Work with students and faculty of SLA’s CTE Digital Video program to learn the technical and artistic techniques of communicating through video. This three-hour interactive workshop has a limit of 30 participants.
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).
What responsibility do schools have to grow truly empathetic people? How do we help our students connect and build positive relationships with diverse populations in this increasingly divisive political/social climate? How do we help our young people “ listen to others deeply enough to be changed by what they learn?”
It seems we’re all trapped within our ideological “bubbles,” victims to believing and spreading “fake” and fast news. Let’s start doing something about this lack of nuanced thinking in our classrooms by providing texts that do not reduce ideas down to soundbites. You’ll leave this session thinking about how to help students articulate their ideas with depth and sophistication.
Cathy Davidson https://www.cathydavidson.com/ writes in her new book, The New Education, about the origins of our current educational system, and compellingly that this system no longer serves its students or society well. The focused solutions she recommends are aimed at higher education institutions.
A conversation about citizenship and teaching in the current climate
What is the story of what happens in our classrooms? If curiosity is the foundation of engagement, what steps can we take to foster it in our students? In ourselves? In our professional communities and contexts? In this conversation, we’ll make plans to inspire curiosity and then discuss how we’ll share those stories of curiosity with others.
We talk about the importance of voice and choice but how do we encourage learners of all ages to discover their purpose for learning so they own and drive it. Learners need learning to be relevant and authentic. We will take real-world activities and use design thinking to redesign them together.
This conversation prepares participants for a hands-on exploration of youth participatory action research (YPAR). Sharing approaches from more than a decade of intergenerational, community-based research, we will develop action plans for research and advocacy.
Making the shift from a culture of teaching to a culture of modern learning can only happen when a school community shares powerful beliefs about learning. This session will discuss practical strategies to help educators to “find the others” or expand pockets of innovation and inspiration that embody modern learning.
Explore the opportunities and challenges of meditation for educators and the classroom.
Research supports that outdoor experiences benefit our minds and bodies. We will discuss limitations and brainstorm solutions to moving our student-driven inquiry lessons outside. Appropriate for all disciplines and age levels, together we will model hands-on strategies and will develop a tool kit to put into practice.
In this session we’ll discuss how to help students navigate the confusing waters of current political and social events. How do we help students initially approach the positions of others with curiosity, rather than judgement? How can curiosity help us avoid information silos and evaluate sources?
This conversation will focus on using technology (specifically Desmos and Geogebra) to help students explore mathematical concepts through interactive and engaging online activities. Participants in the conversation will explore several Desmos/Geogebra activities (and hear from current students who have used those activities in math classes), and then will work in small groups to re-design a current unit plan to include technology-based activities that create a more student-centered, inquiry-driven math experience.
What should it mean to graduate from high school? In this conversation, I am going to convince you that 1) high school graduation requirements are the Most Interesting Topic in the World, and 2) they are a really good place to begin radically reshaping schools.
Session aimed at providing World Language educators with various tools for increasing whole class engagement and student responsibilities through role-play, multi-layered activities, and purposeful assignments leading to larger projects. Through language immersion, clear roles and engaging assignments - students will be able to produce higher levels of interpersonal communication, presentational speaking and presentational writing.
How do we design systems that support progressive pedagogies? How do we create schools where the systems in place support make it easier for teachers and students to do authentic, powerful work together?
Future visioning can help you forge a path for your own future, the future of your school or organization, or the future of society at large. Participants will learn and practice several future visioning activities and discuss the implications of exploring different futures with students and colleagues.
What is science?.... observing the natural world, questioning, making hypotheses, designing and performing experiments, and drawing conclusions from evidence. Many, if not most, of the "labs" done in grades 9-12 focus on demonstration of properties and building lab and analytic skills. Let's talk about ways to make science in our schools better reflect the true nature of the discipline. We face limitations including class size, content requirements, resources, safety concerns and time constraints. How can we make this work at our schools?
Want to find a way to give students authentic audiences while simultaneously engaging with the community and showing them all the awesome work that happens at your school? Well then this workshop is for you. Come join us and learn how to make public showcases of student work happen at your school.
Our understanding of the traditional Socratic Seminar often involves forced contributions from unwilling students and awkward, inorganic conversations that might not teach authentic thinking and discussion skills. How do we build an environment that allows K-12 students to engage in genuine, insightful conversations that require listening and higher order thinking?
"So, how was your trip?" Is a question that our students prepare to answer as they close out their field experience. We anticipate the one minute window that students have to capture the attention of their family and friends when they first see them after such a life-changing experience to convey the impact of their trip. This session will explore those experiences. Students in SLA's International Cultures elective have been working on a student-led, inquiry-driven interdisciplinary project culminating in a field study in Costa Rica. Students will be telling their stories and the inquiry process they went through to compile and complete their projects. Last year, students created their own projects culminating in a field study in Cuba. Last year's students will discuss and reflect on the impact of an international experience on how they understand the world.
Donald Trump’s presidency means my US History students pay far more attention than usual. Opportunities abound for teaching about checks and balances, human rights, and the role of America in today’s world. Our conversation will consider what it means to “teach Trump” in a fair and balanced way.
Get some tools for your self-care toolkit and try them out on the spot in this session. Be ready to move, breathe, think, laugh, play, and be gentle with yourself. Bonus: head back to your classroom with strategies for your students.
This workshop will share out ideas about how to create a vibrant interest-driven internship program as a key component of increasing engagement and relevancy for high school students.
In this session, students from the U school will share our story: being young black and Latinx men and women from Philadelphia, overcoming adversity, hoping it will change lives and mindsets. Often students like us feel misunderstood by adults in school. Participants will brainstorm solutions to be enacted in classrooms.
Join in deconstructing sex and gender using Jacques Derrida's "différance” thinking for truly comprehensive sexual education. Deconstructing gender defies the confines of health class. Challenge your assumptions and join the braintrust exploring limitless cross curricular opportunities in teaching and learning to infuse your practice from pre-K to adult with "différance".
As new schools mature they bridge the gap from a curiosity to an institution. Whether whittled away slowly or swept up in the next thing, many schools lose their raison d'être in this transition. What can we do to ensure our schools are understood, supported, and sequacious 5, 10, or 50 years from now?
At Synapse, a start-up school in Silicon Valley, we approach learning entirely through projects. In this session we will explore ways we use assessments to show that students learn as much, or more, in this context. Together, we will generate and cultivate a variety of best practices for assessing PBL.
This session is meant to bring forth the classic conundrum of depth vs. breadth that occurs in all schools. We plan this discussion will help teachers think about their curricula in a way which gives fair weight between both approaches in their classes.
This workshop will focus on the realities of connecting the classroom to the workplace, while addressing common partnership needs and issues on both sides of the table. We will explore how to incorporate mentorship into various learning environments to generate conversations about STEM careers and the pathways to them.
As the cost of textbooks continue to rise and their relevancy continue to decline, there has never been a more important time to consider openly licensed educational resources (OER) in your classroom. Learn about OER, how educators across the country are making this transition, and why it's important for students.
How do we hire great teachers? This workshop will walk participants through the process we used to create an alternative approach to hiring--one that is based on our interest in the Maker movement. Participants will have an opportunity to evaluate their own hiring practices and to collaborate with colleagues from around the nation to reshape the way that they attract and retain top talent.
What if professional development was a way of storytelling? What if that story was strategically shared to empower a community? Personalized learning is often discussed while designing for our students, why not create a personalized professional development(PPD) program to enhance faculty? We will dive deep into the design process of creating a PPD program and the return on investment for the individual and team of faculty.
Teachers will discuss practical, effective, and meaningful ways to lead race conversations with students.
Many of our schools are disempowering and undemocratic by design -- as a result, our communities are disenfranchised and we struggle to enact our power together. We are failing at learning to live democratically. This conversation proposes a curriculum called Participatory School Design, in which youth work with facilitators to re-envision school, then to create the schools that will serve them and their communities.
As much as we all wish for widespread change and schools to be vastly different, some of us still work in schools that seem to operate behind a wall of tradition. For this conversation, we'd like to discuss ways to help others in places of power see beyond doing what we've always done.
The Workshop School is a progressive, project-based school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is constantly exploring innovative approaches to education. In this session, students utilize their in the ancient art of Socratic discussion to discuss what works and what doesn't in project-based learning.
What does a high school education look like that engages students, involves the community, and prepares learners for the unknown possibilities of the 21st Century? At South Bronx Community, our students answer this question. We gave students the keys to the curriculum and supported them to design their own interdisciplinary projects.
This conversation explores Linda Nathan's book, When Grit Isn’t Enough, which investigates five assumptions that dominate our thinking about education, revealing how these beliefs mask systemic inequity. Participants will gain greater understanding of these assumptions as they have been internalized and manifested in schools and organizations.
“This Is My Body”: Planning Rigorous, Relevant, and Accessible Humanities Curriculum Through an African-American Lens
U School Humanities educators create curriculum that is rigorous, relevant, and accessible for all students in our non-selective public school. Students and educators will share the process used to design our introductory “This Is My Body” unit, inspired by Opera Philadelphia’s “We Shall Not Be Moved”, and resulting argumentative poetry.
How do we define authenticity? What is its value in the classroom? How do we increase authenticity in teaching and learning? How do we coach teachers to make their projects and activities authentic? Let's answer these questions together.
Faculty from Science Leadership Academy Middle School will discuss the connection between conversation and comprehension. Participants will share questions and learn how conversation is embedded into the curricula and practices at SLA-MS and think about what it means to get better at conversation. Conversation with conclude with sharing of practices from participants who use conversation as a tool for growth and understanding.
You may have heard of growth mindset, but it's hard to change those habits! We'll get concrete about cultivating a growth mindset in your school community - diving into the "culture of error," which is about setting a tone by which it is safe to make mistakes or have a half-baked understanding. Because that is the ideal opportunity for learning.
We are at a pivotal time in education. We are changing the way that teachers teach and students learn. This vision is not always clear and supported by all parties involved. This conversation focuses on how we can make that curricular shift in a K-12 setting even when others do not see it. We will share our journey, successes, and pitfalls.
What constitutes an entrepreneurial mindset in education? This highly interactive session will ask participants to unpack and apply terms like "entrepreneurship", "innovation" and "mindset" and consider how these constructs can powerfully influence teaching and learning. Help shape this new work with our team of educators, researchers and social innovators!
Attendees will discuss global issues that are relevant to their instructional goals and learn about ways the Pulitzer Center can help them connect with our hundreds of journalists and curricular resources.
How do we create open-walled learning experiences that are socially, emotionally, and personally valuable? How can we leverage National Parks as one of America's best classrooms? How do we ensure that we are providing all students the opportunity to understand the interconnected and interdisciplinary nature of Earth Science to make informed personal decisions and potentially solve significant global problems in their future?
The idea of creating playlists (curated sets of online projects) respects teachers’ knowledge of their kids and pedagogy while adding ideas about digital media learning. Teachers get excited to create and compose curriculum in new ways that integrate technology into teaching and learning, which then gets teachers side-by-side with youth.
How can we make sure that our schools’ systems are caring and how can we ensure that the caring ways we deal with community restoration are necessarily systematic? In 21st Century schools we don’t face the problem of humanizing institutions and we certainly don’t want to turn humane communities into institutions but we do want to make sure that all members of our community understand how restoration works and how to play a part in maintaining these places of shared values. In this session we will explore questions related to restorative practices in progressive spaces and personal experiences with these two, at times complementary and at other times competing, lenses.
We will discuss the significance of student publishing and writing for an authentic audience, the why behind student publishing, and how this connects to students developing an entrepreneurial spirit (and potentially being entrepreneurs). We will share authentic student examples and reflections, and explore relevant resources, such as: blog posts, TEDx Talks, publishing platforms, and more.
This session will investigate the place museums, those staid, oftenanachronistic institutions, have in an engaging PBL social studies curriculum. The proposal, to be expanded on below, asks teachers to understand museums as historical actors, rather than simply using them as glorified warehouses. In the PBL social studies classroom, students can engage with museums more actively by analyzing the storytelling role of the museum itself. In assessing questions of provenance, representation, and cultural sensitivity, the museum comes alive and provides a rich canvas for project integration. Museums are created by people and, as such, they are worthy of critique and analysis that goes beyond simply saying, “doesn’t that look cool.”
Privacy is relative. As our world becomes increasingly digitized and monitored, our attitudes toward privacy should evolve beyond just app settings and encryption. We can’t make the best choices for ourselves or our kids if we haven’t thought about what privacy really means to us.
How do we best encourage young women of color to effect change in the spaces they already occupy? This conversation aims to discuss strategies and tools for empowering students to change the rhetoric and attitudes around gender and sexism in their school.
Choosing to be Awakened and Awoke : A Conversation about Social Justice for All, in Schools and Beyond
Join us for a SLA-student-led exploration of how to engage young people in authentic social justice discussions and actions. This session seeks to map out ways for all of us to authentically understand, engage in, and make a positive impact across the spectrum of of social justice within our schools. From here, we will seek to identify ways to share our own stories while ensuring that all others can and will have an equal voice, too. Finally, the (3) SLA student session leaders will also share their long-term plans for an innovative 'social justice' inspired event that will be influenced by your experiences, questions and ideas.
How do we design for Connected Learning and teaching with the issue of equity in the forefront of our hearts and minds? This is what we have been exploring together as we challenge ourselves to be connected learners in order to design and teach in connected and equitable ways.
Are today’s high school graduates prepared for post-secondary education? The Crefeld School’s Graduation by Exhibition (GBE) model better prepares students for a smooth transition to life after high school. Crefeld staff will share details about their successful progressive GBE process that is an essential component of the school’s program.
Our students live in a world that is over-saturated with videos, photos, ads, music, and social media posts. How do we as educators help them navigate this world and flourish in it? Led by SLA Digital Video teacher Anna Walker-Roberts.
Math classes are always diverse. How can you meet the needs of the struggling student and the fast-learner at the same time? Join a conversation about how to design a class to meet the needs of each student and help them to be successful.
You’ve named the change, you’re on the move, how do you keep things moving? This session will draw on the work of Diana and Zac as they’ve worked with schools and districts around the world in making change that sticks.
As VR gains ground in education more teachers are finding ways to include it in their curriculum. In parallel, social science research suggests VR has an impact on the user beyond the scope of other mediums. Educators need to weigh VR’s costs and benefits and its impact on children.
This conversation will explore the redesign process the leadership team of Tilden MS embarked on to transform the school, show an increase in attendance, the School Performance Profile, and a decrease in suspensions within three years.
This conversation will explore what happens at the point of instruction, and how technology can empower teachers to elevate learning.
Gender, in all forms, plays a significant role in how education does or doesn’t work for many, both for students and adults. This session will explore our identified and unidentified biases. We will identify issues in education impacted by gender and work to develop plans to address these issues individually, at the school level, and beyond.
While nearly everyone agrees that job-embedded and practitioner-led professional learning is the way to go, systems still seem stuck in "top-down" "rollout" "delivery-driven" models. Help the Boston Public Schools and Boston Teachers Union design a system that really puts the needs of educators and students first.
The term "student centered instruction" has been bandied about quite a bit in the past few years. What does that look like at the High School level? Let's brainstorm ways to adjust the learning experiences in our High School classrooms to meet the needs of students and teacher alike.
STEAM is about more than just adding engineering and technology to our science, math, and art curriculum. Curiosity about the world—answering questions and solving problems—is the essence of learning. Let’s talk about the science of curiosity and share strategies for using makerspaces to reignite curiosity in your students.
Sometimes the learning opportunities we ask teachers to offer to students are not the same ones we offer teachers. We share our journey in using Instructional Rounds to create an opportunity for all learners (principals, teachers, students) to engage in a discovery process, and we invite you to consider the symmetry in your own learning model.
How has our role as educators evolved as more student-centered and personalized learning models emerged? What is the indispensable expertise and value teachers continue to bring to the classrooms and how do we keep these at the forefront of practices? Is higher education and the current model of PD building capacity in these areas?