Kindness: Can It Be Taught? Using Kindness As an Instructional Tool

Yes, it can be taught! Through action research, daily interactions, project based learning, and a little help from technology, building a culture of kindness is not only feasible, it’s part of the curriculum! Think you have too much to cover? This session will explore how you can tie kindness to content and course skills while promoting and supporting SEL.

A Small Place in the U.S.

From rural Wisconsin to wherever you are, we can choose authentic texts that offer both a mirror and a window to our students and their experiences of place. In the resort town of Elkhart Lake, teachers read A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and connected the tourism industry there to students’ experiences. Attendees will explore resources and ideas to create a similar unit or lesson for their classes.

Inquiry & Literacy: Using Authentic Problems and Real Student Conversations to Engage Students

We all want our students to be engaged; we want them to be seen, heard, valued AND captivated by the curriculum. However, as the year goes on, activities like bellringers, team-building exercises, and daily brain breaks become less effective and less engaging, and they don’t generate student excitement about the content of the class. What if it didn’t need to be that way? What if curriculum could be authentically engaging? The presenters will share a guaranteed and viable approach to curricular design that centers current, controversial questions; by putting questions that matter at the center of unit design, teachers are empowered to privilege student voice and meaning-making above student compliance.To make school authentic and exciting, we don’t need to ditch the standards or revamp the reading: we need to shift how we think about teaching and learning, including inquiry-based units, discussion modalities that can be applied to any unit, and strategies to enhance student reading, writing, and overall literacy.

Interviews and Cross-curricular Writing

How can you get students to connect deeply with a text and the historical context in which it is written? How is a person impacted by the historical events that happen during their lifetime? How do authors draw on historical and cultural events in developing their characters? Using interviews, students see a connection between their family’s history and the historical events that occurred during various generations. We can then use these interviews as primary sources for authentic responses to literature. We will brainstorm ways in which interviews can be incorporated in your existing curricula.