- Conference Registration
- Conference Schedule
- Breakout Session Descriptions
- Presenter Bios
- Conference Resources
ACU’s Conference on Teaching, Learning, and the Brain
Mark your calendars for June 21st, 2019!
Arizona Christian University is excited to announce this year’s conference on Teaching, Learning, and the Brain. This conference brings together educators from all around Arizona, and we hope you will be able to attend!
Register Now! Seating is limited!
CURRENT PRICE: $99!* INCLUDES LUNCH Also, buy 4 tickets and get the 5th FREE!
|7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.||Registration, Check in, Refreshments|
|8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.||Kickoff, Welcome, Announcements, Details of the day|
|8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.||Keynote – Trauma, Stress, and Resiliency – Strategies for Classroom Success – Dr. Bryan Harris|
|11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.||Lunch provided|
|1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.||
|2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.||Break|
|2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.||
Session Descriptions – 1:00pm-2:15pm
How I Used the Zombie Apocalypse to increase Engagement, Encourage Writing, and Save the Human Race – Amy Nichols
This session will take a look at how authentic learning, specifically project based learning, can increase student engagement, rigor, and writing and research skills. Session attendees will participate in a mini PBL lesson and leave with tools and techniques for implementing PBL within their own classrooms.
Audience: Grades 4-12
It’s Not Just the Language: How to Engage the EL Student in a Mainstream Classroom – Laurie Johnson
Our EL students are faced with learning more than just English; they must use their new English skills to acquire math, science, art, history, and other subject area content. That is why engaging the EL student immediately and maintaining this engagement throughout the curriculum is critical. Without engagement, the EL may fall behind in valuable listening, speaking, reading and writing development while failing to progress towards mastery of the content standards. Attendees of this session will learn how to increase EL student engagement through content-friendly reading and writing strategies to replace low-level worksheets, video activities to showcase speaking and listening, and the use of movement, music, creative thinking, and more!
Audience: All grade levels, administration
Every Math Learner: K-5 – Dr. Nanci Smith
Come explore the impact of students’ learning preferences and differences on instruction, and how these differences can be addressed through math instruction that emphasizes conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, while having a great time learning. Specifically, participants will: explore multiple ways to assess and address students’ differences in learning mathematic, explore many strategies for addressing student differences, and participate in hands-on activities, many of which come directly out of the presenter’s classroom. This will be a quick-paced session focused on making the learning of math fun, engaging and exciting while maintaining the high levels of rigor.
Audience: Grades K-5
Negotiating Tips the Pros Use: Communicating Effectively in Times of Conflict – Dr. Bryan Harris
Relying on evidence and research from the fields of communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, and positive psychology, the session will focus on 4 key ideas that help to resolve conflict along with numerous specific strategies, methods, and techniques.
Audience: Grades PK-12, administration
Session Descriptions – 2:30pm-3:45pm
Side Hustle: Making Money on Teachers Pay Teachers – Kelly Haarala
This session will give you the tools you need to start selling your teacher-created resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. Walk through a brief overview of how to set up an account, how fair use plays a role in creating products, and use tools you already have to create and sell lessons. Plus, learn simple design tricks to help sell your resources faster! Feel free to bring a lesson you’ve already created with you!
Battling Boredom: Strategies to Spark Student Engagement – Dr. Bryan Harris
Based on the popular Battling Boredom series of books, this session this session focuses on the relationship between boredom, engagement, and behavior. Including research and definitions of student boredom and engagement, participants will add tools to their instructional “toolbox”. The majority of the session focuses on specific strategies for teachers to use in the classroom setting to engage students in meaningful learning.
Audience: Grades PK-12, administration
Every Math Learner, 6-12 – Dr. Nanci Smith
In this session, Dr. Smith addresses the importance of recognizing students’ learning differences, and how these differences can be addressed through math instruction that emphasizes conceptual understanding along with procedural fluency. Specifically, participants will explore multiple ways to assess and address students’ differences in learning mathematics, explore many strategies for addressing student differences through rigorous instruction, and participate in hands-on activities, all of which come directly out of the presenter’s classroom. Dr. Smith understands the rigor required for success in the secondary math program, and brings to life strategies for making learning engaging and exciting for all students.
Audience: Grades 6-12
Supporting New Teachers: Solutions to Retaining Teachers and Increasing Student Achievement – Cindy Daniels and Karen Martin
Research tells us that only about 50% of principals are providing support to their new teachers. Research also tells us that support from administrators is consistently a leading factor in a new teacher’s decision to stay or leave the profession. This session is intended for administrators, instructional coaches, and anyone else who is charged with the critical responsibility of supporting new teachers. Participants in this session will identify which areas of a new teacher’s year are being addressed in your school and determine which areas need attention and create a plan for direct administrative support throughout the school year for new teachers and establish time to execute the plan.
Audience: Administration, mentor teachers
Bryan Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and a Master of Educational Leadership degree from Northern Arizona University. He earned a doctoral degree (Ed.D.) from Bethel University in Minnesota after studying factors impacting new teacher retention. He also holds a certification in brain-based learning from Jensen Learning Corporation. As a former teacher, district-level specialist, and principal, he understands the challenges teachers and school leaders face as they strive to meet the needs of all students. He regularly speaks to educators all over the country on the topics of student engagement, motivation, classroom management, and brain-based learning. As the author of four highly regarded books published by Routledge and ASCD, he has a passion for helping educators discover ways to inspire students to achieve excellence.
Dr. Linnea Lyding is a reading specialist who spent over 18 years teaching in special education and general education classrooms. She understands the challenge of reaching all students, which is why she completed her doctoral work in the area of movement. She assisted teachers in adding movement to their instruction, which resulted in increased student engagement, enjoyment, and learning. Dr. Lyding has published three articles on movement through ASCD and was interviewed about the use of movement on an Internet talk show. Now, as an assistant professor in the Education Department at Arizona Christian University, she enjoys sharing her experience and passions with the pre-service teachers in her program.
Karen Martin, M.Ed., is an award-winning retired Spanish teacher and new teacher mentor from Paradise Valley Schools. Under her direction, the Paradise Valley Mentor Program earned the 2008 NEA-Saturn/UAW Partnership Award for best practices nationally. Karen received the prestigious Channel 3 Silver Apple Award in 2012 for instilling confidence and respect in her students. Karen served as World Language Department Chair and developed World Language Programs at both Desert Shadows Middle School and Horizon High School and mentored new teachers in grades 7-12 throughout the Paradise Valley District. She most recently provided online mentoring for the New Teacher Center. Her passion for her students has translated into co-authoring a book to guide districts, administrators and instructional coaches in their support of new teachers.
Cynthia (Cindy) Daniels, M.S., has been passionate for education since the early 1970’s. Her strengths lie in Early Childhood Education and mentoring new educators. Her teaching credentials include teaching Kindergarten, First Grade, Reading Specialist and Teacher Mentor within the Washington School District and Paradise Valley Unified School District. Cindy retired as the Principal of Echo Mountain Primary to work as the Director of K-3 Reading for the Arizona State Board of Education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Language Arts, has received the status of Master Mentor Teacher through the Governor’s Office of Education in the State of Arizona, and was recognized as a Rodel Exemplary Principal in 2010. She is excited to have co-authored her first book: “Navigating A Teacher’s First Year: A Guidebook for District, Administrators and Instructional Coaches.”
Dr. Nanci Smith is a full-time national and international consultant and featured conference speaker in the areas of mathematics, curriculum, assessment, differentiated instruction, and professional learning communities. Nanci has taught mathematics at the high school and university levels and differentiated instruction as a master’ course, and is soon to join the faculty at Arizona Christian University as an Associate Professor in Mathematics and Education.
Nanci has authored five books: A Mind for Mathematics: Meaningful Teaching and
Learning in Elementary Classrooms, Every Math Learner: A Doable Approach to
Teaching With Student Differences In Mind, Grades K-5 and 6 – 12, A Handbook for Unstoppable Learning, and NCSM Essential Actions: Coaching in Mathematics Education. Smith has designed an NSF funded DVD series for middle school mathematics professional development, and has published several chapters and articles about effective mathematics instruction, curriculum design, and standards implementation. She has given interviews for publications and NPR and has been a featured speaker for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics national conference and numerous other conferences in the United States and internationally.
Nanci received her PhD in curriculum and instruction in mathematics education from Arizona State University. Above all, she is most excited about her husband of 43 years, her children and their spouses, and especially her 9 grandchildren! Nanci lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, Russ, and three cats.