SPARK Institute 2017

Welcome to SPARK Summer Institute!

 

You are invited to attend our SPARK Summer Institute, which will include a variety of choices for professional development sessions. These sessions will present useful tools and strategies that you can use to address the needs of not only your high-ability/high-potential students, but all students. Remaining workshop spots are available for interested teachers at a rate of $25 per half-day session or $40 for a full day or two half-day session combination.

  • Dates/Times: June 20-23, 9 am-4:15 pm.
  • Location: University of Connecticut, West Hartford campus (Undergraduate building)
    • Address: 85 Lawler Rd., West Hartford, CT 06117
    • Note that some workshops are full-day sessions (9-4:15 p.m.), while others are half-day sessions (9 am-12 p.m. or 1:15-4:15 p.m.).
  • Workshops: The list and descriptions of available workshops appear below.
  • Details:
    • Payment information: Workshop costs are $25 per person for each half-day session, or $40 for a full day session or combination of two half-day sessions. Payment to be made by check to the University of Connecticut. We will send an invoice following registration to request payment. [Note: the Project M2 and science sessions will require an additional fee if you wish to receive a copy of the teacher unit.]
    • Lunch: Lunch will not be provided. There are food options nearby, and each day 75 minutes will be allocated for lunch. You are also welcome to bring lunch if you prefer.
    • Parking: Parking will be free in Lot B of the UConn West Hartford campus.
    • Space limitations: Each session can accommodate a maximum of 20 participants, so register soon to ensure your choices!

 

  • Register:

    SPARK Institute Registration - Open

    Please complete the form below to register for the SPARK Institute.

Click each title to link to session description below. For a chart showing the session schedule at a glance, click here.

SPARK Institute Session Descriptions

Project M2 Geometry Units: [Facilitator: Dr. Jill Adelson ]

        • Designed for K-2 teachers, the Project M² units focus on in-depth mathematics using research-based practices and standards in mathematics education and early childhood education. Students are encouraged to think like practicing mathematicians and are immersed in math discourse so they can learn concepts in depth and understand what it means to communicate mathematically. Each unit is also differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. Participants will receive a copy of the unit as part of engaging in the workshop. Visit

      http://projectm2.org/

        for more information on the units.

      Full-day session

    • Grade 1 unit: Exploring Shape Games: Geometry with Imi and Zani — June 21 OR June 23, 9 am – 4:15 pm

Grade 2 unit: Designing a Shape Gallery: Geometry with the Meerkats — June 22, 9 am – 4:15 pm

Practical Strategies to Engage Students in Mathematical Discourse: [Facilitator: Dr. Tutita Casa]

    Facilitating a mathematical discussion sounds great, but, in reality, there are so many directions students can take you! Come learn about talk moves that can help you guide rich discussions. On the surface, the talk moves appear simple, yet they have the potential to get students to delve deeply into the mathematics. Also, come get insights about the talk frame that can be used in tandem with the talk moves. The talk frame captures student ideas, makes them more permanent, and can help students make connections between oral and written discourse. We will watch videos, model use of these two powerful strategies, and engage in these approaches throughout our time together.

Half-day session:

    • June 20, 9 am – 12 pm

 

    June 20, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Helping Students Talk the Talk…of Mathematics: [Facilitator: Dr. Janine Firmender ]

    Engaging students in discussing their mathematical ideas has long been a recommended practice by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is supported by best practices in gifted education. While one way to begin a mathematical discussion may be simply to ask “Why?” there are additional tools, such as the talk moves and talk frame, teachers can utilize to foster more in-depth discussions between their students. Through videos and modeling, we will explore and analyze these tools as ways to facilitate more meaningful mathematical discussions.

Half-day session:

    • June 21, 9 am – 12 pm

 

    • June 22, 9 am – 12 pm

 

    June 23, 9 am – 12 pm

Engaging Students as Mathematicians – Strategies that Work: [Facilitator: Dr. Janine Firmender ]

    Best practices from the field of gifted education and talent development suggest that students should be engaged in the practices of the professionals in a particular field of study. For mathematics, this means engaging students as practicing mathematicians. In this session we will explore how we can create a community of learners to engage mathematically talented students in the mathematical practices and the in-depth study of mathematical content and concepts.

Half-day session:

    • June 20, 9 am – 12 pm

 

    • June 20, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

 

    • June 21, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

 

    • June 22, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

 

    June 23, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Developing Young Scientists through Concept-Based, Hands-On Exploration: [Facilitators: Ashley Carpenter and Emma Bloomfield]

    • Hands-on play and discovery combined with a concept-based approach will have your students transforming into young scientists. Project Clarion’s Science Units for Primary Grades (K-2) include three packaged units with field-tested lessons; each introduces a science concept, science processes, and the overarching theme of either change or systems. In this session “Water Works,” “Budding Botanists,” and “Weather Reporter” are highlighted (see

http://education.wm.edu/centers/cfge/research/completed/clarion/unit/index.php

    for unit descriptions). Each unit is designed to engage all learners, including your high-potential learners, in critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and communication opportunities. Each participant will receive one teacher unit for participation in this workshop.

Half-day session:

    • June 20, 9 am – 12 pm

 

    June 22, 9 am – 12 pm

STEM Instant Challenges: [Facilitator: Anne Roberts]

    The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Instant Challenges session will consist of a series of creative quick challenges to use in any K-2 classroom. All student learners can benefit from these activities, but high potential learners will also be challenged. Three types of instant challenges will be demonstrated, which are all based on the Destination Imagination STEM curriculum: performance-based, task-based, or a combination of the two (performance- and task-based). Tips for how to successfully implement these instant challenges into any classroom will be discussed.

Half-day session:

    June 21, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Strategies to Encourage Critical and Creative Thinking: [Facilitator: Dr. Catherine Little]

    Across all content areas, teachers can apply specific critical and creative thinking strategies to encourage student thinking and invite students to demonstrate their learning potential. In this session we will focus on a set of specific strategies for promoting thinking and explore how these strategies and their applications to strong content can support teachers in recognizing and responding to high potential.

Half-day session:

    • June 21, 9 am – 12 pm

 

    June 23, 9 am – 12 pm

NWEA Tests: Understanding the Assessments and Reports: [Facilitators: NWEA Professional Development Team]

    This is a workshop focused on understanding and using the data you receive from the NWEA tests we are conducting with SPARK students. Attendees work with the reports available after their testing window is complete. Staff members will analyze their data, learn to interpret data, and engage with other faculty to create an environment responsive to the needs of all students.

Half-day session:

    June 22, 9 am – 12 pm

NWEA Goal-Setting: Using Student Results to Set Goals and Inform Instruction: [Facilitators: NWEA Professional Development Team]

    This workshop focuses on using the NWEA test data to set customized growth goals for individual students. Teachers will use the growth calculators and link to the Learning Continuum. We strongly recommend that participants either attend the morning session or have a very good understanding of their MAP reports.

Half-day session:

    June 22, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Partnering with Parents: Help for Supporting High-Potential Learners Outside of School: [Facilitator: Pam Peters ]

    Families of children with high potential have unique questions and experiences. In this session we will talk about how to discuss advanced academic potential with parents. The presenter will also introduce teachers to local and national resources that can help parents work with their high-potential children at home and in the community.

Half-day session:

    June 23, 1:15 pm – 4:15 pm

**Note: Most sessions are half-day sessions. The Project M2 units are full-day sessions. The two NWEA sessions are different, and teachers may attend either or both.