SATURDAY and SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 & 24 – CONFERENCE
What Works Now – Charting the Course
We are in a school year unlike any other. Join educators across Alaska to re-energize and learn more about what is working this year to deliver effective instruction in any setting. We have an inspiring group of nationally recognized educators to explore the latest research on what works now –- delivered in accessible and practical format. Gain perspective and new ideas for maintaining relationships with students and engaging families as partners in learning. Investigate how to design student learning with purpose and intent that can be fun, interesting and creative. Consider how you can take better care of yourself and manage chronic stress.
This will be our 10th MTSS/Effective Instruction Conference, and it will be our first virtual gathering. We are bringing you speakers that know our Alaska context, a virtual conference that is easy to join and navigate, no winter travel required.
Saturday, January 23 – Conference Day One
- Morning Keynote: Jo Boaler
The Data Revolution K-12
We are in an exciting time in terms of the knowledge we can all access, and the ways knowledge is being communicated. Our world is filled with data and data visualizations and a new, important goal for our teaching is to help students become data literate, learning to make sense of data in their lives and separate fact from fiction. All teachers can teach with a data perspective, integrating the ideas from data science into their teaching. Students can learn to ask questions that are meaningful to them, to explore and study patterns and to communicate with cool data visualizations. I am co-leading a K-12 data science initiative with Steve Levitt (economist & Freakonomics author) and this session will share ideas and resources for teachers and leaders. This video introduces the initiative
- Afternoon Keynote: George Couros
Developing the Innovator’s Mindset in Any Learning Environment
Carol Dweck’s work has focused on the ideas of “fixed” and “growth” mindset, yet educators will need to go a step further with these notions to create the learning opportunities and that our students and schools deserve. We need to focus not only what we know, but what we do with what we know, and all that we have learned this year. In this talk, George will discuss the idea and characteristics of “The Innovator’s Mindset” and share persuasive examples on why this is so crucial for all educators, especially during the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Sunday, January 24 – Conference Day Two
- Morning Keynote: Doug Fisher
The Challenge of Assessment in Distance & Blended Learning
Learning; that’s our goal. But how do we know if our students have learned what we taught? Assessment connects the teaching and the learning and allows us to design additional experiences to close the gap between what students already know and what they need to know. Distance learning has created an assessment challenge as everything is now “open book.” Thankfully, there are new tools and formats that teachers can use to assess students’ understanding. These new ways of assessing learning will impact schooling for years to come as they are better and more authentic than many of the tools we had been using before the pandemic.
- Afternoon Keynote: Ricky Robertson & Nicole Law
Building Resilience and Equity Through Culturally Responsive Social-Emotional Learning
When we view equity through a social-emotional lens, we see the critical role that relationships play in fostering success for all students. This journey toward cultural competence begins when we consider who we are in relation to the students that we serve. Our practice evolves with our growing self-awareness and willingness to approach our own biases with a growth mindset. We form relationships with students in ways that affirm their cultures and identities while addressing their needs for safety, belonging, and feeling valued. In this session, we will draw knowledge and tools from social-emotional learning, trauma-informed practices, and culturally responsive teaching to support our efficacy and impact.
2021 Pre-Conference and Conference Tracks
Maintaining Relationships and Resilience
Our students need safety, belonging, and feeling valued within healthy relationships. Educators can be a lifeline, especially during distance learning. Learn how to keep routine, relationships, regulation, and systems of support in place as we teach virtually or prepare to return to in-person instruction – in the classroom and across the school.
Educators are on the frontline of addressing the mental health of students, we need to support our own mental health and well-being this year as well. Learn brain-boosting tools for coping with chronic stress as we move through the winter and into spring.
Teaming and Data-based Decision-making During COVID-19
School teams can shape learning environments in which everyone shares the belief that individually and collectively they have the capability to impact positive change. Refocus your teams to effectively address concerns, cope with change, and understand that you have what it takes to overcome challenges. Consider how to gather and assess data, and how to develop interventions during online, remote or socially distant instruction,
High Yield Strategies and Tactics for Distance Learning
Add more effective teaching practices into your instruction, whatever the setting. Build your students’ capacity (and your own) for remote learning through the application of Hattie’s Visible Learning research to understand what works best with distance learning. Explore teaching practices that focus on credibility, equity, creating learning experiences that are meaningful, and feedback that increases impact in an online, virtual, and hybrid environment.
Effective Instruction for Reading & Math
Refine your skills for effective core instruction in reading and math. Learn evidence-based practices for implementing interventions and additional supports during COVID-19. Literacy leaders include Anita Archer and Pam Kastner. Math leaders include Jo Boaler, Jennifer Bay-Williams and Cathy Williams.
21st Century Teaching and Learning
The opportunities for learning today are huge. How can we make our classrooms more learner-focused, with opportunities to engage critical thinking and real world challenges? Our world is increasingly filled with data and a new, important goal for our teaching is to help students make sense of all the data in their lives and to separate fact from fiction. All teachers can teach with a data perspective, integrating the ideas from data science into their teaching. The aim of a data science approach is not to add new content or standards to your teaching. Instead it is to learn how to interact with your content in a way that empowers students to use data science as a storytelling process that helps students make meaning, seek patterns, solve problems, innovate and communicate.