Frequently Requested Topics

5 Principles of the Modern Mathematics Classroom
To create confident problem solvers, we must not kill student thinking. Learn to use the 5 Principles of Conjecture, Communication, Collaboration, Chaos, and Celebration to design a classroom environment that promotes innovation, and allows students to communicate thinking clearly.
The Journey Is the Destination: Best Strategies for Meeting Gifted Needs
One of the biggest challenges for a classroom teacher is recognizing and meeting the different learning needs of his or her students. When there is a gifted learner in the mix, the problem is even more complex. Should we accelerate and give the student material that’s a grade—or three—advanced? Or is it better to enrich? And what exactly is “enrichment” anyway? We need to consider not just the outcome at the end of the trip, but also the experience along the journey. It’s time to demystify these terms and talk about what is truly best for gifted students in the 21st century.
Digital Storytelling with Interactive Fiction
Learn how to build a story and a world in which the reader is an integral part. Digital storytelling is a genre growing in popularity which merges the skills of telling a story with computer tools, particularly those which enable students to incorporate multimedia elements. Teachers who want to focus on the power of text often feel limited to tools like word processors. The resurgence of a form of computer gaming called “Interactive Fiction” brings a powerful new tool to teachers who want to explore new ways for students to create content in an engaging, flexible, and unique way.
Gifted Education: It’s Not Just for Pull-​Out Anymore
Every teacher has had or will have gifted students in their classroom. Some of them will be identified, and others may just be “lurking,” waiting for their abilities to be recognized. Traditionally we deal with these students in the elementary grades by enrolling them in pull-​out programs and classes. It is as if they only have special needs two hours a week. But gifted learners are gifted all the time, and every teacher needs to know how to meet their needs in many different situations. During this workshop, attendees will learn how to recognize gifted learners and their educational needs, 21st century tools and skills for differentiating the K‑6 classroom, and how to collaborate and co-​teach with the gifted support teacher and grade level colleagues.
Sep­a­rat­ing Truth from Fic­tion: Infor­ma­tion Lit­er­acy for Elementary Students
Students often believe that all the world’s knowledge is stored on the Internet, and that a simple Google search will provide them instantly with all the answers they seek. In order to unlock the potential of Internet resources, even young students must learn how to be critical users of information. In this session, I use my website, All About Explorers, to introduce participants to the essential literacy skills that elementary students should have and a collection of resources we have developed to teach them. Participants will walk away with a clear understanding of the need for information literacy, the skills most relevant to elementary students, a collection of tools for teaching the skills, and a professional network of educators with whom to share ideas.