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Session Descriptions    
You will have an opportunity to attend four 30-minute sessions during the course of the day.  

[10:15 & 2:05] Google+ Will Rock Your World (Marek Beck, Renbrook School) ALL GRADE LEVELS / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM

Learn how to make Google+ your favorite educational social network. This presentation will show you how to transform your teaching practices and completely redefine the learning experiences for your students.

[12:05 & 1:25] Google Extensions and Add-Ons (Rob Brenner & James Cramphin, Rumsey Hall School) ALL GRADE LEVELS / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
We spend more and more time in our browsers and using Google's cloud services. Increase your productivity and get more out of your Chrome Browser and Google Docs experience using Extensions and Add-Ons. James and Rob will demonstrate specific examples of each type and participants will walk away with an assortment of new tools.

[10:15] #CAISCT Project-Based Learning Opportunity (Bill Sullivan, Suffield Academy) ALL GRADE LEVELS / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM

Learn the easy steps to research a specific member of Connecticut 29th Regiment from your hometown and join a state-wide project-based learning (#PBL) topic. Educators new to #PBL in grades 5-12 can share their expertise with #PBL experts seeking an important #PublicHistory topic. The 29th Regiment's greatest achievements were in late 1864-65, and this timely and important research coordinates well with this 2014-15 academic calendar as well as the 150th Connecticut Civil War commemoration cycle. https://ct29thcv.wordpress.com

[10:15 & 2:05] "Song Stories" (Christina McKeon, Chase Collegiate School) ALL GRADE LEVELS / CREATIVE WRITING
“Song Stories” is a creative writing based activity, which may be geared toward any age group and writing ability. The audience will listen to clips with and without lyrics and be prompted to write descriptively based on the emotions or connection they find within the particular song. In the classroom, literary characters, comparisons and analysis are done using song as inspiration.

[2:05] How to Talk About God with Atheists, Disbelievers, and Teenagers: Teaching Religion without Selling it (Haley Prickett, Kent School) ALL GRADE LEVELS / THEOLOGY

As a teacher of theology, my goal is to challenge students to think in a way they haven’t before about a subject that is typically, in a classroom, off limits. No one should be told what to believe, or what to think and that is NOT my goal as a theology teacher. My presentation will be on the value of allowing students a place to explore those typically “off limits” topics in an academic way. I aim to create a space for students (theists, atheists, and agnostics, alike) to consider where their understanding of God comes from and to challenge them to explain how/why they understand God in that way. There is no debate—students today are obsessed with technology. In an effort to accommodate this, I begin each class by playing a song and giving the students a space to reflect, think, and wonder about the ideas individually before we discuss them as a class. Then, through a combination of lecture, discussion, and short video clips I explore an idea (e.g. Rebellion, morality, God, evil, history, myth, etc.) in a Socratic way with an emphasis on communication, and collaboration of perspectives. I find the changing of media and point of emphasis allows for their distracted minds to stay focused.

 
[12:05] Circuit Fun and Young Children (Jennifer Krayewski, Greenwich Country Day School) GRADES K-5 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
This session will demonstrate examples of project-based lessons on circuits and hands on activities for children in grades kindergarten through three. We will explore creating light-up cards and using squishy circuits in conjunction with children's literature. Creativity a must!
 
[12:05 & 2:05] STEM & The Marshmallow Challenge Iteration (Julianne Ross-Kleinmann, The Foote School) GRADES K-5 / STEM
This workshop is designed to help you kick-off your STEM lessons by using marshmallows, spaghetti, string, tape, and a little iteration of the original marshmallow challenge presented by Tom Wujec on Ted Talk  http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_build_a_tower?language=en
 
[1:25] High Tech v Low Tech: Choosing the Right Tools to Promote STEAM Concepts (Sam Rosenfeld, Greenwich Country Day School) GRADES K-5 / STEAM
Today's classroom is full of technological opportunities, but with every piece of equipment and software come the unforeseen time for training and preparation. This workshop is designed to help teachers navigate the overcrowded field of ed tech to find those 'just right' technology opportunities that any student, and any teacher, can pick up and run with. Areas of focus include coding, programming, STEAM lesson design, and classroom management in relation to educational technology.

[10:15 & 1:25] Out of Eden Learn-an initiative of Project Zero, a research center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Betsy Flynn and Tracey Robbins, Renbrook School) GRADES 5-8 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM

Out of Eden Learn is an online learning community designed to accompany Paul Salopek's Out of Eden Walk. Paul is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has embarked on a seven-year walk around the world, retracing the broad migratory pathways of our early human ancestors. Students will be assigned a "walking party," students from schools in this country and around the world. They will take a learning journey together that is broken down into six biweekly "footsteps." The focus of the footsteps is to engage with Paul's journey and to observe and learn about their local surroundings. Students will post their footsteps on the Out of Eden Learn website and will comment on the posts of students in their "walking party." The goal is to ignite students' interest in the wider world and support them to become more informed, thoughtful, and engaged "global citizens."

[10:15 & 2:05] Social Media and the Middle School Child (Gus Haracopos, Jason P. Lewis & Melissa Medeiros, Chase Collegiate School) GRADES 6-8 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM

In the age of texting, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so many other options, there is no shortage of ways for our students to communicate with each other and the world. While much of this might echo their parents’ generation of rambling on the phone or passing notes in class, there is good reason to be concerned and watchful as young people learn to navigate the complicated world of social networking and technological communication. The balance is tricky as to what is under a school’s purview and what is not. How do we educate students--and often parents--on the appropriate use of this medium of communication? This workshop will address our approach to working with students and parents in creating dialogue, expectations and accountability. It is impossible to eradicate all issues that come with the use of social networking sites, but by shifting the approach and employing collaborative interactions, the academic and social stresses can be greatly reduced.

[12:05 & 1:25] The SOLEful Classroom: Engage Students in an Intellectual Journey to Answer Big Questions (Matt Dandola, Greenwich Country Day School) GRADES 6-8 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
Engage your students in collaborative, critical thinking experiences through SOLEs (Self Organized Learning Environments). Based on the research of Dr. Sugata Mitra, SOLEs are student-centered, collaborative classroom experiences that motivate and empower students to deeply explore important, big picture questions about content. Come join us as we take a look at how SOLEs can transform our classrooms into environments that inspire curiosity and critical thinking through research and discourse. I'll share experiences, examples, and feedback from three years of student driven exploration.

[12:05 & 2:05] Teaching Writing through Music and Imagery (Samantha D'Angelo, The Rectory School) GRADES 6-8 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
For english teachers, history teachers, music teachers and fans of music or writing alike! Are you looking to expand on your creative writing or incorporate writing into your music class? Have you ever watched a movie where the music was so powerfully eliciting emotions, or was associated with a character, or comforting like a warm bowl of soup. This workshop will help facilitate the instruction of creative writing, use music to exemplify the creativity while also learning musical terms in order to instruct both the writer and musician. Using collaboration and creativity this workshop will break down the process of listening to a historically significant piece of music (or personally chosen), identifying descriptive terms and applying them to class material learned. Go on a musical journey with your class!

[12:05 & 1:25] Student Engagement with Vocabulary across Curricula through Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking  (Caitlin Barker, The Rectory School) GRADES 6-8 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
Bored of the same old vocabulary exercises? Are your students having difficulty with your content specific vocabulary? This is the workshop for you! Participants will learn how to create a class vocabulary activity that allows all students to demonstrate the four Cs while they have to negotiate meaning and relationships between the words. Directions and examples will be provided for teachers so they can implement this activity immediately in their classrooms, regardless of discipline. Scaffolding ideas and modifications for struggling students will also be provided. I created this activity as I had a number of ESL students who were struggling in my Ancient History course. Not only did it work wonders for them, but also greatly helped students with high energy as well as kinesthetic and auditory learners. I then implemented it into my Latin course, and again it helped several students who struggled with grammar terms (like conjugation or gender) to relate these words and memorize their usage!

[10:15 & 1:25] Role Playing in History Class (Debra Sands-Holden, The King School) GRADES 6-8 / HISTORY
Presentation will include examples of how to incorporate various forms of historical role playing into class activities: including the role playing of actual historical figures, role playing various perspectives, and role playing historically fictitious characters created by the students themselves. The presentation will also include the sharing of resources to help teachers incorporate these activities into their classrooms.

[10:15] Brain Based Learning Strategies (Leah Stancil, Cheshire Academy) GRADES 9-PG / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM

We've come all long way since Pavlov, Neuroimaging has provided significant information about learning and the brain. This workshop will provide you with brain based strategies that can rock your classroom. Join me to learn, share and/or refresh some ideas about teaching and learning in the classroom.
 
[12:05 & 2:05] My First Class iBook – Do’s, Don’t and Lessons Learned (Christine Monahan, Cheshire Academy) GRADES 9-PG / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
A trunk of WWII Artifacts appeared in my classroom – rather than lecture on each item I decided to let my class of seventeen create a class iBook. Having never embarked on an adventure such as this I started from square one. This honest, reflective, and no doubt humorous approach to creating a class book will help inspire you and warn you about this process. In a one to one iPad environment it is crucial to utilize these devices in a way that fosters student learning and prepares the class for the 21st Century. With embedded photos, videos from veterans and scholars, and online research these items and the veteran that kept that truly come to life. Please bring your iPad in order to view the final product as well as a few ideas for your own class iBook.

[10:15 & 1:25] Teaming Up On Shakespeare: New Technologies, Old Plays, and Creative Collaboration with the Bard (William Mottolese, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich) GRADES 9-PG / ENGLISH
The plays of William Shakespeare offer rich opportunities for not only deepening critical thinking skills but also creating collaborative and problem-solving opportunities though the creative use of a range of technologies. This presentation offers a strategy for creating Shakespeare Teams– groups of three or four students who are tasked with tackling a Shakespeare play together from start to finish and have a series of creative, analytical, and collaborative tasks to perform. I assign 10th grade students studying Macbeth a range of tasks that constitute a kind of journey through Macbeth around a single important passage from the play. While all students are responsible for the entire text in daily discussion, each individual teams will manage a selected important passage from the play. For those passages, teams will create a dedicated wiki-style Google Doc page, record an audio reading with i-movie type visuals, write questions for and help lead discussion on their passage, collaboratively paraphrase the passage, memorize selected lines, and plan and perform a dramatic “jazz reading” of the passage for the class. Students journey through the difficult language of Shakespeare with teammates and by the end “own” a part of the play, if not the whole of it.

[12:05] Radio Reflections (Tanya Andrysiak, Suffield Academy) GRADES 9-PG / ENGLISH
Using "This American Life" and "Teenage Radio Diaries" for inspiration, students can produce audio versions of their written pieces - fiction or non. They become extremely invested in the final product, and they learn a variety of skills (both hard and soft) in the process. We will go through the process I currently use, the pitfalls and the solutions, as well as the methods I've used to do this work when the best technology I had was a tape recorder. This is an adaptable project, and it can be as elaborate or as basic as you want to make it. This workshop can simply plant some seeds.
[12:05 & 2:05] Story Architects: Bringing Together Literature, Architecture and STEM Design (Sarah Holzschuh, Greenwich Academy) GRADES 9-PG / LITERATURE, STEM
If Willy Loman’s thoughts were a staircase, what shape might they take? If the death of Hamlet were represented in glass panels and wooden beams, how might it look? How can literature become visual, structural, physical? Inspired by collaboration between graduate students in Architecture and Creative Writing at Columbia University, the Story Architects project is the capstone of a senior English elective at Greenwich Academy called ‘New York State of Mind.’ The project, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the English Department and the Design and Engineering Lab, asks students to consider a text they’ve studied as a blueprint, of sorts. Through written exploration, design material challenges, architectural sketches, construction, and ‘city planning,’ students work to represent themes, character trajectories, or reader experience in a physical structure. The result is a cityscape of scale model buildings, collectively representing a yearlong experience with New York City literature in the English classroom. Equal parts discussion- and construction-based, this project allows students to bridge disciplines that can sometimes seem disparate. By integrating design and ‘making’ skills with the study of English, our goal is to enrich students’ experience with literature through conceptualization of a physical artifact, while also cultivating the engineering and construction skills so central to a twenty-first century STEM education. This presentation will detail the process for Story Architects, and allow for participants to brainstorm modifications and adaptations for their own classrooms. Though the original project was completed in a Design and Engineering Lab space, it could easily be translated to work in an Art classroom or even a standard classroom space.

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Mystic, CT 06355
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