families marginalized.The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to Latino Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) which sets a frame for us to explore how structural practices and policies impact meaningful engagement. Participants will also be introduced to Tara Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth model which shifts the deficiency mindset to one of assets people of color value. This model serves as another tool to plunge forward towards social justice, requiring a re-structuring of what we do and how we do things in a public-school system. Participants will be invited to gain agency and strength to develop their own educational praxis.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Can Developing Relationships with Students of Color Make a Difference in Students Learning Content?
    Come explore how culturally relevant pedagogy can benefit students in your classroom. Christopher Emdin (2016) has explored the use of culturally relevant pedagogy in schools and has written about it as crucial way to meet each student on their own cultural and emotional turf, which he believes can play a major role in helping them to be successful in school. Instead of seeing the students as equal to their cultural identity, cultural relevance sees students as individuals influenced by their cultural identity. The teacher should not make assumptions about the student's interest or their abilities based on stereotypes or preconceived notions of who they are because of their racial or ethnic background. Findings showed a significant relationship between students of color and their teachers skilled in culturally relevant pedagogy, which translated into academic growth.This workshop will require each of us to become comfortable with who we are and how society portrays us, which may place us in an uncomfortable light at times. This workshop is designed to help us grow more comfortable with who our students are.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Comics as Teaching Tools
    Comics are more popular and accessible than ever, and enjoyed by students of all stripes. As educators, we can strengthen our pedagogy and practice by embracing student interests. This presentation/workshop will explore the medium of comics, and how it may be utilized to address academic concepts, process emotions, and engage in complex ideas. Participants will create zine-style books, create their own avatars, and practice with brief writing and drawing exercises to create their own mini comics. In this workshop, we will demystify the language and form of comics, explore traditional and contemporary applications of comics in the classroom, identify methods and practices for diverse student population and strengthen our self-expression through the comics form.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Developing a Real Understanding of Trauma, Anxiety, Spectrum Disorders and ADHD
    Think about that student in your classroom that has caused you to pause and reflect on what might help them to become more successful in their learning environment. Have you wondered what would make a difference?In this workshop, we will delve into the worlds of individuals who face challenges in the educational setting due to trauma, ADHD, anxiety or spectrum disorders. Understanding these students is complex. While many educators have a working knowledge of these challenges, in this workshop we will delve deeper and develop a true understanding of how it “feels” to experience these challenges as well as looking at effective strategies that are beneficial to support these unique individuals in any classroom. Through the use of discussion, lecture, activity and video, participants will take away tools and techniques that can be implemented on Monday!
     Optional  Closed 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Encouraging Math Discussion for English Learners and Special Education Students
    In this workshop we will engage in math activities and analyze ways to provide access for all students in the general education classroom. We will focus on the importance of choosing engaging problems, setting up cooperative work environments, teaching necessary academic language, and providing helpful scaffolds.Each of these are essential to maintain high expectations for struggling learners and those who have limited English skills. Too often these students are only exposed to direct teaching followed by individual practice. Though these are indeed part of good teaching and learning, this workshop is directed to further engaging these learners in doing mathematics, including: investigating real problems, finding a solution, organizing their responses, presenting their thinking and defending their thinking.Participants in this workshop will solve a number of different problems and present and defend their thinking. We will discuss vocabulary needed for engaging in the problem and suggest helpful scaffolds.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Instant Universal Design for Learning - Free Assistive Tech to Meet Student Needs
    Participants will learn about FREE assistive technology tools that they can use immediately to meet the needs of their diverse learners. These tools include speech-to-text, text-to-speech, ad-blockers, word prediction, annotation tools, graphic organizers, customizable reading content based on Lexile level, interactive videos, and more! Participants will utilize all of these tools on personal devices and develop practical ways that they can use these tools in their classrooms. Emphasis will be put on easy application of assistive technology tools - no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to lesson planning!It is recommended that participants have a Google account as many of the apps, extensions, and websites that are discussed in this workshop connect to a user’s Google account. Apps, extensions, and websites discussed in this session include Readability, Ginger, SpeakIt, Scrible, Lucidchart, Google Docs and Slides speech-to-text, Newsela, YouTube, and Playposit.Participants will leave this workshop with the ability to quickly personalize learning for their students. Help students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, executive functioning difficulties, slower processing speeds, visual needs, auditory needs and more without having to significantly alter the content of a lesson!
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Instructional Strategies, Repertoires, and Approaches for Students Who Possess Learning Disabilities
    This workshop will focus on how to best support students with learning disabilities, particularly focusing on methods utilized across research-based reading programs (Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Reading Program, etc.) to increase student achievement in literacy. Additionally, an overview of how to best support students who possess various types of dyslexia will be reviewed, with a clear focus on evidence-based strategies that have been proven to be effective in the field of Special Education. Furthermore, this workshop will address how to improve equity for students who exhibit learning disabilities by reviewing a number of co-teaching models that foster inclusion. Interactive teaching strategies will model explicit and multisensory instruction sequentially with the goal of maximizing student learning across foundational reading skills. Key takeaways from this workshop will encapsulate a wide range of strategies and resources that educators can utilize across their classroom settings designed for students with learning disabilities. This particular workshop is designed for K-5 Teachers, Elementary Paraprofessionals, and Special Educators.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Introduction to Assistive Technology and the SETT Framework
    According to IDEA, IEP teams must consider assistive technology for all students on IEPs. In order to do so, many teams use the SETT Framework to further understand the needs of the student and what assistive technology tools may be helpful. The SETT Framework is a framework developed by Joy Zabala and is an acronym that stands for Student, Environment, Task, and Tools. This workshop will cover the laws and regulations that mandate assistive technology and then go into SETT Framework so that teams can consider the specific student’s needs and determine potential solutions. Participants will learn to use this framework to gather information about the student’s academic/access problems and develop a list of potential technology solutions. Participants will also be introduced to a “feature-match” chart in order to determine the best tool to match the needs of the student. This workshop is designed for IEP team members, including general educators, special educators, related service providers, and administrators. This workshop will also share forms for gathering data regarding areas of the SETT Framework and then for further assistive technology trial and implementation.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Racial Justice in Classroom, Curricula and Beyond: Islamophobia and Muslim Students
    Islamophobia is a very real threat to the social, emotional, academic, and physical growth of all of our young people. Young Muslims are growing up in a world where they are subjected to bullying and harassment from peers, surveilled by the state, and constantly bombarded with information that directly attacks their identities or the identities of their peers. Amidst all this, it can sometimes be challenging knowing exactly how to be an ally for your students.Racial Justice in Classroom, Curricula and Beyond: Islamophobia and Muslim Students ​is a workshop for middle school and high school educators which explores the realities of working with Muslim students by contextualizing our politically charged environment. The workshop starts with covering basic needs of Muslim students, and some 101 literacy. It will then build an understanding of interpersonal and structural Islamophobia, the relationship between both, and how they may manifest in schools and classrooms, whether bullying by peers or targeting by law enforcement and school districts. This part will cover historical roots and state policies as well. Some content that may be integrated into school curricula will be provided, as well as ideas and strategies as to how to integrate the content.Attendees will also have opportunities to discuss ways to combat Islamophobia in their classrooms, the needs of their students in the specific contexts that they are working in, how to connect the issue of Islamophobia to racial justice more broadly, and how to organize for racial justice, through the union and otherwise.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    Strategies for using Picture Books to Engage ELs and SE Students in Higher Order Thinking
    Picture books have long been used as an instructional tool at the elementary level, which may be why many mistake the format for ‘easy readers’. To access the learning available from many picture books, however, our students need to develop higher order thinking skills. Our English Learners and Students with Special Needs may require scaffolding to practice these skills or access the content of picture books, which is where your teaching comes in. To engage and learn, many of us, and most of our students, need to get up out of our seats. We need to move. Contrary to popular belief, picture books are not made for sitting around. In this workshop, you will use picture books to practice different teaching strategies that employ multi-modal, kinesthetic and theater-based learning. Your students want to engage in the tough learning: grappling with the experiences that our culture makes it hard to talk about or explain in developmentally appropriate ways (mental health, racism, etc.); understanding and celebrating aspects of our students’ cultures; understanding cause and effect; and using primary sources to understand historical change. Come to grow your skills for using picture books to maximize engaged and active learning with English Learners, students with special needs and all students. You will participate in learning activities that you can replicate in your classroom and peruse and share picture books that highlight the assets of all our students.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    The Benefits of Teaching Mindfulness Practices to English Learners
    The culturally responsive educator understands the importance of drawing on students’ strengths to accelerate learning, but what is an educator to do when students exhibit signs of cumulative stress or trauma that prevent them from being available for the critical learning and skill-building that happens in the classroom? Statistically, English Learners are more likely to be affected by cumulative stress due to discrimination, the demands of school and learning a new language, the forging of a personal identity within multiple cultural frameworks, social media usage, poverty, and trauma, to name a few. Educators strive to provide safe and supportive classrooms for students, but realize that they have very little power to change the greater environment that our students are growing up in. However, there are ways we can help. Through the teaching of self-care and mindfulness, we give our students an opportunity to instill “habits of being” that can assist them during their daily challenges, provide them an increased sense of self-awareness and self-respect, give them the language and platform for self-advocacy, and increase their focus during learning, all while building a stronger classroom culture.In this interactive workshop, PreK-12 educators will understand the dynamic ways stress and mindfulness practices affect the brain; learn about one district’s journey into utilizing self-care and mindfulness to meet the needs of students/staff; hear personal/student stories related to mindfulness and self-care practices; learn and practice several self-care breaks that you can use independently and integrate into the classroom with very little time commitment.
     Optional 
    1:45 PM  -  3:45 PM
    What Families Wish Teachers Knew About Their Child With ADHD
    Raising a child or teen with ADHD can be extremely challenging and frustrating for a family. Families with ADHD children often report lower quality of life, chronic stress, conflicts, and psychological difficulties as well as negative impacts on a parent’s ability to work full time and meet career goals. In addition to juggling their own lives and that of siblings or other family members, parents are often required to serve as both the prefrontal lobe proxy and case manager for their child. Thus, many caregivers of children with ADHD have unique perspectives and valuable insights into how their child best functions.Along with parents, siblings, healthcare professionals, counselors, coaches, and tutors; teachers are a vital part of the child’s team. An effective teacher can make the difference in a child’s developing self-esteem and performance. But earning the child and family’s trust, confidence, and cooperation are critical to students with ADHD meeting their goals. In this workshop, get a peek into the home life of your students with ADHD, where we will discuss common challenges and specific ways to connect and partner with families and their realities. We will also consider basic guidelines to communicating with families as well as some ways to validate the strengths and unique learning profiles these students bring to our classrooms. In addition, we will brainstorm creative ways to make our schools, programs, and classrooms more welcoming and supportive places for these highly creative, outside-the-box thinkers and their families. Resources will be provided.
     Optional 
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