1. Personalized Learning in a Competency-Based Instruction Model
This workshop will explore how American schooling is shifting away from a “factory model” of measuring seat time and knowledge to a focus on competency of skills. Together we will explore ways that teachers can incorporate increased student voice and choice into the learning sequence, as well as in assessment. Teachers will have the opportunity to revise a current assignment in order to better differentiate instruction and give students more ownership over the learning process, all while using common scales and rubrics to assess learning outcomes.
2. Understanding Collaborative Learning Groups (CLGs): Building your school’s collective IQ through cross-curricular teacher networks
“When teachers get together to talk in concrete, precise language about instruction and student work, their teaching dramatically improves and student achievement rises” (Schmoker, 2006, qtd. in Eve et. al., 2010). CLGs allow teachers to engage in new learning and bring learning to fruition through research, conversation with colleagues, application in the classroom and the examination of student work. In this workshop, teachers will investigate a model for collaborative learning by developing learning plans, creating timelines and understanding strategies to build capacity for growth.
3. Authentic Assessment, Student-Led Inquiry: How students and teachers can pursue a rigorous curriculum beyond the classroom
This practical workshop will draw on the presenter’s experience creating and teaching cross-curricular learning opportunities for students at local businesses in the Burlington, VT community, a research field station in Andros, the Bahamas, and in Washington, DC for the 2016 Election and 2017 Inauguration. Teachers will leave with strategies to engage their students in an inquiry model of unit planning, including tools for creating authentic-assessment opportunities in the school and community.
4. Unleashing Partnership: How youth and adults can transform schools together
In New England, we are building meaningful working partnerships between youth and adults, enabling them to take on the challenges and opportunities of improving their own schools across Vermont, the United States and the World! This dynamic workshop will use video and student testimony to illustrate how one small state is leading the nation to increase student voice in school systems change ranging from curriculum to grading. Both teachers and administrators will learn with strategies to build capacity and engage students in this important and challenging process.
5. Transforming Grading and Reporting: Using Learning Targets and Scales to achieve clarity in your classroom
Like travel, learning can be challenging and frustrating when the student is unclear about where they are going and what they are doing. Learning targets clarify the intention of each lesson for students and teachers. In this workshop, teachers will explore how to make the standards real, attainable and measurable in their classrooms. Teachers will practice transforming their goals and objectives into specific student-friendly “targets” that allow students to articulate what they are learning, why they are learning it and how they will know when they’ve met an acceptable level of performance.