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New this year, ASCD will offer several empowering learning experiences that allow participants to crowdsource strategies at the conference before taking them home to implement. “The Learning Labs will be collaborative. They will offer a way for people to engage in designing solutions to their personal challenges and creating customized solutions that address the unique needs in their schools,” says Layla Allahverdi Herrera, Manager, Constituent Programs at ASCD. In particular, the labs are ideal for cross-educator teams (from classroom teachers to school principals) to participate in together, to be able to discuss individual and schoolwide challenges and build collaborative solutions to take home and implement immediately.
Led by educator, curriculum specialist, and Peabody Award-winning hip-hop artist Gabriel "Asheru" Benn, this Learning Lab will present a fun, culturally responsive instructional design challenge. The session will reflect a cooking show model and give teachers and administrators the opportunity to use their creativity and critical thinking skills to create lesson plans in response to a provided box of prompts.
Examples of prompts include a content standard, song lyrics, a speech excerpt, video clips, and a student profile, all of which must be used to design a lesson that will reach, teach, and engage students in various core subject areas: English Language Arts, science, social studies, and math. Instructional lessons will be placed on a tablet and submitted to the judges as part of the friendly competition.
Teams should be able to use designed lessons with students immediately, while also having the chance to think about issues in their current instructional design that they would like to address. In addition, they will be able to facilitate their own learning design challenges at their own schools. The Learning Lab is designed to be both practical and engaging for everyone.
Let the celebration begin! For 25 years, the 16 Habits of Mind have helped educators integrate a focus on skill development in areas such as persisting, managing impulsivity, finding humor, and listening with understanding and empathy, to name a few. These research-based thinking dispositions ground students in the ability to intelligently and thoughtfully respond to problems and consider options—in other words, skills necessary for life. When a child enters1st grade, we don't know what jobs will be waiting for them when they graduate, but we do know that they will need solid critical thinking skills. Whether you're already a fan or curious to learn more about the Habits of Mind, this hands-on interactive session offers a deeper dive into the 16 habits, discussions around embedding the habits into your school and classroom routines, and a fun introduction to the engaging WonderGrove animated characters created to connect the lessons with students in preschool settings through 3rd grade. Leave with K–3 extension lesson plans that build literacy skills and reinforce the Habits of Mind. Learn more about the upcoming celebration of 25 years of Habits of Mind and the exciting time capsule that you and your students can contribute to before May!
We invite participants to work with ASCD facilitators in an activity-filled challenge to identify and assess equitable teaching and student engagement practices in their classrooms and schools. In addition, participants will receive an overview of methods to support equitable instruction and create a personalized learning journey to begin tackling their particular challenges related to equity issues.
After attending these Learning Labs, educators should leave with plenty of strategies and tools. “Everyone will leave with a plan for implementing the learning and with protocols for conducting their own learning labs in their schools,” says Herrera.
If you’ll be in Anaheim, be sure to check out one of the Learning Lab events—or consider registering today. There’s still time!
*Note: An earlier version of this story listed the Habits of Mind as an additional 5th Learning Lab. Story has been updated to reflect that there is only one Equitable Practices session, which takes place Sunday afternoon.
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Attendees must be 18 years of age or older to attend ASCD Empower17 and the Pre-Conference Institutes.
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February 10, 2017
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March 13, 2017
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