Barcelona 2016‎ > ‎

Teacher Presenter Sessions

ELMLE is proud to present the Teacher Presenters for our upcoming conference in Barcelona 2016. Sessions offered at the conference cover a variety of: 

  • Topics relevant to Middle Level Education,
  • Subject areas and
  • Themes and formats of presenting the material.
This is all to provide a richer experience for you, so you may walk away with tools and renewed insights into your teaching practices. Presenters will be offering either 90 minute or 45 minute sessions, all details will be published prior to the conference. We have an exciting programme planned in collaboration with our Main Speakers and we look forward to welcoming you all very soon! Please don't delay in registering for the conference.

If you have any further questions about the process we select our Teacher Presenters, please contact Yasmine Hashmi at

Presenter(s):        Sarah Upstill & Matt Pray

School:                  American School of Barcelona

Session Title:        Science Olympiad: A Hands On Approach to Engineering Design

Session Description:

Every year students all over the world compete in the Science Olympiad, an international engineering competition. Students practice the Engineering Design Process (which directly connects to the NGSS engineering standard) through hands on design challenge: build a helicopter, car, glider, aquifer, robot, catapult, or Rube Goldberg machine. The students research, generate ideas, select models, build and constantly refine and rebuild (and write it all down!). In this session, we will guide you through setting up, managing, and running the Science Olympiad at your school. We will provide information, a sample calendar and lessons, rubrics, quizzes, exemplar student work, guidelines and sample final reports, and other resources to guide you through the Science Olympiad.

Presenter(s):        Nancy Ruppert

School:                 UNC Asheville

Session Title:       The Art in Science and the Science in Art

Session Description:

Is it possible to explore content through art? This session explores three types of projects (culture, content, and interests) that have been created which allow middle school students opportunities to engage in art as they develop deeper understanding of mathematics and science. By allowing students to examine culture, content, and interests through the lens of art, this session suggests that, experiencing and examining the connection, student motivation and knowledge of connections in and around their worlds will be enhanced. Projects and rubrics will be shared.

Presenter(s):        Elizabeth Swanson & Patricia Deo

School:                  International School of Düsseldorf

Session Title:        What’s the “big idea?”: 

                                   Conceptual teaching & Learning in Middle Level Classroom

Session Description:

This session will explore how to put "big ideas" at the heart of daily classroom learning. Universal concepts offer students and teachers powerful, organizing “big ideas” with which to frame understanding and direct learning. They allow for students and teachers to make connections within and across subject areas and help facilitate deeper and more meaningful learning. How can we strategically choose “big ideas” that will be an integral part of teaching and learning? How might conceptual teaching and learning actually look and sound day to day in a middle level classroom? How can “big ideas” provide a foundation for students to inquire into disciplinary knowledge? Through this interactive presentation, we will explore classroom strategies, practices, and ideas for explicit and implicit inclusion of universal concepts into the daily life of a middle level classroom.

Presenter(s):         Melissa Gamette

School:         International School of Düsseldorf

Session Title:         Fostering the Teenage Journey

Session Description:

Participants will discuss specific situations that young adolescents face, including friendships, current trends in social media, and technology integration school. In small groups, a few case studies that highlight these common scenarios will be explored and analyzed. Various strategies and outcomes will be mapped out visually in order to understand how we might improve the ways in which we can support students in their self-discovery as a global citizen.

Presenter(s):         Michael Hennessy

School:         American School of Barcelona

Session Title:         Debate is Great!

Session Description:

With so much energy to in burn, getting and keeping middle school students engaged is a major goal of any middle school teacher; but, without a clear connection to standards and a carefully defined purpose for learning, engagement can sometimes devolve into one of the "twin sins" identified by Wiggins-McTighe. Student debate ensures a high degree of engagement along with an guaranteeing an equally high level of connection to learning goals. Debate helps students develop their information gathering, organizing, thinking, and speaking skills-- some of the most important skills for adapting and succeeding in a 21th century world. A framework for various forms debate will be offered in this workshop that will provide the structure and focus that will help transform this type of engaging classroom activities into powerful and effective learning tools across all subject areas. A multitude of debate styles, types and formats will be shared in an interactive way that will allow teachers to put these strategies to use immediately upon returning to their classes.

Presenter(s): Duncan Pringle


Session Title:         Faculty evaluation: Turning 360

Session Description:

A large body of research shows that the biggest impact on student learning is the quality of instruction. Yet, research also shows that systematic efforts to improve instruction have often been ineffective.

Administrators and teachers are invited to participate in this hands-on, most fundamental of discussions around how best to develop and implement a faculty-wide growth mind-set in order to best help our students to succeed in their learning journey.

I will demonstrate through practical examples and case studies how ongoing, individualized professional growth for all faculty is within reach. With the implementation of a few simple steps, excellence in the classroom can be brought forth, and all teachers can benefit from one another's expertise. It will be welcomed by a critical mass of teachers and ultimately your whole school learning community stands to benefit.

Presenter(s): Tifin Calcagni

School:         Inter-Community School Zurich

Session Title:         Making Math Everyone's Favorite Subject

Session Description:

We’ve all been told that children enter the world curious, and this curiosity is often driven out of them through their schooling. This statement is especially true in mathematics. In this workshop you will learn how to re-invigorate your students’ curiosity, problem-solving, and satisfaction with the western world’s most hated subject, while also increasing your students’ understanding of concepts, problem-solving ability, and test scores.

Presenter(s): Bronwyn Evans

School:         American School of Barcelona

Session Title:         Music As Culture

Session Description:

This workshop is not only for musicians! I encourage humanities teachers to join as well as anyone interested in cultural identity and the Arts. Using music as the door into cultural understanding, 8th grade students learn about aesthetics common to the music being studied, then synthesize what they've learned into compositions at the end of each unit. They also research a musical culture of their choosing and create an annotated bibliography and presentation. During the workshop, you will be active participants, learning about the gong cycle of Indonesia, vocables of Native American song, or poly-rhythm and call & response from Sub-Saharan Africa and African American Cultures. Finally, there will be time for clarification and discussion regarding extensions of this activity through other disciplines.

Presenter(s): Peter Coombs

School:         American School of The Hague

Session Title:         Eliminate the Mystery – Using Standards to Make Learning Transparent

Session Description:

Learning should never be a mystery for students. As educators we need to ensure that we are transparent in communicating with our students about what they are doing well, their areas for growth, and ways to achieve this growth in each of their subjects. Assessing and reporting on Standards is a way of eliminating the mystery and providing students with the individualized, ongoing feedback they need to really understand their learning. In this session we will look at key features of Standards-Based Assessment and Reporting and work in groups to discover ways in which this model can be implemented in an individual classroom.

Presenter(s): Robin Neal

School:         Frankfurt International School

Session Title:         Simple Classroom Hacks XL

Session Description:

Simple Classroom Hacks will focus on concrete changes to everyday classroom practices that improve formative feedback and make creative thinking visible. These hacks are low-tech or no-tech. The examples will come from English and humanities classes, but participants may adapt the ideas to any curriculum. For those who came to last year’s presentation, this year will go in reverse order, beginning with everything that was not covered in Warsaw. There will be some repeat of the topics (but with new insights). Whenever possible, we will learn by doing; this will not simply be a session where you get talked at. Some of the topics we will cover are:

  • Formative assessment techniques

  • “Ban the hands”...alternative ways to get kids talking to each other

  • Membean and other vocabulary acquisition techniques

  • Simple ways to incorporate movement into any lesson

  • Divergent Thinking through Metaphors

  • Making a game of research

  • Best practices from participants

Presenter(s): Andras Valezy & Suzanne Herbert

School:         American International School of Budapest

Session Title:         Igniting Inquiry and Creativity in a Standards Based School

Session Description:

The workshop will give participants the opportunity to share what they perceive to be challenges related to developing or maintaining a focus on creativity and inquiry in a standards-based school. The participants will then be guided through an activity whereby they identify key learning goals and vocabulary from a set of standards and use them to develop a differentiated learning activity which promotes inquiry and creativity. Throughout the activity the presenters will demonstrate practical strategies for administrators to help them ignite and foster inquiry and creativity in context of the standards. The workshop will also tie in how best to utilize MAP resources in this process. 

Presenter(s): Phil Keech & Moran Phil

School:         International School of Luxembourg

Session Title:         Exploring Exploratories

Session Description:

Inspired by the general conference theme of "Explore", this session takes a look back at how a group of dedicated middle school teachers worked together to evaluate, consolidate, refine and enhance Exploratory Activities for middle schoolers at the International School of Luxembourg. We will share details about the collaborative process we used, outline some of the main challenges that we faced and the solutions we came up with. In using our experience as a case study to generate collaborative conversations amongst those in attendance, we aim to encourage colleagues to look again at their own exploratory programme and identify possible opportunities for growth.

The “Take Away” from this session should be a deeper understanding of the exploratory programme in your own school and an idea of what other schools in the ELMLE family offer. In addition to this, we hope that you will come away with a clearer perspective on the way forward for you and your school in terms of these three key questions: Is your exploratory programme tightly coupled to the guiding philosophy and general principles of the school? Is your exploratory programme deeply embedded in the framework of the school day? Does your exploratory programme maximize teacher engagement and student choice? We hope you can come along and be part of the conversation.

Presenter(s): Katie Steen

School:         American School of Barcelona

Session Title:         Knock Down The Classroom Walls with Blended Learning

Session Description:

Explore the ways using technology with a blended learning approach can expand the time, space, and resources available to teachers and students. We will explore blended learning models, classroom examples, and specific strategies for increasing collaboration, one-on-one instruction, authentic learning experiences, and quality feedback. Participants should bring a lesson or unit they would like to enhance with blended learning. We will spend the first half of the session learning strategies and the second half applying them to your individual lessons. Get the most you can out of the school year by blending your classroom. This session is most applicable for classroom teachers that have regular access to individual classroom devices like iPads or laptops.

Presenter(s): Aimee Meditz & Ansley Celeste

School:         Casablanca American School

Session Title:         Building Student Ownership Through Service Learning Field Trips

Session Description:

In this workshop, the presenters will discuss a case study of a service learning project that has evolved to become more focused on student ownership. This case study will include the reasons behind an overhaul of our previous field trips to this new model and it will review the successes and areas for improvement from this first pilot year. Presenters will review the research supporting the importance of student owned and designed learning particularly as it relates to field trips and service learning. Presenters will also provide a skeleton to facilitate teacher support of a student developed field trip or service learning project that can be adapted to their school’s unique program needs.

Presenter(s): Katherine Deutsch

School:         Zurich International School

Session Title:         The Mathematics Investigation Centre: 

                                    A Tool for Differentiation in the Mathematics Classroom

Session Description:

Differentiation can seem daunting and many teachers are unsure how to manage a differentiated classroom. They like the idea but struggle with implementation. Come and explore a Mathematics Investigation Center (MIC), one practical tool for mathematics differentiation. The purpose of the MIC is to engage highly capable mathematics students in rich mathematical tasks and inquiry-based learning, but it also includes low-floor, high-ceiling tasks and games that are accessible to all students. During this session, participants can try out different activities, learn how to hold students accountable for their work, discuss alternate ways of assessing students whose curriculum has been differentiated or modified, and begin planning for their own MIC.

Presenter(s): Gabriela Jimenez

School:         ISB (International School Bangkok)

Session Title:         Digital Notebooks: Learning to Write in World Languages

Session Description:

This workshop will explore how teachers can integrate writing workshop into a WL class using digital notebooks. In this workshop, I will share my journey of building tools and strategies for teaching writing in a World Language class. Building on what students already know about writing, I have adapted writing workshop to use in a WL class. I have used google apps and other digital tools to support students in every step of the writing process, and to provide formative feedback which can help move writers forward.

Presenter(s): David Stein

School:         The American School of Warsaw

Session Title:         Team Building with Theater Games

Session Description:

In this fun and engaging "playshop" participants will learn about how theater games can be used across the curriculum with virtually any age group to "break the ice", promote team work, encourage participation and teach attentive listening, sharing and empathy. We will spend the session "playing" a variety of games that every participant can take back to their classes for immediate use. Join us for this engaging and interactive playshop!

Presenter(s): Matthew Armstrong

School:         International School of Stavanger

Session Title:         Self-Harm: A Search for Life and Understanding through Pain

Session Description:

This session is aimed at helping teachers/admin/counselors better understand the thought process and intent behind adolescent self-harm behaviors.  Self harm, especially amongst the adolescent population, is a complex behavior that involves physical and mental aspects.  This session will help educators better understand the intricate relationship between the physical manifestations and the emotional motivations of such actions.  By understanding the emotional state; a convoluted grouping of factors such as chemical imbalance and weak familial relationships, session attendees will have a better grasp on effective strategies to understand and possibly minimize the risk and danger adolescents face.

Presenter(s):         Mary Carley & Deborah Rahlenbeck

School:         American School of Paris

Session Title:        Student Designed and Led Field Trips

Session Description:

Why not turn it over to the students? In this session, members of the sixth grade team at the American School of Paris will share their experiences with implementing field trips that are designed and led by the students themselves. Teachers will discuss their team's sometimes bumpy road to developing trips that, while centered around essential questions based in the curriculum, allow for student choice and ownership in their learning outside the classroom. The session will include time for attendees to consider how they might implement student ­led field trips in their own schools.

Presenter(s): Brianna Gray & Alexandra Read

School:         ACS International School

Session Title:         Breaking News: Broadcast Media for Middle School

Session Description:

This session will introduce Broadcast Media as an enrichment course designed to integrate visual/performing arts, technology, and community awareness. Session attendees will learn about the development and benefits of a Broadcast Media programme and will receive specific information on building a Broadcast Media curriculum in their schools.

Broadcast Media provides an opportunity for students to create a weekly TV programme, aired school-wide. Led by a student production team, students design, script, film, and edit a cohesive show highlighting school/community events as part of a course or extracurricular club. Student ownership of the programme cultivates a strengthened community awareness, and a wide range of technology provides “real life” IT experiences integrated into the curriculum. The innovative environment provides opportunities for students to explore their own areas of interest, using any number of a variety of technologies available to them.

Presenter(s): Alexandra Read

School:         ACS International Schools Cobham

Session Title: e-Safety for Everyone

Session Description:

This session will start with a general overview of various elements of e-Safety including social media, digital footprints, cyber bullying, sexting, Internet security, child safety, curriculum integration, legislation and compliance.

Attendees will be introduced to methods that will assess the current standing of their organization on the e-Safety continuum and identify the next steps that need to be taken to further develop their e-Safety policy and processes. The session will explain how to identify key members and prepare agendas for a school-wide eSafety committee and present tools that can be used for planning an annual event to raise awareness about the importance of e-Safety for all stakeholders.

Presenter(s): Maria Mascia and Giovanni Piccolo

School:         Ambrit Rome International School

Session Title:         Writing to Learn

Session Description:

Are your Middle School students simply learning to write, or are they writing to learn?  Writing can be a window into the thoughts of students; it transcends disciplines as a meaningful communicative and assessment tool. What are the implications of teaching writing to a generation of 21st century digital communicators? Technology can enhance opportunities for students to improve their writing. Teachers will learn how to use digital tools (google drive editing/suggesting, google add-ons, digital rubrics) in order to increase quality and quantity of student writing.  All teachers are encouraged to share best practices, including traditional and modern techniques of teaching writing to Middle School students. Discussions will address these issues and more. Math, Science, and “left-brained” teachers are invited to participate.

Presenter(s): Michael Agliata & Diane Molenaa

School:         Ambrit International School

Session Title:         Rigor in the Math Classroom

Session Description:

“We need more rigor in the classroom!”  This comment is often made by teachers, parents, and administrators, but what does it really mean?  True rigor is born when lessons are planned to promote three fundamental principles: conceptual, procedural, and applied understandings.  This session will explore examples of how each of these understandings can be reached in the math classroom.  Various technologies  promoting both conceptual and procedural understandings that are also useful for formative assessment like NearPod, Kahoot, and Explain Everything will be discussed.  Discussion will also center on technologies promoting student reflection better suited for summative assessment like the creation of Digital Portfolios using Google Docs and student created books using Book Creator.  Practical applications promoting applied understanding like participation in the Stock Market Game will also be considered.

Presenter(s): Keith Oxley & Katharine Whiteman

School:         International School of Monaco

Session Title:         Active Learning Strategies to Manage Student Energy Levels

Session Description:

In this session we will explore techniques, tried and tested in our school, of active teaching and learning in the classroom. They can help harness the energy of Middle School students. These simple yet practical, effective, and easy to utilise strategies, will help use student energy in a positive and constructive way. Be prepared to try some out with us also! We will share tips on how to actively start, summarise and revise topics within your lesson.These can be used across a range of subjects. The session will consist of us sharing our strategies and of course trying them out together!

Presenter(s): Debbie Morris

School:         American Overseas School of Rome

Session Title:         Starting a First LEGO League team at Your School

Session Description:

In this workshop, attendees will learn about the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) experience. In particular the session will focus on First LEGO League. This program engages children in playful and meaningful learning while helping them discover the fun in science and technology through the use of robotics. Starting from the planning and preparation steps, attendees will learn all about the registration process, details for purchasing required materials, and selecting children to compete on a team. The end result is to participate in regional and global competitions thus opening the doors to global careers in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics!

Presenter(s): William Randall & Matthew Armstrong

School:         International School of Stavanger

Session Title:         Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom

Session Description:

“We should be teaching the basics of emotional intelligence in schools.” —Daniel Goleman (2001)

Research has shown that students´ emotions within the classroom can have a significant impact on their academics. Emotions play a role in how our students process information and can in many cases lead to success or failure. There is a growing body of research that suggests a positive, emotionally safe classroom environment can aid in optimal learning for students. Emotional Intelligence can be bolstered through teaching specific behaviors and skills. This session discusses how learning is encouraged or impaired based on a student’s emotional state, navigates the process of developing emotional intelligence in students, and investigates how safe learning environments can be created by teachers.

Presenter(s): Cristina Alcoz & Yasmine Hashmi

School:                   India, New Delhi and Zurich, Switzerland

Session Title:         Mindfulness….so now what?: 

                                    Moving from the Personal to the Learning Community

Session Description:

In this session we will go beyond the definition of mindfulness, and explore the impact on our learning community. We will explore guidance among educators with the common objective of enhancing education. Participants will explore the concept of guidance integrated with the non-judgemental approach of mindfulness. We all have what it takes, so what are the strategies we need to help each other.

Presenter(s): Catherine Dick

School:         International School of Prague

Session Title:         Pi in the Sky: Using Rich Tasks to Appropriately Challenge Every Learner

Session Description:

We’ve all experienced the all-too-common dilemma: in a class of diverse learners, tasks that are too easy for some learners are too hard for others. In this session, we will explore how the use of rich mathematical tasks can foster inquiry and communication skills, uncover mathematical misconceptions, deepen conceptual understanding, develop persistence, and engage and appropriately challenge all students. We’ll look at how this form of differentiation promotes a collaborative environment, values multiple solution paths, and increases the likelihood of meeting individual needs. Discussion on the advantages and challenges associated with rich tasks will be welcomed. If you have rich tasks worth sharing, please email them to me ahead of time ( and I will make them available to all participants.

Presenter(s): Brynna Vogt & Charlotte Knappe

School:         Copenhagen International School

Session Title:         School Gardens: Growing Kids and Communities

Session Description:

"I planted the seeds, harvested the wheat, ground the wheat, and baked the bread!" Unlike the Little Red Hen, you do not need to take on building a school garden on your own. Come discuss what it takes to develop a garden, from laying the groundwork, finding and designing your space, budgeting for the start and continued upkeep, breaking ground, and eventually harvesting and eating from the garden! A school garden can be a great multidisciplinary outdoor classroom, and builds connections within a school community. Challenges and how to overcome them will be addressed, along with garden lessons and activities, and we’ll end with a chance to brainstorm your own garden process.

Presenter(s): Peter Coombs

School:         American School of The Hague

Session Title:         The Fantastic Four of Learning: Purpose, Acquisition, Application and Transfer

Session Description:

When planning lessons, there are four questions that we should always be asking ourselves:

  1. Am I making the learning purposeful for my students?

  2. How will the students acquire the knowledge and skills I want them to learn?

  3. Do I provide opportunities for students to apply what they have learned?

  4. Are there opportunities for students to display mastery by transferring what they have learned into a variety of different settings?

In this session we will investigate each of these questions and discuss how they can be applied in every classroom.

Presenter(s): Carine Gibert

School:         Lycee Francais de New York

Session Title:         Discussions on Democracy

Session Description:

In this workshop, participants will contribute to discussions on how teaching history and geo-politics can be used to promote global citizenship. Approximately half of the allotted time will include the speaker sharing her experience on framing a history curriculum that uses identity and global citizenship as a common thread. The curriculum seeks to: define global citizenship, reflect on the balance between rights and responsibilities, in both past as well as current systems of governance, and finally assess whether the newly arrived ‘members’ or the long ensconced ‘members’ have had to compromise their core values in order to integrate. The second part of the session will be a simulation of lessons that model class strategies which have successfully facilitated meaningful dialogues about integration, and democracy. Participants will learn about the speaker’s choice of content, instructional activities, student reflections, and the technology platforms that can support the curriculum.

Presenter(s): Kirsty Panza

School:         American School of Milan

Session Title:         Student Feedback: Promoting Growth Mindset

Session Description:

Designing transparent units of work which provide students with effective feedback is the most influential way to improve their motivation to learn and promote self-efficacy. This workshop will allow those using Standards Based Grading systems to discuss what makes feedback effective and explore a research-based model that promotes student self-regulation when understanding, recording and reflecting on their next steps in learning.

Presenter(s): Tiemo Duarte

School:         Bonn International School

Session Title:         Improve Language Learning with the Help of Tablets

Session Description:

Do iPads and tablets improve the learning experience in the classroom? I think, yes! Tablets may increase student motivation and their speaking, writing and audio-visual skills because these devices open up many more learning possibilities than a simple textbook could offer  - and tablets can make learning fun!  

In this hands-on workshop I present apps and activities that are student-centered, interactive, promote differentiation and give access to authentic, age-appropriate and up-to-date material. Please bring your iPad or any other tablet to the session to try out on the spot what is presented.

Presenter(s): Kathleen Ralf

School:         Frankfurt International School

Session Title:         Making the Most of your Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Session Description:

Most schools currently use some sort of Learning Management System for teachers to use to communicate information to students and parents. PowerSchool, Haiku, Edmodo, Veracross are just a few being used by our participants. Have you ever wondered if you could use this system to increase your students' engagement in class? Do you have a great tip to share on how you currently use your LMS? Then come to this fast paced 45 minute workshop.