Special Workshops

Pre-Conference Workshops
Friday, November 15
8:30 am - 12:40 pm
(Cost per person: $189. By Advance registration only. Select one of the six. Add $25 if not also attending the conference.)


1. Creating Student-Centered Classrooms


Part I: Creating Student-Centered, Results-Only Classrooms

Are you tired of seeing blank stares on the faces of your students? This first part of this two-part workshop will show you how to create a student-centered classroom that focuses on mastery learning using year-long projects, Web 2.0 and social media tools and the power of narrative feedback over grades.

Mark Barnes, MEd,
Online Instructor/Developer, Notre Dame College and Lake Erie College; Discovery Education Network Star Educator; Author, Role Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom (2013)


Part II: Unleashed to Learn for WOW Results


This interactive second part of the workshop illustrates the inspiring capacity of 21st century students when they are unleashed to learn using the Capstone Model. The challenge and process of the student-centered Capstone requires full engagement and use of the highest centers of the brain. Students are driven by their own high interests to learn experientially in real world settings with experts on their chosen topics. Relevance is key. Results are tangible, applicable, and publicly celebrated. You will learn how to incorporate components of the Capstone Model in your classroom and school. The Capstone program is a contagious catalyst for cultural change in schools, is preparatory for higher education, helps establish career pathways, and can satisfy common core standards.

Linda C. Aronson, OTR, MEd, Education Consultant; Expert on student-centered and experiential/applied learning and in child and brain development and function; Author, Unleashed To Learn: Empowering Students to Learn at Full Capacity (2013)


2. Bringing Common Core Standards to Life Through Neuroscience and Understanding by Design

You will examine the intersection of the neuroscience of learning with the Understanding by Design framework and Common Core Standards, as well as practices to develop student's understanding and ability to transfer their learning-essential requirements of college and career readiness.

Judy Willis, MD, MEd,
Board-Certified Neurologist, Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara; Author, Learning to Love Math (2011), Inspiring Middle School Minds (2009), Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning (2006) and "Current impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning" (2010, Mind, Brain & Education: Neuroscience: Implications for the Classroom) and Jay A. McTighe, MA, President, Jay McTighe and Associates; Former Director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium; Co-Author, From Common Core Standards to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas (2012), Integrating Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design: Connecting Content and Kids (2013) Understanding by Design series (2004)


3. Engaging All Students in Learning


Part I: Captivate, Activate and Invigorate: Engaging the Brains of All Learners

Getting students engaged in learning and keeping them engaged is 99 percent of the challenge in today's classrooms. How do we get our students to the edge of their seats for new learning? Recent brain research confirms what we have believed for years, we don't pay attention to boring things. Dr. Almarode will link the most recent research on keeping the student brain engaged with your classrooms and schools. You will walk away with instant ideas and strategies that will have every student captivated, activated and invigorated.

John T. Almarode, PhD,
Assistant Professor, James Madison University; Principal Investigator, "Study of Responsiveness to Intervention in Mathematics: Project RIM"; Co-Author, Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6-12 (2013)


Part II: Sustaining Engagement in Students

Engagement is a frequently heard word in the field of education these days. We know that holding students' attention and true engagement can be two very different things. In this second part of the workshop, participants will refine and clarify their definition and understanding of engagement and understand the shifts that occur cognitively when engagement is sustained, will discover several qualities of engaging work, and will apply that understanding to their context.

Margaret C. Glick, MEd, Instructor on Cognition and Brain Development, University of La Verne; Co-Author, The Instructional Leader and the Brain (2011)


4. Wiring the Brain for Reading: Critical Thinking and the Common Core

Learn how to wire the brain for reading and critical thinking to enhance comprehension. Discover how to physically prepare the brain for reading and gain strategies for teaching your students' brains thinking skills for life as well as for Common Core assessments. Reading is a very rich and complex skill, and new assessments require higher cognitive demands. Find out how to meet the demands of new ELA standards and raise student achievement.

Marilee B. Sprenger, MA, Adjunct Professor, Aurora University, Member of the American Academy of Neurology; Author, Wiring the Brain for Reading: Brain-Based Strategies for Teaching Literacy (2013)


5. Inspire Educators and Learners with Experiential Instruction


Part I: Designing and Managing Experiential Instruction

The first part of this workshop will review a powerful teaching theory that has been successfully used to create understanding and long-lasting learning by deeply engaging the learner. Explore the various aspects of what goes into designing such lessons, programs and even management design. You look at learning events that go beyond simply meeting standards and design lessons that last and are usable through the student's life. Based upon cognitive neuroscience research and years of field practice, Jessie Cruickshank from Harvard's Mind, Brain and Education program and Dr. Jeb Schenck of the University of Wyoming, will guide you through the process of designing truly meaningful lessons, as well as avoiding the classic pitfalls that many programs encounter.

Jeb Schenck, PhD; Adjunct Professor, University of Wyoming; Leader and veteran of more than 20 mountaineering expeditions including Mt. Everest and Mt. McKinley; Author, Teaching and the Adolescent Brain (2011) and Teaching to the Brain, Best Ideas and Best Practices (2008); and Jessica Cruickshank, EdM, Graduate of the Mind, Brain, and Education Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education; Program Director and Administrative Director for Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries


Part II: The Inspired Educator, The Inspired Learner: Experiential, Brain-Based Approaches to Group Work, Teaching and Reflection

In this interactive second part of the workshop, you will learn how to fill your group facilitation and teaching toolbox with experiential, brain-based techniques to inspire and motivate participants, create a positive and supportive learning environment, and facilitate meaningful reflection and group dialogue. Help learners make connections between educational experiences and real life situations and take ownership and responsibility for their learning.

Jennifer Stanchfield, MS, Instructor at the Southeast Vermont Learning Collaborative, Author, Tips & Tools: The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation (2008); Co-Author, A Teachable Moment: A Facilitator's Guide to Activities for Processing Debriefing, Reviewing and Reflection (2008)


6. Engaging Digital Minds Using Interactive Media

Dr. Cox will address differences in the brains of today's students and will show you ways to use technology and interactive teaching methods to engage student learning and promote higher order thinking and self-regulation, while also helping students connect, reflect, and express creativity. Please bring your own internet-ready device to fully engage in this hands-on, creative workshop.

Suzy Cox, PhD, Assistant Professor in Elementary Education, College of Education, Utah Valley University; Co-Author, "Building an online instructional design community" (2003, Educational Technology)