Teaching & Learning Symposium

NJEA Teaching & Learning SymposiumInstructional strategies and best practices are the focus of this spring conference

Improving the academic achievement of their students is the goal of all educators. NJEA’s Teaching and Learning Symposium, held on Saturday, April 20, at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal, will help you do just that.

This conference provides five hours of professional learning credit as participants select one of six topics. They are:

Assessment Strategies to Drive Instruction--Are you looking for ways to go beyond testing and begin to assess for learning? Learn how many of our current practices can be refined to accomplish our goal of informing students, as well as ourselves, of progress being made and hidden gaps in learning. Find out how to adjust your grading policies so that students can learn from their grades. You and your students will be empowered to affect learning as it happens instead of waiting for the end of a unit to find out that students have not mastered the content or skills. Discover how easy it can be to use data-driven formative assessment to improve learning, understanding, and academic progress in all of your classes.

Presenter Rochelle Kapel has been a teacher in New Jersey and New York public schools since 1990. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in special education.

A Close Examination of the Common Core State Standards--Do you need to become more familiar with the Common Core State Standards for English-Language Arts and Mathematics? Experience a deep examination of the standards and focus on concrete steps to take that will support implementation of the standards in the classroom. Experience close encounters with literacy exemplars and the major work for implementing mathematics. Hear the latest regarding the upcoming PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Career) assessments.

Presenter Dr. Sandra Alberti joined Student Achievement Partners after having served the New Jersey Department of Education in the roles of director of academic standards and director of math and science education. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from Rutgers University and a master’s and doctorate in educational leadership from Rowan University.

Effective Classroom Management: Spend More Time Teaching! Did you know that classroom management is often considered the single greatest influence on student learning? Learn how to develop an environment conducive to learning. Establishing effective rules and routines, fostering positive relationships, and preventing and responding to problems will be addressed. Explore the crucial relationship between student motivation and effective classroom management. The focus will be on learning practical, easy-to-implement strategies that enable you to spend less time disciplining your students.

Presenter Dr. Tracey Garrett, a former elementary teacher, is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Rider University. She earned her doctorate in elementary and early childhood education with a specialization in classroom management from The Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.

Teaching & LearningUsing Data to Support Instruction--Educators are required to collect and analyze more data in more ways. This program will enable teachers to pinpoint math and language strengths and areas in need of improvement for all grade levels. Examine what data to collect and why, share collection methods, compare reporting methods, and learn how data can help you plan lessons that address individual student needs. The program will also address the importance of data analysis on a global scale, determining which data are important, the use of data to analyze and improve student achievement, and the impact of professional learning cCommunities on data analysis.

If possible, participants should bring any of the following data: two consecutive years of ASK/HSPA test scores for one classroom of students; tests; quizzes; norm-referenced, standardized tests (CTB, CAT, Stanford, ITBS MAP, etc.); homework; rubrics; portfolios running records; and observational surveys (lower grade levels).

Presenter Dr. Jay Dugan worked in New Jersey public schools for 29 years. The former teacher, supervisor, principal and superintendent is the director of professional development and curriculum development for the Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC) and an adjunct professor for Rowan University.

Working with Economically Disadvantaged Students: Engaging and Supporting Urban Students--Many complex factors affect urban school districts. Students living in poverty face challenges unique to their life experience. However, educators can increase the likelihood of achievement in spite of these economic disadvantages. This program explores the unique challenges facing teachers in urban schools and provides insight into teacher characteristics and behaviors that increase opportunities for students to demonstrate academic achievement. Get tips, resources, ready-to-use materials and strategies that will engage students from high poverty areas.

Presenter Ernie Brattstrom, owner of Learning Tree Educational Consultants, LLC, has been a committed educator for over 35 years working as a special education teacher, speech pathologist, supervisor, principal and chief school administrator. He has taught at the college level, authored multiple technical assistance manuals, and has developed curriculum materials.

Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain--Have you ever wondered why some students cannot understand or recall important content, even when only 24 hours have passed? Experience 20 instructional strategies (based on brain research and learning style theory) that maximize memory and minimize forgetting. Increase learning for all students when strategies like drawing, metaphor, movement, music, and storytelling are used to teach curriculum objectives and meet international standards. Explore research that shows why these strategies are preferable to others. Ensure that brains retain key concepts, not only for tests, but for life!

Presenter Dr. Marcia L. Tate is an educational consultant and author and the former executive director of professional development for the DeKalb County School System in Decatur, Georgia. During her 30-year career with the district, she has been a classroom teacher, reading specialist, language arts coordinator, and staff development executive director.

Register by March 1 and save!

NJEA members who register by March 1 will pay $35 for the conference ($15 for Student NJEA members). After March 1, the fee is $59 for NJEA members and $25 for Student NJEA members. You can clip, complete and send the coupon from the NJEA Review or register online. Unfortunately, online registration is not available for Student NJEA members.

Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided for conference participants.

The registration deadline is March 31. See the flier for more information.