Institute for Middle Level Leadership

Orlando, FL • June 25-28, 2017
Renaissance Orlando at Sea World
 

Orlando Content Breakout Session #1

Monday, June 26, 2017 – 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.

Blended Learning to Create Student Centered Classrooms
David Hayward
Blended learning combines elements of a face-to-face classroom with an online classroom allowing students to have some control of when they learn, how quickly they work through the material, and where their learning takes place. This session will expand your thinking about the role of class work, homework, and the middle level learner who sits before you each day. Participants will experience Blended learning models while receiving an extensive list of resources to implement a blended learning teaching environment.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore how teachers become facilitators, guiding their students toward improved academic and personal development
  • Discover how teachers are increasing engagement learning in class and at home through purposeful, activity-based instruction
  • Learn how to connect with educators and community members building a meaningful professional network to support a blended classroom

Active Engagement Strategies
Cheryl Mizerny
Students in the middle grades need learning atmospheres that respond to their unique needs. But what exactly does a classroom built for young adolescent achievement look like, sound like, and feel like? And how does this affect administrative walk-throughs, observations, and professional development? This session will look at best instructional practices in the middle grades and how middle level leaders can support their teachers as they implement them.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • To examine the key elements of effective classroom instruction, management, and response.
  • To explore how middle level leaders can support and grow all teachers.

Developing Teacher Leaders
Nikki Woodson
Teacher leaders with competencies such as the ability to use evidence and data in decision making, mobilizing people around a common purpose, marshaling resources, taking action, and contributing to realizing the vision of a middle level school are critical to successful middle level schools. This session examines the benefits of identifying and nurturing teacher leaders and their role in helping schools collaboratively meet today's achievement challenges.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the skills and characteristics of successful middle level teacher leaders
  • Develop action plans to identify, train, develop, and utilize the unique talents of teacher leaders
  • Learn how to create opportunities for developing teacher leaders while ensuring effective relationships between teacher leaders and school leadership

Middle School Improvement that Really Works
Cedrick Gray
So, you have a school or district initiative you want to launch. How do you know it will achieve the results you seek? This session will outline a step-by-step process to set goals, objectives, and strategies that will take the guess work out of your initiative. Participants will also review processes, formats, monitoring, and evaluations that improve school and district initiatives.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community (TWB Essential Attribute)
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance and goals of project-based strategic planning
  • Provide step-by-step process for planning and implementing project-based strategic planning
  • Provide time and facilitation for teams to begin to develop their plan

Coming and Going: Transitioning to and From the Middle School
Gail Heinemeyer and Dru Tomlin
As students and their families face the movement to and from the middle grades, their worry about "what's next" can be debilitating. Successful middle level schools are proactive, employing a variety of transition experiences and activities. They involve all stakeholders in planning and engaging everyone, making the transition a time of excitement rather than fear. Student academic achievement often declines in the first two months in the next building. An ongoing, well-planned transition program can help students and their parents make a better adjustment to a new setting. Participants will learn proven strategies that help students (and families) feel welcome and supported as they move to and from the middle grades.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the stakeholders in the transition process, determine their concerns, and develop strategies to address those concerns.
  • Explore strategies to strengthen relationships and ease the anxiety for students in grade-level transition and the families who love them
  • Take away a "blueprint" to create your own "transition camp" for incoming middle grades students

Engaging in Difficult Conversations
Juan Rodriguez
In this era of accountability, teachers are increasingly required to demonstrate their effectiveness. Leaders are placed in the role of coaching and developing the skills of others. It is easy to give feedback to a colleague when that feedback is positive, but we get stuck when we have to give "cool" feedback to our peers or colleagues. What knowledge and skills are needed to give effective feedback? Asking everyone to give just a little more and "push it" requires strong relationships, a culture of trust and accountability, commitment to high expectations, the ability to handle healthy conflict and debate, tact, and a lot of patience with one another.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community (TWB Essential Attribute)
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the strategies and language of respect, caring, accountability, and evidence-based discussion
  • Develop a plan for the talk
  • Share experiences and results of complicated discussions
  • Maintain the continuing improvement process

Orlando Content Breakout Session #2

Monday, June 26, 2017 – 12:35 p.m.–1:50 p.m.

Digital Life of a Middle Level Student
David Hayward
Media consumption is a thing of the past. Our students do not stop to "read" the news but rather consume, remix, share, and comment while on the move. Cell phones are ubiquitous, social media is rising, all while educators are struggling to keep up. Life of a middle level student is much different than the one we know. Come and explore together what it looks like to be a middle level student in an ever-changing digital world.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how media has shifted from a consumable to a form of social interaction
  • Learn the importance of understanding how to act responsibly while online
  • Explore how having an understanding of the digital life of a middle level student will benefit the teaching and learning process

21st Century Teaching & Learning
Cheryl Mizerny
In order for students to learn the skills they will need to become the leaders of tomorrow, educators may need to rethink their teaching practice of today. That's the rationale for teaching the crucial 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. This session allows you to reflect on your teaching and develop the capacity for designing learning opportunities that provide engaging instruction and authentic learning experiences relevant to today's students.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches

Learning Objectives:

  • Define characteristics of 21st century learning using various models
  • Discuss rationale for teaching and learning 21st century skills and best practices
  • Explore teaching methods that support diverse learners while allowing all to develop higher-order thinking skills
  • Reflect on current practices to determine how to incorporate 21st century skills into existing curriculum

Is it Working? Comprehensive Glance at School Improvement Process for Middle Level
Nikki Woodson
Coaches use data to secure victory; mechanics use data to get the engine started; and physicians use data to heal. In our schools, data is used to inform instruction and enhance student achievement. But how do you use the immense amount of data in an organized manner to really increase achievement? Participants will learn how to organize, filter, and effectively use data to inform instruction without intimidation.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple teaching and learning approaches
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful, learning
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore multiple approaches for using data to improve student learning and measure achievement
  • Learn about varied and ongoing assessments that measure and advance learning

May I Have Another Please? Response to Instruction and Intervention
Cedrick Gray
Good first teaching has the greatest impact on student achievement. School leaders need to respond to students that need support when good first teaching isn't enough. Students who don't readily grasp the lesson on the first delivery are asking, "May I have another, please?" This session will review best practices in addressing remediation of under-performing students.

This We Believe Connections:

  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community (TWB Essential Attribute)
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify learning strategies that enable all students to succeed
  • Create a system of support for all students

When Good Teams Go Bad: Dealing with Dysfunctional Teams
Gail Heinemeyer
Students and teachers organized in learning communities are at the heart and soul of an effective middle school. When teachers have a clear mission and vision for their team, operate by a set of established norms, and develop positive relationships with students and families, the team can have a powerful impact on student achievement. When those standards break down or are absent, the team loses the ability to operate effectively. Leaders must understand how to recognize a dysfunctional team and what strategies to use to get the team back on track. We will examine Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of a Team and provide strategies to address those issues.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Courageous, collaborative leaders
  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the signs of a dysfunctional team
  • Acquire strategies to address dysfunctional teams
  • Examine tools to monitor team performance

From Me to Me! Personalized Leadership Growth
Juan Rodriguez
Through open conversations, hands-on experiences, case study, and reflections, participants will begin to build their leadership capacity to create successful middle level schools. Using deep reflections, participants will understand the abilities they have and the areas they need to work on to become better middle level leaders. This session will assist in participants in launching a personalized leadership plan.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community (TWB Essential Attribute)
  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Review current leadership strategies
  • Assess and reflect on your own middle level leadership skills
  • Develop a personal leadership skill plan for self-improvement
  • Develop leadership capacity within your school
  • Plan the first action step

Orlando Content Breakout Session #3

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 – 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.

Enhancing your Professional Digital Presence
David Hayward
What is the purpose of social media? Why should I use Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Instagram, etc.? In this session participants gain a deeper understanding of how a district or teacher may use social media to support teaching and learning. Participants will explore ways social media may be used for community outreach, professional development planning, sharing of resources, building professional networks, and communicating with parents and students. The question is not why you should use social media, but why you are not. Participants will be asked to create a Twitter account or use a previously created account to participate during the session.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • The school includes community and business partners

Learning Objectives:

  • Define and understand social media and the role it plays in current and future education settings
  • Explore web tools that promote positive collaboration and communication with community, staff, and students
  • Learn why and how to connect with educators and community members to build a meaningful professional network

Brain Compatible Teaching
Cheryl Mizerny
This session is designed to enhance knowledge of current brain research-based learning theory. Participants in this session will explore ways to design brain-friendly and effective learning experiences and environments using the latest scientific findings and discoveries. This session provides the essential elements needed to translate the biology of brain-based learning from theory into classroom practice.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches

Learning Objectives:

  • Review current research and discuss applications to teaching and learning
  • Explore numerous myths and realities about brain science
  • Discover practical teaching strategies based on neuroscience that boost student retention of information

Leveraging Your Influence as a Middle Level Leader
Nikki Woodson
Get ready for a deep dive… This session will impact you! All middle school leaders must have effective influence to achieve continuous improvement in schools. It is rare however, that school leaders take time to sharpen their influence skills by looking closely within. This session will delve into school leadership styles and allow practice to sharpen influence skills. Conclude this session understanding your leadership better and being able to use your skills to influence continuous improvement in your school. Attend this session to be more of your best self!

This We Believe Connections:

  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess their own leadership style
  • Understand and personally align school mission, culture, vision
  • Examine effective influence

Engaging Learning and Leading Strategies with Young Adolescents
Dru Tomlin
Students in the middle grades need learning atmospheres that respond to their unique needs. But what exactly does a classroom built for young adolescent achievement look like, sound like, and feel like? And how does this affect administrative walk-throughs, observations, and professional development? This session will look at best instructional practices in the middle grades and how middle level leaders can support their teachers as they implement them.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • To examine the key elements of effective classroom instruction, management, and response
  • To explore how middle level leaders can support and grow all teachers

Creating a Culture of College and Career Readiness
Gail Heinemeyer
Middle level schools play a critical role in assisting students to make decisions about their post-secondary options. By incorporating college and career readiness standards in the curriculum, students have an opportunity to explore their interests and become knowledgeable about a variety of post-secondary opportunities including 2-year and 4-year degree programs, apprenticeships, military service, career and technical colleges, and service-learning programs They also need guidance about the types of academic preparation required to meet those goals. Parents and guardians need to have access to comprehensive information about planning for their children’s future including information about post-secondary options, necessary academic habits, financial resources, and application.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand why college and career readiness needs to begin in middle school
  • Identify the components of college and career readiness counseling
  • Become aware of the early stages of post-secondary planning that should take place at the middle level for both students and parents/guardians
  • Explore the role of the middle school counselor

Leading and Supporting the Mental Health and Wellness of Young Adolescents
Juan Rodriguez
As school leaders we are tasked with the responsibility of creating a safe and nurturing school environment, supporting the physical and mental health of children, and fostering their social and emotional well-being. We face many challenges to address the mental health needs of our students and staff. A US Surgeon General report indicates that one in five children and adolescents will face a significant mental health condition during their school years. Mental health disorders affecting children and adolescents can include depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and autism. Students suffering from these conditions face significant barriers to learning. In addition, we are all shocked by the recent violent events in our schools that affect how we feel about safety and security. Although improving the mental health, wellness, and security measures in our school campuses and buildings are top concerns, we struggle with maintaining a balance between having a user-friendly, welcoming school climate and having the necessary resources to get it done.

This We Believe Connections:

  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Health and wellness are supported in curricula, school-wide programs, and related policies

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the complex issues regarding school mental health, safety, and security
  • Address cyber safety and cyberbullying
  • Create a set of important resources regarding mental health, wellness, and school safety
  • Connect with the community for support

Orlando Content Breakout Session #4

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 – 1:10 p.m.–2:25 p.m.

Redefining Student Consumers as Student Creators
David Hayward
Middle level students are connected! In their social, entertainment, and school settings, technology is everywhere. In this session, we will explore what digital literacy means and how it applies to our teachers and students as learners. We will go beyond just "Googling it" and look at how to find, evaluate, create, and share information. Our teachers and students have an endless supply of digital resources and must gain a greater understanding of how to implement them.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches

Learning Objectives:

  • Craft a definition and awareness of digital literacy
  • Explore the role educational technology plays in preparation for college, career, and life

Smart, Positive Classroom Assessment Practice
Cheryl Mizerny
Assessment is an integral part of teaching and is used to make critical instructional decisions. Because classroom-based assessment is so vital to the instructional process, learning about assessment is essential. In this session, participants will evaluate the validity and reliability of current classroom assessments, as well as learn how to design assessments that are specifically and thoughtfully aligned with educational standards and objectives.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine how to use formative and summative assessments to make instructional decisions
  • Evaluate current classroom assessment practices for validity and efficacy
  • Learn how to design assessments that are carefully aligned with educational standards and objectives
  • Analyze common classroom grading practices and review new grading paradigms

Out of the Box Middle Level Leadership
Nikki Woodson
Accountability and mandates have forced leaders into a corner where primary time is spent on data analysis, reporting, and compliance monitoring. While accountability is important, leaders can take a hands-on approach at the middle level that will allow valuable insight in the education system of the school. This session will show participants first-hand how their leadership can take on a more hands-on approach to be a creative, inspirational, and transformative leader.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will hear real examples of hands-on leadership and their impact
  • Participants will design opportunities for their own hands-on leadership in their middle level school(s)
  • Participants will leave this session with tools to inspire the culture of their school as leaders

The Anatomy of a Middle School Principal
Cedrick Gray
In this intellectually engaging session, participants will get a peek inside the heart, head, and hands of successful school leaders to find out what we are really made of. This session will explore the intangible standards for school leaders and what we all should know, understand, and be able to do. If you have ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask, this session will review the five characteristics every high performing school leader must have to be successful. These characteristics not only help improve the performance of the building level leader but solidify the relationship between principal and the principal supervisor and guarantee a successful evaluation of performance.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community (TWB Essential Attribute)
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of building professional relationships
  • Provide a step-by-step process for improving culture and climate
  • Provide time and facilitation for teams to begin to develop their plan

Making Every Day Count: Early Warning Indicators – Attendance, Chronic Absenteeism, and Truancy
Gail Heinemeyer
Attendance in school is a key predictor of a student's chances for academic success. By examining attendance rates on a regular basis, school personnel can identify students who are chronic absentees and need early intervention to address their lack of attendance in school. We will use an assessment tool to determine how your school addresses the issue of attendance and identify areas that need to be improved. We will look at a variety of strategies that can be used to increase student attendance and share successful practices from the participants' schools.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of monitoring attendance on a regular basis
  • Define reasons why students miss school
  • Learn strategies to promote attendance
  • Recognize the difference between chronic absenteeism and truancy

Strengthening Relationships Through Advisory
Dru Tomlin
All young adolescents need adult advocates, advisors, and mentors as role models. Advocacy is not a scheduled time or event but must be woven into the curriculum and daily operation of a middle grades school. Life skills and lifelong guidelines can become "the way we do business" in today's middle grades schools. Participants will share their questions, experiences, and success stories of advisory and advocacy programs.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Health and wellness are supported in curricula, school-wide programs, and related policies

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how the affective domain and student advocacy can be melded into the standards-based classroom
  • Determine what effective middle schools must do to ensure successful advisory programs

Orlando Content Breakout Session #5

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 – 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.

Making a Makerspace
David Hayward
Tinkering, hacking, innovating, and creating are terms that describe a Makerspace. Collaboration, literacy, problem solving, and critical thinking have been used to describe a 21st century learner. In this session, we will look at how a Makerspace meets the needs of a 21st century learner through student centered exploration and discovery. We will introduce strategies to support a Makerspace and offer tips to make your space a success.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant

Learning Objectives:

  • Introduce what a Makerspace is and how it supports 21st century teaching and learning
  • Examine strategies to support a Makerspace including physical, logistic, and curricular challenges

Promoting Growth Mindset in Teachers and Staff
Dru Tomlin
Becoming a great school means every student needs to adopt a growth mindset, so they can reach their goals. In fact, the same is true for teachers and staff. As it states in This We Believe, effective middle grades programs are driven by “ongoing professional development,” which means that we need to see ourselves as professionals who are always developing and learning for our students. In other words, to reach every student, teachers and staff need to get beyond a fixed mindset about themselves, too. This session will look at ways we can support and encourage a growth mindset throughout our middle schools—for students, teachers, staff, and ourselves.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • Define growth and fixed mindsets and how they affect our school culture and climate
  • Examine ways to foster growth mindset in our students at the classroom and school-wide levels
  • Discuss strategies for promoting growth and learning for our faculty and staff

The Road Less Traveled: Behavior Management that Engages Middle Level Learners
Cedrick Gray

If you spend 99% of your time with 1% of the students because of their poor behavior or bad choices, this session is for your leadership team and you. Participants in this session will explore proven ways to reverse the trend of the minimum amount of students demanding the maximum of your time. You will be equipped with strategies to empower your students to make better choices.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community (TWB Essential Attribute)
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of building professional relationships
  • Provide a step-by-step process for improving culture and climate
  • Provide time and facilitation for teams to begin to develop their plan

The Care and Feeding of the Beginning Teacher: Designing Effective Induction and Mentoring Programs
Gail Heinemeyer
A teacher induction program can help new teachers acclimate to the culture of the school and district, improve practice, learn professional responsibilities, and ultimately have a positive impact on student learning and academic achievement. An effective program benefits both the new teacher and the experienced teacher. While the main goal is to provide support for beginning teachers, these programs allow veteran teachers to reflect on their practice and can unite the learning community in pursuit of district goals and student achievement. Induction programs also have the potential of elevating the teaching profession and fostering a collaborative learning community for all educators. These benefits can lead to a much higher rate of teacher retention, as new educators find themselves in an environment that cultivates continual growth and success.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the value of an effective induction/mentor program
  • Understand the phases of first year teaching
  • Examine strategies and tools to provide physical, emotional, instructional, and institutional support to new teachers

Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners
Juan Rodriguez
Every day, millions of linguistically and culturally diverse students enter our schools. Increasing diversity in schools places increased demands on all middle level educators. Successful middle schools ensure that all students are achieving in all aspects of their middle school experience. This session looks at both classroom strategies and school-wide interventions to support the English Language Learner. We will provide the teacher and principal perspective on instructional strategies, forging cultural connections, creating a supportive environment, assessments, and professional development.

This We Believe Connections:

  • The school includes community and business partners
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community (TWB Essential Attribute)
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify learning strategies that enable ELLs to succeed
  • Learn the difference between Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills and Cognitive/Academic Language Proficency
  • Review appropriate materials and classroom approaches for ELLs
  • Learn about the SIOP lesson design
  • Understand how ELLs work within the Common Core Standards

Orlando Content Breakout Session #6

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 – 9:25 a.m.–10:40 a.m.

Universal Design for Learning
Cheryl Mizerny
With greater emphasis on standards for learning and accountability for results in middle grades, we need a clear and common language that connects curriculum, instruction, and assessment for students in the classroom. The Common Core Standards provide the "what" we teach; Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides the "how" we need to teach; and every child learns and is college and career ready is the "why." From concept to practice, this session will model a UDL lesson while sparking the conversation about UDL in the middle grades classroom.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about Universal Design for Learning and the role it plays in fully implementing the Common Core standards and assessments
  • Discover how UDL lesson planning provides opportunities for engagement and personalization of students' learning
  • Experiment with resources that will support implementing UDL in lessons for middle grades students

Positive Behavior Management for Culturally Responsive Middle Level Schools/Classrooms
Nikki Woodson
The climate of a middle school can be impacted by behavior management. Additionally, behavior management can be impacted from culturally responsive classrooms. Learn how research-based strategies make a difference. Together, we will identify the roles of teachers and leaders in designing and implementing programs that support students in our multicultural schools and classrooms.

This We Believe Connections:

  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Comprehensive guidance and support services meet the needs of young adolescents
  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the role that schools play in an increasingly diverse and multicultural world
  • Discover specific ways that schools can include every student and help them achieve

Raise Student Academic Performance by Having a Fit
Cedrick Gray
Professional learning communities (PLCs) drive our work in student achievement. Are yours working? This session will make you have a FIT about student achievement and develop a process—with strategies—to ramp up and revive the traditional PLC.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple teaching and learning approaches
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful, learning
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore multiple approaches for using data to improve student learning and measure achievement
  • Learn about varied and ongoing assessments that measure and advance learning

School Safety: How to Ensure Everyone Feels Safe
Juan Rodriguez
We are all shocked by the recent violent events in our schools that affect how we feel about safety and security. Although improving the security measures in our school campuses and buildings are two of our top concerns, school administrators struggle with maintaining a balance between having a user-friendly, welcoming school climate and a facility that is secure from unwanted intruders. While even the best school access control efforts will not guarantee preventing a determined outsider from gaining access to the school, we must take reasonable steps to reduce the risks of unauthorized access. Campus security does not happen overnight, but we can begin the journey today.

This We Believe Connections:

  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the complex issues regarding school safety and security
  • Address cyber safety and cyberbullying 
  • Create a set of important resources regarding school security
  • Connect with the community for support