During each of the six breakout sessions throughout the weekend, a large number of conversations will take place. This site will help you organize your plan for the weekend and provide the relevant information for each conversation. After signing in, search through the conversations below and mark the sessions you are interested in to populate your personal schedule on the right (or below if on your mobile phone).

What works in education?

Laura Thomas

What works in education? The folks who know best are, of course, the folks doing the work- teachers, students, and school leaders. This session will focus on four big questions- What works? Why does it work? Wow does it work? and What if we had a platform from which to share what works?

Self-Paced Learning For All Students

Session 1
Jessica Solomon

Join a conversation about the benefits and challenges of a self-paced learning environment. We will begin with a case study,, identify the benefits and challenges inherent to this kind of teaching and learning, and brainstorm ways you can create and implement a self-paced unit of study in your own classroom.

The Formula For Equity in Advanced Mathematics

Session 1
Kelli Bateman

What does true equity look like in advanced math courses? This conversation addresses two essential questions. How do we help every student achieve readiness for college-level math, regardless of their background? How do we use an inquiry approach and standards-based grading to support students once they are in these courses?

Using inquiry-driven practices to identify the intersectionalities of Social-Emotional and Academic Development

Session 1
Andrew Gallagher, Julie Mchedlishvili

The nation’s largest school system has implemented a system-wide SEL Screener, that provides powerful data to all 1,700 schools. Central to this work, schools are expected to engage in inquiry-driven routines to reflect on how their practices support the ongoing development of students’ social, emotional, and academic needs.

Asset Mapping for Sustainable Classrooms and Side Hustles

Session 2
Samuel A. Reed III

This interactive panel presentation will demonstrate the power of Asset Mapping to incubate school projects and sustainable educator and students side hustles. It will discuss how educators and students responded to the pandemic and racial unrest by developing cause-oriented businesses/side hustles. The presentation will focus on an entrepreneurial mindset and leadership development program based on design Connected Learning principles and the Arts and Business Council’s Creative Exchange program.

Building meaningful partnerships and adaptive toys

Session 2
David Ingenthron

How a summer Design Camp that brought together members of local hospitals, private practices, artists, and universities to develop a network for children with mobility challenges can inspire real-world collaboration and professional development at your school all year round.

Challenging Traditional School Leader Pathways and PD: Growing and Sustaining Equity-Centered Leaders

Session 2
Katie Culver, Brandon Cummings, Rosie Tarnowski

In alignment with our districtwide equity framework, our vision of an equity-centered school leader is a leader who cultivates prosperity and liberation for students and staff, starting with historically marginalized populations, by increasing access and inclusion, building trusting relationships, removing barriers, and creating a shared culture of accountability. This vision reflects the transformative leadership orientation which focuses on equity, inclusion, and social justice. In this session, we will share the actualization of this vision, organized around three core drivers: increasing the accessibility of pathways to potential leaders committed to equity; sustaining aspiring and current principals with transformational coaching; professional learning that is responsive to equity considerations.

Critical creativity for global learners: Tricks and tips for creative expression in any classroom

Session 2
Jacqueline Gardy, Dan Ryder

How might we provide learners around the world opportunities to develop deeper concept understanding, dynamic communication skills, and agile problem-solving mindsets? In this interactive workshop, explore 40+ strategies for creative expression in any classroom, whether an ESL class in Egypt or a civics seminar in New England. Collaborate with colleagues as we practice and plan for applying these methods, designed to foster equity and accessibility for all learners and educators alike.

What in the World is Web3?

Session 2
Mary Beth Hertz

In this session, participants will get an overview of what is meant by the term "web3" and learn how schools and educators can begin to think about what it means to incorporate aspects of web3 and the next wave of technology innovations in their classroom and beyond.

Design Thinking Beyond the Classroom

Session 3
Chris Loeffler, Julie Rodowsky

Participants will consider how to use the design thinking model on a school wide level. Learn from our experiences as administrators from redesigning Back to School Night to reframing student support. Participants will explore how this model can center empathy, purpose, and a prototyping mindset to improve your school.

Making Meaningful Work or Making Work Meaningful?

Session 3
Willa Deitch

Join me in discussing the question that serves as the title to this workshop. Is one more important than the other? Can a classroom be a place where there is both meaningful work being produced and how can writing act as a cathartic outlet for social emotional rigor? How can our classes offer a chance to bring students' most authentic selves into the classroom?

Reclaiming Our Why

Session 3
Walter Brown, Kate Spence

Participants, after discussing the importance of staying connected to our purpose for remaining in the profession, will reflect on (and maybe rediscover) their why. We’ll culminate with the opportunity to create a short video exclaiming our “WHY”.

Using Radical Roots to Create Deeper Learning Experiences

Session 3
Joshua Block & Alexis Clancy

Join SLA teachers and students for an interactive workshop about the design of deeper school learning experiences. Collectively we will (re)read work from both widely known and frequently overlooked progressive and radical educators. Participants will then develop and share creative responses as we develop ideas about enacting a vision of deeper, democratic learning in the everyday reality of classrooms.

Wonder, Curiosity, Expeditions and Journeys

Session 3
David Jakes

Join a provocative conversation about the role that wonder, curiosity and imagination plays in the design of a new learning journey for students. We’ll focus on understanding that journey, how it can emerge and be sustained, and how professional educators must challenge themselves to invent and lead a new experience worthy of serving our students' future.

Community Representation Matters: Centering Students Through Centering Their Community in Staffing

Session 4
John Clemente, Maria Ventura, Glenn George

An SBC leader, staff member and student will engage the audience in reflecting if the children they serve see themselves in their staff members, what are the benefits of community representation in staff hiring, and discuss what hiring practices can be implemented in order to create a school community reflective of the broader community.

For Us, By Us: Teachers of Color Leading Black and Brown Students in PBL

Session 4
Matthew Kay, Alexis Clancy, Roger Bracy, Rea Gade

Too often, Inquiry-Driven and Project-Based learning are left out of conversations about what benefits students of color. These pedagogies are often sacrificed in the name of either rote skill development or the dryness that passes for "rigor." We'll talk about it, and figure out how to ensure that students of color aren't locked out of progressive education.

Foresight Thinking & Future Scenario Design for Human Beings

Session 4
Christian Long

How might we as educators think 'like futurists and foresight strategists' so that we can best help our students purposefully respond to their unique futures? This interactive session will use recognized foresight strategies used by professional futurists to guide research and clients. Most importantly, it will help us consider ways we might adopt foresight practices and tools to empower our students.

Meaningful Making With Middle Schoolers

Session 4
Meredith Martin & Michael Franklin

How can we create a multi-year, hands-on program to engage and educate middle school makers? What best practices in STEM, STEAM, Makerspaces, Engineering, and more can be used to create an engaging and educational experience for our students? What outcomes do we value when creating these programs?

New ways to assess learning in an engineering classroom

Join us in the SLA Shop to discuss new ways of assessing what students learn and of encouraging academic growth. New approaches like having students make their own midterms have provided opportunities for deeper learning across the spectrum of students we serve. These approaches when coupled with engineering projects rich in making allow students to internalize concepts and skills. We will look at how non-linear grading methods have helped challenge a broader set of students in the SLA engineering program. Come prepared to share your own experiences in encouraging every student in your program to stay engaged and succeed.

Reclaiming Project-Based Learning

Session 4
Gary Stager

The growing popularity of learner-centered approaches, like project-based learning, are susceptible to being hijacked, trivialized, and then dismissed as "ineffective" by cynical critics. This session offers a coherent progressive vision of PBL, that withstands scrutiny and produces more productive contexts for learning. Practical strategies and learning adventures will be shared.

Redesigning the Process: Transforming Facilities and Culture with an Equity-based Approach

Session 4
Karina Ruiz, Allison Brown

Historically, traditional community engagement processes to have served to reproduce inequitable learning environments. Join us as we explore case studies rooted in critical race-spatial praxis and Liberatory Design principles to identify innovative institutional planning strategies that promote racial equity and social justice and amplify the voices of BIPOC communities.

An Interdisciplinary Educational Lab - the “Constructionist” Approach

Session 5
Melissa Rosenblatt, Michelle Bernstein, Patrick Kerrigan, Jen Blum, Nitzan Resnick

In our interdisciplinary lab for innovation where every voice matters, students implement their learning from multiple disciplines into new domains (Constructionism). Through their mastery based projects, students create digital portfolios, reflecting on their growth, product, and performance. Through digital escape rooms, participants of this session, based on their level of mastery, will try hands-on how to design a similar course/project.

Developing a Sense of Place, Peace, and Purpose: Using Urban Neighborhoods as Classrooms and Textbooks

Session 5
Virginia Friedman, Michael Friedman, Alyssa Ripley, Olivia Vazquez

The STRIPES program at Belmont Charter High School in the Parkside section of Philadelphia highlights how an urban neighborhood can become a powerful extension of the classroom. This conversation will discuss ways that teachers can connect with their neighborhoods in the service of inquiry-driven learning and culturally responsive teaching.

Navigating Mental Health in Schools

Session 5
Melissa Bragg, Abraham Gutman, Kevin Kelly, Christopher Oswald, Stacy Schwab

With mental health resources overburdened, schools are increasingly finding themselves on the front lines of a larger mental health crisis. In this conversation, we will explore ways to meet the needs of our learners, support faculty and staff members, and continue to center joy.

From DEI to Antiracist

Session 6
Katie Culver, Carissa Casey

What is the difference between DEI and Antiracist efforts in education? In this interactive workshop, participants will come together to support each other in furthering antiracist education and activism. Participants will work in groups and apply a Design Thinking framework to examine an issue related to Identity, Equity and Diversity. Groups will investigate persistent racist policies and practices in education and generate innovative solutions to mitigate these issues within schools and organizations. Additionally, data demonstrating inequity in education and practices that are yielding more equitable student outcomes will be shared and discussed. Participants will collaborate to set actionable goals and commit to holding themselves and their schools more accountable to antiracist education.

Twenty Things to Do with a Computer - Your Tech Plan for the Next 50 Years

Session 6
Gary S. Stager

Cynthia Solomon and Seymour Papert's 1971 paper "Twenty Things to Do with a Computer," predicted 1:1 personal computing, the maker movement, computational thinking, robotics, Computer Science for All, and computing across the curriculum. They not only predicted much of the educational technology to have emerged over the past fifty years, they demonstrated how it might amplify learning and democratize knowledge construction.

Why it may be more important for schools to provide networks than knowledge.

Session 6
David Berg

A recent article from the New York Times highlights how cross-class relationships are a key indicator of student mobility after high school. In particular the article pointed out: These cross-class friendships — what the researchers called economic connectedness — had a stronger impact than school quality, family structure, job availability or a community’s racial composition. The people you know, the study suggests, open up opportunities, and the growing class divide in the United States closes them off.

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