Dave F. Brown, Ed. D. - What You Should Know About Your Students

What You Should Know About Your Students; and How Young Adolescent Development Reveals the Need for Genuine Middle Level Schools and Educators who Understand Young Adolescents

It’s time for middle level educators to take a quiz—on young adolescent development. No matter how long you’ve taught middle school, there’s always something new to know about young adolescents. Attendees will work with others as they take this critical quiz. As responses are reviewed, we’ll talk about how this information can ensure success as middle level educators, and how these facts should impact school design. Learn about the influence of young adolescents’ needs for independence, lack of socialization skills, limited cognitive strategies, challenges choosing identities, and the ever-frustrating low level functioning of their pre-frontal cortexes and its effects on their behaviors. We’ll particularly focus on how young adolescent development should influence the design of advisory sessions, curricular decisions, and chosen instructional processes. Laugh and learn with Dave F. Brown who has plenty of stories about young adolescents as a researcher in the field, a former middle level teacher, and a parent of a current young adolescent.

JoAnn Deak - A Day with Dr. Deak-All three sessions make up this pre conference.

Combining Character Development and Intellectual Development: A Startling Conclusion of the Recent Brain Research
There is such an extensive literature spanning character development, moral development, the development of sympathy and empathy. In parallel fashion, there is extensive research about cognitive, intellectual, learning or problem solving development in children. Some very recent work is now putting the two together. Do experiences that build sympathy, empathy and compassion also lead to intellectual development? Are there critical time periods for these areas of development? Why would growth in one area lead to growth in the other area? Let’s move beyond theory and opinion and see what the research supports!

Friends and Foes: Wonders and Woes
Most girls and boys don’t want to be mean, they just want to be meaningful. In that process of finding your niche in the social world, bullying and pain can be part of the process, as well as joy and meaningful relationships. This workshop explores how schools and parents can help to minimize the former and enhance the probability of the latter. Isn’t that what we want for all of our children?
A special version of the workshop focusing on relational aggression is also available for girls’ and boys’ schools.

The Magic Blend: Creating a Culture of Community & Challenge
If you review the research looking for correlates with student satisfaction and success, one of the top factors reported is a small setting that has a sense of community. I’ve talked with hundreds of students about their views of their schools. For them, words like caring, small, like a family all are resounding themes. So, then the task for a school is to look at itself and try to create or enhance the culture that embodies these well agreed upon descriptors. However, a sense of community is only half of the equation. This community is also a school, and as such, needs to provide a culture of challenge to get students to reach their full potential. As usual, the problem is in the specificity. This workshop looks at how to accomplish these deceptively complicated, but crucial, two tasks.

Justin Reich - Leading Change In Changing Times

As technology and globalization transform our economy and civic sphere, educators must rise to the challenge of preparing students for an ever more complex and cognitively demanding world. School leaders are often faced with the challenge of encouraging teacher innovation while maintaining academic rigor and student performance.

When we work with school leaders, we focus our discussions around three core questions:

  1. Why Change? - Making the case for 21st century skills instruction
  2. What Does Change Look Like? - Envisioning and enacting 21st Century skills instruction across schools
  3. How Do We Assess Change? - Monitoring school progress towards 21st century skill goals.

In this workshop, we'll start by examining how school leaders can effectively build stakeholder support for new technology initiatives and investments. Then, we'll examine some of the key strategies that the best school leaders use to ensure that transformations in learning take root schoolwide, including developing a clear vision for learning, ensuring that technology is in the service of that learning vision, and modeling lifelong, learning through their own technology-rich practice. We'll examine the interplay between top-down administrative scaffolding and support and the incredibly important of teacher-led experimentation and peer professional learning. We will also examine effective models for professional development for schools a differing stages of new technology initiatives. Finally, we will examine issues of assessment and evaluation, and we will explore best practices in measuring the impact of our technology investments and interventions.

The workshop will be driven by case studies and interactive exercises, and leaders of all types (principles, division heads, technology directors, teacher-leaders) will leave with practical strategies to implement immediately and frameworks for school leadership that will endure in an age of rapidly changing technology.

Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild - Beyond a game!

In this full day pre-conference session, you will have the opportunity to investigate, and try out, the valuable learning experiences games, web2 sites and other, mostly free, software can offer.
A chance to wander through accessible digital landscapes, meet peaceful characters, interact with the environments and consider how these virtual experiences can enhance real learning in your classroom.
Exploring ways of teaching that focus on quality learning through the use of technology, rather than the technology itself.
You will also get the chance to make your own resources to engage, motivate, inspire and differentiate, for children of all ages and abilities. Bring a laptop if you can.

Toby Haslam-Hopwood, Psy.D.  - Self-Esteem: The Foundation of Success

Description: This talk aims to aim to answer the questions “What is self-esteem?” and “Why is this thing so important?” In order to answer these questions the speaker will draw from the knowledge that comes from scientific research and clinical practice in a manner that aims to provide not only understanding but also practical applications of this concept. The objectives would be:
To understand the concept of self-esteem
To understand why and how self-esteem is so important
To understand how healthy self-esteem develops
To understand the role of the family and school in promoting healthy self-esteem

Chris Cullen & Kevin Hawkins - Mindfulness in Schools

Mindfulness may be described as ‘present moment awareness’, and there is now considerable and compelling evidence that training in mindfulness is a very effective way of alleviating stress, anxiety and depression as well as promoting well-being and flourishing. This experiential workshop will provide an introduction to some of the theory and the practice of mindfulness, and will consider the potential benefits that it offers for teachers and pupils. The workshop will also introduce a mindfulness curriculum for secondary schools that has been developed by the UK-based Mindfulness in Schools Project, in collaboration with Cambridge, Oxford and Exeter Universities.

John Nash and Jennifer Rhodes - Design Thinking in the Middle

As a teacher, you are designing every day -- whether it's creating new lesson plans, finding new ways to teach content more effectively, or using classroom space differently.  Your school constantly relies on you and your colleagues to design solutions to challenges the it takes on, such as how best to integrate technology into instruction, or increase the voice of the student, or effectively leverage parental involvement.

Do you feel you are able to design the best solutions for yourself, your students, your school?

Thinking like a designer can transform the way you approach the world. In this workshop you'll become exposed to design thinking and learn the the skills, tools, and mindsets needed to solve real-world challenges you face every day in your classroom and school.

You'll work in teams addressing real-life challenges that middle-level educators are facing. You'll learn the design thinking process, including strategies to gain better empathy into a situation, how to use brainstorming to find solutions to challenges, and techniques that bring solutions to reality so they can be tested and feedback can be obtained.

The workshop is energy-filled and highly collaborative. Teachers who have attended our workshops feel overwhelmingly positive about their experience. They report loving the process of interacting with teammates and the fact that they are pushed to think creatively. You'll gain confidence in your ability to apply design thinking techniques to create new solutions to challenges in your school. And you'll depart with a process that your students can use to enhance their own creative confidence to solve challenges they face.
John Nash, Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education (dLab)
Jennifer Rhodes, International School of Monaco

Leah Treesh - P
odcasting: Why it is all the rage and how to join the valuable fun 

Podcasting is a powerful tool which provides a means for teachers to provide creative learning experiences for students, both by podcasting with them and for them. Podcasting, both creating and consuming them, provides for natural differentiation and lesson reinforcement, while engaging the senses.

Whether you are not quite certain what podcasting is or are keen to get started with it in your classroom, this hands-on workshop will teach you why podcasting is a valuable learning activity, the processes involved in creation and how to create one yourself. You will also learn where to find good existing podcasts and how to publish podcasts created by you and your students. 

You needn’t worry about which platform or programs you are using, as we will find what works best for you using your current laptop. There are many possibilities. All ranges of abilities welcome, so come join the fun and learn what the fuss over podcasting is all about!

* Note, feel free to email Leah with any questions or concerns.

Florence Verniolle - Rome Musée à ciel ouvert  (walking tour - open sky museum) Sorry this session is Sold Out

In this walking tour of Rome and workshop participants will be introduced to:

  • Ways to organise an interdisciplinary discovery of a city. Rome will be taken as an example. Through cultural activities and linguistic tasks, participants will experience the city as ideal scenery for teaching and learning foreign languages.
  • The advantages of providing extra curricular activities in foreign languages.
  • Become familiar with the implementation of areas of interaction in the fieldtrip activities.
  • Obtain the maximum benefit from the surroundings when planning fieldtrips.
  • Gain experience of working in teams and reaching consensus.

This workshop is appropriate for foreign language teachers who like outdoors activities as well as spending some time in museums, and be in apply to any cities with a cultural dimension.

An Exploration of Pompeii and its Daily Life (Walking Tour, Extended Day, Additional Fee) Sorry this session is sold out

The city is buried in an instant, stopping time and capturing forever a moment of life in ancient Pompeii. Fragments of everyday life--oil lamps, weights, necklaces of precious stones, gladiator helmets, aqueduct and drainage pipes, beds, engravings over the door of the grocers' shops, bronze and iron kitchen utensils, statues of gods, even a lovers' last kiss--are petrified forever in their final moment which is destined to be repeated for an infinity.

We will describe the culture of the time in all its richness and variety, exploring topics as diverse as the role of the family, the relationship between generations, the condition of women, marriage, the role of slaves, the politics and government of the city, and even the clothing of the different social classes. We will tell you about trade and commerce - the production of bread, cloth dyeing, and the precious oil produced in Pompeii. We will see various temples and gain a glimpse into a religious life long forgotten, uncovering its traditions, beliefs and superstitions. We will learn about the houses in which the ancient Romans lived, exploring the various rooms and their uses, as well as the systems for heating them. The decoration of these houses will give us a fascinating insight into the evolution of artistic styles and the use of mosaics. We will encounter other aspects of daily life such as dining habits and the foods that were eaten, including the famous garum sauce; we will see gardens and aqueducts and learn how the lighting systems and the latrines functioned in both public and private spaces. We will explain the most popular forms of public entertainment and recount the fights that broke out between the rival groups of fans who supported opposing gladiator teams. We will uncover traces of life in the thermal baths and the taverns of the city.We will also see the forum and basilica of Pompeii, the famous houses of the Faun and of the Vettii, the great theatre and the Temple of Isis. All of these places have an almost infinite number of stories to tell, and reveal to us secrets that are as fascinating as they are historically and culturally enriching.

Day Trip to Ostia Antica - Limited to 35 (15 spaces left)
Because Ostia was a working port town, it shows a more complete and gritty look at Roman life than wealthy Pompeii. Wandering around today, you'll see the remains of the docks, warehouses, apartment flats, mansions, shopping arcades, and baths that served a once-thriving port of 60,000 people. 
Its main attraction was the salt gleaned from nearby salt flats, which was a precious preserver of meat in ancient times. Later, as Rome began expanding (around 400 B.C.), Ostia was conquered, and a fort, or castrum, was built here. Ostia — often called Rome's first colony — served as a naval base, protecting Rome from any invasion by river. By A.D. 150, when Rome controlled the Mediterranean, Ostia's importance became commercial rather than military. Rome eventually outgrew the port of Ostia, and a vast new port was dug nearby (where Rome's airport now stands). But Ostia remained a key administrative and warehousing center, busy with the big business of keeping more than a million Romans fed and in sandals. With the fall of Rome, the port was abandoned. (http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/italy/ostia.htm)
Come join us for a day out of full exploration and a lunch of fabulous local fare.