Shifting the Cognitive Load & Building Student Academic Agency

Saturday, April 4th, 2:40pm - 3:55pm - Session III

Participants in this session will explore strategies that will enable them to establish classroom conditions that build students’ capacity to process information independently. The facilitator will share cognitive routines and structures that help students think deeply, make connections, and support productive struggle.  Classroom video with exemplars of teachers coaching positive academic mindset, providing expanded “processing time”, and using open-ended prompts are highlights of this session. 

Melinda Lopez
Melinda was born and raised in New York City and moved to Rhode Island to attend college. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Brown University and then her Teacher Certification from Roger Williams University. She has been an educator since 1994- working in both early childhood and elementary school settings. She is passionate about meeting all students where they are and supporting teachers in her role at Highlander Institute as an Educational Strategies Specialist. She lives in Johnston, RI and is blessed with her wonderful partner, her two sons, and her dog.
Dawn Manchester
After 20 years as an elementary classroom teacher in Warwick, Dawn has decided to follow her passion and join the Highlander Institute as an Educational Strategies Specialist. She appreciates problem solving and collaborating with colleagues, always finding ways to positively impact the learning of all students. She currently lives in Warwick, RI with her partner, three step-children and dogs.
Mike Miele
Mike is an Educational Strategies Specialist at Highlander Institute. As an ESS, Mike is focused on helping to bridge the equity gap in student learning through personalized, blended, and data-driven instruction. Prior to working at the Institute, Mike taught both 1st and 5th grade, also working as the Science and Technology Coach for Foster Public Schools in Foster, RI. Mike holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Rhode Island, and Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Elementary and Elementary Special Education from Johnson & Wales University. It was at JWU that Mike received training in PBL (project-based learning) & UbD (understanding by design). Mike enjoys learning, collaborating, and making connections with like-minded educators and districts. Mike lives in Warwick, RI with his wife, Megan, and their daughters, Julia and Luna.