Natalie Croome and Kath Kummerow, Fourth and First Grade Class Teachers at the International School of Prague

Grade level: Grade 1-5, Subject area: Mathematics

This workshop will explore how teachers can engage, empower and inspire (ISP School Mission) students in mathematics by looking at the pathways that can follow as they inquire into patterns together. Ways in which teaching patterns can vary from level to level within and across grades will be addressed. This workshop will involve sharing examples of inquiries into pattern and patterning and resulting work. It will also engage participants in hands-on activities, with the intention of empowering them to explore patterns further with their students.

Elitsa Kostova, Spanish teacher at the Anglo-American School of Sofia

Grade level: Grade 9-12, Subject area: Modern Languages

“Don’t take for granted simple thing you think you have explored already”. The workshop will begin with brief introduction of the goal and the educational value of the activities along with an outlined of these. Participants will be able to experience the activities for themselves as if they were students and see a model of the activities. Then a reflection and discussion follows of how best these activities can be implemented in the classroom. This is a “Come and Take” workshop: both teacher guide and students’ materials will provided enabling teachers to implement the activities right away when they wish.

Nikki Hume and Allison Bryan, Kindergarten teachers at the International School of Prague

Grade level: K-12, Subject area: Visible Thinking (Creative/Critical Thinking)

As teachers of young learners, we strive to create an authentic culture of thinking in the classroom. As an extension of community building, thinking routines are used to communicate and explore during learning experiences. Documentation and reflection are both useful tools in our “tool kit” for thinking and are avenues for making learning visible. Attendees will leave this workshop with ideas for creating a culture of thinking in the classroom, as well as examples of what can belong in a Thinking “Tool Kit”. The presenters will share ideas and examples of how to use inquiry-based, project work, documentation and reflection as strategies for learner assessment. Note: Many of the examples used during the presentation will be from Kindergarten learner and teacher perspective; however, the overall presentation will be useful for teachers from PK-12.

Leigh Miller, Literacy coach at the American International School of Budapest

Grade level: K-12, Subject area: All

Research on motivation and engagement has been synthesized to highlight four elements of a motivating learning environment

  1. congruence with the individual’s personal goals
  2. congruence with the individual’s capabilities
  3. provision of resources needed to facilitate goal attainment
  4. a supportive emotional climate (Ford, 1992)
  5. These elements will be explored and ideas for integrating them into multiple disciplines will be provided. The Reading Workshop will be utilized as an example context for how these elements can effectively encourage motivation in the K-12 classroom. During this session, research data collected by the presenter displaying how the Reading Workshop increases student motivation by incorporating the four elements will be shared.