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Learning Differences Conference 2013

 

Workshops

The list of Workshops taking place on May 5th, 2012.  Included is the Innovations Lecture by Dr. Megan J. Swisher, as well as the film projection "Read Me Differently", by Sarah Entine.
(alphabetical by session name)

 

Workshop Description

This presentation will cover information about standardized and informal assessment practices that aid in creating a student’s learning and communication profile. The focus will then move to using the learning and communication profile to plan and inform intervention practices (looking at the students’ learning environment, teaching delivery, maximizing students’ situational understanding and comprehension of language, maximizing students’ motivation and ability to communicate, supporting sensory regulation).    All the information will then be reviewed to further support and empower professionals and parents in creating a motivating and engaging communication environment to maximize functional communication with their child. Conference attendees will be able to look through a series of resources that are useful for maximizing teaching, the student’s understanding and functional communication.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- A knowledge and appreciation of standardised and informal assessment practices that aid in creating a learning and communication profile

- A knowledge and appreciation of how a thorough learning and communication profile can inform intervention practices (the students' learning environment, teaching delivery, maximising students' situational understanding and comprehension of language, maximising students' motivation and ability to communicate, supporting sensory regulation)

- How teaching professionals and parents can be empowered to create a motivating and engaging communication environment to maximise functional communication with their child

 

Workshop Description

This session illustrates advanced techniques of RE & CB counseling, a highly practical and efficient approach, to working with students, families, and teachers, to restore socio-emotional and behavioral problems from preschool to high school.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- Participants will learn how to build cooperative relationships with "difficult" students, learn interviewing skills to enhance motivation and learning, as well as demonstrations of many cognitive, behavioral and emotive exercises that can be used to increase communication and problem-solving skills, and lead to emotionally healthy students

 

Workshop Description

This session will start by reviewing the historical evolution of the terms harassment and bullying, including prominent court cases.  Several variables, such as age, gender and culture will be discussed and specifically how these variables impact prevalence rates and types of harassment.  Three models of conflict resolution will be covered and finally four systemic solutions to the problem that help reduce the prevalence rates of harassment.  The workshop process will include information delivery by Powerpoint, question and answer, small group discussion, role playing, and videos to further clarify the issues.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- History and definition of bullying/harassment

- Nature of the problem: it's developmental and varies by age, gender and culture

- Research review and recent data from a school survey

- 3 models of conflict resolution: Arbitration, Mediation and Negotiation & implications

- Conflict and the role of positions and interests, listening and perception

- Systemic solutions to the problem:

- Adult Presence and Student Supervision

- Playground mediator or peer mediator program

- Formal complaint and mediation process

- Teach students about harassment and what to do when it happens.  What they need to know

 

Workshop Description

D.R.I.V.E. Differentiation is a workshop that will allow attendees to develop relative, innovative, valuable, and exciting learning opportunities for diverse learners.  Through various activities attendees will be provided with an established purpose for differentiated instruction and how attainable it is while infusing critical thinking.  Attendees will be asked to define differentiation and a form of differentiation called tiering, identify strengths and challenges in planning and implementing differentiated instruction, identify important aspects and concepts of differentiation and tiering, and consider options for differentiating and tiering assignments.

Additionally attendees will receive the information needed to address common questions asked by students, parents, and colleagues regarding differentiated instruction.  This workshop provides the opportunity to investigate whether current practices in the classroom, school, or school system meet the needs of diverse learners.  Attendees will also receive tools that will initiate the creation of opportunities for more differentiated instruction.  Within this workshop opportunities will be provided to design and carryout activities that can be shared with teams, departments, and the school so that as one drives instruction they can D.R.I.V.E. differentiation.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- Define differentiation and tiering

- Identify strengths and challenges in planning and implementing differentiated instruction

- Identify important aspects and concepts of differentiation and tiering

- Consider options for differentiating and tiering assignments

 

Workshop Description

All students, no matter if they are high achieving or struggled to graduate, have difficulty making the transition to college.  The support structures and friends will quickly change and it will be time to identify new social circles and support in college.

We will discuss how over-involved parents and passive students can hinder transition, as well as the students who may have effortlessly completed secondary studies, as each group has unique and common struggles in college.

This workshop will also discuss the impact of psychological issues that can stunt a promising future in higher education, and how to help students while that are still in your schools.

We will also identify colleges and universities that support students with learning differences and their transition to college, as well as colleges and universities that have excellent reputations for helping all students adjust to their new lives.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- At the Saturday workshop, participants will gain an overview of gifted education strategies for the 21st century student population.  They will gain an understanding of strategies they can use to individualize learning for gifted students with the help of online resources.

 

Workshop Description

All students, including those with special needs, require practice outside of the classroom in order to ensure mastery of learning objectives.  Often, students experience difficulty specifically remembering important details of the daily lesson.  As a result, the instructional bridge between school and home is often quite weak.  Through the use of technology, teachers can provide visual and auditory snapshots of what was covered in class.  These snapshots are called learning objects.  Learning objects are great review tools for students inside and outside the classroom.

In this session, we will explore how Power Points, advanced Google searches and Jing, a free and user friendly software that does screen captures and podcasts, can be used to create learning objects that can have immediate effects on student learning through interactive Moodle lessons.  These strategies are so simple that they can be fully implemented immediately following the session.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- Teachers will learn to use simple technology tools such as Jing and PowerPoint to create learning objects that can be updated to Moodle or any Learning Management System

- Teachers will learn how to use web games and interactive lessons on Moodle to strengthen the instructional bridge between home and school

 

Workshop Description

In this workshop, participants will gain an overview of the major issues in gifted education and how they apply to 21st century, gifted "digital natives."  Themes include contemporary identification strategies, the changing characteristics of gifted students, the needs of special populations such as ESL or minority students, and approaches to programming that especially draw on technology.

The hands-on session will engage participants in activities and strategies they can use in their own programs for gifted students.  Participants will have access to computers and will explore online learning from the standpoint of both online teacher and student.  They will also have opportunities to explore supplementary resources such as math adventure software used for after-school programs for gifted students, and Cogito.org, a website and online community for gifted students who love math and science.  Strategies for incorporating mobile technologies into classroom and out of school gifted programs will also be discussed and demonstrated.  Participants will take away a better understanding of today's gifted students, and how they can identify and develop appropriate programs for them that leverage the power of technology.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- At the Saturday workshop, participants will gain an overview of gifted education strategies for the 21st century student population.  They will gain an understanding of strategies they can use to individualize learning for gifted students with the help of online resources

 

Workshop Description

Problem behavior in the classroom is one of the most challenging aspects of a teacher’s job.  It may interrupt lessons and interfere with other student’s learning.  It can prove to be exhausting and many times teachers feel overwhelmed and helpless.

A student's lack of focus and the inability to sit or stand for an appropriate length of time to work and learn effectively are two of the most frequently listed problem behaviors in the classroom.  These and many of the other problem behaviors seen in the classroom may actually be due to sensory processing disorders.  This workshop hopes to empower teachers by giving them a deeper understanding of the reasons behind some of the most common problem behaviors seen and strategies that can be implemented within the classroom which may help students with and without sensory processing disorders.  A specific program, the "Drive thru Menu," will be introduced and demonstrated.  Designed by an Occupational Therapist to be used by teachers in the classroom, the program focuses on improving attention and strength, hoping to assist with optimizing the classroom learning experience.

With a deeper understanding of the reasons behind behaviors exhibited and the use of various activities and modifications, the classroom can be a calmer, more focused and brilliant place for both students and teachers!

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- A basic understanding of how behaviors seen in classroom are associated with the sensory systems of the brain

- Introduction to Tere Bowen-Irish's (OTR/L USA) "Drive thru Menu" program created to be used by teachers in the elementary school classroom to improve their students’ attention & strength

- A basic understanding of practical strategies that can be used in the classroom to optimize learning experience for the students

 

Workshop Description

During my lecture, alternative teaching methods of key mathematical concepts of Numeracy (e.g. decimal system’s structure, converting measurements), Algebra (e.g. equations, fractions, factorization) and Geometry (e.g. triangle’s angles’ sum) will be presented and further analysed.  The above strategies will mainly be conceptually rather than procedurally oriented.  For the purposes of the workshop, worksheets, free educational software and concrete material and internet pages will be used.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- Participants will learn intervention strategies designed to cover the misconceptions that students with MLD often acquire in primary course of mathematics, in order to respond successfully to the mathematical concepts and skills they need to master at the secondary education

 

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- Trainees will have the ability to: Assess the background, developmental levels, and learning style and characteristics of special needs children and families
Criteria: performance using diagnostic tests

- Identify and describe the intent, use, and limitations of specific formal tests and authentic assessments used in the pre-referral, referral, and diagnostic process in the areas of:

a. pre-referral and referral

b. academic screening

c. assessment in academic content areas

d. intelligence/cognitive abilities

e. adaptive behavior

f. gross, fine and perceptual-motor

g. social-emotional development

h. development language characteristics
Criteria: report reviews
 

- Define the basic terminology and technical vocabulary used in the assessment process and differentiate between norm referenced, criterion-referenced and authentic assessment instrumentation
Criteria: class demonstrations

- Administer, score, and interpret selected formal and informal, non-biased assessment instruments
Criteria: brief written report outlines

- Communicate assessment procedures and results in descriptive, synthesized, and integrative reports and presentations to all stakeholders
Criteria: class presentations

- Discuss, select, and utilize assessment devices that reflect universal design, are gender-free, non-biased, non-discriminatory, and are technologically based
Criteria: classroom exercises

- Utilize instruments and procedures that reflect a knowledge of the impact of culture and language with special needs children and their families
Classroom exercises, course notebook

- Develop a data base of websites and organizational systems that provide professional information on the legislative, regulatory, statute, and accommodations related to special needs children and their families
Criteria: course notebook

 

Workshop Description

This workshop aims at familiarising educators and specialists with the power of art in the mainstream.  Art acts as a catylst to various problems that prevent inclusion in the classroom.   Diffentiation gaps are reached and students learn to accept diversity.  Incidences such as bullying are effectively resolved with art acting as a tool in the hands of skilled educators.

The workshop is going to provide the participants with the opportunity to experience the power of art in promoting students' integratation not only at an academic level but at a socio-emotional level as well.  The art performance will be conducted at the beginning of the workshop and analysis/discussion will follow.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- The workshop is going to provide the participants with the opportunity to experience the power of art in promoting students' integration not only at an academic level but at a socio-emotional level as well

-The art performance will be conducted at the beginning of the workshop and analysis/discussion will follow

 

Presented by the Panhellenic Federation of associations of parents with children with dyslexia and special educational needs

Read Me Differently paints a portrait of three women bound by blood, but divided by a lack of understanding. It tells the story of a family whose complicated relationships stem from misunderstanding unidentified learning disabilities. This award-winning film, by Sarah Entine, will generate thoughtful discussion whether in a classroom setting, work environment or at home with family members and friends.

This film is being provided to us by the Association of parents with children with dyslexia and learning difficulties of Thessaloniki and Northern Greece and the Panhellenic Federation of associations of parents with children with dyslexia and special educational needs.

This is an association of parents and guardians of children with dyslexia and learning difficulties who have also formed a Panellenic Federation of similar associations all around Greece.

The Association and the Federation of Associations advocate for their children in an effort to avoid their children’s’ exclusion from education and from the society in general.  Their aspirations are:

a. To gather information on support and remedies for the problems faced by dyslexic and learning difficulties children in the whole spectrum of social life and school work in particular

b. To disseminate / spread such information to interested parties

c. To participate in scientific groups, councils, seminars and study groups working towards solutions

d. To advance and safeguard the rights and interests of dyslexic and learning difficulties children through contact with authorities and support of their requirements

 

Lecture Description

Over the last several decades U.S. educators expressed growing concern over the "wait to fail" model that has traditionally been used as the gatekeeper for access to special services.  Out of this frustration emerged a paradigm shift and the Response to Intervention Model (RTI) that proposed classroom intervention and evaluation of student response as an alternative approach to determining need for special services. Consequently, this multi-tiered model has moved to the forefront of early intervention for students with academic and behavioral challenges.

 

Workshop Description

The purpose of the workshop is to invite teaching professionals to share experiences and exchange ideas on practices that promote closer professional interaction among teachers, and between teachers and school administrators.  Participants are encouraged to engage in experiential exercises, critically reflect and provide feedback on the effectiveness of certain strategies that highlight current trends in teacher professional development in Greece.  The session is interactive and incorporates practical hands-on activities, discussion and active involvement of participants at all stages.

Workshop Learning Objectives

 

Workshop Description

There are many valuable strategies for teaching ELL.  I will demonstrate a variety of strategies from different resources and personal trainings; GLAD, Thinking Maps, Write from the Beginning, and SIOP.  You will have the opportunity to engage in the activities and ask questions about the process.  As a participant you will learn how to differentiate curriculum to match the ELD-English language development of your students.  We will look at the development of ELL in the four domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  When you leave this workshop you will be able to begin using the strategies immediately in your classrooms.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- I will demonstrate a variety of strategies from different resources and personal trainings; GLAD, Thinking Maps, Write from the Beginning, SIOP

- The participants will learn how to differentiate curriculum to match the ELD-English language development of their students

- Participants will be able to begin using the strategies immediately in their classrooms

- Participants will look at the English Language Development levels

 

Workshop Description

It is a central principle of ethical educational practice that the professional educator always ensure that his/her school and classroom practices are consistent with the most up to date research evidence.  Indeed, in most fields, failure to do so has been deemed 'malpractice'.  Unfortunately, it is simply impossible for educators to meet the daily demands of teaching in their classrooms and still have sufficient time left to stay abreast of the rapidly emerging research information from diverse fields such as education, child development, child/adolescent mental health, neuroscience, and college/workplace readiness fields.  All these fields have important implications for best educational practice.  The old saying, "What you don't know can't hurt you" simply is not true for teachers and parents.  Myths, fads and foibles have inundated and plagued education for over a century.  Indeed, many standard and accepted parenting, teaching and educational practices have proven to be unfounded in the empirical research and proven to be either ineffective or, worst of all, harmful to student learning and social development.

This workshop will focus on updating teachers and parents as to "what we have learned but nobody ever tells you!"  Specifically, the workshop will focus on several critical areas in which the research evidence is now calling into serious question our standard assumptions and practices in educating children and adolescents.  Among the "emerging research" areas covered will be: Learning Disabilities, ADHD, classroom behavior management, homework, self-esteem, bullying, emotional disorders of children/adolescents, parent/family factors impacting student learning, and the characteristics of both highly effective schools and transformative teachers.

Each topic will be discussed in light of the most current and rigorous research information available. Practical implications of the research for improving day-to-day school, classroom, and parenting practices will then be identified.

Workshop Learning Objectives
(what participants should learn/take away from the presentation or workshop):

- Participants will be introduced to the current research that questions some of our traditional education practices and assumptions and the implications for improving our schools and classrooms

- Participants will learn what we’ve learned about effective parenting and teaching strategies for developing capable, successful & resilient youth

- Participants will learn what research now indicates as the myths, fads and foibles underlying our learning and behavioral intervention paradigm

- Participants will learn strategies found effective in motivating learning and inoculating youth from social-emotional risk factors

 

Workshop Description

Mr. Nelson and Mr. Pupovac will share strategies for differentiating instruction and for actively engaging students in the classroom. They will share methods that have been used in high school social studies classes at various levels to engage students in their learning. The workshop will also include a "bank" of ideas, in which participants will be invited to exchange strategies with the group.