Conversations

During each of the six breakout sessions throughout the weekend, a large number of conversations will take place. This site will help you organize your plan for the weekend and provide the relevant information for each conversation. After signing in, search through the conversations below and mark the sessions you are interested in to populate your personal schedule on the right (or below if on your mobile phone).

Amplifying Student Voice With Podcasting

Alicia Johal

In this conversation, you will be both a designer and a producer! We will explore podcasting pedagogy to ensure that each student has access to the skill and content required, as well as cultivating and reinforcing their speaking, listening and comprehension skills. By joining our conversation you will create your very own podcast episode to understand the dos/donts of classroom podcasting. With planning guides, topic ideas, editing hacks and step-by-step designing and producing - you will leave equipped to have your own students podcasting on Monday!

Moving Beyond Standardized Advanced Curriculum

Peter Gow

Many schools have been talking about creating advanced high school courses built around their own missions and strategic curricular priorities, but many have qualms about going forward. Learn more about what matters when these conversations begin and how schools have been bringing new kinds of advanced school-created curriculum to fruition.

Exploring a Broader Context for Developing Authentic Learning Experiences

Session 1
David Jakes

Schools have always searched for relevance and the authentic connections that make learning meaningful. In this conversation, we’ll discuss a set of critical questions that can lead to a broader understanding of the challenges associated with developing authentic landscapes for learning. Our goal for the session will be to catalyze thinking by challenging the assumptions and reality of school while uncovering potential solutions that lead to a future-focused school experience grounded by authenticity.

How to Guard Against Biased Grading

Session 1
Marc Ottaviani and Tricia Stanley

Unless we actively guard against implicit bias in our grading practices, assessment outcomes become inauthentic as they can promote racial inequity. It is only through transparent assessment systems and culturally relevant pedagogy, that we can better prepare our students to be independent learners and assess them fairly. In this session, participants will be guided through a series of interactions around assessment and bias.

Inquiry-driven Instruction for a Rapidly Changing Planet

Session 1
Augusto Macalalag

Help your students explore human impacts on the planet including population growth, rising global temperature, threats to biodiversity, and compromised ecosystems through experiential and inquiry-based activities. In this conversation, we’ll discuss interdisciplinary strategies for applying learning in several disciplines to authentic problems.

Learning IRL

Session 1
John Clemente, Chris De La Cruz, Nataly Monsalve, Faatima Johnson

With few authentic experiences and limited technology, school is increasingly detached from the real world (technology is everywhere - except schools and airplanes). At SBC, our Deeper Learning challenges position students to deliver for authentic audiences. Come see how we design original Boogie Down productions.

Learning through parallel Contextual and Curricular based Environments

Session 1
Dr. Liza Bearman, Matt Lucas & Joe Wise

In this conversation, participants, with us, will compare and contrast the roles of curricular and contextual learning to hopefully gain a better understanding of how to leverage both types of learning to integrate content with experience. We will introduce folks to our (Wildwood's) developing educational model that, unlike other approaches that we are aware of, situates experiences in a broader context and encourages transfer between experiential learning and content knowledge.

Real Privacy for Real Education: Common Sense Media Shows You How

Session 1
Steve Garton

When students enter the classroom, they expect that their privacy will be protected. Students trust their teachers, but the ubiquitous influx of technology changes the privacy concerns. Leveraging Common Sense’s years of privacy experience, We’ll have a conversation about personalizing your choices about privacy for edtech.

Steps to Becoming an Authentic Learner and Leader

Session 1
Bobby Dodd

The conversation will generate discussions on strategies to: - Use social media to share learning and leading - Help others close to you grow - Share leadership - Appreciate what you have and show gratitude - Create habits and trusting the process - Generate ideas or possibilities - Address unprofessionalism

Teaching for a Living Democracy

Session 1
Joshua Block, SLA Students

Join a SLA teacher and SLA students as we explore ways to change the experience of school for students. We will discuss opportunities for students to use inquiry and project-based learning to produce complex work, reconfiguring understandings of themselves, their capabilities, and their roles in the world. Ideas in this session relate to the book Teaching for a Living Democracy, forthcoming from Teachers College Press.

Welcoming Authenticity: A student perspective

Session 1
Swetha Narasimhan, Hannah Gann

A conversation with students representing the Women of the Workshop School, female-identifying students from The Workshop School (Philadelphia, PA) talking about how they bring their race, class, gender, and other parts of their identities into the classroom.

Beyond the Bubbles: Critical Thinking & ESL Through Comics Creation

Session 2
Jacqueline Gardy, Dan Ryder

Educators know comics can have tremendous literacy value. But to date, there’s not a resource written to help worldwide educators and students create comics that develop critical thinking and language skills. Explore and practice how the U.S. Department of State is working to do just that.

Cultivating Resiliency in the Science Classroom

Session 2
Kathleen Tsai

Mindset matters in the science classroom. How can we acknowledge the importance of social-emotional teaching and mental health when it comes to strengthening classroom culture and growing resilient students?

Empowering Teachers through Authentic, Choice-Based PD

Session 2
Jared Colley; Michelle Vaughn; Kymberly Ayodeji

Let’s talk about making PD more human-centered to give participants ideas for plans that are personalized, choice-based, and equitable for everyone. By introducing attendees to Oakridge’s pathways-based approach, we’ll facilitate conversation about designing learning opportunities that mirror what’s demanded of students: to make choices, take risks, reiterate, and own the learning.

Moving Beyond Standardized Advanced Curriculum

Session 2
Peter Gow

Many schools have been talking about creating advanced high school courses built around their own missions and strategic curricular priorities, but many have qualms about going forward. Learn more about what matters when these conversations begin and how schools have been bringing new kinds of advanced school-created curriculum to fruition.

PBL in the Real World

Session 2
Nina Bilynsky-Ristics, Sheena Starling

Curious about ways to implement student-driven project work with real-world impact? Come hear about some of the projects developed by students at el Centro High School and the impact these projects have made in the community. Stay for a discussion about ways to implement PBL at your own school.

Rejecting Neutrality: Envisioning Authentic Humanities Spaces

Session 2
John Phillips

In this conversation, participants will problematize the possibility of being objective in the humanities classroom, consider what their spaces would look like if they removed the illusion of being unbiased, and develop a vision for a truly authentic space for students to question the world around them effectively.

Should There be a Redemption Road?

Session 2
Robert Dillon

In an era of public mistakes that are amplified by shaming culture, many ideas and voices are being left on the sideline without hope to return to the conversation. How can we, in our spheres of influence, help to craft a path that brings individuals back from mistakes, errors, and lapses in judgment into the greater conversation for the great good.

Supporting LGBTQ Students as their Authentic Selves

Session 2
Sabia Prescott

This action-oriented conversation aims to provide educators who wish to better engage with and support their LGBTQ students with the tools, knowledge, and resources to do so. Participants will have the chance to explore and challenge best practices for navigating queerness and allyship in the classroom.

Sustaining a Mission

Session 2
Chris Lehmann

Any look at the history of education will show a frustrating landscape of good ideas and fast starts that slowly degraded over time. How do good ideas in education survive in a world where regression to the mean is real?

Teaching Climate Change through Action

Session 2
John Kamal, Patrick Colgan

Educators are becoming increasingly aware of their central role in addressing the impact of climate change. How can this call-to-action be married with expectations in the Next Generation Science Standards? Join two engineering teachers and their students to look at their active project that aims to address this real world problem through action.

Against Reinvention: Adjusting the Wheel: An inquiry into re-teaching, shared reflection, and manageable improvement

Session 3
Hilary Hamilton, Elizabeth Houwen, Dan Symonds

What are best practices for improving the things you’ll teach again? What’s the role of student feedback for re-teaching? What happens when we shift our time to intentionally improving our curriculum and practice as opposed to building new, again. What happens when students engage meaningfully in the design of curriculum and practice? How can shared reflection of past and upcoming curriculum foster student ownership of their learning? How does if foster collaboration?

Authentic Engagement Using Gameful Learning in HS English

Session 3
Jared Colley; Nick Dresseler

As HS instructors, our challenge is not distracted students, nor is it getting them motivated; our challenge is cultivating authentic engagement in curriculum. Students are focused and motivated - the evidence being their gaming practices, meaning the principles of good game design have lots to teach us as educators.

Building an Authentic Love of Reading

Session 3
Kaitlyn Cronin

In our classroom, reading becomes an expression of our authentic self. What books we choose to read can help us work through challenges or highlight interests. What books we choose to share with others can become a sincere and meaningful form of communication and community building between sometimes awkward pre-adolescents. We emphasize self-direction and self-actualization in our book choices and our reading styles.

Centering The Students at the Margins

Session 3
Jose Luis Vilson-Rojas

What does it mean to work with students whose voices are often ignored in the work? How do our schools reflect our students' passions and voices? How do educators become more responsive academically and culturally to our students? What is a good school? How can do create spaces for justice, love, and empathy?

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Strategies for the K-12 Classroom

Session 3
Jessy Molina and Toni Woodlon

This workshop will provide the space for educators to reflect on their own identities and how those identities show up in the classroom, impacting teaching and learning. Participants will gain valuable tools and strategies for curriculum development, classroom management, and family engagement with a culturally responsive lens. This conversation will be engaging, interactive, hands-on and fun!

Design Thinking Your 1:1 in 20:20

Session 3
Andrew Coy, Taiisha Swinton-Buck, and Students

Come see what a Baltimore City Public High School did to use design thinking to help choose a 1:1 platform for their school. #raspberrypi #chromebook #macbook #surface #ipad #thinkpad #inspiron

Developing Best Practices for Budget-Conscious, Non-Proprietary Physical Computing & Robotics Courses

Session 3
Chris D. Odom, Brian Patton, Howard M. Glasser

This hands-on conversation centers on our 18-year development of low-cost, non-proprietary Physical Computing & Robotics courses. Ideal for new and experienced tech educators, successes and failures will be discussed. You’ll have access to all our curricular materials – including textbooks developed for the course – and have time to code Arduino-compatible robotics platforms.

Emancipating Design and Thinking: School as Home of Opportunity

Session 3
Ira Socol, Dina Sorensen, Pam Moran

Children dream big. Adults dream small, narrowing bandwidths of opportunity in front of children. Learning should widen bandwidth. Let’s talk children’s’ hands-to-mind learning, adolescents’ social learning, and the affirmation learning of teens transitioning to adulthood. Rad the room with imagination, inspiration, and insight. Push thinking. Let’s emancipate thinking and design.

Engaging and Empowering ALL Students as Math Learners

Session 3
David Ginsburg

No subject creates more anxiety for more students than mathematics. But why do so many kids of all ages have such an aversion to math, and what can we do about it? Let’s collaborate to identify common causes of students' strained relationship with math, and brainstorm solutions.

If it is authentic I learn and teach better - Passion and authenticity based motivation for students and teachers

Session 3
Nitzan Resnick

Passion based STEAM projects revolving around global and timely problems proved as a huge motivation factor, which brought authenticity into learning, and drove students’ curiosity in directions we never anticipated. Similarly, focusing on teachers’ passion and strength, resulted in a unique interdisciplinary science course taught by 3 different science teachers.

Stories Behind the Stories: A Student Created Textbook

Session 3
Karen Falcon, Lashe Miles

In this workshop, students and graduates from Jubilee School will present stories and illustrations from the textbook they have written, called "Journey to the Core of the Twentieth Century". They will discuss the learning process behind their work, and for the alumni, what it means to them years later. Workshop participants will discuss paths to discover under-told stories from their local and global communities, and will work together to find ways to make the stories known through writing and the arts.

Brave Space Leadership

Session 4
Dr. Sharon Ravitch

Based on Arao and Clemens (2013) “From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces: A New Way to Frame Dialogue Around Diversity and Social Justice" we will discuss what the differences are between the more common "safe spaces" and more equitable brave spaces.

Building School Community: Implementing Restorative Practices

Session 4
Brian Kulak, Anna Muessig

Building an authentic community in your classroom or school is challenging, especially when members of that community have differing backgrounds, beliefs, and social-emotional skills. Further, traditional disciplinary methods often do not teach students about how their behavior impacts the learning and social-emotional health of the community. Let’s discuss how Restorative Practices address these pertinent issues.

How Might We Design a Makerspace?

Session 4
Liam Gallagher

Attendees will prototype a maker space after a short presentation and discussion by presenter. We’ll look at how to best design a maker space from scratch - a good fit for established makers and newbies alike.

How might we make school life more reflective of real life?

Session 4
Nicole Martin, Shelley Searcy, and Alex Blumencranz

Deep and authentic learning requires teachers to know their students’ interests and passions and customize learning experiences through real-world, relevant work. Join our conversation to engage in thinking routines, conversation prompts, and protocols to experience and plan for more authentic teaching and learning at your school.

Let's Build an Arts-Focused School Network

Session 4
Jill Davidson

Does your school put the arts and creativity at the center of teaching and learning? Join this conversation to explore the need for an arts-centered school network designed to share what works, research the impact of the arts on resilience, and develop assessments that inform best approaches to arts-focused education.

Not Light, But Fire: Developing Your Talking Game

Session 4
Matthew Kay

How do our interpersonal communication skills impact classroom race discussions? How might we teachers become the best communicators that we can be, so that we don't get in our own way in classroom discussions about the toughest subjects?

Student Visibility

Session 4
Nancy Ironside, Sarah Bower-Grieco

How can teachers and schools reflect on their practices on recognizing and seeing students for what they are doing and who they are? Join a conversation that provides opportunities to share these practices and recognize how to make this visibility more frequent, authentic, and sustainable.

Supporting Our Evolving Student Population

Session 4
Melissa Moran

-Participants will gain awareness and understanding of our LGBTQIA+ Community. -Participants will be able to support and converse about these topics with a more knowledgeable background. -Participants will walk away with various resources and materials for their classrooms.

Ally and Accomplice Work: What does that look like?

Session 5
Kristina Ishmael, Sabia Prescott

What is an ally? What is an accomplice? Come to this session where we discuss social justice and equity work from the lens of how to intercede and actively work daily to eradicate injustice and inequity in our schools.

Are You A Learning Maximizer?

Session 5
Erika Saunders

Explore ways to help your students maximized their learning for Science Leadership Academy Middle School’s (SLAMS) very own Learning Maximizer, Erika Saunders!

Cohesive Culture: Comprehensive Restorative Practices

Session 5
Zuri Stone, Robin Walker

Recognize restorative as an approach to full organization culture building; Understand the importance of relationships and authentic feedback; Create restorative programs that support the growth and leadership; Learn strategies for building culture, giving and providing feedback, restorative group facilitation/circles and restorative as a response to conflict.

For Teachers, By Teachers: Making Professional Learning Authentic through Teacher-Led Professional Learning Communities

Session 5
Andrew Knips

When teachers lead professional learning communities (PLCs), their learning experience is more authentic, relevant, and impactful. This session will share resources from work in five School District of Philadelphia schools that empower teachers to run PLCs, and then facilitate a discussion for participants to explore teacher leadership in their contexts.

Living in the Digital World

Session 5
Mary Beth Hertz

Our students are living in a world that many of us did not grow up in. Learn from SLA Beeber students about their experiences growing up in a digital world and using social media while also discussing the bright and dark sides of social media.

Starting From Scratch: Authentic Assessments and Grading Practices

Session 5
Brian Hodges, Kristen Thomsen, Katie Rego, Tobey Reed, Weston Pondolfino

Want your students to do authentic work? Want them to focus on learning rather than grades? Join us in a workshop that will help you re-imagine your assessments and grading practices at both the individual and school level. We’re going to start from scratch: if we were designing these systems for the first time, what would we do?

Staying Afloat in Turbulent Times

Session 5
Walter Brown, Kate Spence

It is not an easy time to be a teacher or school leader, despite our individual commitments to our students, our practice, our schools, and our communities. This collaborative, interactive conversation will propose a framework for considering strategies that educators facing turbulence are using in order to stay professionally afloat.

Supporting learners through neurodiverse physical engagement

Session 5
Daniel Cunitz

A student enters class bouncing off the walls. Another slumps down on the table, asleep before the second bell. A third sits stiffly, afraid to move for fear of social ridicule. Learn how Crefeld instituted a daily morning vigorous activity period for middle schoolers and how it’s changed the school day.

Teaching Soft Skills Through STEAM K-12

Session 5
Kammas Kersch, Kara Denning

Join a grade school and a high school teacher as they facilitate conversation on how to use best practices to teach soft skills through STEM content and activities. Attendees will walk away with examples, ideas, and an implementation plan for their classroom!

Creating a Framework for Invention Education

Session 6
Andrew Coy

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the community creation process, and a sneak peek at what is being released in 2020, of the Invention Education Framework all while connecting with others interested in invention education.

Design Inspired Schools: Getting from the schools we have to the ones we want.

Session 6
Timothy Comer, Walter Brown, Phil Linder

How did Airbnb become one of the largest accommodation providers without owning a single property? How did Uber become a leader in transportation industry without owning a single car? Design Thinking! In this session, educators will discuss how to cultivate a mindset of “design inspired leadership” to transform our schools into “cultures of change”

Future Ready: Are We?

Session 6
Dr. Margery Covello, Dr. Casey Cohen

School leaders from urban and suburban, charter and public networks will lead a discussion on finding a balance among school systems often stuck in the past, the pressures of present day leadership, and authentically supporting future-ready initiatives coupled with the ever-increasing realities of school dependency.

It’s Ok to Not Be Ok: Educator Wellness

Session 6
Kristina Ishmael, Ann Leaness

It’s ok to not be ok. Yet, we rarely say these things in professional settings, especially in education. This session aims to provide the space to engage in an honest conversation about educator wellness. Participants will discuss self-care strategies, discover helpful resources, and create a plan to incorporate self-care practices.

Know The Memes: Media literacy to decode white supremacy

Session 6
Matt Reininger, Saber Khan, JP Connolly

Our students live on an internet that can look very different on the sites and platforms they visit with content served up by algorithms. Sites like YouTube have been shown to "personalize" or recommend videos meant to radicalize viewers. On other platforms, hateful ideas are packaged as memes to be shared widely. Thanks to 1:1 device programs and the ubiquity of smartphones these worlds can easily enter our school culture. Educators should be prepared to recognize, contextualize, and disrupt jokes, memes, and speech that originates on the internet seeks to normalize hate and to marginalize groups in schools. A sophisticated media literacy philosophy and practice are key to preventing student online radicalization.

My Voice Matters: Building Authentic Engagement into Middle School Advisory

Session 6
Pam Prell, Sarah Duenas

Let’s explore ways of bringing authentic community engagement into Middle School. We’ll share strategies from a Philadelphia advisory class where a student-centered, inquiry-driven service project provides a yearlong framework for building classroom community, exploring and addressing social issues and creating space for empathy and problem-solving skills to emerge.

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