sessions from think!2020

boomer to zoomer: leading, mentoring & learning for all generations

speaker: Debbie Boyer

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, instructional coaches, mentors

Wouldn’t it be groovy if we better understood each other?

Join us for a fun look at the four generations in our schools today! From Baby Boomers to our newest Generation Z joining our profession this year, we must first understand who we are working with before we can determine how best to lead, mentor, and support them.

leaders go first…but do I have to?!?!

speaker: Stephanie Zelenak

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, instructional coaches

Are there practices, mindsets, and strategies you want to be implemented and internalized in your school(s)? Consider the surprising impact of making the first move.

We’ll explore the influence of going first and how this helps move others to action. Varied professional development, multiple district initiatives, overwhelming access to resources, and scarcity of time, make implementation and sustainable change challenging. Let’s discuss ideas for demonstrating our own readiness and motivating that in others through vulnerability, support, taking risks, humor, drawing out the best in others, and being willing to pioneer the specific ideas and tools we believe in the most. By going first, we can set an example. Our team reflects WHO we are, for better or worse.

re.imagine supporting parents as math companions

speaker: Kristi Greaves

audience: k-12 math teachers, instructional coaches

Re.imagine ways we can engage parents/guardians in the math classroom, helping them understand and support some “new” ideas.

If helping with math is a struggle for parents because “the way we do math has changed,” let’s re.imagine ways we can support them. We’ll demonstrate ways to enhance parent understanding of the state expectations in math, including using lead4ward’s Teacher Learning Reports, Student Learning Reports, and Sorting Cards.

re.imagine the intervention (RTI)

speaker: Dr. Airemy Caudle

audience: k-12 teachers, leaders, instructional coaches, special education

When you think about Response to Intervention, which group of students is your immediate focus?

Response to Intervention has always been focused on reaching the students who need the most help, but when you Re.imagine the Intervention, you focus on reaching the most students! Join us to see the process we use for identifying Focus TEKS and growing every student through targeted intervention.

re.imagine yourself!

speaker: Kerri Jones

audience: all

Do you feel like taking care of yourself is last on your list of “to-dos”? If the answer is “yes”, please join me to learn to re.imagine taking care of yourself!

It is time to re.imagine yourself! You deserve it and those around you do, too! I’ll share my personal journey of moving from being overwhelmed and not doing anything for myself to taking care of myself and my responsibilities at home and work. You’ll learn tips that will help you design a re.imagined version of you!

re.imagining professional development

Speaker: Sarah Buenger

audience: k-12 principals, leaders, instructional coaches

Does the professional development you provide for teachers reflect what you hope to see in your classrooms? Is it interactive, engaging, and differentiated? If not, come re-imagine with us.

Professional development can and should be engaging, inspiring, and thought-provoking. We’ll challenge you to implement a new way to deliver professional development by empowering teachers as leaders, offering choice, and creating a culture of inquiry. We’ll share how we changed the climate of our school by restructuring our professional development approach from one size fits all to differentiated and individualized. Join us as we share the secrets of our share fair, mini sessions, and learning walks. Let’s re.imagine professional development and change the culture of your campus!

smooth seas do not make skillful sailors: leading with humor through adversity

speaker: Brad Gibson

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, instructional coaches

Does the affective part of leading a school really make a difference?

Join us for a look at how laughter and human connection make a huge difference in dealing with difficult circumstances on campus. Learn how to combat stress, burnout, and poor morale through levity and humor. Become a leader that helps your team become skillful sailors, even in the most difficult seas.

the beat of a different drum: literacy as communication, interpretation, and creation

speaker: Gayla Wiggins

audience: k-12 elar teachers, special education, principals, instructional coaches

Are we marching to the beat of our own drum? Are we focusing on coverage and compliance or literacy and learning?

In undefined times, it is more important than ever that literacy educators focus on who we are, know what is important, and have fun! In literacy, the most powerful step we can take is allowing students to interpret what is read, heard and viewed based on their experiences, communicate understandings in their own unique ways, and create something that is meaningful. This is literacy.

Join Gayla as we discover the “weirdness” of literacy and understand that “how” we approach literacy has a deep and lasting impact on our listeners, speakers, readers, writers, and thinkers.

the process of heavy lifting made lighter

speaker: Julee Manley

audience: k-12 leaders, instructional coaches, teachers

Re.imagine a culture that encourages teachers to take the lead in learning and motivates students to strive for success.

Imagine an environment where teachers are invested in designing relevant learning that motivates them to take a risk in their learning and thinking in a fear-free culture where the “heavy load” is carried equally by all. We’ll look at specific structures and provide tangible actions that your campus can use towards a shared set of beliefs, values, and assumptions that ensure student success.

what if students control their own learning?

speaker: Kellye Sipes

audience: elementary teachers, instructional coaches

How can we inspire students to take charge of their learning?

Students will use the instructional strategies playlists including learning from mistakes. Students will use these strategies to direct their next steps in learning through goal setting. Throughout all these strategies, students will be able to choose how to learn from their mistakes and how to achieve their goals. These strategies can be used during school@home or in the classroom. Be ready to learn, explore, and share what has been proven to be successful in classrooms!

who’s in the driver’s seat? re.imaginging the role of data in instruction and decision-making

speaker: Joy Harris Philpott

audience: k-12 principals, leaders, accountability

How can we re.imagine data as the navigator rather than the driver of instruction?

Have you ever done something for 10 years and then realized that you’d been doing it the wrong way? After years in assessment and accountability, I realized that my way of sharing data was NOT the way that I process the information it provides. Let’s re.imagine using questions to drive the data rather than being driven by it. Relegate data to the role of navigator not the driver of instruction.

ask the right questions…and level it ALL up: rigor, relationships, engagement, and differentiation!

speaker: Stephanie Zelenak

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, instructional coaches, teachers

Want to leverage a handful of resources that will take thinking and dialog to the next level? Educators have access to numerous resources, so which ones will give us the biggest bang for our buck?

We’ll focus on a few key ideas around questioning and using specific tools. With minimal prep and a willingness to commit, we’ll level up our classroom instruction and interactions across environments. Let’s explore, combine, and discuss some of the best stuff through hands-on, virtual practice designed to improve the learning within any grade and subject!

beefing up rigor by building academic language

speaker: Jodi Denton

audience: k-12 social studies teachers, instructional coaches

How can academic language serve as a foundation for rigor?

Rigorous instruction encourages students to apply, analyze, predict, and synthesize content. Rigor is built into the “ways to show” process standards – as is the element of communication. Students must communicate their learning through spoken or written word, so embedding authentic use of academic language into the communication process is a recipe for success!

building a family of scientific minds

speaker: Andrea Alvarado

audience: k-12 science teachers, instructional coaches

Using lead4ward strategies can be an intentional way of bringing students and teachers together by building rigor and relationships in the science classroom. Introducing a new strategy through a social-emotional experience teaches students how to think critically as scientists in a non-threatening environment. You, the teacher, can use lead4ward strategies to teach science concepts and encourage positive interpersonal connections in the classroom. 

classroom utopia: getting classroom culture right

speaker: Candice Adcock

audience: k-12 principals, instructional coaches, teachers

Re.imagine new and innovative ways to build positive classroom culture!

Imagine the transformation that can take place by building a positive classroom culture! Fuel your purpose with new and innovative avenues to create the ideal classroom culture through differentiated instruction, blended learning opportunities, project-based learning, and flexible seating to keep students engaged in an environment that is risk-free for both students and teachers.

ELAR lollipops: cross-curricular ideas that don’t suck

speaker: Jarra Exum

audience: k-12 elar teachers, instructional coaches

Learn ELAR-based comprehension activities that transcend curriculums. These techniques are ready-made for immediate implementation in any classroom. They are naturally differentiated and can be adapted to fit all grade levels.

getting (virtually) real about rigor and relationships

speaker: John Fessenden

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, accountability

Academic growth = no one goes backwards

So if academic growth means that no one goes backwards, how do we keep this the main thing with no STAAR data from 2020 and so many questions about how we can securely administer multiple choice tests in a virtual environment? Might it be time to re.imagine ways to assess student learning? There are effective alternatives that support more rigorous instruction and authentic relationships in the classroom (whether in-person or virtual).

growing readers and writers through conferring

speaker: Tamara Williams

audience: k-12 elar teachers, instructional coaches

How can we close the instructional gaps caused by COVID-19 and other external influences?

Imagine creating a classroom where kids love reading and writing. How do you do that? Using reading and writing conferences allows teachers to fill instructional gaps, have meaningful conversations, and provide quick interventions. We’ll explain how to conduct a conference; provide a conferencing cheat sheet; and discuss ways to document interventions, 504/SPED paperwork, and track student growth. Re.imagine your ELA classroom. Build a culture that loves the written word.

“masking” rigor with relationships – building FUN!

speaker: Shelby Ellis

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, teachers

How do you get students to build positive relationships and THINK! collaboratively when they are wearing masks, socially distancing, or learning virtually? By pairing the lead4ward Instructional Strategies Playlist with Google Slides, Google Jamboard, and virtual breakout rooms! Combining these platforms with lead4ward’s strategies provide an innovative way to engage students with the content as they safely work together to problem solve, think critically, and justify responses in both face-to-face and virtual environments.

re.imagine success by empowering student process

speaker: Courtney Christian

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, teachers

Imagine a fail-proof plan to ensure student growth across all levels that you can begin next week!

Join us as we dive into designing and engaging in a mock implementation of an actual process experience you will be able to share with your campus starting tomorrow! We will also demonstrate how to assess student performance and pinpoint a plan that will ensure student growth regardless of current performance level. Examples of process experiences we have designed, as well as student progress data will be made available to participants.

re.imagine the meaning of rigor in a math classroom

speaker: Nancy Crouch

audience: k-12 principals, math teachers, instructional coaches

How do you define rigor? Come re.imagine new ideas to empower students to becoming better communicators of mathematics, represent their mathematical understanding in a variety of ways, and make more meaningful relationships within the mathematical content.

words with friends: building vocabulary in students with disabilities

speaker: Kathy Clapsaddle

audience: k-12 teachers, special education, instructional coaches

What has big bang for the buck for helping struggling learners and students with disabilities improve reading comprehension, writing, and content knowledge?

Words matter. Knowing the vocabulary can make a difference between whether or not a student can read a passage, understand instruction, or write. And vocabulary is particularly important for students with disabilities. But the ways we think students learn vocabulary are often wrong. Research is clear that vocabulary worksheets, dictionary definitions, and quizzes do not result in long-term gains. Join us to re.imagine how we think about vocabulary. Walk away with ideas for vocabulary instruction and intervention for struggling learners and students with disabilities.

back to the future: bringing distance learning strategies back to your campus

speaker: Candice Adcock

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, teachers

Distance learning was a chance for change! Will you continue to empower students beyond the walls of your classroom?

Let’s re.imagine the walls of our classrooms and dive into making learning personalized again! Through the use of podcasts, choice boards, screencastify and addressing global issues, we can keep the momentum gained from distance learning and provide students with new avenues to be creators, innovators, and seekers of knowledge!

collaborative creativity: pivot! pivot!

speaker: John Fessenden

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, accountability

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this: COVID requires us to pivot – and be able to turn on a dime!

As John Krasinski so powerfully demonstrated, in the midst of the seemingly overwhelming challenges of COVID, there is Some Good News. Educators have always learned from – and with – each other, but COVID has disrupted our “normal”. Fortunately, the challenges have encouraged us to re.imagine the ways we connect. Many have blossomed to become our best selves. We have responded by exploring new opportunities to collaborate, consult, and confer with colleagues (some of whom we might never have connected with in our old “normal”). And we have shared our captivating creativity with our peers, our students, and the world.

connect-collaborate-create with 3-act math tasks

speaker: Karen Jensen

audience: k-12 math teachers, instructional coaches

In today’s virtual classroom it is easy to fall back into “sage on the stage” direct teaching. In 3-Act Math Tasks, students connect and collaborate with classmates to create not only solutions to the math problem, but deep mathematical understanding.

creating explanations with CER

speaker: Katie Braden

audience: elementary principals, science teachers

How can we design instruction that enables students of all ages to create scientific explanations?

Re.imagine better science instruction where creative investigations connect to literacy development. How can teachers smoothly guide students’ collaboration to generate scientific explanations based on evidence? Explore the “Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning” structure to develop and support student mastery of scientific thinking and communication skills.

be extra! re.imagine collaboration

speaker: Paula Pemberton-Kelm

audience: k-12 elar teachers, instructional coaches

Have you ever imagined how to make collaboration part of your routine via distance learning or in a socially distanced setting? In this session, we will be “extra” to find solutions that work.

it’s about time! creative tips for managing time in the classroom

speaker: Debbie Boyer

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, instructional coaches, mentors, teachers

What would you do with a little extra time each day?

Time is one of our most precious gifts! Let’s get creative with a few practical and easy time-saving hacks so we can spend more time on what really matters.

jigsawing with jamboard

speaker: Jodi Denton

audience: k-12 social studies teachers, instructional coaches

In a blended and/or virtual classroom environment, cooperative learning proves to have many challenges.

How do you use breakout rooms effectively? How can you monitor students while they are in virtual cyberspace? Using Google Jamboard, you can easily and efficiently have students collaborate while monitoring their progress. Jamboard is also a great tool for student-led debrief of their work groups!

math intervention for all

speaker: Abigail Rutland

audience: k-12 principals, math teachers, special education

What if we re.imagine our math intervention time to include ALL students?

Are you bold enough to change who might be included and what you are doing during math intervention? We’ll provide some bold ideas on how to redefine the students you work with and differentiate instructional strategies to grow ALL learners to their next level of potential. Hear from a teacher who took the risk to implement this bold new approach to intervention and share in her journey.

power in the palm of your hand

speaker: Amy Link

audience: k-12 principals, leaders, teachers, instructional coaches, special education

Re.imagine a classroom where students take ownership of their learning … in the palm of your hand!

Use an app that allows you to create a classroom where students collaborate and interact! The lead4ward app helps create an environment where students take ownership of their learning while having fun! Let us help you put the power of learning in the palm of your hand! We’ll highlight the resources and features that have made the most impact for us.

precisely powerful & pertinent PLAAFPs

speaker: Lynsie Thompson

audience: k-12 teachers, special education

How can teachers, special ed and general ed, gather grade-appropriate, meaningful feedback to support strong PLAAFP statements? Stop all the extra running around to gather info! We’ve got an idea to share!

Special education teachers, yes, you! This one’s for YOU! Do you find yourself struggling to gather quality feedback related to a student’s performance within the grade-level curriculum? Are you stuck in a rut with how to gather meaningful feedback that can help support your PLAAFPs? Using lead4ward resources, teachers can provide student-specific, performance information related to the content and process standards for each grade/course. We’ll show you how the Springtown ISD SPED Department revamped the way that ARD feedback is gathered and used to write meaningful PLAAFP statements for students!

role reversal! putting kids in charge of learning

speaker: Mayci Jenkins

audience: k-12 teachers, instructional coaches

How does switching roles with the students affect the quality of student growth?

Sometimes we teachers talk too much. As funny as that sounds, it’s true. Our goal is student growth, and we will do whatever it takes to make that happen. However, that can lead to US doing most of the thinking. What if we switch roles? What if the student does the thinking, the talking, and the teaching? What if we become the facilitator? I am looking forward to discussing how to plan for a student-centered lesson, what strategies to use, and what has/hasn’t worked as I strive toward reversing the roles.

ask a kid: re.imagining progress monitoring in special education

speaker: Kathy Clapsaddle

audience: k-12 teachers, special education, instructional coaches

We’ve got to know where they are to get them to where we want them to go.

Tests, written assignments, and worksheets are often not helpful in determining what students with disabilities have learned. So how do we know what they know? What if we “ask a kid”? Join us as we explore a new way of thinking about progress monitoring for the IEP and instruction. Walk away with strategies for gathering meaningful evidence of learning for students with disabilities – while including the student in the conversation!

choice is the enemy of boring. Using choice to authentically monitor progress

speaker: Brad Gibson

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, instructional coaches

How can we better monitor student progress regardless of the learning environment (virtual, in-person, hybrid)?

Giving kids choice and voice in how they demonstrate their learning can be a game-changer in measuring growth. It can also transform our ability to respond when kids struggle. Join us for a deep dive into ways to monitor whether kids are really “getting it” and how to respond if they’re not.

pacing through pathway learning

speaker: Danielle Caples

audience: k-12 social studies teachers

Re.imagine what options are available to students to truly master the social studies content being taught.

Re.imagine your classroom (virtual or face to face) meeting the speed of individual students through pathway progressions. By incorporating pathways into your unit of studies, imagine the possibilities of increased student choice, time management, and proof of mastery.

reading: evidence and learning go hand in hand

speaker: Gayla Wiggins

audience: k-12 elar teachers, special education, instructional coaches

Wouldn’t it be cool to have one tool for instruction and assessment? Learning and evidence really do look the same! In this session, we will explore how to use student responses to scaffold learning and assess where students are in their own journey through literacy. One tool from start to end!

re.imagine evidence of learning in a math classroom

speakers: Nancy Crouch & Wade Labay

audience: k-12 principals, leaders, math teachers, instructional coaches

How do you assess real learning in a math classroom? Let’s re.imagine assessment beyond a multiple-choice test. This session will investigate a more natural way to collect evidence of the student’s mathematical content knowledge along with their ability to use the process standards to problem solve. lead4ward is excited to share a new resource and data tool to support you with making it happen!

re.imagine supporting the whole teacher

speaker: Amanda Hardwick

audience: k-12 principals, leaders, teachers

Re.imagine a new approach to supporting the whole teacher. With an emphasis on a supportive environment where teachers feel empowered to ask questions, explore instructional strategies, and grow as professionals. Re.imagine teacher leadership and instructional capacity with us!

re.imagine the limitless ways to differentiate virtually!

speaker: Dianna Jones

audience: k-12 teachers

How can we use the limitless resources during COVID-19 to redesign our classroom? To use a beach metaphor: When the tide rolled in, we rode the wave; but when it recedes, we collect seashells.

Just as the wave of pandemic rolled in, the virtual resources became abundant and overwhelming. As the pandemic tide recedes, it’s time to collect the shells we want and let the others go. We’ll encourage teachers to focus on just a few resources and re.imagine the limitless ways they can differentiate those resources. We’ll explore three resources: planning with lead4ward’s Google slides, creating virtual lessons, and using our Google Classrooms. You can’t collect ALL the seashells on the beach, so pick the most meaningful ones.

remote meets reality

speaker: Dr. Sarah Borowicz

audience: k-12 principals, teachers

How can we use what we learned from remote learning to change how we do education?

Re.imagine education using the lens we experienced with remote learning to transform how we do school for a greater impact on the students we serve. With the challenges we are facing making up ground for the time lost during the end of the 19-20 school year, let’s challenge each other to put new learning to use to help maximize our time and individualize instruction for every single student we serve. School will never be the same!

teach a little – check a little!

speaker: Shelby Ellis

audience: k-12 leaders, principals, teachers

How in the world can we tell if students are really “getting it” when they are wearing face masks or learning virtually? lead4ward’s quickchecks offer a no/low-prep solution! Now – more than EVER – is the time to “teach a little – check a little, teach a little – check a little!”  You’ll learn how to use the quickchecks for evaluating prior learning gaps and current content understanding by combining quickchecks with Jamboard, white boards, sticky notes, CHAT, and hand signals. Let’s infuse energetic evidence of learning in both face-to-face and virtual learning environments!

teachers provide data and students track it

speaker: Shelby Bland

audience: elementary principals, teachers

Re.imagine your relief, as a teacher, if we helped students understand how tracking their own data enhances their learning?

We’ll show how to take assessment data that is already collected and turn it into a self-tracking system so your students can monitor their progress and take ownership in their learning. Learn to use lead4ward’s Instructional Strategies Playlist to target specific TEKS and support individualized instruction for all kids. Leave with tools to teach students to track their own progress, strategies for TEKS-specific intervention, and a plan for the second half of the year! Are you up for the challenge?

what if? Re.imagining leadership language to energize your campus

speakers: Sophia Acevedo & Justin Richardson

audience: k-12 leaders, principals

What if this is our best year yet?

Effective principals create a context of culture in which teaching and learning thrive. Professional learning is fun and inspiring. New ideas are played with and refined. Teachers are collaborative and encouraged to take risks. And, leaders see opportunities in new realities. Let’s explore practical ways for principals to support collaboration, experimentation, and continuous learning as we move into the spring semester. 

watch the re.imagine! keynote from 2020