special workshops


(Cost per person: $169. By advance registration only. Select one of six. Add $25 fee if you are not attending the conference.)

1. To The Depths: Teaching to Spark Creativity and Ignite Learning

Creativity deepens understanding; understanding empowers creativity. Learning and creativity are complementary; creative thinking contributes to deeper learning. In this workshop, Dr. Washburn explores instructional approaches that nurture learning by igniting creativity, and provides a framework for designing creativity-enriched instruction.

Kevin D. Washburn, EdD, Executive Director, Clerestory Learning; Author, Architecture of Learning: Design Your Teaching for How the Brain Learns (2010)

burnstein 2. Experience the Creativity and Connections of The Arts

Explore how the performing arts - particularly drama and music - provide a unique experience of the creative process and of deeper connections. Dr. Bernstein will lead you through this process on four levels (score/script, space, character and relationship), and you will have the opportunity to see and hear how the original creator's intention is brought to life through great music and theater. You will be an active participant in this creative process and you will be coached as a student-performer through a series of exercises and performance pieces as you explore the effects of these deeper connections.

Ben Bernstein, PhD, Psychologist; Performance Coach; Opera Producer and Composer; Theater Director who was trained Viola Spolin, author of the landmark book, Improvisation for the Theater. Bernstein is the author of Test Success!: How to be Calm, Confident, and Focused on Any Test (2012)


3. Teaching Math Through Music

Discover how to bring music into the elementary school math classroom. Academic Music is a curriculum designed to use music notes, tapping, clapping and rhythmic drumming to helps students learn difficult math concepts. For example, it encourages a deeper understanding of fraction reasoning by relating math to music and shows the relationship of musical rhythms to different sizes of fractions. You will learn how to use music instruction to teach math, fractions and numbers, as well as to reduce your own discomfort with teaching difficult mathematical concepts. This workshop will provide you with clear directions and examples of lesson plans.

Susan J. Courey, PhD, Associate Professor; Mild/Moderate Program Coordinator, Dept. of Special Education, San Francisco State University; Researcher on the correlation between music education and math skills; Endre L. Balogh, MEd, Founder, Director and Lead Teacher, Toones Academic Music

ghoogasian 4. Teaching and Learning in the Era of the Brain

The fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, communication, and education have provided valuable information for educators regarding teaching and learning. You will explore information from these fields about the importance of the brain in the learning and teaching process, and factors that can help facilitate real learning. Learn strategies that help take advantage of how the brain learns best and how to incorporate 21st Century Skills, which are now part of the new Common Core State Standards.

David Ghoogasian, President, The Lyceum; Instructor, Extensions Program, University of California, Riverside and University of California, Irvine; Former Principal; Member, Visiting Committees for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Accrediting Commission for Schools, and the California Association for the Gifted; Recipient of UC Irvine's "Distinguished Instructor Award"


5. Building the Foundation for the Reading Brain in PreK-6

Reading with comprehension is the linchpin for school success. Dr. Wolfe will explain how the brain's plasticity allows it to use structures and circuits originally devoted to other purposes to build the capacity to read. She will also discuss the critical stages in the reading process, causes of dyslexia and early strategies to increase reading fluency and comprehension.

Patricia Wolfe, EdD, Adjunct Professor, North Idaho College; Former Teacher; Educational Consultant; President, Mind Matters, Inc.; Author, Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice (2010, 2nd Edition); Co-Author, Building the Reading Brain (2009, 2nd Edition)

hobson and levy 6. Critical and Creative Thinking for the 21st Century

This engaging workshop presents innovative, easy to implement strategies and ideas for successfully teaching students how to become better creative and critical thinkers. Learn how to use logic stories to enhance divergent and convergent thinking while developing skills for problem-solving, critical thinking, group process, listening, speaking, and creativity. A variety of successful teaching techniques will be shared as well as numerous writing and thinking activities.

Scott Hobson, MA, Educational Consultant; Former Principal, Assistant Principal, and Master Teacher; Author, Breakfast for the Brain (2012); and Nathan Levy, PhD, Gifted Educator: Author, Stories with Holes (2007); Co-Author, Thinkology (2012)