Pre Conference Workshops

Friday, April 7
8:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Cost per person: $189.
By advance registration only. Select one of six.
Add $25 fee if you are not attending the conference.










1. Transformative Teaching: Changing Today's Classrooms Culturally, Emotionally, and Academically

This workshop will explore student needs in three key areas: cultural, emotional and academic. By understanding each of these three areas, coupled with research-based teaching practices that build students' mindsets and skill sets, you will be able to integrate all three components in simple and doable ways to transform your teaching so that all learners feel honored and can succeed.

Kathleen M. Kryza, MA, Master Teacher; CIO, Infinite Horizons; Co-Author, Transformational Teaching: Changing Today’s Classrooms Culturally, Academically and Emotionally (2015) and Developing Growth Mindsets in the Inspiring Classroom (2011)









AlmarodeDavid Daniel

2. Making it Work: Adapting Principles from the Science of Learning for Use in the Classroom

Over the past fifteen years, the science of learning has provided many insights into how we think, feel, and learn. These promising principles provide a starting point for educators to apply the science of learning to the instructional decisions they make in their classroom. Drs. Almarode and Daniel will unpack the most recent and relevant findings from the science of learning and show you how to put them into action! You will learn how to extract applications from research, ready for implementation in the classroom. This workshop is for brain-savvy educators.

John T. Almarode, MA, Assistant Professor, Department of Early, Elementary & Reading Education, College of Education, James Madison University; Co-Author, Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math (2013) and David B. Daniel, PhD, Professor of Psychology, James Madison University; Co-Author, "Promising Principles: Translating the Science of Learning to Educational Practice" (2012, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition)









Stixrud     Palladini

3. Stress, Meditation, and the Adolescent Brain

Today's children and teenagers are reporting the high levels of stress and anxiety. Dr. Stixrud will discuss ways in which stress shapes brain development in children and teens, and the accumulating research evidence, which indicates that, by reducing stress, meditation can facilitate healthy brain development. He will provide evidence that meditation can be an important tool for helping teens learn more efficiently and improve their academic achievement, as well as how to reduce the risk that young people will be burdened by depression, anxiety, chemical abuse, eating disorders, or self-injury.

William R. Stixrud, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington School of Medicine; Adjunct Faculty, Children’s National Medical Center; Director, The Stixrud Group; Co-Author, “Use of the Transcendental Meditation Technique to Reduce Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by Reducing Stress and Anxiety” (2008, Current Issues in Education) and Michelle Palladini, BA, Founder, L.E.A.P. Program; School Resource Officer, King Phillip Middle School; Detective, Norfolk Police Department








4. Positive Discipline Tools for the Classroom: Teaching Students Life Skills for Social, Emotional, and Academic Success

This interactive workshop will offer insightful and actionable information on how to successfully incorporate respectful, solution-focused approaches to ensure a positive, productive classroom and school-wide culture. You will learn effective tools to help students be successful in school and in life. Dr. Gfroerer will provide Positive Discipline tools that foster self-discipline and intrinsic motivation in students and help create a classroom climate based on cooperation and contribution. Finally, she will share teacher stories and in-depth research on the science behind why Positive Discipline is so effective.

Kelly Gfroerer, PhD, LPC, Director of Training and Research, Positive Discipline Association; Co-Author with Dr. Jane Nelsen, Positive Discipline Tools for Teachers: Effective Classroom Management for Social, Emotional and Academic Success (2017) and “Positive Discipline: Helping Children Develop Belonging and Coping Resources Using Individual Psychology” (2013, The Journal of Individual Psychology)







Fowler     Fowler

5. Chronic Stress and Adversity: Fostering Resilience by Creating Safe Classrooms

The CDC estimates that over twenty-two percent of all children have two or more adverse childhood experiences impacting their wellbeing and daily functioning. Children with these hard storied lives need and require emotionally safe classroom environments to become resilient learners. This two-part workshop will explore the impact of adverse childhood experiences, traumatic stress and SES. Dr. Good will discuss the effects of chronic stress and impoverished environments on the brain's neural networks and learning, the use of mindfulness, and the Turnaround for Children program that is working to improve school environments for children. Ms. Fowler will show how to implement eight core actions that etablish safety, stability, connection and belonging in the learning environment. You will learn how to respond appropriately to the emotional emergencies that interrupt the classroom learning process.

Catherine Good, PhD, Director, Social Psychology Lab; Professor, Department of Psychology, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, The City University of New York, Baruch College; Senior Research Scientist, Turnaround for Children, and Mary Fowler, BA Program Director and Trainer, Upstream Suicide Prevention Program, RWJ Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention; Psychoeducational Trainer for Schools; Author, “How to Create Emotionally Safe Classrooms Using Psychological First Aid” (2015, ASCD Express)









Perez   Fowler

6. Mindset Strategies for Increasing Academic Reading and Math Achievement

In this two-part workshop, experience practical, research-based strategies to make math and informational text more "real" with your students and to foster a growth mindset for success! Learn effective techniquest for comprehension strategies that successful readers use; explore how growth mindset impacts student motivation, engagement, learning and performance in math; and examine the importance of belonging mindsets for students' math outcomes. Discover how to make informational literacy more intentional, connected and engaging. Leave with proven strategies and designs for learning to take back to your classrooms and schools.

Kathy Perez, EdD, Professor of Education; Director of Outreach and Professional Development, Saint Mary’s College of California; Author, 200+ Proven Strategies for Teaching Reading, Grades K-8 (2016), New Inclusion: Differentiated Strategies to Engage ALL Students (2013) and More Than 100 Brain-Friendly Tools and Strategies for Literacy Instruction (2008); and Catherine Good, PhD, Director, Social Psychology Lab; Professor, Department of Psychology, Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, The City University of New York, Baruch College.