Betsy’s workshops for Teachers and Teachers in Training

The Democracy Project (presentation)
In this workshop, I would describe the Democracy Project of Transylvania, Inc., a civics educational partnership with the middle schools in our rural county and a local non-profit. The goal is to engage people of all ages and political views to learn more about how our government works. Representatives of the community visit each school to share their stories of civic engagement, after which students develop projects that illustrate the year’s theme. The 2022 theme was “Speak young Americans:  How can you serve your community as a participating citizen in a Democracy? I will provide a detailed guide and handouts for any school or community to create their own unique “Democracy Project” CC: 1.6 Democracy and Participation, CC: 2.5.2 Democracy and Citizenship.  

Inquiry- Based Learning: Pedagogy for the 21st Century (Interactive Longer Pedagogy Workshop) 
This workshop models inquiry-based learning by having the participants take part in an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary content learning experience.Topics could include the concept of Democracy, bees, the 1918 Flu Epidemic, teacher wellness, any topic that would be interesting and fit within the teacher’s curriculum. In the process of learning, participants will constantly be stepping out of the student role to debrief the planning process and instructional strategies used in the content study. At the end of the sessions, participants will have a list of 10 or more instructional strategies and a planning process which they can use to create units and lessons and evaluation/ assessment processes for their own students with their own topics.  (This workshop is best taught in a longer format of a one-day (8 hour) workshop with breaks but can be adapted to a shorter workshop if needed.) CC 2.4: Learning to learn, 2.5: Interdisciplinary Topics. 

Tackling Tough Classroom Conversations About Race and Violence in our Society (Presentation)
Reading about Brown vs. Board of Education, teaching about implicit bias, planning lessons on social justice issues, discussing current issues like the removal of Confederate Monuments and Black Lives Matter protests, sponsoring LGBTQ clubs, teaching, or not teaching “Critical Race Theory” and the “1619 Project”: How do classroom teachers navigate controversial and political issues in a divided society and prepare their students for civic engagement without losing their jobs? This workshop offers practical strategies that American teachers are using for accomplishing academic and social-emotional goals side by side by bringing anti-bias values to life for their students. The workshop can end with a sharing of the topics teachers in Norway are grappling with or avoiding in their classrooms. CC 3.5:  Professional environment and school development

Literacy Today: The Reading Brain in a Digital World (Possible Semester-Long Discussion of Book and Strategies for Improving Literacy Skills) 
What is technology’s effect on our cognitive social processes and our reading brain? Neuroscientist Dr. Maryann Wolf’s book Reader Come Home:  The Reading Brain in a Digital World, offers important research on this question. This workshop will discuss the research and its implication for literacy teaching and learning and offer best practices for keeping print and fiction reading alive and well in our students’ lives as well as helping students develop strong literacy strategies for various digital and visual mediums and media. CC 2.3:  The basic skills. 

Formative Assessment (Presentation and Demonstration of Strategies)  
Formative assessment is assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning. Formative assessment is discovering what students know while they are still learning, answering such teaching questions as, Are we ready to move on?  Do my students need a different path into learning these concepts?  What students need more help?  Who needs differentiation? This workshop will offer specific, concrete strategies for helping teachers quickly assess what their students know before and during instruction so they can differentiate instruction to help all students be successful.  Special attention can be given to using rubrics and  peer and self  assessment when teaching 21st Century Skills like creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. CC 3.2:  Teaching and differentiated instruction. 

Voices of Native Americans: The Cherokee Indigenous People of the Southeast (Can also be a Student Workshop) 
In many of the educational workshops I have attended in the past year, the presenters begin by offering an acknowledgment and thank you to the ancestral people who inhabited the land before us.  My home is located on the land of the Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East) people. This workshop will present an overview of the Cherokee Indians, the story of the Cherokee’s Trail of Tears in 1883 to the creation of the language immersion schools that are preserving the Cherokee Native Languages. I would like to end the presentation with the students and teacher(s) teaching me about the indigenous people in Norway or in the cultures of their family’s backgrounds. CC: 1.2 Identity and Cultural Diversity. 

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Betsy’s Workshops for Videregående and Ungdomsskole Students

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