The purpose of breakout sessions is to provide teachers with more detailed instructional strategies and activities that they can use in their individual classrooms in daily lesson plans.  With a choice of sessions to attend, they can choose one during each session that best suits their EPSS.  They might also choose to attend a session based on personal interest in expansion of their knowledge of instructional strategies and classroom activities.

Keynote Address:  Nancy Doda

Plenary Session I Overview:  Data Analysis  
The teams will start by attending a session which addresses the need to look at the last academic year’s student test data, analyze the data, and use the results to identify the academic areas in need of improvement.  As stated earlier, the Institute participants will then meet as teams with an assigned team facilitator to begin the process of school data analysis and identification of areas for improvement. At their team meeting, each team will then include this information in their EPSS.

Team Meetings—Session I Overview:
Use of data analysis results to plan for student achievement and school improvement.
This team meeting was planned to follow the plenary session on data analysis.  Team facilitators will meet with assigned team members.  During this meeting facilitators will guide the team in the use of data results to plan for school improvement and student achievement.

Plenary Session II Overview:  Learner Cognitive Skills in Action 
In this session, Belinda Laumbach and Hank Laumbach will provide attendees an opportunity to observe a demonstration lesson in science with a group of middle grade students.  The lesson will be briefed before the lesson and debriefed after the lesson without the children present.  Scientifically-    based strategies for priming, processing, and retaining for mastery will be used during this lesson.

Team Meetings—Session II Overview:  Team facilitators will guide individual teams in planning for instruction, identifying strategies, and implementation in EPSS.

Plenary Session III Overview:  Denise Hobbs—Think Quest  

Many teachers recognize that students need hands-on experience with technology to be successful in the 21st century. However, finding simple ways to integrate technology into the classroom can be challenging.

The Oracle Education Foundation's ThinkQuest Projects is an online project environment where teachers and students engage in collaborative learning. It enables students’ development of 21st century skills, such as creativity, teamwork, communication, and technology skills. Features include the following:

  • Simple tools for creating and publishing online learning projects
  • Tools for tracking and managing student participation in projects
  • Opportunities to partner with other schools globally
  • Protected and teacher-mediated
  • Free with no advertising

Team Meetings—Session III Overview:
Use of Project-based Learning to Improve Student Achievement
This team meeting was planned to follow the plenary session on the implementation of project-based teaching/learning for improvement of student achievement.  Team facilitators will meet with assigned team members.  During this meeting facilitators will guide the team in the use of project-based teaching/learning to plan for school improvement and student achievement.

Breakout Sessions I
10:20 – 11:45 a.m. 
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011
Choose one of the following to attend:

  • Common Core State Standards:  How Will They Affect What We Do in Middle Level Education?
In this session, Pat Johnson will offer a workshop that will be a primer in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The law of the land with more than 40 states signing on, including New Mexico, this workshop will provide information about the CCSS, suggest curriculum implications, and discuss the proposed national assessments.  It also will lead participants to frame questions that will help them organize what is likely to be an onslaught of information that will be forthcoming over the next two or three years. 

  • Writing Across the Curriculum
In this session, Ross Burkhardt will focus on the question, “How do you develop written communication skills across the curriculum in heterogeneous classrooms?”  In this presentation participants examine a variety of writing assignments applicable to English, math, science, and social studies, including journals, reading logs, letters, poems, essays, editorials, and other modes of expression. Learn how to design curriculum materials that address the development of writing skills and also meet the needs of all your students.
  • Interdisciplinary Thematic Units
In this session, Ron Murray discusses and plans: Integration of multiple subjects and their standards, planning and implementation, in-school and out-of-classroom experiences, in-house coordination, activities, assessment, and presentation to the community in a culminating celebration.

  • Project-based teaching and learning in the Classroom
In this session, Denise Hobbs will provide an overview of ThinkQuest Projects, 2012 ThinkQuest International Competition, and how to integrate this technology tool into your Educational Plan for Student Success (EPSS). If possible, please enroll for a ThinkQuest account: www.thinkquest.org, click enroll, previous to the breakout session. 

Breakout Sessions II
1:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011
Choose one of the following to attend:

  • Teaching Reading Across the Content Areas Using Test-Based Protocols
Elle Cruver, Teresa Page and Kim Rubidoux, presenters. We’ve all said it or heard it, “All teachers are reading teachers,” but what does that really mean?  Being a reading teacher within math or science does not end with assigning chapters and questions.  Content area teachers need specific tools to help student interact with and fully understand a variety of texts.  Text-based protocols are a fantastic way for any teacher to encourage student-text interaction.  Using text-based protocols, the teacher becomes a facilitator of learning, rather than a giver of knowledge.  The presenters seek to demonstrate the use of text-based protocols within the learning environment, and provide teachers with real tools and sample texts they can use in middle school classrooms.   
  • Fish!  Creating a Positive Culture
Julie Arnold, Principal; Paul Lockhart, Asst. Principal; Lisa Schultz, Social Worker, AVID Coordinator, and active member of MVMS Leadership Team—Presenters.  The book Fish! by Stephen C. Lundin provides opportunities for success within any organization.  We will explore the book and video and explain how the culture was changed at Mountain View Middle School in Rio Rancho, NM.  The four main concepts in Fish! are: Choose your attitude, Play, Be Present, and Make their day.  Implementing these four strategies can raise the morale for your staff and increase positivity with students.  Join us for this quick Fish! overview and we will share some strategies used based on Fish! to create a positive culture, engaging staff meetings, and fun professional development.
  • Leading From the Middle
Jim Burns, Ed.D., and Ron Murray, NBCT, were co-teachers for a just-completed Highlands' summer grad school course by that name.  Jim and Ron will share valuable lessons learned from their delightful and invaluable experience with eight admin-licensure candidates, the participants in the class.  Topics: shared values, school leadership, change agency, commitment vs. compliance, high expectations, student democratic voice and virtuosity, community-based practice, distance learning, successful communication, reflection and refinement,educator assessment, and middle grades professional affiliations.
  • Language & Vocabulary Across the Content Areas
Kara Moloney
Vocabulary has been linked to academic and personal achievement. Students with limited vocabularies encounter serious difficulties with content-area reading, because word-by-word processing often interferes with comprehension. Vocabulary instruction in the upper grades often emphasizes discrete (word-by-word) memorization tasks, which are easily tested, but do not lead to long-term learning. On the other hand, a generative approach to vocabulary instruction, in which students work toward “ownership” of language, has the potential to increase students’ competency with vocabulary, reading, and writing (among other things) across the content areas and beyond. In this session, participants will discuss what it takes to create exemplary vocabulary instruction in classrooms and schools: rich and varied exposure to, and immersion in, language; the importance of teaching individual words; explicit instruction in word-learning strategies; and word consciousness. Participants will leave this session with concrete strategies to promote integrated cross-disciplinary language and vocabulary development for all learners.
  • Multidisciplinary activities using Technology
In this session, Janet Eskins will present various multidisciplinary activities that incorporate technology.   Find out how technology can enhance learning and be used effectively as a catalyst  for student learning within multidisciplinary activities.