Our workshops allow educators, school leaders, parents, and/or school support staff to do a deep dive into one area of focus. Workshops include a range of topics (listed below) and offer educators concrete tools and examples that can directly apply to their own school communities. They include a combination of personal reflection, hands-on activities, and small and large group conversations. Some folks who have attended our workshops have left saying that they felt "empowered to get to work" and that workshops offered a "philosophical attitude [as well as] concrete ideas". There is limited seating for each workshop so we suggest registering quickly to reserve your space. Unlike our Institutes, our workshops do not include classroom observations.
Engaging Students in Social Justice Concepts Across Disciplines
OCTOBER 21, 2019 9am - 11am
How can we as educators strive to push ourselves beyond the comfort zones of our own disciplines? How do we use Social Justice as a theme to connect across disciplines? We often wonder how we can create curriculum that connects deeply with what's going on in other classes, as well as to what is happening outside of school. In this session participants will consider a middle school case study as a lens for how to develop interdisciplinary work with colleagues that is meaningful and strengthens their content area, through using social justice as the common lens. We will share our process of how we created interdisciplinary projects in our Spanish and Art classes and how we connected that with students' studies in Humanities. Participants will leave with ideas and some time to think about developing social justice focused interdisciplinary work as it connects to their own school settings. This workshop aims to encourage teachers to develop curriculum that is conducive to making connections across disciplines and actively approaching learning through relevant, engaging, yet rigorous projects that connect to social action.
Talking about Race, Power, and Identity in Early Elementary School
OCTOBER 24, 2019 5pm - 7pm
So often we are asked, aren’t they too young to talk about their identities, particularly race, power, and gender in early elementary school? What we have found is that K-2nd grade students are not only open to these conversations, but that, when addressed at a young age, they are able to continue these conversations as they get older and have a deeper understanding of how their identities impact their experiences. In this workshop we will look at how an anti-bias lens allows for these conversations to be embedded into every day lessons and conversations. Participants will learn from sample lessons that address these issues and have an opportunity to think about the implication in their own lessons, units, and/or read alouds.
Using a Restorative Approach to Discipline
OCTOBER 25, 2019 9am - 11am
A large part of learning and growing stems from our choices, and children, in particular, are making choices every day. However, what do we do when the choice causes harm? We can either ostracize the child from the community by way of detention or suspension or figure out ways to separate the deed from the doer to allow for a depth of learning from these choices. In this workshop we will dive deeper into what discipline looks like, with particular emphasis on grades k-8, by using a restorative justice framework. This work will be done by considering how race, class, gender, and other intersecting identifiers affect patterns of discipline and how restorative practices can help to create whole communities. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of restorative justice practices, have time to self reflect on the type of practitioner they would like to be, see an example drawn from the experience in a school and its perspective and rationale behind developing a restorative school community, and consider the implications for their own practice.
It's All About the Questions: Developing our Practice of Critical Literacy in K-5 Elementary Education
We are often asked, "How do I know which books to keep and which books to get rid of?" The truth is we can utilize most of our books and reading materials, as long as we are asking the right questions. In this workshop, we will explore why making room for our students to understand perspective and see themselves reflected in classroom conversations, matters. Through exploring examples in K to 5th grade classrooms we will gain a deeper understanding of looking at literacy in our classrooms through the critical lens that helps develop better readers and thinkers.
It Starts with Us: Building Strong Staff Development for Diversity Work in Schools
One of the most important aspects of leading culturally relevant practice is ongoing work around diversity and identity with staff. To train teachers and staff to think about multiple perspectives, they have to be in the practice of doing that work themselves. In this workshop, we'll talk about an approach to "staff diversity training" that creates deeper level, on-going development for building a safe and trusting environment where staff will be able to discuss concepts of identity and diversity. We'll spend time thinking about how staff support can impact the classroom community and the relevance of this against our national landscape. Participants will leave having done some concrete thinking about how this work relates to their own sites.
Planning to Address Learner Variability in the Classroom: Workshop a lesson or unit to increase rigor, student interest (and teacher interest)
In this session we will be taking a look at how to increase the opportunity for learning in our lessons based on what you know about your students, the curriculum and the relationship between the two. We will talk about how our understanding of learner variability can impact the amount of choice and independence incorporated into a single lesson or unit. Student engagement increases dramatically when given choice about how they will learn and what they will learn, combined with clear goals and expectations and meaningful and challenging content.
Communication, Classroom Design, and Routines for a Strong Inclusive Classroom
Join us to talk about how classroom design, teacher communication, systems and routines can impact equity and create a space where students feel a sense of belonging and are encouraged to work hard. Teachers will explore common classroom routines and structures to evaluate the messages they send about students’ ability to access the same rigorous curriculum as their grade level peers. Participants will see curricular examples and have time to apply to their own practice, also develop effective practices around planning and communicating openly with related service providers, co-teachers and other professionals.
Self-Regulation and Sensory Support for the Inclusive Classroom
Inclusion is “not a place” and students are better able to get what they need in meaningful ways in the inclusive classroom, including highly effective and specialized supports for self-regulation. Participants will learn how their mindset can affect their interactions with students as well as learn about helpful tools, programs and systems to support student need. Establishing an inclusive foundation in your classroom will impact the way students care for each other and engage in rigorous and meaningful learning and work with each other.
Building Your Co-taught Classroom (Levels I and II)
In these workshops we take a deeper look at the three high impact models, parallel teaching, station teaching and alternative teaching and discuss how they can be used effectively to create an increasingly inclusive classroom where students are engaged and the learning is rigorous.
Level I Includes:
Overview of the 6 models of co-teaching, including how to address common barriers;
An in depth look at co-teaching relationship including strategies for building and maintaining a collaborative relationship; and
Classroom visits to observe the models and variations of these learning structures in practice.
Level II Includes:
An in depth look at how variations of the co-teaching models and student choice can increase engagement and understanding;
Time to look at the planning process including how to combine assessment data and your understanding of your students to guide planning and instruction; and
Classroom visits to observe the models and variations of these learning structures in practice and debrief with our classroom teachers.
Engaging Families in Schools: Innovative Approaches to Community Building
One of the most important stakeholders in a diverse school community are the families. In this workshop, we'll share a new approach to family programming, that pushes us to think beyond the "multicultural potluck" and towards authentic relationship building. We will discuss the key elements needed for successful community programming and elements of careful program planning, particularly in diverse school environments. Participants will leave with an opportunity to think about how this presentation has direct impact on their practice and will consider next steps in continuing to build their vibrant school communities.