Session Descriptions
Session times and Classroom locations are in colored text: M = Main Floor /U = 2nd Floor
Gramatically Twirling (Melissa Merkling, Amalia Pretel-Gray, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School) GRADES PK-12 / GRAMMAR (10:15 & 2:05 Commons – M)
Engaging students in grammar content can meet a brick wall. Learn how to work with the imagination to create an active grammar dance. Taking on the qualities or characteristics of an adverb or verb, an adjective or noun can penetrate more deeply in helping children learn the parts of speech. Work collaboratively with a group to make grammar come alive. Awaken interest in the student in this process developed by Waldorf teachers. If you had fun with us in previous years' workshops, you'll enjoy this one.

The Art of Block Building (Jennifer Ellis, Wooster School) GRADES K-5 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (12:05 & 1:25 Gusenberg – U)
I will highlight some of the learning evidenced by looking closely at Kindergarten children's work with unit blocks.

Revamp Independent Studying! Learn to be Creative with Technology to Promote Active Study Strategies (Georgina W. Duff, Rumsey Hall School) GRADES 6-8 / ACROSS THE CURRCULUM (TWO LOCATIONS: 10:15 Computer Lab & 2:05 Language Lab – M)
How do your students study independently? Looking for new ways to promote active studying? Using Inspiration 9 software, learn to create templates and activities that will help your students become more efficient with their independent study habits. Create active studying strategies for your students that may be used with or without a computer. Get your students organized for an essay! Help them group vocabulary words! Illustrate a process they learned! Create a visual guide for that difficult grammar lesson! Specific examples will be given for English, science, math, history, and world languages.

How Dropbox Can Help Organize (Donna Dubinsky, Hyde School) GRADES K-12 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (10:15 & 1:25 Colligan – U)
This presentation will help teachers stay organized with their class content. It will also demonstrate how to use Dropbox to collaborate with their students on different projects and assessments.

The Montessori Approach to Writing for Children Aged 3 to 6 (Orla Black, Montessori School of Greater Hartford) GRADES PK - 3) / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (10:15 Leduc – M)
Within a Montessori classroom, there are several activities that prepare a child's hand for writing. This presentation focuses on how MSGH prepares children aged 3 to 6 for writing. We’ll explore the tools used at the school to present writing lessons and show how these materials can help children in any classroom learn how to write.

Kids and Wood Boats (Toby Goodrich, Renbrook School) GRADES 6-8 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (10:15 & 1:25 Language Lab – M)
Combining math skills with traditional boat building skills, drawing from "Building to Teach", directed by Joe Youcha of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation, I designed and taught a summer course to students from 6th through 9th grade. We scaled down a set of plans for an 11-foot flat bottom skiff ("Bevin's Skiff", designed by Joe Youcha for plywood construction.) Using traditional boat building methods - and careful measurements - each student built an accurate 1/12 scale model, to the last detail. In addition, a group of Renbrook students (grades 6-9) are working with me in building a 22-foot lapstrake boat, Renbrook being a participating school in WoodenBoat Magazine's "Boatbuilding and Rowing Challenge." Our boat, a St. Ayles skiff will be raced next July in Mystic, CT at the second North American Championships for this class of boat. Later in July we hope to travel to Ullapool, Scotland to race in the first-ever World Championships for the class (developed a few years ago in Scotland, now under the auspices of the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association.) Our entire school, from pre-school through ninth grade, takes great interest in seeing the process by which their boat is being built - in converted classroom space. Wood boats fascinate kids and provide a host of learning opportunities, as well as an effective means of sparking their imaginations. I hope to see many more schools in the area build and race their own St. Ayles Skiffs in the near future.

The Capstone Project (Marek Beck, Greenwich Country Day School) GRADES K-12 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (10:15 & 1:25 Dibble – U)
The Capstone Project is a culminating activity for students. The projects reflect a choice for students based on their personal interests, potential career path, and/or academic pursuit. The Capstone Project is a synthesis of classroom study and real world perspectives. Students demonstrate all “21st century skills” through the process of completing a Capstone Project. Students specifically demonstrate critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving by conducting research, presenting findings, pursuing community service experiences and applying their learning. The end product results in the students creating a product that solves a present problem, adds a new idea to the community, or makes something better that is currently in place. This presentation will provide a detailed outline describing what, when, how, and why The Capstone Project can be implemented, and differentiated, to meet the needs of students in all grades.

Building a Community (Jane Milne, Renbrook School) GRADES K-5 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (TWO LOCATIONS: 10:15 Sharnick – U & 2:05 Murphy – U)
Creating a community using legos and other assorted materials to include housing, businesses, town buildings. Then problem solving what to do when things go wrong in a community (ie. pollution, power outage, accidents, food shortage, storms, etc. Children serve on boards and commissions in this community to understand the decision making process of how a community works. Skills include 21st century initiatives and reading, writing, math, and social studies.

Creating Choice in the English Classroom (Alissa Davis, Hopkins School) GRADES 9-12 / ENGLISH (10:15 & 2:05 Herman – U)
At the heart of our study of literature is an understanding of language. Being able to provide a “close reading” of text is a core skill that our students need to master. However, there are many ways to achieve this goal. In this presentation, I will share a term-length assignment from my senior elective, “Shakespeare’s World.” This project is designed for maximum flexibility, choice, and creativity, as it allows students to choose (according to their strengths, time constraints, and areas of interest) one assignment from a list of twelve each week. Assignments range from recitations to comparative analysis to journal entries and include both written and visual components. In the presentation, I will share the assignments, rubrics, and examples of student work, as well as feedback from the students about these projects. This presentation would apply to any literature teachers because the assignments could be tailored to any books in any course, but in a broader sense would be interesting for all teachers who strive to provide real opportunities for differentiation in the classroom and are exploring ways to have a more student-driven curriculum.

Technology to Promote Group Work (Matthew Bavone, The Ethel Walker School) GRADES 9-PG / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (TWO LOCATIONS: 10:15 Murphy – U & 1:25 Sharnick – U)
Having now used the flipped classroom model for a second year running, I have found that putting emphasis on group work has given my students more confidence and a greater understanding of the material. My presentation will provide an overview of the flipped classroom model, my methodology behind choosing group activities for students, and iPad/tablet programs that can be used to both facilitate group work as well as gauge what the student's have learned well and where they struggle.

iTeacher, iFuture (RoseMarie Wallace, Lynn Muller, Wooster School) GRADES K-12 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (12:05 & 2:05 Computer Lab – M)
iTeacher iFuture - implementing 21st century thinking across content areas (in this case media, arts, music etc) with a deliberate design to address that each teacher is delivering the same quality and skill-rich lesson plans through project collaboration. The teacher collaboration uses the same problem-solving model that is implemented in the classroom with a debriefing session after each project.

Optimizing Student Videoconferencing in World Languages (Jonathan Shee, St. Luke’s School) GRADES PK-12 / WORLD LANGUAGE (12:05 & 1:25 Murphy – U)
This exciting session will show teachers how to develop international videoconferencing more deeply in world language classes. At St. Luke's School, videoconferencing is a regular, integral part of many world language classes, and this session will present the pitfalls to avoid and the tricks/habits needed to truly get the most out of videoconferencing with WL students.

Flipping the Classroom: Middle School Mathematics Up-Side-Down (Angela Boratko, Watkinson School) GRADES 6-8 / MATH (12:05 Dibble – U)
The “Flipped Classroom” model was made popular by the Khan Academy, the initial idea being to create video lectures for distance students to self-pace independent learning. The model used within the 7th Grade Accelerated Math curriculum at Watkinson School, maintains the use of video lectures, created by the instructor as a precursor to class meetings. Class time is spent with students applying their new knowledge and working through stages of comprehension, therefore, learning is differentiated for every student. This pedagogy takes the “in class lecture, applied practice at home,” model and turns it up side down! Solving the “homework problem,” and providing students with greater engagement and self-advocacy, you’ll “flip” for this technological pedagogy!

"Financial Literacy": Creating a Classroom Economy (Dana Johansen/Nicole DeRosa, Greenwich Academy) GRADES K-5 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (12:05 & 1:25 Herman – U)
This presentation will present the Group IV financial literacy project, “Classroom Economy.” As financial literacy continues to grow as an important component of STEM, teachers in elementary schools are creating curricula that foster the application of math in our everyday lives. Greenwich Academy’s Fourth Grade used a “Classroom Economy” yearlong simulation that sparked conversations about personal finance, small businesses, banking, and the stock market. This project allowed the students to work cooperatively, problem solve, and get creative! Students began their exploration of personal finance by earning money for their classroom jobs. As students earned money for their jobs, they learned to third their money into a savings account, a spending account, and a community service account. Each week, students looked forward to “Pay Day,” as they are paid for their jobs and earn a ten percent interest rate on their savings account. Students quickly became fluent in calculating their interest and learned to value each dollar they save. As this simulation continued throughout the school year, students were introduced to small business finance, and they opened classroom stores that sold pencils, erasers and stickers. Working in teams, students used start-up loans to open their stores. Students paid rent, taxes and their employees. Group IV students bought their store merchandise at wholesale prices from their teachers, and calculated the mark-up percentages they needed to resell their goods for a profit. In order to keep their stores financially secure, students kept records of their sales, graphs that reflected the supply and demand of their merchandise, and mark-up percentages. The project continued to expand as students learn how to franchise their stores and take their businesses global. Taking out loans from the Group IV Bank, students purchased stores around the world, much like Monopoly. In the spring, students continued their exploration of financial literacy as they took their businesses “public” and earned money in the stock market. They learned to read stock quotes in the newspaper and online. By linking real stock values to their business, students learned about the fluctuation of stock values and how buying and selling stock shares work. The teachers hoped that this simulation would inspire entrepreneurs of the future!

Self Esteem Engine (Zach Hayden, Oxford Academy) GRADES 9-PG / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (12:05 & 2:05 Wigren – U)
When students feel anxious about their abilities, they may fall behind, begin to feel less invested in school, lose their motivation, and cease working to their potential. With a century’s worth of experience in one-to-one instruction, Oxford Academy has developed classroom practices that help at-risk adolescents regain their academic self-confidence. Our presentation and discussion will illuminate some of the mystifying behaviors classroom teachers see when students begin to fail in high school, and we will share our strategies for helping students regain their academic self-esteem.

Fables, iPads and Creative Connections (Sue Das, Brunswick School) GRADES K-5 / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (12:05 & 2:05 Sharnick – U)
The first six weeks of the school year are crucial for community building in any classroom. I use "Fables" as a way to do this with my boys. After extensive reading and discussion of fables, boys write their own fables. This year (as part of an ongoing research) I incorporated technology and recreated the fables using certain apps on the iPad (a second layer of the fables). The boys extended their creativity even further and these connections are crucial to witness for any classroom teacher.

The Embedded Librarian; Everyone Wins When Faculty and Librarians Collaborate (Nancy Florio, Canterbury School) GRADES 9-PG / ACROSS THE CURRICULUM (12:05 & 2:05 Colligan – U)
This past semester at Canterbury School, a team consisting of two History Department faculty and the Library Director collaborated to create an interactive and media-rich learning environment for a semester-long course for our seniors titled, Capstone 2012 - Democracy and the 2012 Election. By having the librarian embedded in the course, the result was a more responsive give-and-take with the faculty. Working together, the team created a custom designed LibGuide, organizing a wide variety of media and digital resources accessible online to help our students engage with and evaluate the tsunami of information surrounding the 2012 Presidential election. The LibGuide incorporated interactive polls, embedded videos, student presentations, RSS feeds, as well as other Web2.0 tools. Students worked collaboratively using GoogleDocs and shared their presentations for evaluation with faculty. The work on the LibGuide began in late summer and continued throughout the semester, responding to the dynamic nature of the course. This collaboration ultimately benefitted everyone involved and even engaged the wider school community, encouraging active participation in the 2012 Presidential election campaign. The guide can be seen here: