Strand A

Please note this is only a partial list.
Please check these pages often for the most accurate information.

21st Century Skills

Middle level students must have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century. Readiness skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and analysis must be included in all academic areas and provided in an innovative, creative, and challenging manner.
Topics in this strand may include, but are not limited to:

● Creativity and innovation skills
● Information, media, and technology skills
● Life and career skills
● Critical thinking
● Problem solving
● Communication and collaboration
● Analytical thinking
● College and career readiness

The Sessions


Presenter(s): Natalie Croteau, Littleton Public Schools, Littleton, MA

HyperDocs, a transformative, interactive Google Doc replacing the worksheet method of delivering instruction, is the ultimate change agent in the blended learning classroom. With strong educational philosophies built into each one, HyperDocs have the potential to shift the way you instruct with technology. They are created by teachers and given to students to engage, educate, and inspire learning. It’s not about teaching technology, it’s about using the technology to TEACH.1:1 Technology - Have you moved beyond using the Smartboard as a white board? Are students still using laptops as typewriters? We will share experiences and strategies to utilize 1:1 technology to help promote critical thinking, problem solving ability, communications skills and getting the best educational return on your district's investment. (51)

Innovative Classrooms that Promote Authentic Learning

Presenter(s): Audra Leach, Captain Nathan Hale Middle School, Coventry, CT

This session will describe a variety of innovative classroom spaces that promote authentic learning experiences. By sharing ideas and strategies to reshape school spaces to better support learning, teachers will be able to implement meaningful changes to classroom spaces that support collaboration, creation, and showcase learning. (46)

Mind Games for Middle School: Think, Learn & Have Fun!!!

Presenter(s): Ronald G. Shapiro, PhD., Speaker and Consultant, Providence, RI

We’ll review a basic model of human cognition illustrating human strengths and weaknesses with 25 activities which have been described as amazing, awesome, cool, educational, endearing, insightful, fabulous, fascinating, fun, hilarious, insightful, interesting and mind-blowing. Bring these activities to your classroom and students may improve safety, academic performance, and communication. (50)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in Action: A partnership between The Browne Center for Innovative Learning and Rye Jr. High School.

Presenter(s): Alison Dunn, Rye Junior High School, Rye, NH and Jeffrey Frigon, Brown Center for Innovative Learning, Durham, NH

This workshop examines experiential education and SEL in schools through the lens of Social and Emotional Learning in Action; an easy-to-use sourcebook incorporating SEL competencies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning. Along with other approaches, we will share the development of Rye Jr. High School’s SEL implementation. (50)

Strengthen Your Writing Instruction with Evidence-Based Practices

Presenter(s): Leslie Laud, Bank Street College of Education, Wellesley, MA

Learn powerful, evidence-based ways to strengthen social-emotional learning through how you teach writing to sources. Raise the quality of writing (and critical thinking) as you do. Help students find and use their voices, discover what they think, advance their learning, and build knowledge. Walk away with strategies to use immediately. (50)

Instructional Strategies for Blended Learning

Presenter(s): Rob de Andrade and Elisavet Kousidis, Rippowam Middle School, Stamford, CT

In this session, led by a Math Coach and Certified Google Trainer, participants will learn and apply strategies to support small group and differentiated instruction in a blended learning environment. By the end of the session, participants will integrate the strategies to create a lesson plan that utilizes blended learning approaches, including station-rotation, problem-solving, and collaboration. All content areas and grade levels are welcome. (64)

Tech It Up a Notch with Blogger

Presenter(s) Elisavet Kousidis, Rippowam Middle School, Stamford, CT

In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore blogging as a means to redefine educational practice using modern tools that engage students and enhance their academic experience. Blogging allows us to connect and share with the world beyond our classroom walls, from parents and community members to anywhere in the world. (50)

Creating "Visual Notes" Using Google Slides

Presenter(s): Erin Scholes, Mabelle B. Avery Middle School, Stafford Springs, CT

When students use both hemispheres of their brains, they are more likely to remember what they learn. Visual notes allow for this cross between hemispheres. Come with your device, we will be using Google Slides to create your own notes that you can take back and use right away. (49)

Unleash Student Expression Through Video, Photography, Music, and Drawing

Presenter(s): Matt Brooks, Apple Inc., Acton, MA

To succeed in today’s world and to shape tomorrow’s, students need to tap into their creative potential and learn to express themselves in new and innovative ways. Join us to learn about Everyone Can Create, a new program from Apple designed to help unleash the creative potential in every student. In this session, you’ll experience engaging lessons that introduce fundamental skills and techniques in photography, video, music, and drawing using free apps available on iPad. iPad devices will be available for use during this session. (75)