Cooperative Thinking in Inclusive Classes

The purpose of this workshop is to explore instructional options for creating supportive learning environments, accommodating diverse learners, and teaching higher-order thinking skills. The Cooperative Thinking Strategies are a group of research-based strategies that enable students to think, learn, and work productively together. Students first learn the social skills necessary to work productively with others. They use those skills as they learn strategies to collaboratively solve problems, make decisions, and learn important information together. The strategies help students meet the demands of academic standards of excellence while using interpersonal skills that promote high-performance and high-quality teamwork to complete projects, solve problems, study and learn information, and resolve issues effectively. Resources for this workshop are from the Cooperative Thinking Strategies Series. The presenters are Sue Vernon, Ph.D. and/or Kristin Vernon, LMSW.

Reaching the Silent Student

The purpose of this workshop is to describe instructional methods to create an emotionally safe, cohesive, and supportive classroom learning environment so that all students are actively engaged in learning (particularly the “reluctant” or “silent” student). Four research-based programs to use in inclusive classes will be discussed. The programs are designed to introduce students to concepts such as respect and tolerance and to teach specific skills and strategies related to participating in discussions, following instructions, taking notes, becoming and staying organized, and working together in a spirit of trust and mutual respect. The strategies will help students meet the challenges of the classroom by learning and using interpersonal skills to create meaningful partnerships that support learning. Resources for this workshop are from the Communityl-Building Series. The presenters are Sue Vernon, Ph.D. and/or Kristin Vernon, LMSW.

Educators: Manage Stress and Build Resilience

Have you noticed that today it takes more energy and stamina to teach successfully? Whether it mastering new subject matter, addressing diverse student needs, implementing assessments, learning new technology, maintaining classroom order, managing time, or making sure all students learn, the demands on teachers are increasing in number and intensity. The purpose of this workshop is to help educators boost performance, improve relationships, and strengthen resiliency. The course describes a program based on years of scientific research and field studies that engages educators through its timely, practical, research-based approach. The content is on a solid foundation in neuroscience, and the program’s proven techniques are easy to learn and help rekindle motivation and energy. Goals of the course include helping teachers think more clearly and make smarter decisions, especially under pressure; improve communication with other staff, students, and parents; transform the physiological response to stress; increase vitality and well being; and create a stronger school culture. Dr. Sue Vernon is a licensed Resilient Educator Instructor. Resources for this workshop will include materials from the Institute of HeartMath.

Social Skills Instruction in Schools

This workshop will examine instructional options for incorporating social skills instruction into schools. The number of youths with social problems is substantial, and social adjustment problems are common, persistent, and often escalate as youth grow older. Research related to social skills will be reviewed and options for teaching skills will be introduced. Two methods for teaching social skills will be discussed. One option will be to all students in a class. That program enables teachers to introduce interactional skills that are the foundation for working collaboratively with team members. The other option is to ask students individually to work though an interactive multimedia CD monitored by a teacher or school counselor. The interactive CD program provides self-paced instruction in skills that are basic to communication, are important when dealing with authority figures and peers, and are typically listed as areas of skill deficits for youth with social-adjustment issues. Emotional safety in the school and classroom, incidents such as the Columbine shooting, and other issues related to bullying and teasing will be discussed. Resources for this workshop will include the SCORE Skills: Social Skills for Cooperative Groups and the Socially Wise Program. The presenters are Sue Vernon, Ph.D. and/or Kristin Vernon, LMSW.

Speaking with Power: Giving effective speeches

Effective oral communication is required for success in the educational setting and is critical for success in the business world. Educational standards related to speaking and listening will be discussed. This workshop will focus on providing instructional options related to three interactive multimedia (IM) programs designed to teach students in grades 6 through 9 oral communication strategies to help them meet standards in English/Language Arts. The programs provide instruction for clearly and concisely presenting content in narrative, informative, and persuasive speeches. The self-paced instruction in communication strategies can be used to enhance expressive language, to provide additional practice to ensure that students achieve mastery in oral communication skills at a developmentally appropriate time, or as a remediation tool. The programs feature youth actors and include interactive lessons with vignettes of examples and non-examples of skills and strategies, interactive flash cards, mnemonic devices, quick quizzes, interactive modules and games, color graphics, animation, video segments, audio effects and descriptive text! Resources for this workshop include the three programs in the Speaking with Power Series. The presenter is Dr. Sue Vernon.