Workshops – Thursday, May 10, 10:15 AM

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Ask the Expert

During this informal session, attendees will have the unique opportunity to talk to internationally-renowned SEL expert, Dr. Maurice Elias. Attendees who select this session can ask specific project-based or school-based questions, get Dr. Elias’s recommendations on a particular challenge, or learn about implementation strategies and best practices. Attendees may also learn from questions posed by others and the broader group discussion. Consultation can be a costly venture so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity while space remains. Only 20 seats available.

Dr. Maurice J. Elias is a professor, Psychology Department, Rutgers University, director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, and academic director of the Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service at Rutgers University.


Building Assets, Reducing Risks: Strategies to Help Students Become More Successful in School and Life

Appropriate for: Middle and High School

Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) is a comprehensive, strengths-based social and emotional learning model proven to decrease educational disparities while increasing achievement for all students. The model combines teachers’ real-time analysis of student data with student asset building and intensive teacher-to-teacher and teacher-to-student collaboration to prevent course failure, as well as to accelerate middle and high performers. With more than 19 years of proven results, schools across the United States are implementing this school reform model to improve academic achievement and graduation rates and to reduce risky adolescent behavior. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $20 million grant for the scale-up of the BARR model in schools across the country. BARR researchers are seeking over 66 more schools to participate over the next five years. Come find out if your school might be a good fit for this model.

Presented by Robert Metz, deputy director, Building Assets, Reducing Risks, Lakeville, Minn.


Can We Take Care of Students If We Don’t Take Care of Ourselves?

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

The profession of teaching offers many rewards, not the least of which is the opportunity to touch the minds and hearts of students for their entire lifetime. However, we are all aware that the current demands of teaching can be very stressful, leading many to disillusionment, burnout and even a premature exit from the profession – sometimes within the first few years of beginning their career. There are situations in education over which we have little, if any, control, but psychologists have increasingly focused on what some have labeled “therapeutic lifestyle changes.” These are changes in our behaviors that, while difficult to implement, are within our control to do so and are associated with mindset changes. In this workshop, we will examine the changes we can make to lessen stress and possible burnout, to enhance our impact as educators, and to become more resilient in different areas of our lives.

Presented by Robert Brooks, clinical psychologist and faculty, Harvard Medical School, Needham, Mass.


Chutes and Ladders: Communication Strategies to Help Children Regulate Emotion

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

Nearly everyone is familiar with the iconic children’s board game called “Chutes and Ladders.” Using this metaphor, the presenter will discuss communication strategies in which adults can co-regulate a child’s emotional reactions and affective responses while simultaneously facilitating reflective dialogue to promote higher order social and emotional learning. Participants will be introduced to a more comprehensive developmental model of adult-child interaction, called Guided Relational Opportunities for Wholeness, in which children can learn to manage stress and become increasingly self-regulated in the context of healthy emotional connections with self-regulated adults. Specific challenges for children with trauma, attachment insecurity and other special needs will be explored. Participants will learn about the role of shame in creating barriers to social learning and potential detours towards dysfunction. This workshop is an abbreviated version of the Explore More session offered by the same name on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Presented by Caren Rosser-Morris, consulting and clinical child psychologist, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Harrisburg, Pa.


Culturally Responsive Approaches to School Culture and Climate

Appropriate for: Elementary, Middle and High School

In order to create a positive culture and climate we must explore safety, relationships, teaching and learning, and educational environments. This session is designed to facilitate reflective conversation about how understanding self-identity, relationship building, intentional school culture creation, and on-going data review can cultivate positive and sustainable school climate. The session is intended to equip participants with tools and strategies that support sustained school climate improvement efforts and improve the overall educational framework for student success.

Presented by Kori Hamilton Biagas, education consultant, Until the Wheels Fall Off, LLC, Cheverly, Md.


Improve Classroom Climate With Researched-Based Instructional Strategies

Appropriate for: Middle and High School

Great teachers understand that the key to implementing classroom management techniques is how explicitly the practices are executed by the teacher and internalized by the students. This workshop will provide proven ideas and strategies that promote an environment where consistency of management practices transfers into high-yielding benefits for both students and teachers. Educators will receive valuable materials filled with lessons, techniques, and strategies to build relationships with students and to enhance classroom routines to successfully sustain a positive learning environment to improve students’ academic achievement. The strategies presented are based on research regarding successful inclusive school communities, which can lead to 70% fewer classroom discipline problems using effective and positive behavioral techniques. The instructional practices highlighted in this session have been successfully applied within both rural and urban settings and have been utilized to improve social-emotional learning.

Presented by Savanna Flakes, educational consultant on learning disabilities and inclusion, Annandale, Va.


Integration of Mindsets, Essential Skills, and Habits Into K-12 Practice and Policy

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

This workshop, applicable to a variety of grade levels, teaching styles, and SEL competencies, focuses on how to integrate SEL into existing classroom practices using data and the expertise of teachers and administrators. This process encourages educators to closely examine their everyday practices (e.g., lesson planning, teacher evaluations, scheduling) through a new lens in which SEL is emphasized. A variety of research-based strategies exist to apply to the classroom and to school or district-wide policies. However, this session will go beyond the use of such policies, and will provide training to facilitate a more subtle, intricate integration into every day interactions and practices. Additionally, the use of “learning cycles” will be explored, whereby practitioners examine data to monitor whether their changes in practice are resulting in the outcomes they seek. This workshop is an abbreviated version of the Explore More session by the same name offered on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

Presented by Richard Fournier, director of district partnerships, Transforming Education, Boston, Mass.; and Stephanie Hurley, manager of district partnerships, Transforming Education, Boston, Mass.


Ritualizing Social-Emotional Learning Through Creative Expression

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

In this experiential and interactive session that draws on theories from positive psychology and expressive arts therapy, participants will explore the power of creativity in cultivating mindfulness, emotional well-being and empathy. Participants will discuss the importance of ritualizing a daily practice of identifying and expressing emotions, building a common language around mental health and implementing school wide adoption of social-emotional learning techniques. By engaging in a series of exercises, participants will also explore the use of movement to identify and manage emotions and speak to the kinesthetic dimension of empathy – a crucial component in the perception and expression of emotions. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to discuss ways in which technology can be leveraged to increase accessibility to SEL curriculum without increasing teachers’ workloads. This workshop will be repeated on Thursday, May 10 at 12:45 PM.

Presented by Caitlin Daly, education consultant, Move This World, New York, N.Y.


Six Seconds Framework: Guiding the Development of Social and Emotional Skills in Schools

Appropriate for: Elementary, Middle and High School

A school wide commitment to social emotional learning (SEL) leads students to re-engage, to find a place in school where they can feel safe in their relationships, ready to learn and motivated to succeed. In this workshop, participants will explore and experience the Six Seconds framework for SEL implementation in schools. Participants will engage in activities to develop their emotional literacy, optimism, and intrinsic motivation, among others, and will learn strategies to develop these same competencies in their students. Participants will learn how emotional intelligence (EQ) data can inform teaching practices and identify strategies to infuse social and emotional skills in academic learning and school culture.

Presented by Lorea Martinez, SEL consultant, Six Seconds, San Carlos, Calif.; and Susan Stillman, director of education, Six Seconds, Tucson, Ariz.


Social Emotional Leadership: Self Awareness At the Core of Implementation Strategies

Appropriate for: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle and High School

This workshop will focus on the social emotional skill building of school-based and other education administrators and its importance on the social emotional growth of staff and students. Participants will explore each of the five CASEL competencies as they relate to leadership. There will be discussion on the necessity for self-awareness when directing, advising, or guiding staff and the impact of skilled self-management especially during stressful situations. Effective leaders must be in tune with the experiences and perspectives of staff, parents and students. This can be a challenge based on the topic at hand. This workshop will explore those challenges and helpful strategies for managing those situations. Finally, as the education leader, an example must be set in terms of responsible and fair decision making. The level of accountability for leaders is quite high but as participants will discuss in this workshop, social emotional leadership is the key to leading social emotional learning.

Presented by Jaye Murray, executive director, Office of Counseling Support Programs, New York City Department of Education, New York, N.Y.


Supporting Early Learners in Developing a Growth Mindset

Appropriate for: Early Childhood and Elementary School

As children face daily challenges and work through mistakes, their responses and reactions to these learning opportunities and social interactions impact their thinking and development within a larger dynamic. Research has shown that a fixed mindset “holds on to the belief that a person’s intelligence, character, and creativity are all static givens that they can’t change.” Alternately, a growth mindset “seeks challenge and believes that failure is not proof of unintelligence but an encouraging springboard for growth and development” (Dweck, 2006). Educators have the opportunity to develop and build a growth mindset in their students, which can ultimately impact academic achievement and even life success. This workshop will explore strategies such as positive, specific feedback, effective coaching and ways to encourage productive struggle through challenges and mistakes. This workshop will be repeated on Thursday, May 10 at 12:45 PM.

Presented by Emily Stewart, early childhood lead and education consultant, California Preschool Instructional Network, Carlsbad, Calif.