Morning Workshops

Friday, April 3rd, 8:30am - 11:30am

Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change

Presenters: Shawn Rubin & Cathy Sanford, Highlander Institute
For: Change Agents (Teacher Leaders, School Leaders, District Leaders, School Board Members, etc.)

This introductory workshop will explore the five phases of the Pathway to Personalization Framework, which supports school leaders and teams as they design and implement personalized learning initiatives based on local needs. Through interactive activities, strategic conversations, and planning opportunities, attendees will dive deeper into principles of improvement science and change management and discuss lessons learned from Highlander Institute partnerships in over 500 classrooms. Attendees will walk away understanding how to establish representative design teams, design and launch relevant pilot initiatives, determine criteria for success, and create a path for replication and scale. This workshop is based on the book Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change, and recommended for participants who have not previously attended sessions with Shawn and Cathy.

Personalized Professional Learning: Research & Strategies to Support Adult Learners

Presenters: Beth Rabbitt & Juliana Finegan, The Learning Accelerator
For: Instructional Leaders, Curriculum Leaders, Coaches, Teacher Mentors

What will it take to create adult learning experiences that are as personalized, mastery-based, and data-informed as those we’re trying to put in place for students? In this session, join The Learning Accelerator (TLA) team to explore lessons being learned across the country about emerging approaches to professional development. We’ll dig into what the research says that adult learners need to build knowledge and skill, the competencies that are important in innovative teaching and learning environments, the school- and system-level support strategies that can help, and means for measuring what’s working and not. Reflect on your own context, make connections, and leave with plans for action.

Classroom Walkthroughs: Understanding the Impact of Personalized Instructional Shifts

Presenters: Danielle Blasczak & Michaela Comella, Highlander Institute
For: Design Team members, Instructional Leaders, Curriculum Leaders, Data Leaders, Teacher Leaders, Coaches

A major challenge of trying innovative things in the education space is measuring impact of these changes along the way. Highlander Institute has created a three-pronged measurement plan to help school teams leading personalized initiatives quantify impact by understanding the extent to which instruction is shifting (process measure), whether those shifts correlate to increases in student outcomes (outcome measure), and how much teachers and students like the changes underway (balance measure). This session will explore the tools and resources used by the Highlander Institute team to collect process measure data that quantifies instructional change within a classroom. Participants will review the tools and engage in a simulated calibration activity to standardize observation, interpretation, and scoring practices. The session will conclude with the examination of how calibrated walkthrough data collected by the Highlander Institute over the past three years has generated important evidence for various coaching practices and logistics, as well as impact data supporting personalized learning priorities for various student subgroups. All materials are open source, allowing participants to bring the entire process back to their schools to train a walkthrough team, or leverage pieces of the process to customize to local context.

Capitalizing on the Intersection Between Proficiency & Project-Based Learning: Why and How?

Presenters: Courtney Jacobs & Steve Sell, Great Schools Partnership
For: Teachers, Teacher Leaders, Coaches, Instructional Leaders, School Leaders

Explore the intersection of Proficiency- and Project-Based Learning through an equity lens. Why? Because each system of learning has its own distinct benefits and they are better together. Project-Based Learning offers opportunities for students to connect to topics of interest and issues in their community and the world. Proficiency-Based Learning allows teachers to select a set of critical skills and concepts along with detailed scoring criteria to guide instruction; it also allows students to explore and demonstrate their learning in different ways. Connecting these ideas provides space for students to see themselves in their learning, and engage in challenging work in authentic ways. In this session, we will explore examples of Proficiency-Based projects that highlight the power of this combined approach and investigate tools and resources designed to support teachers with implementation. In addition, we will engage in brainstorming and design activities that allow participants to apply learning to their individual contexts.

Building Academic Mindsets and Thinking Dispositions: The Heart of Culturally Responsive & Sustaining Pedagogy

Presenter: Malika Ali, Highlander Institute
For: Teachers, Coaches, Instructional Leaders, Curriculum Leaders

Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Pedagogy (CRSP) is an approach that works to disrupt current systems of educational disequity. By sustaining cultural pluralism and by teaching to and through individual and cultural strengths of students, leaveraging CRSP strategies makes learning experiences more relevant and effective (Gay 2000, Paris 2012), restoring a sense of competence and confidence to historically marginalized student populations. Highlander Institute’s Culturally Responsive Framework, which leans heavily on the work of Zaretta Hammond in her book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students, establishes a process for incorporating elements of CRSP in classrooms of all grade levels and environments. Through hands-on activities, active discussions, and thoughtful explorations, this session will guide participants through the framework with a deep focus on how to build academic mindsets and thinking dispositions that support rigorous cognitive demands in classrooms. Participants will learn how to scaffold instruction to build grit and motivation, experience strategies for tackling new tasks, methods for getting unstuck, routines that allow students to make meaning of new content, and activities that require students to engage in deep cognitive processing Рall in the service of building active, confident, self-directed, independent learners.