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Featured Keynote Programs
Myth-busting, Ethics, and Practicality
Some parents, colleagues, school board members and business leaders struggle with what is and is not standards-based grading. Teachers and leaders using standards-based grading are facing some pushback from those with little background in it. As a result, they are backing away from something unusually effective in teaching and learning. Since current grading practices create very real futures, they better be accurate and ethical. Many traditional grading practices, unfortunately, are neither. This address presents the essential elements of standards-based grading, including its merits, potential pitfalls and candid responses to the most common concerns regarding its use. Vetted by decades of work in the U.S. and around the world, we will correct the misconceptions and make a compelling case for standards-based grading and student success.
Re-Dos & Re-Takes
Rationale, Myth-Busting and Practicalities
We become competent teachers by teaching a lot. We teach, receive critique, revise our efforts and teach again. Real learning that moves to long-term memory is demanding and reiterative, and we need to extend the same opportunities to our students in all fields of learning. Instead of applying uniform, arbitrarily sequenced, and unresponsive instruction, we can build proficiency with repeated, revised and meaningful engagement with content. Practical and research-based, join us for a provocative session in which we explore the pedagogical ethics and logistics for students re-doing assignments and assessments for full credit, and in such a way as to increase student maturation and achievement over that which could be achieved with "No re-do's allowed" policies. Real competence, not incompetence, is the best preparation for the next grade level, work and life. Indeed, every single profession demands reiteration for its dedicated, competent members. Let's not abdicate our adult roles in students' learning—let's build and maintain a constructive approach to re-learning and re-doing in the modern classroom!
Standards-Based Assessment and Grading
Join us for a candid and compelling look at what is and is not standards-based assessment and grading. We will explore what it means to be truly evidence-based in assessing and reporting students' achievements regarding standards and learner outcomes, and we will address the biggest concerns in grading today: averaging, zeroes on the 100-point scale, re-do's, percentages, grading scales, late work, valedictorian, what colleges are seeking, ethics/integrity, marking homework, extra credit, grade book and report card designs, formative vs. summative assessments, what constitutes evidence of mastery, reporting behavior/effort/character elements, disaggregation, and much more. Don't miss this chance to confront misconceptions and make the most of students' learning!
Note for Program Planners: A version of this presentation is available for school board and parent presentations for communities struggling with standards-based assessment and grading implementation or considering its use.
Cultivating Personal Creativity in Teachers and Students
Too often teachers and principals limit themselves to their current operating metaphors, seeing only one thing at a time and in a narrow dichotomy: we teach this way or we teach that way; we are higher or lower in some criterion; we use this technology and not that one. If we are not careful, we become trapped in an echo chamber of our own creation, thinking this is all there is, blind to the new democratization of knowledge. As students navigate a large and complex world, however, they need teachers who transcend linear and dichotomous thinking. More impactful than many building initiatives, cultivating teacher creativity helps teachers build resilience and solve instructional problems rather than succumb to complacency or blaming others. Join us for a fascinating and practical address in which we share specific elements of personal creativity and how to cultivate it in others.