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Workshop Descriptions

July 23, 8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Common Core Mathematics: From Numbers Less than 20 to a Riddle on the Track!
What do the beginnings of mathematical reasoning look like in classrooms—from kindergartners taking their first steps toward understanding place value to fifth-graders wrestling with fractions? See a new AFT/Teaching Channel film of classrooms, and hear teachers connect what you see to the demands of Common Core.
Presenters: Karen Lassiter, kindergarten teacher, Manatee Cove Elementary School, AFT national trainer, Volusia (Fla.) Teachers Organization; Amy Spies, fourth-grade teacher, Cypress Creek Elementary School, AFT national trainer, Volusia Teachers Organization.


Common Core Mathematics: With Strong Middle School Foundations, High Schoolers Literally Soar!
Teachers whose classes are featured in a new AFT/Teaching Channel film series bring the Common Core to life—from students wrestling with making a conjecture about linear functions to high school students displaying the knowledge of mathematics necessary to create and fly quadcopters.
Presenters: Peggy Brookins, teacher/EMIT director, Forest High School, Marion (Fla.) Education Association; Audra McPhillips, math specialist/coach preK-12, West Warwick (R.I.) Public Schools


Culturally Responsive Practices for Creating Protective Schools and Classrooms
This workshop will draw on research and practice in lowperforming schools and experiences in developing new school models. These models include a common denominator of knowing how to conduct data-driven instructional management that focuses on equitable outcomes. This workshop will provide participants an overview of various equity data analysis workbooks that cover topics such as disproportionality in special education and school suspensions equity analysis of course grade passing and failure rates, and equity analysis of English language learner program outcomes. Participants will have an opportunity to use these workbooks in their own instructional management data structures as a means of creating more culturally responsive environments.
Presenter: Edward Fergus, deputy director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, New York University


Do We Have the Data We Need to Inform Instruction?
“Create a culture of data use.” “Use data to inform instruction.” These phrases are commonplace in education today. But, how do we know if we’re using the right data? Are state and district test results being used appropriately? And what role do teacher-developed assessments play in data-driven decision-making? These questions and more will be answered during this workshop. Participants will leave with a variety of tips and strategies to take back to their states, districts, schools and classrooms to ensure that they are using the best data for informing programmatic and instructional decisions.
Presenter: Heidi Glidden, manager, AFT Educational Issues Department


Engaging the Community and Building Support for a School Improvement Agenda
Chicago union and community organizers will describe their collaboration in the struggle to improve public education, forestall privatization and build an educational justice movement. The panel members will demonstrate the efficacy of placing community, teacher and student voices at the forefront of the  struggle for educational justice. They will discuss last year’s successful teacher strike, the fight against school closures, and what will follow next, as they reflect on the values that inform their relationship, what sustains them, and how they resolve the inevitable challenges and conflicts that arise in such relationships.
Presenters: Brandon Johnson, organizer, Chicago Teachers Union; Raul Botello, associate director, Albany Park Neighborhood Council; Katelyn Johnson, executive director, Action Now; James Thindwa, community engagement coordinator, AFT Human Rights and Community Relations Department

Engaging Literacy Strategies for English Language Learners
Maybe your students are older, but have elementary-level reading skills and your textbooks are not helping them, or you would like to know how to spark a love of reading in your students, or you need proven strategies to increase their vocabulary and comprehension skills, or all of the above. In this workshop, participants will learn how to revitalize their literacy strategies and engage and energize ELLs by effectively incorporating literature and other unique techniques to strengthen students’ reading, writing and social-development skills.
Presenters: Jesus Cortez, professor emeritus, California State University, Chico; Ginny Keeling Thomas, ESL teacher, Dallas Independent School District

Jesus Cortez Presentation
Virginia Thomas Presentation

Mentoring in Early Childhood Education: Using Peer Partnerships for Professional Development
Mentoring is increasingly seen as a powerful tool for professional growth, especially in early childhood education. But what makes an effective mentor? Drawing on the new AFT publication, Supporting Teachers as Learners: a Guide for Mentors and Coaches in Early Care and Education, Peggy Haack, a professional development expert, will discuss strategies for getting the most out of mentoring relationships. Participants will explore how to establish goals, create open lines of communication, build trust and find engaging activities as well as meaningful conversation topics they can use.
Presenter: Peggy Haack, outreach coordinator, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association


Show Your Work: Using Social Media for Professional Learning and Advocacy
Have you heard the buzz about social media, but still wonder why you should care about Twitter or Facebook? Are you ready to get your digital feet wet, but not sure how you can cram another thing into your already packed day? This session will help social media newbies better understand why these tools are so powerful, and how you can integrate social media into your daily routine.
Presenter: Sabrina Stevens, communications specialist, AFT Communications Department

Strengthening Schools: The Power of Partnerships
The Kansas City Federation of Teachers, Local Investment Commission (LINC) and First Book will share how LINC’s version of community schools—Caring Communities—is building bridges between the school and community. This includes initiatives such as Whole School Makeover and a partnership, with First Book, to address summer learning loss, through literacy.
Presenters: Paula York, building representative/teacher, Kansas City Federation of Teachers; Brent Schondelmeyer, director of communications, Local Investment Commission; Shannon Burke-Kranzberg, manager, national engagement, First Book

Brent Presentation
First Book Presentation
Paula York Presentation

Tools for Teachers from Brain Researchers
Brain research has moved from a collection of interesting facts to a powerhouse of information and tools for teachers. Join this interactive session for tips from research that you can use as you plan your next classroom lesson. We’ll look at the brain‘s essential workings related to class work, the learning link between the head and the heart, how to design a lesson so that students can recall tomorrow what you taught today, and ways to maximize your own mind/brain/learning power to leave you with more energy and to have more fun in the classroom.
Presenters: Deanna Woods, AFT national trainer, AFT-Oregon Retirees; Valerie Braman, AFT national trainer, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers