Instructional Leadership Conference
Opens March 25, 2021
Available until April 3rd
$1,500/School for Full Faculty Access
Featured Presentations Speakers
Cassandra Erkensis a presenter, facilitator, coach, trainer of trainers, keynote speaker, author, and above all, a teacher. She presents nationally and internationally on a wide variety of educational topics, including assessment, instruction, school improvement, and professional learning communities.
Charles R. Graham
Charles R. Graham is a Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. He studies effective teaching practices and student engagement in blended and online learning environments. Charles has authored over 100 articles/book chapters and he has co-authored/edited eightbooks including a free online book for k-12 teachers and administrators focusing on four key blended teaching competencies (K-12 Blended Teaching:A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration) and a book for practitioners interested in designing blended learning environments (Essentials for Blended Learning: A Standards-based Guide). Charles is a Fellow of the Online Learning Consortium “for outstanding achievement in advancing theory, research and effective practice in online and blended learning.” He is also a Fellow with the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute for his work to develop a K-12 Blended Teaching Readiness Instrument(evaluate your blended teaching readiness here and get a personal diagnostic competency report: http://bit.ly/K12-BTR).
Bob Sonju is an award-winning educational leader, author, and educational consultant, recognized for his energetic commitment to building effective teams, developing RTI structures that support teachers and students, and creating an effective school culture committed to learning for all students. Bob was formerly the principal of nationally recognized Fossil Ridge Intermediate School and has also served as a high school administrator and special education teacher. Most recently, Bob was the executive director of teaching and learning for Washington County School District. After six years as a district-level administrator, Bob’s deep desire to work together with teachers and students again led him back to school as principal of Washington Fields Intermediate. While leading Fossil Ridge Intermediate, Bob and his staff developed a true professional learning community that continues to produce extraordinary results today. In 2013 and 2016, Fossil Ridge received the prestigious National Breakthrough School Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Fossil Ridge continues to be listed as a PLC Model School. Their work as a school has been featured in Principal Leadership magazine and on allthingsplc.info. As a district leader, Bob led the implementation of the professional learning community process in a district composed of 50 schools. Bob was named 2011 Principal of the Year for middle-level schools by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals and was selected as one of three finalists for National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. His work has been published in Principal Leadership magazine and in the Solution Tree publications It’s About Time, Best Practices at Tier 2, and Help Your Team. Bob earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and an endorsement in school administration from Southern Utah University.
Ben Springer is an award winning and Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Ben is also the author of the popular book, Happy Kids Don't Punch You in the Face. Ben received his Master's and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Utah in Educational Psychology. Ben studied, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Social Skills Instruction, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Parent Training, and Evidence Based Practice. Ben has worked professionally as a school psychologist, behavior specialist, and director of special education. Currently, Ben works as the director of special education in Wasatch County School District and manages Totem PD, a professional learning company focusing on practical, ready-to-use tools for educators working in classroom management, crisis de-escalation, bullying prevention, positive behavior supports, and student wellness. Ben is married with four lovely daughters, enjoys backpacking, fishing, and collecting comic books.
Marcia L. Tate, EdD, is the former Executive Director of Professional Development for the DeKalb County School System, Decatur, Georgia. During her 30-year career with the district, she has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator, and staff development executive director. She received the 2001 Distinguished Staff Developer Award for the State of Georgia and her department was chosen to receive the Exemplary Program Award for the state.Marcia is currently an educational consultant and has taught over 400,000 administrators, teachers, parents, and business and community leaders throughout the world. She is the author of the following seven best-sellers: (1) Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain –(2nd Ed.); (2) “Sit & Get” Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies that Engage the Adult Brain –(2nd Ed.); (3) Reading and Language Arts Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Literacy Strategies that Engage the Brain –(2nd Ed.); (4) Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites:20 Techniques to Detour Around the Danger Zones –(2nd Ed.); (5) Mathematics Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites –20 Numeracy Strategies That Engage the Brain; (6) Preparing Children for Success in School and Life: 20 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Brain Power; (7) Science Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain; as well as her most recent Social Studies Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain. Participants in her workshops refer to them as the best ones they have ever experienced since Marcia uses the 20 strategies outlined in her books to actively engage her audiences.
Dr. Catlin Tucker is a Google Certified Innovator, bestselling author, international trainer, and keynote speaker. She is an expert in the fields of blended and online learning. Catlin has published a collection of best-selling books on blended learning, including Blended Learning in Grades 4-12, Blended Learning In Action, Power Up Blended learning, and Balance With Blended Learning. She is active on Twitter @Catlin_Tucker and writes an internationally ranked education blog at CatlinTucker.com. Dr. CatlinTucker is dedicated to helping teachers blend technology and tradition to shift students to the center of learning and find balance in their teaching practice!
Steve Ventura is the president and lead consultant at Advanced Collaborative Solutions. He is a highly motivational and knowledgeable speaker who approaches high-stakes professional development armed with practical, research-based strategies. Steve is a former elementary and secondary teacher as well as both a school and district-level administrator. Steve has published multiple books and articles, and regularly presents and keynotes at major global education events.
Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry. She is on staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital with cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine, and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sick Children’s Hospital. She is a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy, as well as a Zero to Three Academy Fellow since 2013. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for over 30 years. Dr. Clinton was appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education 2014-2018. Dr. Clinton is renowned nationally and internationally as an advocate for children’s issues. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play therein. Jean champions the development of a national, comprehensive child well-being strategy including a system of early learning and care for all young children and their families. She is equally committed to ensuring that children’s and youths’ needs and voices are heard and respected.
Leading for Teacher Credibility and Efficacy
Teacher credibility, being credible in the eyes of students, has a strong influence on students' learning with an effect size of 1.09. When students see their teachers as trustworthy, competent, and dynamic, learning accelerates. Each of these areas are malleable and are always at play in the classroom. Teachers with low credibility are not likely to impact the learning of their students and are not likely to be valued members of their teams. Teams want members who are credible with their students so that they can learn from one another. In this session, school leaders will learn the components of teacher credibility and identify specific actions that can be taken to increase credibility in their schools. In addition, leaders will learn the skills that credible teachers need to work collaboratively with their peers. These communication and interpersonal skills can facilitate team work and foster collective efficacy, or block it. When teams have the necessary skills, and they engage in a collective efficacy cycle, mastery experiences are created such that the team’s efficacy is reinforced. As part of this cycle, teams use evidence of impact to extend their collective efficacy.
- Describe the four components of teacher credibility.
- Develop an action plan for improving teacher credibility within your schools or district.
- Identify the skills needed for teams to develop collective efficacy.
- Evaluate the collective efficacy cycle to determine areas of need in your own practice.
The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach
Multiple tools and strategies will be presented to assess and improve classroom management, increase literacy, establish academic vocabulary, and contribute to a healthier school culture.
Being the Best You Can Be - The Choice Is Yours
This session will focus on our own personal climate and culture and creatingpositivity in our own habits.We will discuss common stresses we have in our careers and figure out how to be positive in all situation.
Leading in a Culture of Change: The Power of Connection – What COVID has Taught Us
In these difficult times leadership and connection have become a determining force for success or failure. This presentation will discuss the power of creating a sense of safety, belonging and connection, for staff and students. It will include the neuroscience underpinnings these concepts, and discuss ways of reimaging education. Addressing staff well-being as not only a professional responsibility but also essential for student well-being will round out the dialogue.
Well-Being of Teachers & Students
How is well-being connected to achievement and is Staff well-being relevant to students well being? I will address staff well-being as not only a professional responsibility but also essential -for thriving.This presentation will focus on these key concepts and link the Deep Learning competencies to these outcomes.
Making Homework Count
Cassandra Erkens says, “Fish can’t see water. They swim in it every day, and they can’t see it. We are swimming in homework water, and I’m going to ask us to step back and see it.” Erkens is a high-energy, engaging presenter who uses humor, stories from her teaching experience, and lots ofdiscussion to breathe life into the purpose and meaning of homework. She emphasizes the importance of allowing students to make mistakes (and learn from them) as they practice their skills. Erkens provides several helpful tools for teachers to emphasize important points: --Sample scenariosto demonstrate using formative classroom assessment as homework. --Sample charts for students of all ages to track their own learning progress and identify skills they still need to master. Worksheets to get teachers and administrators thinking more deeply about the purpose of homework and the importance of descriptive feedback. Descriptive teacher feedback is of the utmost importance, and Erkens discusses why it is important to give students specific targets to work on, rather than just giving them general comments on their graded homework papers. Take a step back to reflect on your current homework practices, make changes to improve them, and watch more of your students succeed!
Getting to Standards-Based Grading
Great Teaching by Design
All students deserve to learn not by chance, but by design. In this session, Doug Fisher as he guides you through a system of implementation that can ensure all students are receiving the best possible learning experiences. This keynote will focus on the Diagnose/Discover, Intervene, Implement, and Evaluate model and its impact on teaching in the classrooms. Participants will glean valuable information of a system of implementation that can be utilized in both classrooms and across schools to ensure all teachers are making an impact on student learning.
Participants will learn to:
- Navigate the DIIE model to move from potential to implementation.
- Use the DIIE model as a system of implementation in their classroomsto measure the impact they have on student learning.
- Identify systematic practices that can occur in the school and classroom to ensure all students are receiving the best possible learning suited to their needs.
Key Competencies for Blended and Personalized Learning in the K-12 Classroom
Blended and personalized teaching strategies are becoming increasingly important for K-12 teachers in all disciplines. This session will help participants understand what blended and personalized learning look like in K-12 classrooms by sharing video examples with explanations. Various K-12 models of blended classrooms will be highlighted. Additionally, those who attend will be given access to a free online book for practicing teachers with guidance around four key skills for implementing blended learning in the K-12 classroom. An instrument for self-assessing blended teaching readiness will also be shared with participants. We would love to have you share your own experiences with blended and online teaching in the session FlipGrid for teacher sharing!
Building a High-Performing Middle School PLC
Learn how to bring the three big ideas of a PLC to life in a middle school.
Gaining Clarity: A Shared Process to Ensure Learning for Teachers and Students
An effective school culture relies on a shared learning process designed to ensure all students learn while providing continuity and clarity for educators. During this session, participants will take a deep dive into a simple process that will bring needed continuity for teachers and schools. Participants will leave with the knowledge, templates, and strategies to assist their school and team in moving forward.
The New Normal: Thinking Differently About Our Practices During Unpredictable Times
Since March, there are a number of new terms and sayings that have found their way into our daily vocabulary; terms like, "the new normal", unprecedented", and, "How do I look in this mask?" have now become part of our common conversations. Along with this, educators and leaders have had to think differently about effective teaching and student learning. During this session, participants will examine ways to communicate learning progress, explore student self-assessment, and learn strategies for gaining shared clarity on the essential standards and skills all students need to know.
Who Helps the Helpers? Turning conflict and stress into efficacy and flexibility
Join Dr. Ben Springer for an insightful and humorous workshop detailing the tips, tools, and strategies derived from his work as a school-based mental health provider during the unprecedented COVID-19 school closures and school reopenings.
Attendees will gain access to ready-to-use tools designed for educator self-care/wellbeing, and a variety of tools designed to "help the helpers" during the pandemic and beyond!
Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain
Have you ever wondered why some students cannot understand or recall important content after a 24-hour period? If your students are not learning the way you are teaching them, then you must teach them the way they learn! Experience 20 instructional strategies based on brain research and learning style theory that maximize memory and minimize forgetting. Increase learning for all students when strategies like drawing, metaphor, movement, music, and storytelling are used to teach curriculum objectives and meet international standards. Explore research that shows why these strategies are preferable to others. Ensure that brains retain key concepts – not only for tests, but for life! This workshop has been called both professionally and personally life-changing and lots of fun!
Formative Assessment in a Brain-compatible Classroom: How Do We Really Know They’re Learning?
If are waiting until after you have planned your lesson to determine how you will assess it, you are already too late! Instead, as soon as you have decided what you want students to know or be able to do, the second step is to define how you will know when they get there. Furthermore, for your assessment to be as effective as possible, you must take into account the different ways of learning and knowing that students have (often called “multiple intelligences” or “gifts”).
This highly engaging workshop will deal with both traditional and more authentic forms for assessing those ways, since both types should be included in a student’s portfolio, in order to best enable their success in their college or career path. You will leave this session with over 50 products and performances to help you know if they are learning, as well as the methods (i.e., checklists and rubrics) for assessing them. This workshop has been called practical, informative, and a great deal of fun!
The Community of Inquiry: Teaching & Learning Online
As learning moves online, many teachers are unsure how to navigate this new learning landscape. The Community of Inquiry theoretical framework can support teachers in understanding their roles in a blended or online course, helping students to develop their social presence online, and engaging students in the construction of knowledge as part of an online learning community. Teaching is an art form that encompasses more than simply disseminating and collecting assignments. Join Dr. Catlin Tucker for a session designed to create clarity about online teaching and learning.
Finding Your Balance with Blended Learning
This hands-on workshop gives educators who are using blended learning models the opportunity to dive deeper into the strategies presented in Balance with Blended Learning. We will explore metacognitive routines designed to get students thinking about their learning. Participants with learn how to rethink traditional workflows, use video strategically, shift feedback and assessment into the classroom, design and use rubrics, and conduct grade interviews. This workshop is designed to help teachers rethink our workflow, embrace new teaching and learning models that leverage technology, and shift ownership of learning over to students.
The Leader's Role in the Instructional Process: Implications for School Leaders and Instructional Coaches
Instructional leadership is significantly effective when it comes to promoting increased levels of student achievement. However, district and school leaders struggle to implement effective instructional leadership practices. While instructional leadership is a commonly used descriptor, rarely does the title transfer to better practice. The potential to dramatically increase student achievement can be attributed to those personal leadership profiles that truly make the most difference.
Today’s instructional leaders must be evaluators, evaluating the impact that they and their colleagues are having on student learning on an ongoing basis, and have a disposition to continually question what needs to be improved and what evidence is needed. Moreover, instructional leaders have the ability to create and foster levels of self and collective efficacy where teachers can improve themselves, rather than leaders micro-managing or “fixing” teachers.
In this interactive session, we’ll describe the instructional leadership behaviors that have the greatest impact on student outcomes. The focus is to share and explain those contemporary leadership dimensions that truly lead to better results.
If you are a leader wishing to increase your level of influence, this session can help you create a plan to gather evidence that leads to a deeper impact and increased levels of organizational success.
Discovering Achievement Teams: The Key to Effective Collaboration
Achievement teams are collaborative teams in which teachers identify measurable performance goals and select strategies for improving performance. The purpose of these teams is to shift teachers from "looking" at data to understanding that improvement between students’ pre-test and post-test results reflects evidence of instructional success. In this session, participants will learn a four-step protocol that features a “preteach/reteach” model of formative assessment. This protocol provides a structure for teachers to identify specific student needs and collaboratively decide on the best instructional approach to address those needs. Participants will learn how to transform the way teaching and leadership teams function and communicate.
We believe school improvement is about increasing social capital. Real school improvement focuses on people, not programs. Achievement Teams promote disciplined collaboration to improve teaching, learning, and leadership.
Teacher Clarity: From Ideas to Implementation
Teacher Clarity is an effect that can help schools and districts move away from random lesson planning by clarifying instruction through the use of learning intentions, success criteria, and learning progressions. In John Hattie’s Visible Learning, teacher clarity was identified as an organizational instructional strategy focused on creating explicit learning intentions and success criteria. It is stating something clearly rather than implicit or implied instruction.
This means that when teachers have clear learning intentions and success criteria for each lesson - the likelihood of student progress can increase twofold, especially when we focus on those learning intentions and success criteria that have the greatest impact on student outcomes.
This engaging and informative session demonstrates how teachers and leaders can develop these two very purposeful bookends. This session includes samples and templates so participants can begin the process straight away. Join Steve for an unforgettable session and learn more about these very high yield instructional practices.