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AASSA Educators' Conference



Hosted by

Graded School

Av. Presidente Giovanni Gronchi, 4710

Morumbi-Sao Paulo 05724-002 Brazil

Pre-Conference:  March 19 & 20, 2014

Main Conference: March 20 (pm) – 22, 2014

The following is an overview of the featured keynoters and strands which are planned for this year’s Educators’ Conference.

Costs shown are for (Full Members, Invitational Members, Non-members).




Pre-Conference Institutes

One Day Pre-Conference Sessions, Thursday, March 20th

1. Lee Crockett: 21st Century Fluency Institute (Full Member: $90 / Invitational Member: $100/  Non-member: $120)                                  

This intensive and dynamic session is about moving past the rhetoric to make meaningful change at the classroom level. Designed to engage lateral thinking, to foster creativity, and optimized to expedite the shift to the 21st century classroom, we begin our session with the 21st Century Fluencies. While participants may have already been introduced to the fluencies in our keynote presentations, however having the opportunity to revisit them experientially takes comprehension to a whole new level.

Working in teams with participants from a mix of grade levels and subject areas, we move on to scenario development, connecting the standards to relevant real-world events and situations. We keep the process shifting and spiralling up until each group has created a solid, completely written scenario, identified all the standards it addresses, and created rubrics that follow the principles of authentic assessment.

2.  CIS will offer a one-day College Counselors’ Institute for high school counselors. ($125). Click here to register directly with CIS.

This full day event offers an excellent opportunity to engage in valuable dialogue with university admission officers and guidance colleagues and to develop successfully collaborative relationships. With an emphasis on building professional partnerships and the importance of such partnerships in advising globally-minded students on their future educational plans, the Institute will focus on professional development, networking, and group discussion. Session topics in the area of admission to higher education as well as a college fair for guidance counselors will be included.


Two Day Pre-Conference Sessions,

March 19 & 20th

1.   Jason Ohler:  Getting in Touch with the Digital Storyteller Within:  Creating Powerful New Media in the Classroom Across the Curriculum Using Free Tools. (Full Member: $125 / Invitational Member: $140/  Non-member: $175)

Do you want to understand the digital natives in your life and have fun doing it? Then come spend a day learning how to speak their language, creating digital stories, documentaries and other kinds of new media using simple, powerful tools that are inexpensive and often free. In this workshop you will see many examples of media created by students and teachers that show the power of new media development to help teaching and learning, and you will personally explore the process used to create them.

This is not a techie workshop and you do not need to be tech savvy. We don’t spend much time looking at the latest hardware and software. Instead, we focus a good deal on story: what makes stories work, how to plan and develop them, and how to translate them into the world of media. We then focus on using common, often free software. You are welcome to use whatever software and hardware you are familiar with – typically iMovie on the Mac or MovieMaker on the PC. If you a novice technology user, no problem. This workshop will get you started.

Depending on the length of the workshop, you will leave with either a digital story completed or underway. You will also leave with planning tools and processes, implementation perspectives and real skills that you can use immediately to help students create compelling narrative in content areas. Also addressed as time permits: assessment, copyright and other hot button issues.

 Topics addressed include:

  • Effective story development: helping students create effective narrative
  • Effective media development on a budget: helping students translate their stories into media with no (or very little) budget, using the technology you already have on hand
  • Effective use of student media in content areas: how to use what you learn at the workshop in your classroom to support your curriculum
  • Effective media assessment: how you can help evaluate student media, regardless of your technical expertise


2.  Judy Willis: Powerful Classroom Strategies from Neuroscience Research (Full Member: $125 /  Invitational Member: $140 / Non-member:  $175)

Neuroimaging reveals “prime directives” followed by the brain’s attention filter that determine what sensory data is admitted for further processing.

You will understand how strategies of curiosity and prediction ensure that your information “makes the cut”. You will learn how the brain’s response to stressors, including boredom and frustration, reduce memory and result in the involuntary reactive behaviors of “act out” and “zone out.”

Neuro-logical classroom strategies will be described and applied in this interactive workshop to reverse negativity, build growth mindsets and perseverance, promote accurate long-term memory and enduring understanding through personal relevance and student-constructed learning.

You will come away with enhanced understanding how the principles of neuroscience relate to education as you acquire a rich toolkit of strategies readily applicable to your school, classroom or clinical practice.

Strategies will be correlated with the neuroscience research about how the brain learns to improve students’ joyful and successful learning starting with students’ interests, strengths, and information of high personal relevance.

In this interactive exploration of what the most recent neuroscience and cognitive science research reveals about attention, emotion, memory, and executive functions, you will learn classroom ready strategies that correlate with this research to promote the successful transformation of sensory input into understanding and knowledge for all students.

You’ll leave this session with classroom ready strategies to grab learners’ attention and promote the active engagement that sustains participation and attentive focus. You’ll discover how to support students’ developing executive function networks to guide the emotional self-regulation needed to reduce cognitive load and increase working memory efficiency.

With insights about these neuro-logical correlations, you’ll add to your toolbox and expand the applications of your best planning and instruction.

Create an Outline for a Future Lesson or Unit Plan: Your learning will be strengthened by opportunities to work together with partners or small groups to start constructing a Neuro-logical Lesson, Unit of Instruction or Professional Presentation.

Working with partners (or independently), you will plan a lesson, unit of study, or professional presentation for colleagues that incorporates RAD strategies so students are engaged by relevance and construct their own enduring understanding and transferrable concept knowledge.

 This is intended to be useful and relevant to your work.  Participants who work directly with students may prefer to work on a lesson plan (e.g. capitalizing proper nouns) or a unit of study (e.g. fossils).  Other attendees may choose to develop a plan for presenting information to faculty, parents, an advisory committee, or professional learning community members.  You can also use this opportunity to plan how you will present the RAD principles learned at the workshop to your staff and colleagues.  

Throughout these two days, you’ll have time to discuss in small groups how you will incorporate RAD strategies and principles to start with students’ personal relevance and interests and engage them in opportunities to expand upon this in ways so they want to learn what you have to teach.

We’ll have some time at the end of the second day for small groups, or individuals to share their ideas, receive feedback, and stimulate insight in the other group members as part of the take-away knowledge.

Sample RAD concepts and strategies:

  • Reach with Relevance: The use of attention grabbing engagement strategies allow for information get through the RAS filter to reach the “thinking brain” in prefrontal cortex.
  • Attitude: Negativity and stress can cause behavior problems and inhibit learning.  Promoting a positive attitude will allow information to be processed more effectively by the Amygdala.  Interventions include: providing personal relevance for “buy in”, individualized achievable challenge (e.g. using preassessments, student observation to discover interests, strengths, challenges, and scaffolding), and providing ongoing feedback about incremental goal progress (e.g. rubrics and progress graphs).
  • Develop Motivation: Strategies to increase Dopamine release
  • Short-term memory: Plans to promote pattern matching
  • Long-term, concept memory: Plans to promote mental manipulation and transfer to new applications

3.   Danny Lawrence, College Board: AP English Language and Literature (combined). ($150)  Click here to register directly with the College Board.

During this two-day workshop, participants will consider both the AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature and Composition courses and their corresponding examinations. We will explore the AP English Language and Composition course and its focus on prose analysis in a variety of rhetorical contexts and the AP English Literature and Composition course and its focus on critical analysis of imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, and drama).  We will examine the curricular requirements for both courses while exploring classroom strategies that invite students to read closely, to make valid assertions, and to write persuasively.  Participants will experience key elements of both AP English examinations including completion, scoring, and discussion of multiple-choice as well as free-response questions.


4.  Mary Wuerth, College Board: Pre-AP Strategies in Science: Inquiry-Based Labs & AP Biology: Transitioning to Inquiry-Based Labs  ($150)  Click here to register directly with the College Board.

This workshop will illustrate the practical differences between traditional and inquiry-based labs, and help participants modify their own labs to include more inquiry-based strategies. Inquiry-based labs allow students to engage in science practices that require them to think and act like scientists. The focus in AP Biology is shifting from content coverage — breadth — toward enduring understandings and scientific reasoning skills — depth. This workshop will provide teachers with a means to understand inquiry and its place in the classroom in both pre-AP science and AP Biology classrooms. Participants will analyze how traditional labs differ from inquiry-based labs and investigate a system that they can use to modify traditional, "cookbook" labs to make them inquiry-based. Examples of traditional labs that have been transformed into inquiry-based labs will be presented. Participants are invited to bring examples of their own traditional labs which they would like to make more inquiry-based. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to plan how they will transition their curricula to focus on inquiry. Participants will leave this workshop with the ability to confidently create inquiry-based labs that they can immediately use in their classrooms.

5.   Dennis Klumpp, AdvancEd:  AdvancED's ASSIST Platform:A Hand's On Practicum  (Full Member: $125 / Invitational Member: $125 / Non-member: $125)

This pre-conference session will focus on providing heads who have recently or will be shortly hosting upcoming AdvancED external review visits the opportunity to review their school ASSIST work spaces, look at the self-assessment templates, i.e. student performance diagnostics, constituent surveys, assurances confirmation, and review the School Improvement Plan builder.  Recently launched new ASSIST platform enhancements will be reviewed with the goal of assuring all attendees are comfortable with how to download and access all support materials and input their school data.  The two-day venue is designed to provide a real "hands-on" experience for all participants and serve to allay any apprehensions about the accreditation requirements and protocols.

6. Margo Gottleib & Anne Katz, WIDA:   Introducing WIDA Standards and Assessments for English Language Learners
(Full Member: $125 / Invitational Member: $140 / Non-member: $175)

Presented by Margo Gottlieb and Anne Katz of WIDA, this 2-day pre-conference will identify how to use and implement standards to improve the effectiveness of instruction and assessment of English language learners. Participants will investigate the role of academic language in academic achievement, identify how to use elements of the WIDA standards framework to plan instruction, and explore how MODEL assessment can help document and track student language growth.


7.  Sheri Stice:  NIAAA Athletic Administration Certification Course (Full Member $ 275/  Invitational Member: $300 Non-member:  $325)

The four courses leading to NIAAA certification for Athletic Directors will be offered over the two days of the Pre-conference and, for those who qualify as far as experience, the two hour test will be offered on Friday morning, March 21 during the main conference. 

The course offerings are:

501:  Philosophy, Leadership Organizations and Professional Development

502:  Principles, Strategies and Methods

504:  Legal Issues (Risk Management)

506:  Legal Issues II (Title IX, Sexual Harrassment)

The cost of the two-day session will include the instruction and NIAAA materials.

Participants need to visit www.niaaa.org (Programs tab) to see the requirements for certification.  NIAAA has set a deadline of January 1st for participants to submit all paperwork and payment for certification to them.


Main Conference Overview



Lee Crockett

Literacy is Not Enough: 21st Century Fluencies for the Digital Age

Jason Ohler

New Media, New Students - New Literacies, New Citizens

Judy Willis

Constructing Concept Memory Networks for Enduring Understanding, Transfer, and Creativity: From Neuroscience Research to Classroom Strategies



Main Conference Strand Presenters 


Lee Crockett:

  • Solution Fluency for Real-World Problems
  • Beyond Text to Media Fluency

Doug Fisher:

  • Better Learning through Structured Teaching
  • The Purposeful Classroom
  • Going Beyond Feedback  to Feed-Forward
  • A Formative Assessment Action Plan

Michael Furdyk:

  • Becoming a Future Friendly School
  • Take Your Classroom Global hands-on with TakingITGlobal 

Zack Goncalves

  • Inovação no Ensino e Aprendizagem com iPad
    (in Portuguese)

Jason Ohler

  • Transforming your Classroom Using New Media - Tools, Assessment, Social Media
  • Digital Community, Digital Citizen - Leading During a Time of Extreme Change

Russell Robinson:

  • Music Teaching in Today's International Schools: Making Quality Music Regardless of Quantity!

  • Best Practices in AASSA Music Programs

  • Creating Poetry and Songs to Teach ANYTHING!

  • New Materials and Music for Music Teachers

Silvia Tolisano:

  • Modern Skills, Literacies & Fluency
  • Building a Personal Learning Network
  • Upgrade and Amplify Your Curriculum

Jeff Utecht:

  • Flipping Your Classroom (Reverse Instruction): Getting Started with the Flip
  • Google Apps in the Classroom
  • Building Student Centered Blended Learning Environments

Judy Willis:

  • From Neuroscience Research to Classroom Ready Engagement Strategies for Attention, Motivation, and Mindset
  • Teaching for Construction of Durable, Long-term Concept Memeory Networks with Knowledge that Transfers



Main Conference Registration Fee:

    Full Member School:   $225 per person

    Invitational Member:    $275 per person

    Non-Member:                $350 per person

     Exhibitors:                   $225 per person





February 17 for the Main Conference


Friday, Feburary 21 for the Pre-Conference sessions

(Please note the EARLY hotel deadlines!)


As of March 1st all registrations are final


there will be no refunds beyond this date.



Registration Process: 



Step 1:  Register for the conference by

clicking here



Step 2:  Book your hotel by clicking here.

Please note this will be a paperless

conference.  You will need  a device (laptop,

ipad, etc) to access the on-line program and

presenters' materials.

Since Graded is a "green" school, you will

also need a water bottle.  You can either

bring one, or they will sell them.




We look forward to seeing you in Sao Paulo!


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