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Pre-Conference Workshops

8:30 AM - 12:45 PM on Friday, November 18, 2011
(By advance registration only. Select one of six.
Add $25 fee if you are not attending the conference.)

David A. Sousa

1. Brain Research and the Learner-Friendly Classroom

Participants will explore some of the exciting findings from cognitive neurosciences that have implications for educational practice. Examine attention and memory systems and discuss ways of translating these findings into effective strategies designed to ensure a learner-friendly classroom where students can achieve and see learning as a productive venture.

David A. Sousa, EdD,
Member, Cognitive Neuroscience Society; Author, How the Brain Learns (2011, 4th Edition) and What Principals Need to Know about the Basics of Creating Brain-Compatible Classrooms (2011); Editor, Mind, Brain and Education: Neuroscience Implications for the Classroom (2010)

Judy Willis

2. Instruction ghj_amp Curriculum Tools for 21st Century Minds and Brains

Learn about how the brain learns best along with what "Understanding by Design" has developed for the ideal curriculum, assessment, and instruction in a way that unites two powerful forces to help educators prepare learners for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. This workshop will examine practical ways for integrating key ideas of research from neuroscience and cognitive psychology for building the skill sets critical for 21st century success.

Judy Willis, MD, EdM,
Board-Certified Neurologist, Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara; Author, Inspiring Middle School Minds (2009), How Your Child Learns Best (2008), and Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning (2006) and Jay McTighe, MA, Educational Consultant; President, Jay McTighe ghj_amp Associates; Co-Author, Schooling By Design: Mission, Action, Achievement (2007)

Myrna Shure3. How to Think, Not What to Think: A Cognitive Approach to Prevention of Early High-Risk Behaviors in Young Children

This workshop will describe how a universal prevention program, I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) can offer practical skills for helping children, ages 4-12 learn how to think through and resolve everyday conflicts and get along with others. Focus will include specific interpersonal thinking skills that guide behavior. Interactive activities will help participants learn how to apply a problem solving style of talk that helps to prevent and reduce early high-risk behaviors as physical, verbal, and relational aggression, inability to wait and cope with frustration, and social withdrawal. Raising a Thinking Child, a program for parents to learn the problem solving approach with their children will also be introduced.

Myrna Shure, PhD,
Developmental Psychologist; Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Drexel University, Author, Thinking Parent, Thinking Child (2004), I Can Solve a Problem (2001), Raising a Thinking Preteen (2000) and Raising a Thinking Child (1996)

Adam J. Cox4. Building the Eight Pillars of Capable Young Minds

Dr. Cox will describe how executive function helps children to navigate important developmental hurdles, both social and academic. Special emphasis is placed on the roles of working memory, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility as 21st century skills and their contribution to productivity and self-confidence. Strategies for building, coaching and guidance in assessing the eight pillars of executive function in children of all ages will be provided.

Adam J. Cox, PhD,
Licensed and Board-certified Clinical Psychologist; Author, No Mind Left Behind: The Eight Essential Brain Skills Every Child Needs to Thrive (2008)

5. Creative Teens/Young Adults: Creative Thinking in the Classroom

PART I: Creativity as Inside-the-Box Thinking: Implications for Education

8:30 am - 9:45 am


Everyone knows how creative thinking comes about: Creativity involves thinking "outside the box." Dr. Weisberg's research, using case studies of seminal creative advances in science, invention, and the arts, as well as laboratory studies of undergraduates solving problems, indicates that, contrary to the accepted view, creative thinking depends on inside-the-box thinking. Creative thinkers build on what is known and move beyond it in small steps. He will discuss evidence supporting the idea that creativity depends on inside-the-box thinking and implications for education will be considered.

Robert W. Weisberg, PhD, Professor of Psychology; Director of Graduate Studies; Director of the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition Cluster; Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, Temple University; Author, Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts (2006); Co-Author, ""Out-of-the-box" thinking in creativity" (2010, Tools for innovation)



Willy WoodPART II: The Creative Teen: Sparking, Harnessing and Directing Creativity in the Classroom
10:00 am - 12:45 pm

Discover how to foster creativity and creative thinking in the classroom and the many ways school practices can dampen or even destroy creativity. Practical suggestions for making your classroom a a hotbed of creativity will be offered.

Willy Wood, MA, President, Open Mind Technologies; former high school teacher; national speaker on brain-based teaching

6. Reading Skills in the 21st Century: From the Internet to Neuro-Imaging


PART I: New Literacies for a New Time: Preparing Students for the 21st Century With Common Core Standards
8:30 - 10:00am

Explore how the Internet poses new challenges for learners that extend beyond traditional reading comprehension skills. This workshop will examine a new online assessment to measure online reading comprehension as well as a new student-centered model of instruction designed to better prepare students for the unique challenges of reading and learning on the Internet. It will end with a series of recommendations for educational leaders and policymakers seeking to prepare all students for their literacy future in a digital age.

Donald J. Leu, PhD,
Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology; Professor of Education; Director, The New Literacies Research Lab, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut; and Heidi Everett-Cacopardo, Elena Forzani, and Clint Kennedy, Doctoral Students/Researchers, The New Literacies Research Lab, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut


PART II: NeuroFuture: Neuroimaging and Cognitive Technologies to Predict Struggling Readers
10:15 am - 11:30 am

Explore how modern neuroimaging techniques may actually predict future reading problems in children and the promise of new cognitive technologies to help struggling readers.

John D.E. Gabrieli, PhD,
Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Director, Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; author, "Dyslexia: A new synergy between education and cognitive neuroscience" (2009, Science)


PART III: How Digital Technologies Are Redefining the Meaning of Reading Disorders in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Implications for Overcoming Reading Difficulties
11:30 am - 12:45 pm

The presenters will explore neuroscience discoveries and new digital technologies that are reshaping our understanding of reading disorders and dyslexia. They will consider, along with you, what this means for new interventions and strategies to help struggling readers.

Joanna A. Christodoulou, EdD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Gabrieli Lab, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and
Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions; Instructor/Professor, Department of Psychology, Harvard University; Co-Author, "The reading brain" (2010, Mind, Brain, and Education: Neuroscience implications for the classroom)


Samantha G. Daley, EdD, Research Scientist, Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST): Former Clinical Fellow, Learning Disabilities Program, Children's Hospital, Boston; Former instructor, Language and Literacy Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Co-Editor of the special series, "Usable knowledge in mind, brain, and education" (Mind, Brain and Education, 2009)