Breakout Session 3

1:45pm - 3:00pm

Early Education

Room: 4035–102, 1st floor

Family/School Partnerships: Stronger Together

Holly King

Research shows that children whose families are engaged in their education do better in school, like school more, and are more likely to graduate.  Every school wants to have more family involvement, but sometimes schools struggle to authentically invite families to engage in meaningful ways.  Families should have opportunities to be involved in their children’s academic success, participate as members of the school community, and provide leadership for the school’s purpose and direction.  
In this interactive session, we will explore proven strategies to build strong family/school partnerships.  Participants will discover how to:
•    create a welcoming and inclusive school culture
•    provide families with a variety of involvement opportunities
•    overcome barriers to family engagement
The foundation of family engagement is built through children’s earliest school experiences in early childhood and elementary grades.  Starting authentic engagement early builds habits for families to remain involved as children progress into secondary education, and supports families to become advocates for their children’s needs.  We are stronger together when we engage families as true partners, leading to children’s long-term success in school and in life.  


Room: 4025 – 2002 Embark Training Room, 2nd floor

Recognizing and Addressing Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Social, Sensory, and Academic Challenges

Erin Rotheram- Fuller 

Neurodiversity describes the range of variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. Neurodiversity has been especially focused on individuals with autism spectrum disorders, who are known to have different ways of organizing and approaching the world. Having a neurodiverse classroom can bring challenges and opportunities in multiple domains. Students may have social challenges, especially in communication, sensory issues that can interfere with learning, and academic challenges in understanding the presentation of materials in specific formats. This session will examine the social, sensory, and academic issues associated with neurodiversity in the classroom, with specific focus on autism spectrum disorders. Specific examples of potential challenges within the classroom, as well as opportunities to anticipate and address these challenges will be presented. Best practices to increase the social and academic inclusion of all students will be explored.

Middle School

Room: 4035–103, 1st floor

A Middle School explores Curriculum Using Interactive Games for Introducing Race as a Cultural Construct

Duane Freeman and Michael Handelman

This session will help educators learn how to frame conversations about race and identity with middle school students. In the workshop, we will review the curriculum on teaching respectful conversations, including playing the web-based interactive game, Don’t Guess My Race, and then discuss practical methods of implementing this curriculum for middle school students. In the game, we ask attendees to examine photographs of people and try and guess how those people self-identified their race. While some (especially white) students are justifiably reluctant to initially engage in this type guessing, once students begin playing, they inevitably guess wrong the majority of the time. Thus, through playing the game and seeing the variety of ways that people self-identify their race and how this is practically impossible to guess, the idea of race being based in any “scientifically” bounded categories (the essentialization of race) starts to fall apart. This now opens up the classroom space for students to start to examine and un-stick their ingrained racial biases. We use vague and open-ended questions that allow attendees to meet the curriculum at whatever level they are at. Understanding that middle school has a wide range of maturity and awareness around racial issues we try to meet students where they are at; from the student who is having their first conversation about race to a student who has been having these conversations their whole life.

While conventional wisdom may say that 11-year-olds are too young to have these types of conversations, we’ve found that with the right framing, students as young as 6th grade are very capable of engaging with and tremendously benefiting from this type of curriculum. In addition to the curriculum’s focus on the cultural construct of race, we also discuss how people identify in a variety of ways beyond race such as gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., as well as the concept of intersectionality. We also explore white identity development and how white people are conditioned not to talk about race, This opens up space for everyone to practice these conversations and explore their own racial identity. We have year-long curriculum around identity, values, and power dynamics and our hope is to share some highlights of that program but isolate this one day that goes more in-depth into a conversation on race.

High School

Room: 4035–101, 1st floor

Breath of Life

Tony Mosley

Breath of Life is a meditation/mindfulness program designed to support educators with the challenges associated with today's educational environment. As a tool, this program assists with classroom management, student behavior and other barriers to academic achievement. Students learn to use mindfulness in a way that helps them to address the stress associated with academic learning and personal development. Through the use of the breath, students develop the skills to focus on being present and more available in their day-to-day activities. This awareness generally leads to healthier relationships with themselves and others.

Higher Education

Room: 4025–102, 1st floor

Historical Trauma’s Impact on African Americans: Its Lasting Legacy

Ahmad Daniels, M.Ed.

Author William Faulkner was correct when he stated, “History is never dead, it isn’t even past.” The history of African Americans in the United States is replete with political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation. Over two hundred years of enslavement (Maafa) followed by another century of Jim Crow (American Apartheid) have resulted in historical trauma passed down from one generation to the next.
This experiential workshop will explore transgenerational trauma, its impact today, and how to recognize and address its lasting impact.


Room: 4045-1022 Southeast Meeting Room, 1st floor

Images of Change: Utilizing the Power of Film to Increase Disability Awareness and Inclusion

Jon Meyers and Billy Parker

Using films from the Sprout Film Festival and discussion of disability issues in the education environment, this interactive session will explore ways in which films and videos featuring individuals with disabilities can positively influence students’ thinking about their peers in more powerful and personal ways than lectures or textbooks. The session also will include conversation about:  Students’ and educators’ personal attitudes toward individuals with intellectual, developmental, emotional, and physical disabilities;  The importance of recognizing many forms of uniqueness and diversity within the culture of disability;  Our tendency to use stereotypes when considering students with disabilities in the education environment; and  means to reduce marginalization and foster greater integration and inclusion of students with disabilities in the broader school community.

Healthcare Education

Room: 4025–Learning Loft, 2nd floor

Cultivating Peace in a Space Occupied by Traumatized Children

Ms. RJ Shannon

The workshop will take a public health approach in addressing community violence. There are models across the country that look at the risk and protective factors; prevention activities and approaches, policies; behavioral analysis predicated on childhood trauma. The goal of the workshop is to present the science and models already developed, but deliver a possible strategy that could work for school systems that move these systems from punitive outcomes to community/education development and transformation.

Healthcare Education

Room: 4025 – 2014 Phoenix Forum, 2nd floor

Storytelling for Educators: How to Put Together a Personal Story Quickly and Effectively

Chantal Freed

This interactive, hands-on session will provide you with the tools to find, structure, and tell a story from your own lived experience.  Storytelling is a wonderful teaching strategy for educators at all levels, and is increasingly shown in the academic literature to be effective in cultivating empathy and other competencies in students.

General Audience

Room: 4025–101, 1st floor

Dismantling a Culture of Rape

Jasmine Lester and Rachel Sandgeroth

Current events seem to be a never-ending slew of assault cases interwoven with remarks like, “boys will be boys” or “why did they wait so long to report?" In an era when conversations of sexual assault are ubiquitous but progress is unsubstantial, Project Humanities seeks to answer these questions, “How did we get here?” and “Why are we still here?” by untangling America’s long history of complicity and Rape Culture. As sexual assault is not unique to any one group but spans across all races, ethnic backgrounds, ages, and identities, those who interact with and mentor students must be able to recognize, intervene and more importantly establish classroom and school cultures and therefore highly encouraged to attend this learning opportunity.

General Audience

Room: 4035–104, 1st floor

Using Science of Mindful Education in the Classroom (Part 2)

Michael Little Crow and Uraipanyawan Pinthong

This workshop will build on the personal mindfulness activities introduced in part one, The Science of Mindful Education, Mindful Life, presented by Uraipanyawan Pinthong. Mindful math techniques from ancient India (three to five thousand years ago) will be introduced as an example of how academic content can be introduced and used to build mindfulness and concentration. Additionally, this presentation will introduce mindfulness activities for use with students that can assist with creating a calm and effective learning environment where students can learn deeply and store the information in long term memory.

General Audience

Room: 4025 – 2001 Journey Training Room, 2nd floor

Visual Culture, New Paradigm of Education

Sarah Risha

With the influx of technology, visual culture has great impact on education. Researchers developed and are incorporating visual cultures into their academic productions, and we educators have no choice but to integrate it into our teaching methodologies. We are rapidly entering an era in which our economy, institutions, and social structures are shifting at an incredibly accelerating pace. This new era promises to change learning dramatically, affecting the ways education prepares learners.
By visual culture I mean the visual sources of data such as: video clips, photographs, and all the different types of media, used to inform and develop new as well as old topics in educational research.
Indeed, writing and reading texts still represent key aspects of education for now, but incorporating visual culture into educational research is proved to bring useful and brilliant tools to the field. Visual culture can present, or lead in some cases, to inquire the cultural, economic and social conditions surrounding it. To get better results, educators need to incorporate the notion of inquiry and reflections of learners critically as to discuss what is seen, how the images are constructed or reconstructed to fit a theme of the study and what is learned from these media models. Although some educators thought it is impossible to understand a picture without its label, others doubted the accuracy of information visual culture might produce. Examples of the same information video clips and how it is introduced in different cultures would be used to qualify the point discussed herewith.