Pre-Conference Sessions

 Jack Berckemeyer 

 Teaching Strategies that Motivate Young Adolescents

Looking for fun and motivating ideas for your middle level classroom? This session is a hands-on session that provides real quality strategies in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, listening and speaking skills. No philosophy here just creative ideas to motivate the middle level learner.
 Neila A. Connors

 If you Don't FEED the Teachers, They Eat the Students

IF YOU DON'T FEED THE TEACHERS—THEY EAT THE STUDENTS. (Based on the book with the same title available through www.INCENTIVEPUBLICATIONS.ORG)  The way principals and assistant principals treat professionals is essential to the success of implementing the mission of the school. Additionally, the way teachers treat teachers is equally important. TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY IS EVERY DAY IN SUCCESSFUL, PEOPLE-ORIENTED SCHOOLS. Neila will share information from her book and encourage participants to share additional "feeding" strategies.
 Kevin Hawkins

 An Introduction to Mindfulness in Schools

Mindfulness is ‘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 the theory and the practice of mindfulness, and will consider the growing evidence base for the benefits that it offers for teachers and pupils. There will be an introduction to the ‘.b’ [‘Stop & Breathe’] 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.

Participants will explore ways to focus and sustain attention, accepting their experiences in an open-minded way, using physical sensations as anchors whenever the mind wanders.
The session will also consider how mindfulness skills can connect to the development of enhanced emotional regulation for teachers, to a range of curriculum areas, including social and emotional learning for students, and to a broader culture of well-being in school communities. 

In the upcoming MYP curriculum re-write, the IBO is “emphasizing the importance of social and emotional learning in the programme and recommending that schools adopt mindfulness within its framework to support the development of affective skills through the Approaches To Learning.  All these practices can be beneficial in several ways for the academic and personal growth of adolescents and for the full achievement of their potential.”

Participants will consider how this move towards underlining the importance of affective and contemplative skills is of relevance to their work in schools (IB and non-IB).
 Taylor Mali

Writing, Revising, Preparing for & Producing a School Poetry Slam

A combination poetry workshop and step-by-step guide for how to produce a poetry slam at the middle school level, this pre-conference session will take each participant on a journey that begins with the writing process and ends with tips on producing an all-school poetry slam for early teenagers. Planned stops include revision, rehearsal, and performance tips. Teachers rarely get the chance to explore their own experiences artistically, but this session will remedy that as well as provide a context for the sharing of such work. No previous experience with writing or performance required. Dress in loose clothing and bring a pen and a willingness to explore.
 Ruth Van Reken

 The Changing Face of International Schools: Hearing Every Story, Developing Every Gift

Every day, international school educators work with the realities of globalization. In previous generations, most international schools started as a way to help expatriate children eventually reenter the educational system of their particular ‘homeland’. The student populations were primarily from that country and culture. Now international schools frequently include students from more than forty or fifty countries whose cultures and educational systems may be very different. More and more students come from the local community. What new (and often hidden) challenges do these changes create for educators as well as students? What new opportunities does such an environment also afford? What practical strategies can educators choose to continue maximizing the educational experience for every child in the midst of such cultural diversity and complexity? Join us for a highly interactive session as we consider these and other important issues facing international school educators in today’s fast changing world. 
 Linda Rief 

 Adolescent Literacy: From Life and for Life

Real writing and real reading are thinking processes that involve experience, creativity, imagination, and risk-taking. We want our students to become articulate, literate, responsible citizens of the world whose voices matter. Given time, choice, constructive feedback and models of good writing, we will hear the voices of our students as they take risks with their thinking, especially as they move through personal narrative to persuasion. We will look at ways to find writing and develop that writing, using pictures and YouTube as well as text. We will write, read, confer, as we find topics that matter to us. We will learn ways to develop those topics in ways that will help our students find meaningful topics that matter to them. We will hear the voices of my students as their writing began to nudge the world a little. 

 Joyce Valenza

 Transliteracy: Unconference and Make-and-Take Petting Zoo (BYOD!) 

In the morning, take the time to meet and play with some of the tools and strategies Joyce will discuss in her Transliteracy session.  Bring your own device and explore and share ideas related to digital research, curation, digital storytelling, poster/infographics creating, and flipping. 

Afternoon events will include unconference-style mini-conversations and a fast-paced stinks/rocks session where we debate major issues relating to technology in classrooms and libraries.

Trudi van der Tak
World War Two and Historical Tour of Berlin 
This pre-conference is limited to the first 23 participants who have registered and paid. 

Berlin, as a city, gives insights into the Nazi era including the Holocaust. This pre-conference will take you to several lesser-known sites pertinent to World War II studies of the Holocaust. We will begin the day at the Wannsee House, site of a 1942 meeting, which determined the fate of European Jewry. Dr. Wolf Kaiser, educational director, will lead us in 2 workshops: one on the rise of Hitler and the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship over Germany and the other focusing on the “Wannsee Conference” in its historical context. We will then proceed to “Gleis 17” (the train track that saw the deportation of the Jews of Berlin). This will be followed by a visit to the “Otto Weidt Institute of the Blind,” which is but one illustration of those “silent heroes” in the heart of Nazi Germany who did what they could to save their fellow human beings.

Optional: Dinner at your own expense and then informal group tour of the “Bundestag”.

At the end of the day you will receive a map and short explanations of the many other sites throughout Berlin, most of which are opened at least until 20:00, if you would like to continue exploring on your own.
 Florence Verniolle and José Antonio Femenia

Finding the Colours of Berlin -- a walking tour for world language educators
This pre-conference is limited to the first 20 participants who have registered and paid. 
 There are 2 spaces left for this pre-conference session (as of December 16, 2013).

In this workshop participants will be able to discover the city of Berlin through ”colour related cultural activities and linguistic tasks.” The participants will experience the city of Berlin as a realistic approach in how to stimulate the visual sense and how to use it in educational purposes.

• How colours can inspire creativity thinking?
• How to learn and appreciate the senses of the colours in a city?
The advantages of providing extra curricular activities in foreign languages.
• Become familiar with the implementation of areas of interaction in outdoor activities.
• Obtain the maximum benefit from the cities (for your teaching)
• 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, can be applied to any cities with a cultural dimension. Colours are everywhere, let’s catch them to enhance our ways of teaching!

Art and Music Tour of Berlin
This pre-conference is limited to the first 20 participants who have registered and paid. 
A minimum of 8 participants is required for this pre-conference.
This pre-conference, hosted by art+image and specifically designed for teachers of the arts, will explore a number of Berlin's highlights, including:
  • The ME Collectors Room, which regularly hosts international private art collections in Berlin. Commanding 1300 square metres of exhibition space, the Olbricht Collection, which features works from the Renaissance up to the present day, has had it's permanent home here since May 2010. A special highlight of the space is the permanently installed "Wunderkammer", which contains more than 200 valuable objects form the Renaissance and Baroque periods. At the ME Collectors Room, you will visit the current collection of Thomas Shütte and the "Wunderkammer". An artist, from the current exhibition will host a work-shop. 
  • Komische Oper Berlin: During a behind the scene tour you will get an insight of the chirldren's program of the Komishce Oper with focus on international comparision of the differences in working with children in the field of culture. Their method, the "dramatic interpretation of music and theatre", will be exemplified with a workshop focussing on one opera.