PreConference Workshops


Friday, November 6
5:30 – 8:30 PM ET / 2:30 – 5:30 PM PT

Cost per person: $89 with conference registration.
By advance registration only. Select one of two.
(Cost is $99 if you are not attending the conference.)




1. Igniting Deep Learning with the Social-Emotional Brain in Mind: Tools from Understanding by Design® & Neuroscience

Today’s students will enter a world that is increasingly complex, interconnected and unpredictable. The current coronavirus pandemic is a sobering illustration. No longer will success be determined by who can remember the most. With nearly unlimited and instantaneous access to the information, the future will belong to those people who can apply executive functions as they access the information they need, critically appraise what they find, and apply it to address new challenges and opportunities. In addition to these cognitive capacities, people will need Social–Emotional skills to cope with the increased stresses of modern life. In this 3-hour pre-conference webinar, Jay McTighe and Judy Willis will present ideas from their recent book, Upgrade Your Teaching: Understanding by Design Meets Neuroscience (ASCD, 2019) to help educators and parents address the stresses that the pandemic has wrought. They will examine the educational implications of virtual learning and recommend approaches for curriculum, assessment and instruction called for by the “new normal” in schools.

Judy Willis, MD, EdM, Educational Consultant; Board-Certified Neurologist; Former Classroom Teacher; Adjunct Professor, Williams College; Author, Unlock Teen Brainpower: 20 Keys to Boosting Attention, Memory, and Efficiency (2019), Learning to Love Math (2010), How Your Child Learns Best (2008), and Teaching the Brain to Read (2008); Co-Author, Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from Neuroscience and the Classroom (2020), Upgrade Your Teaching: Understanding by Design Meets Neuroscience (2019); and Jay McTighe, MEd, Strategic Planner, Eduplanet21; Educational Writer and Consultant; Former Director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium; Former Classroom Teacher, Resource Specialist, and Program Coordinator; Co-Author, Teaching for Deeper Learning (2020), Upgrade Your Teaching: Understanding by Design Meets Neuroscience (2019), Schooling by Design (2007), and the award-winning series: Understanding by Design®




2. Moving from Motivating Students to Teaching Self-Motivation in Schools and in Remote Learning

A whole raft of research (and many of our own experiences) point to the troubling side-effects of using extrinsic motivational systems (gem jars, clip charts, an over-reliance on grades, etc.) to motivate behavior and work in schools. These systems often diminish intrinsic motivation, crush creativity, and decrease learning and achievement. So, what should educators do instead? And how do you boost motivation both in school and through remote learning? In this 3-hour pre-conference webinar, you’ll explore a few key ideas and the six key intrinsic motivators (autonomy, belonging, purpose, competence, curiosity, and fun) that can be cooked into everyday teaching and learning experiences both in the classroom and in online learning environments. We’ll also consider the important connections between teaching students self-management strategies and self-motivation. You will engage in lots of small group conversations, learn practical ideas and strategies to use right away, and gain access to a set of online resources to support implementation and deeper reflection.

Mike Anderson, MS, Former Elementary School Teacher; National Milken Educator Award recipient; Former Program Developer, Northeast Foundation for Children; Author, What We Say and How We Say It Matter: Teacher Talk That Improves Student Learning and Behavior (2019), Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn (2016), “Social-Emotional Learning and Academics: Better Together” (2015, Educational Leadership), and The Well-Balanced Teacher (2010); Co-Author, What Every Teacher Needs to Know K-5 Series (2011)




3. SEL from a Distance: Teaching for Engagement and Social-Emotional Growth in an Online Learning Environment

Many schools are moving to only online instruction this Fall due to COVID-19. But how do you keep students engaged? How do you teach them self-regulation in a distance learning environment? And how do you maintain teacher-student relationships when everything is virtual? This online pre-conference webinar will bring together decades of research from brain science and visible learning and experience from 70 teachers who have navigated pandemic teaching in 2020. It will show you ways to maintain and manage teacher-student relationships, create engaged and meaningful learning experiences, provide teacher credibility and clarity, support agency and emotional regulation, and use feedback and assessment in a distance learning classroom for today's new normal.

Douglas B. Fisher, PhD, Chair, Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University; Classroom Teacher, Health Sciences High and Middle College; Co-Author, The Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting (2020), The On-Your-Feet Guide to Building Authentic Student-Teacher Relationships (2019), Teaching Hope and Resilience for Students Experiencing Trauma: Creating Safe and Nurturing Classrooms for Learning (2019), All Learning Is Social and Emotional: Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom and Beyond (2019), and The Teacher Clarity Playbook (2018)




4. Cultivating Mindfulness and SEL in Service of Belonging

In this virtual pre-conference workshop, you will gain a deeper understanding of SEL and mindfulness and how they can create a culture of belonging in your classroom, especially during these volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous times. Learn practical strategies that support the shifts to SEL and mindfulness in daily practice and how to make SEL explicit in lesson planning and instruction (whether in virtual, hybrid, or in person classrooms).

Meena Srinivasan, MEd, Executive Director, Transformative Educational Leadership, who has worked in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to implement SEL in the Oakland Unified School District; Developer, SEL Every Day Online Courses; Author, Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom (2014) and SEL Every Day (2019)