Empower Education Connections

Workshop Category: Customized Workshops

Thinking Organizers

In this workshop, you will become familiar with and be able to describe, draw, and explain all 8 Thinking Organizers. You will also be able to explain the “thinking process” and “key words” for each Thinking Organizer, and be able to give multiple examples of how they can be used in your own classroom and across multiple content areas. You will also be given a suggested guideline for implementation and will learn how to introduce and use them in the classroom consistently and with purpose.

Ready For A “do Over”?

If you’re just finishing your first or second year of teaching and feel that things could have gone more smoothly, then let’s refresh those classroom management strategies! In this workshop we will look specifically at procedures you can teach before, during, and after a lesson, as well as what rules you may want to implement. Harry Wong will be proud!

Learning Styles

Teach the way students learn! So, how do students learn? This session will focus on learning styles and their definitions. We will scientifically identify your learning style and your students’ learning styles, and we will discover how to teach each type of learner. “If students can’t learn the way we teach, then we must teach the way students learn.” (Ignacio Estrada)

Inquiry Based Learning

An old adage states: “Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.” The last part of this statement is the essence of inquiry-based learning. In this workshop, you will learn to shift your traditional education ideas and successfully implement inquiry-based instruction. You will learn to embrace the freedom and let go of control; embrace the process and let go of content (while still teaching standards); and embrace the struggle and let go of discomfort! This workshop will share strategies, routines, and classroom management protocols to make inquiry-based learning a reality in your classroom!

Write to learn

Teaching writing doesn’t have to lead to piles of difficult grading! In this workshop you will learn how assigning your students 2-3 “low stakes” writing tasks each day ultimately leads to better writing from your students on the “regular” writing assignments. You will walk away from this session with lots of ideas for short writing tasks– and do a little practice yourself along the way.

What does an effective reading block look like?

Wondering how to make your reading block more effective? This workshop reviews the big 5 areas of reading instruction, explains how much time to spend in each of the areas, and gives real ideas to take back to your classroom to make that reading block more powerful! We will also explore strategies for identifying and addressing the areas in which your students have gaps or are ready for a challenge.

Guided reading

In this workshop you will learn how to assess and provide instruction in small groups for reading. We will focus on giving you tools, assessments, and teaching strategies for a differentiated reading classroom. You will come away with planning tools, assessment ideas, and a better understanding of how to implement small groups that are effective for student achievement.

Purposeful planned classrooms

Planning is one of the most powerful tools for creating strong and effective classrooms; however, often teachers tend to over or under plan, or spend hours planning things that are not highly impactful. In this session we will model and walk you through how to “plan smarter, not harder and longer” using the resources currently in use on campus to create effective, purposefully planned lessons based on standards.

Anchor charts away!

Do your students struggle with vocabulary? Do they forget important information? Do they flounder as they try to use academic language in class? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, come and learn the most powerful, simple-to-implement strategy of them all: anchor charts! In this workshop you will learn the purpose behind anchor charts, how to make one, and how to use them in your classroom. Your students will begin to better understand content, use academic vocabulary, and their comprehension will immediately increase!

Robust vocabulary

In this workshop we will investigate the research showing the strong connection between a student’s vocabulary and their overall academic success, especially in the areas of text comprehension and writing. This is nothing new, but how do you really navigate and implement Graves’ four components of effective vocabulary instruction? What does Isabel Beck say about the TIERS of Vocabulary and how to teach them? This workshop will inspire you to do more with vocabulary in a whole new way!

Curriculum planning

Do you want to make an impact on student achievement? Then this workshop is for you! We will discuss how curriculum mapping encourages teachers to be curriculum designers via authentic examination, collaborative/collegial conversation, and student-centered decision making. You will learn about the 4 types of curriculum maps and how to implement them, as well as how to design your daily lesson plans to reflect best practices in the classroom and integrate your new maps. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we’re just giving you the tools to adjust the drive to fit the road upon which you travel!

Unwrapping the standards

It’s one thing to read a standard and get a general sense of what it’s about, but what does it really say? This workshop will provide you with a simple method to deconstruct (unwrap) the wording of any standard to help you understand its meaning inside and out. “Unwrapping” will help you thoroughly comprehend what each standard explicitly and implicitly indicates. Join us as we explore how you can make “unwrapping” the very first step in planning effective instruction and assessment. (Suitable for teachers in all grades.)

Motivating the unmotivated: discovering your students’ potential

Do you ever wonder how to reach a student? In this fun and interactive session we will identify the reasons students resist investing in class, then pinpoint specific strategies to motivate students to learn. You will leave this workshop with the techniques to show students the value of learning on their own terms.

Data Driven Small Groups | Tips, Tricks, And Activities

Learn how to make your small group instruction purposeful and powerful! In this workshop you will learn how to effectively group your students to best meet their needs, and how you can match instruction and resources to their very specific learning goals. We’ll share some tips, tricks, and specific activities for small group activities that are aligned with the Common Core Standards and reinforce instruction.

Formative Assessments

Did you know that research has demonstrated that high-quality assessment for learning has a significant impact on student learning and motivation, thus representing a positive strategy for closing achievement gaps? In this workshop, you will learn to differentiate between formative assessment, summative assessment, assessment for learning, and assessment of learning. You will also have the opportunity to critique your own assessment practices for quality and identify new classroom assessment practices to use.

Small Groups – Getting Started

This workshop introduces small group routines for all content areas and all grade levels. Getting started with small groups can be tricky, but this course will give you the knowledge you need to effectuate small grouping in your classroom in a way that fits your teaching style. Get a great start to small groups in this session!

Engaging Classrooms: Student Led, Teacher Facilitated!

There is a “push” for educators to attain higher levels of engagement with students– and a definite need!– but how is a rich environment for dialogue within the classroom fostered? This workshop will give you the strategies you need to effectively develop a more collaborative learning environment. Teachers as facilitators, 50/50 Talk, Talk Moves, collaborative groups, plus highly-effective engagement tools will be discussed in this interactive session.

Enhancing Student Discourse

Are you tired of having your students “Turn and Talk” to each other? Sick of asking your students to “Raise your hand if you know” the answer? In this workshop we explore new strategies to enhance student discourse that are fun for kids and get them engaged in deep discussion. Together, we will discuss how to create a classroom environment that allows students to take risks and challenge their ideas. We will engage in several different discourse methods that can be implemented the very next day in any content area!

Fun With Fluency

Building fluency in math has the reputation of being a bit boring. It’s time to scrap the flashcards & timed tests and have some fun with fluency! In this workshop, we will share with you our hands-on games designed to create strategic thinkers and build fluency in math! Use them for your daily warm- up or bell-work, or to spiral the skills you want your students to keep sharp. A daily dose of Math Fluency Games will hone your students’ math skills so they are test-ready!

Close Reading: Digging Deeper!

As learners are held to higher standards, we must tweak our lesson delivery. In this session we will explore how to dig deep into an Anchor Text while considering the essential question. You will learn how to teach your students to become more sophisticated readers by embracing close reading while reading between the lines. You will leave with the knowledge to teach your students to read like detectives and write like investigative reporters– a skill essential to students’ success in middle and high school, especially when learning in cross-linguistic environments where one language informs another. Your students will take risks more often and use the English language. If they use the language, they will own it. The ultimate assessment is writing about it!

Mentor Texts For Writing

Mentor Texts are a powerful way to show your students how to write well. Often we tell students our expectations and review rubrics, but forget the power of sharing an exemplary piece of writing! Come and see how the artful use of Mentor Texts can transform all types of writing in your classroom.

Teaching With A Growth Mindset

This workshop will give you strategies you can use to help your students understand that intelligence can be developed, the brain is malleable, and the best way to make their brain stronger and smarter is through doing challenging work! You will learn how current brain research has scientists and researchers excited about shifting attitudes toward learning. Bringing this knowledge and awareness to your students will increase their motivation and, ultimately, their success!

Attacking The Text / Text Features (Close Reading)

This workshop will provide you with the most efficient way to help students attack (annotate) text. Simple, quick, and powerful, these routines for Attacking the Text will be your classroom staple! Your students’ comprehension will immediately increase and the routines will be embedded in their minds, which will improve comprehension of text during test taking!

Number Talks & Strategy Talks For Math

This workshop will focus on tools to get students involved in rich discussions about mathematics. Critical for instruction, Strategy Talks for Math will deepen student understanding, create more flexible thinkers, and help students make connections among various mathematical strategies. You will learn the difference between Number Talks, Solution Talks, and Fluency Talks, and how you can implement them in your classroom!

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