Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education


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Session Schedule - Tuesday, July 17

7:30 – 8:30 am
Registration in Lobby/Continental Breakfast in Hallway between 142 & 138

Keynote Presentation
8:30 – 9:30 am

“Are You Future Ready? 18 Challenges to Increase Student Outcomes” – Dr. Rob Furman

Dr. Rob Furman bases this session off the newest ISTE published book. Are You Future Ready? 18 Challenges to increase student outcomes. This presentation will discuss various ways to look at change and the necessary skills needed in the age of the digital revolution. In this session participants will discuss needed changes in the educational system. There will also be “challenges” offered to the participants as to ways to make incremental changes to their classroom or building.

Session 1

9:45 – 10:45

1A - Room # - School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) – Brian Dolph & Christina Feragotti– Central Valley MS

The SWPBIS framework focuses on sustaining and providing supports through a three-tiered system. Tier 1 (universal) serves as the foundation for teaching the expected behaviors to all students, Tier 2 (targeted group) will provide students targeted interventions who require more support, and Tier 3 (individual) gives more intensive supports designed to help students with significant social/emotional needs. Data from the students’ Office Discipline Referrals (ODR) are tracked in the School-Wide Information System Suite (SWISS) to determine the appropriate interventions for students for students falling in either Tier 2 or 3. This presentation will discuss the steps and journey from implementation to being recognized as implementing Tier 2 supports with Fidelity by the state.

1B - Room # - Digital Citizenship – John Walsh – CF Patton MS

Session 2
10:50 – 11:50 am

2A - Room # - Providing Clear Reporting of Student Growth: One District’s Approach – Andrew Lucas – Upper St Clair SD

In this presentation, teachers from the four-time Schools to Watch award-winning Boyce and Fort Couch Middle Schools (Upper St. Clair School District) will share how their report card is structured to report both student growth in academic knowledge, daily performance, and habits of learning. The presenters will also share how they use report cards and progress reports to communicate and engage both students and parents in the learning process.

2B – Room # - Google Suite and Google Classroom: Making Connections with Your Students – Dan Como & Adam Zunic – Pleasant Hills MS

Google Classroom streamlines announcements and assignments in one place for our students. Easily managed and files placed directly into Google Drive, Google Classroom allows teachers to effectively and efficiently communicate with students in one place. If it is so easy to streamline information and share with students, why not use this with staff? This session will explain and show you how to create a PLC for your building using Google Classroom.

Lunch – Eat in classrooms or Library
12:00 – 12:45 pm

Book signings –Dave Brown, Rob Furman

Session 3

12:50 – 1:50 pm

3A - Room # - Motivating the Reluctant Reader Through Technology – Dr. Rob Furman

Dr. Rob delivers a fresh approach to integrating modern technology and reading. Dr. Rob presents technological resources that can easily be introduced into the 21st classroom; from websites, to video conferencing, to ‘apps’, in order to bring a refreshing approach to reading. Dr. Rob discusses applications for each, bringing to light ways educators and schools can use these resources in an appropriate, budget-friendly, manner to see a shift in active reading among their students.

Attendees will learn about many existing resources available to assist in engaging students in reading they will gain advice on how to identify reluctant readers and strategies to help them find resources to engage the reluctant student. Attendees will learn to use these strategies and tech while still meeting common core requirements. Attendees will gain ways to identify resources adequate for their students’ individual literacy levels, and learn strategies to help students stay engaged.

3B - Room # - Leading a Mathematical Makeover – Rob Baier – IU#1

As pressure on schools to improve student achievement in math increases, so does the level of stress. We try many programs and textbooks to help with instructional and intervention strategies, where we find some success. The answer is not in these programs; it is with changing to a growth mathematical mindset, centered around the eight standards of mathematical practice. This presentation will provide strategies to help foster the change from traditional mindset to growth mathematical mindset.

Session 4
2:00– 3:00 pm

4A - Room # - How Contemporary Technology Affects Adolescents Socially, Emotionally and Cognitively – Dr. Dave Brown, author & researcher, Dr. Priya Porhner– Lock Haven University

Children and adolescents born from 1995 – 2012 are labeled “iGen” due their exposure and access to smart phones for the majority of their lives. They have unfettered access to multiple stimuli—constantly—a fact neuroscientists and psychologists believe affects their learning and social-emotional states. Learn how adolescents are influenced by this constant bombardment—particularly the impact on effective cognitive processing and effects on adolescents’ socio-emotional behaviors.

4B – Room # - Making Advisory Work for Your Schedule – Anneliese Ledebur – Titusville MS

Middle school reformers have widely promoted advisory programs as a way to strengthen connectedness at the middle level. Advisory programs are configurations in which an adult advisor meets regularly during the school day with a group of students to provide academic and social-emotional mentorship and support, to create personalization within the school, and to facilitate a small peer community of learners. taken in part from: Creating a Culture of Connectedness through Middle School Advisory Programs By: Sarah Brody Shulkind, Jack Foote

3:10 – 4:00

Full group Reflection/Team Meetings
Lessons Learned and/or Critical Questions - Library
Facilitators –Paul Meck, Len Ference – Library - Collect Day 1 Evaluations

Session Schedule - Wednesday, July 18 

7:30 – 8:30 am – Registration in Lobby / Continental Breakfast – Hallway between 142 & 138

8:30 – 9:30 am

Panel Discussion to discuss the Future of Education

Session 5
9:45 – 10:45 am

5A - Room # - Using a Team Building Game Rotation to Enhance Social Equity – Heidi AbiNader – Sharpsville MS

Working within the psychomotor, cognitive, and affective domains, students will participate in activities—such as teambuilding games, yoga, and mentoring—that teach them how to collaborate, build trust, problem solve, and communicate effectively. The skills developed will help prepare students to face the challenges of adolescence.

5B - Room # - Twitter/ Facebook & Trends in Social Media – John Walsh – CF Patton MS

Session 6
10:50 – 11:50 am

6A - Room # - Don’t Worry Be Appy – Dr. Rob Furman

Participants take a deep dive into the apps of today. There is also an underlining experience on how to choose an app for your classroom. This session is a fun experience on finding and learning about great apps for all classrooms. Come and join in the discussion. Share your favorite apps with the group.

6B - Room # - Transforming Traditional Spaces – Kristin Deichler – South Fayette MS

Our middle school is the second oldest building in our district, but we have been able to transform five traditional learning spaces into what we call Learning Pathways. These Pathways are hubs for project-based learning, extensions of our curriculum, independent student projects, and showcases of student’s talents and interests. Join us in hearing about this transformation and how it can happen in any setting!

Lunch - Eat in classrooms or Library
12:00 – 12:45pm

Book signings – Dave Brown

Session 7
12:50– 1:50 pm

7A - Room # - Students Self Esteem and How Technology Plays a Role – Dr. Rob Furman

Something has changed in our children of today. We have never had children doing crazy challenges that threaten their lives and 2017 has had more mass shootings, many from children than in our history. We need to go back to educating the whole child. This session goes over a brief history of the rise and fall of the self-esteem craze and delivers a punch as to why we need it to return.

7B - Room # - Digital Student Portfolios – Lora Batchelor & Jennifer Shroads – South Side MS

Digital portfolios offer students a means to present their learning styles, highlight successes, and curate their creativity in an authentic manner that is related to 21st-century learning. Through the use of a digital portfolio, a student can demonstrate individual performance using a variety of means including text, sound, graphics, and video. During this presentation, participants will uncover the key components needed to successfully implement a digital portfolio process to capture their students learning.

Session 8
2:00 – 2:30 pm

Full group Reflection/Team Meetings - Lessons Learned and/or Critical Questions - Library

Facilitators – Paul Meck, & Len Ference - Library

Collect Day 2 Evaluations


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