Barcelona 2016‎ > ‎

Preconference Sessions

Registration for all sessions is limited and space is on a first-paid basis. 

Elizabeth Schroeder

Best Practices for Teaching Sexuality and Relationships Education

This interactive, full-day pre-con is designed for those who teach SRE at the middle level. Sample activities and effective skills will be modeled, the content for which will be determined in part by the expressed needs of the participants.

Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson

Differentiating Instruction in the Middle Grades:  Explore the Possibilities
This pre-conference is now full.

There may well be no group of students more diverse than those in the middle grades.  In addition to learning differences shaped by culture, gender, language, ability/disability, and experiences, middle grades learners vary greatly in physical, emotional, and intellectual maturity as well.  It’s highly unlikely that we do our best work as teachers when we teach as though all students in a given class are essentially alike.
This pre-conference session will offer participants the opportunity to explore ways in which effective differentiation can enhance their teaching—and ways in which it can enhance learning for a broad range of young adolescents. 

During the session, we’ll use examples of differentiated lessons created by middle school educators, view videos of differentiated middle school classrooms, and use rubrics to think about and respond to the key elements of successful differentiation.  Participants will also have the opportunity to examine and interact with a range of instructional strategies that invite attention to students’ learning differences while still helping students move toward competence with required learning outcomes.
Mark Church

 Making Thinking Visible Seminar:  Creating Classrooms Where Student Thinking is Visible, has Value, and Shapes the Story of Learning for Our Middle Schoolers
This pre-conference is now full.

Every classroom and school communicates to students a story of what learning actually is -- what it feels like, what it looks like, and how it works to develop lasting understanding.  All too often though, with mandates and pressures dominating the attention of many teachers and school leaders, schools often become settings of “just getting through the work” and fail to provide a rich story of learning for students.  Sadly, classrooms become places of work-compliance rather than places where students become better thinkers and learners to serve them well beyond their years in school.  For a number of years, the Harvard University Project Zero Making Thinking Visible team have questioned:  Just how can classrooms and schools become rich cultures of thinking for learners, both students and teachers, and what difference does it make for their learning?

This seminar is designed to bring classroom teachers and school leaders into this Making Thinking Visible conversation.  Educators attending this event will have opportunities for collaboration and reflection with other colleagues striving to enact powerful stories of learning in their own classrooms and schools.  Participants will consider concrete strategies, tools, and pictures of practice to broaden their own vision of what a new story of learning might be and how it might be achieved through creating a culture of thinking.

Annelies Hoogland and
Bern Nicholls
YOU CAN'T LEAD FROM AN OFFICE: Being a Visible Leader

Without doubt, leadership is central to the success of learning in schools and research highlights the significant contribution that leaders make towards this success. However, when senior and middle leaders collaborate together and contribute to the school improvement agenda, particularly in building a culture of learning and teaching that addresses the needs of all learners, learning improves exponentially.

The hallmark of a ‘visible’ leader for learning is someone whose choices and actions are focused on and around learning. Learning determines the systems, structures and data that leaders choose, and becomes the defining element around which they and their colleagues collaborate in service to the core business of schools, the improvement of learning.  However, a ‘visible’ leader’s key point of difference is that they are present whether it be in meetings, classrooms, corridors, or during recess talking with students. By being visible and present they see unexpected opportunities to encourage or grow those whom they lead on the ground and in the moment, that is their real point of difference.

This pre-conference workshop will explore what it means to be a ‘visible’ leader for learning. Through collaborative processes we will share successful practices that were developed from our research and ‘hands-on’ mentoring of leaders and teachers in middle schools.  In essence, ‘visible’ leaders clearly understand that their role is to lead the learning in practical and transparent ways.

This will be a day of high engagement through the use of professional protocols and ‘hands-on’ collaborative learning practices that can be immediately transferred into your current leadership role. Opportunities will be provided to deepen your understanding of what it means to visibly lead and manage learning improvement for all.

Sarah Woods
Harnessing the Power of Google Drive In and Out of the Classroom

Going to be out of school for a day and frustrated that your students are going to lose a day of learning? Not any more! We’re going to build a Google form that will take your place for a day, introducing concepts, engaging reflection, and building the foundation for continuing work. You’ll be able to see exactly what happened in class and be able to build on their efforts when you get back! (In fact, think about what you might want your students to be working on Friday and you could put this into action back at school the next day!)

After we finish with our forms, we'll fill them out and learn how to make using spreadsheets less painless - including a tour of some fantastic add-ons. Then we'll turn those forms responses into documents and work on a collaborative document project.

It's going to be a busy day packed with real tools you can take back to class right away - and don't worry, beginners are completely welcome. This session is best done with a laptop with Chrome installed. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, we can find you a buddy in the room to learn with
Trudi van der Tak

Spanish Civil War Sites in Barcelona
This pre-conference is now full.

The Spanish Civil War is often seen as a prelude to the events and catastrophes of World War II, but it is a time rooted in Spanish history that bears looking at for its own sake. Barcelona itself has a unique place both in Spanish history and in the Civil War that raged from 1936-1939. It was in Barcelona that the first shots of this conflict were fired and where anarchism was seen as an alternative, not only to communism and fascism, but also to Western style democracies. This pre-conference workshop will begin with an in-depth look at the origins of the Spanish Civil War and continue as we walk through Barcelona exploring many of the places in the city of Barcelona that mark events in this conflict. Looking at these events and sites through the eyes of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, will give teachers an opportunity to gain insights into the roots of this conflict and to transfer this knowledge into structuring a walking tour around a theme of national importance.

Montse Rodon

Modernisma in Barcelona
This pre-conference is now full.

This pre-conference guided by Montserrat Rodon from the American School of Barcelona will include a trip to Sagrada Familia and a walking tour of the “Quadrat d’Or”

Antoni Gaudí, man of faith, observer of nature and great architect, has become a universal figure of modern architecture. His contribution to the discipline was a break from the established order, as much in form as for the structure and engineering solutions found in his buildings. He stood out in the subjects of design, drawing and mathematical calculation. He undertook large projects commissioned by the bourgeoisie such as, amongst others, the Casa Calvet, the Casa Batlló and the Casa Milà.  In 1883 he took over the design of the Sagrada Familia, while also working on other projects, and worked for 43 years on the temple until 1926.  Five generations have already witnessed the temple’s rise in Barcelona. Construction continues today and could be finished in the first third of the 21st century.

Gaudí is considered the genius of Catalan Modernism but there are many other great Modernist architects of splendid buildings and palaces in Barcelona. The Quadrat d'Or is located around the main artery in the new district of Eixample built from 1860 onwards, following the demolition of the city walls, which hemmed in the old Barcelona. The neighbourhood was built with money provided by Barcelona's well-to-do families. The city's bourgeoisie vied with one another to build the most aesthetically refined Modernist homes, all boasting magnificent floral decorations, neo-Gothic details and stained-glass work.  A plethora of buildings by architects, including Puig i Cadafalch, Domènech i Montaner, Gaudí and more, are a real open-air museum and an invitation to observe this legacy of architecture and art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 Florence Verniolle and
é Antonio Femenía

Cultural Walking Tour of Barcelona
This pre-conference is now full.

Class field trips to cities have a long history in education because they allow students to visit a variety of cultural institutions, including museums, as well as theaters, zoos, or historical sites. These visits help schools to produce civilized young men and women who would appreciate the arts and the culture. Barcelona is well-known for having attractions that tourists are dying to see. But Barcelona is also one of the capitals of the "Mediterranean way of life".

This time we are offering you the possibility to discover Barcelona in a different way: further away from the tourist paths, by approaching the way of life in this city. We will discover the city center by experiencing the local way, learning about the culture and habits of the inhabitants, and having the experience of food "the famous Mediterranean diet", cultural expressions and social interaction.

The walking tour will give you the opportunity to discover elements of the city that make it special, that will help you better understand the cultural differences, and that may inspire you in your teaching. After all, only a better understanding of cultures will make the world a better place.

Florence Verniolle is a Foreign Languages Advisor in Paris, France and Jose Antonio Femenía teaches Spanish at ISA Amsterdam.