E2Lead 2018: Academic Strand

Discover the Power, Poise, and Impact of Oratory Integration Using Ford’s Theatre Resources


Presenter: Barbara Connery, Instructional Coach; Regional School District 6, James Morris School

Recently, students have begun speaking out more powerfully about issues that directly impact them, finding their voices and seeking change. Empowering our students to speak up for justice is an essential skill, an art form that can move a society to right its wrongs. During this workshop, participants will learn how to strengthen their students’ writing, speaking, and leadership skills by studying and reciting important historical speeches written by accomplished American orators such as Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, leaders that embodied true resilience in the darkest of days! Participants in this workshop will be introduced to Podium Points for public speaking, the rhetorical triangle and its purpose in writing persuasive speeches, a variety of graphic organizers to assist their students when writing persuasive speeches, and service learning project ideas related to a “call to action.” In doing so, participants will learn how to harness the power of students’ unique voices and put into words the issues that matter most to them.

Social Justice Book Clubs: A Powerful Approach to Teaching Resilience and Rejuvenation


Presenters: Dr. Lori A. Noto, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, University of Bridgeport, School of Education; Andrew D. Deacon, Literacy Specialist K – 5, Torrington Public Schools

In an uncertain world marked by misunderstood differences and intolerance, students seek opportunities to be resilient and stand up for their beliefs. One way in which students can do this work is by engaging in reading fiction and nonfiction texts that meaningfully portray various social justice issues like poverty, sexual orientation, bullying, and disabilities, and by developing their thinking about these issues through writing. During this session, participants will walk through a five-week Social Justice Book Clubs unit, in which students are placed into book clubs based on issues about which they find themselves most passionate and committed. Book club members read several texts on the selected social justice issue, discuss their reading to develop a deep understanding of the issue at hand, and research and write to explore the social justice issue and develop ideas about characters, themes, and author’s message. Overall, this unit is intended for students to learn how they can read across multiple genres to enrich their understanding of the world, to gain a deeper understanding of the problems faced by underrepresented groups, and to stand up for what they believe is just.

Writers Who Teach and Teachers Who Write: Building Success in a Creative Writing Classroom


Presenters: Victoria Nordlund, English Department Head, Rockville High School; Student Presenters: Tanner Bosse, Cori Diaz, Kim McGuire, Cierra Taber, Kaleigh Perkins, Julia Somma, Abby Tyrrell

Why should we engage students in creative writing? It can be a powerful path to student success in classrooms and it can help rejuvenate teachers and students, yet many teachers are reluctant to use it. This workshop is designed to overcome that reluctance. In this panel, teacher writers will share how and what they teach, and participants will learn how to integrate authentic learning activities into their own classrooms in ways that enhance students’ academic growth, social and emotional learning, and creativity. The workshop is ideal for middle school and high school teachers of any discipline who are open to creating a powerful learning community within the walls of their own classroom. Seven current high school juniors and seniors will be on the panel to share their work and to talk about what creative writing has meant to them. They will discuss how participation in a writing community has strengthened them socially and emotionally, has given them tools to succeed in other disciplines, and has helped them to become leaders in their school.

Social Emotional Learning = Academic Success


Manuel A. Zaldivar Barahona, CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary Magnet School

During this session, teachers will share an understanding of the areas of social emotional competency, determine how the brain works in students who are not regulated, explore and learn about activities to address the areas of competency in the classroom, and explore resources to use in the classroom and in the school. Participants will examine how the brain works when someone is confronted by events that deregulate them and will explore techniques to use in the classroom to regulate students and get them ready to learn. Such techniques will be, but are not limited to, building relationships with students, check-ins, social skills teaching, specific teaching of working in groups, growth mindset statements for the classroom, and the use of anchor charts. Participants will actively participate in discussing how to use each technique in the classroom, as well as reflecting and planning for next steps in their classrooms. Participants will leave the workshop with a clear understanding of the areas of competency and a variety of techniques for immediate use in the classroom to enhance their practice and rejuvenate classroom and school culture.

Nourishing the Passion To Teach

Location: NEHANTIC

Presenters: Sarah Faulkner, East Granby Middle School; Furahi Achebe, Metropolitan Business Academy, New Haven

It is easy for teachers to become stale and lose track of the passion that propelled them into the classroom in the first place. This session will describe a program designed to nourish the passion and intellectual curiosity of teachers, enabling them to bring their own excitement back into their classrooms and schools and feel rejuvenated as a professional. Attendees will consider their own interests, learn about grants from the Fund for Teachers, and hear about one science teacher’s trip to the Amazon and Andes of Peru with a collaborative group of teachers and organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The philosophy of the Fund for Teachers is that teachers who are able to follow their passions bring relevant and meaningful content back to their students, empower their colleagues, and grow professionally.

Emotionally Intelligent Teaching: Planning Mood-Congruent Lessons


Presenters: Jessica Hoffmann, Associate Research Scientist and Julie McGarry, Program Manager, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent teaching is both an art and a science. In this workshop, researchers and practitioners from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence will share specific tools and strategies for seamless integration of the flagship Anchor Tool from the RULER Approach to social and emotional learning, the Mood Meter, to enhance teaching practices. First, session attendees will learn about the science of mood congruent instruction through the Mood Meter and develop an understanding of why and how all emotions matter for teaching and learning. Then, educators will engage in reflection about their own lesson planning patterns and consideration of student emotions in the success of differing activities. Finally, educators will strategize about ways to infuse mood-congruent teaching and lesson-planning in their own classrooms. We will offer strategies for planning, modifying, and preparing for lessons from the perspective of emotionally intelligent teaching. This session will highlight the ways that educators can harness their students’ emotional experiences to enhance pedagogy, and ground their practices in the shared mindset that emotions matter in the classroom.

Unlocking the Power of Problem Based Learning in K-12 Mathematics Classrooms


Sarah Bent, Assistant Director of Mathematics Leadership Programs, Mount Holyoke College

Are you looking for a way to build excitement for math for both you and your students in ways that energize and empower? Rather than provide direct instruction on a particular method that students should use, problem-based learning involves starting with the problem first and having students develop their own solution pathways. Problem-based learning tasks require students to define the question, find the relevant information necessary to solve the problem, decide which tools are needed, evaluate possible approaches, solve the problem, share their findings, and compare their reasoning to others. This powerful, learner-centered approach develops student capacity for dealing with complex challenges, bolsters their resilience, and helps them grow as independent and interdependent thinkers. During this session, participants will engage in a variety of problem-based learning activities including 3-act math tasks, open-middle problems, and open-ended tasks. We will explore how these tasks can be used to support student learning and increase excitement for math class. Participants will learn effective instructional strategies when implementing a problem-based learning approach and leave with a variety of resources to bring back to their schools including links to hundreds of tasks, planning guides, templates, articles, and access to an online repository of problem-based learning resources.

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