Join fellow teachers from Project SPARK schools in professional learning around recognizing and responding to advanced potential in the early grades!
As a teacher in a SPARK school, you are invited to attend our SPARK Summer Institute, which will include multiple 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-potential students, but all students. You may register to attend as many of the sessions as you wish – further details provided below!
Dates/Times: June 25-27, 8:30 am-3:30 pm
Note that some workshops are full-day sessions (8:30 - 3:30) while others are half-day sessions (8:30-11:30 or 12:30 -3:30).
Location: All sessions will take place on the 6th floor of Technology Hall at Naugatuck Community College (Waterbury Campus)
Payment information: All workshops are free to you. You will be compensated at your district’s current rate for professional development for the workshop hours. You must sign in and out of each session to verify attendance. You will also be asked to complete some paperwork with UConn that will allow us to pay you. You will not be reimbursed for mileage.
Lunch: Lunch will not be provided. You are welcome to bring lunch, and we will also provide information about nearby lunch options.
Parking: Park in Parking Lot E (Free parking). Please use the East Entrance for easy access to the campus.
From Route 8: Take the Danbury exit onto I-84, then first exit off I-84 (exit 18). Bear left at the fork and take a left at the light. Go to the second light for East Entrance.
From I-84 West: Take exit 18, bear left at the fork and take a left at the light. Go to the second light for East Entrance.
From I-84 East: Take exit 18. Take a right at the light and again at the next right. Go over the bridge and at light take a left onto Chase Parkway. Go to the first light for the East Entrance.
Once you have parked, enter Technology Hall and go up one flight of stairs.
Full Day Sessions
Project M2 Measurement Units: [Facilitator: Stacy Hayden]
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. Teachers will receive a copy of one grade level unit as a part of this session. Visit http://projectm2.org for more information on the units.
Grade K unit: Sizing up the Lilypad Space Station: Measuring with the Frogonauts
Grade 1 unit: Creating the School Measurement Fair: Measuring with Imi and Zani
Grade 2 Unit (Using Everyday Measures: Measuring with the Meerkats)
Full-day session covers all three units.
June 25, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
(listed alphabetically by title - see chart above for scheduled times)
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.
June 25, 12:30-3:30
Project M2 Geometry Units: [Facilitator: Dr. Janine Firmender]
Designed for K-2 teachers, the Project M² Geometry units focus on developing students’ depth of knowledge for geometry concepts. By using research-based practice standards in mathematics education and early childhood education, teachers can engage their “student mathematicians” by establishing a classroom community of learners characterized by math discourse to communicate mathematically throughout these units. Each unit also provides opportunities for differentiation to meet the needs of all learners. Participants will receive a copy of the unit for participating in the session. Visit http://projectm2.org/ for more information on the units.
Grade K unit: Geometry with the Frogonauts
June 27, 8:30-11:30
Grade 1 unit: Exploring Shape Games: Geometry with Imi and Zani
June 26, 12:30-3:30
- Grade 2 unit: Designing a Shape Gallery: Geometry with the Meerkats
June 27, 12:30-3:30
Sarah Charbonneau, M.A., is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology at the University of Connecticut and a Graduate Assistant for Project SPARK. She has worked with elementary school students with disabilities in one urban and one suburban district in Connecticut as a School Psychology Practicum Student.
Stacy Hayden, M.A., is a doctoral student in the Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development program. Stacy received her B.S. in Elementary Education (2012) from Radford University. She is a graduate of the UConn Three Summers Program where she received her M.A. in Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent Development (2016). Prior to coming to UConn, Stacy taught gifted students and coordinated the Young Scholars Program in Alexandria City Public Schools, Virginia. Stacy was recognized as a Javits-Fraiser Scholar in 2014 by the National Association of Gifted Children and was named Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted for Region IV-E by the Virginia Association of the Gifted in 2017. Stacy serves as a Graduate Research Assistant for Thinking Like Mathematicians: Challenging All Grade 3 Students, a research study funded by the funded by the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act. Her research interests include equity, pre-identification programs, and college honors programs. In her former life as a teacher, Stacy enjoyed using new technology tools in her classroom.
Molly Holinger is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut under the advisement of Dr. James C. Kaufman and a graduate research assistant for Project SPARK (Supporting and Promoting Advanced Readiness in Kids), a research study funded by the Javits grant program. She received her M.S. in Creative Studies from the International Center for Studies in Creativity, SUNY Buffalo State. Her current research focuses on the positive outcomes of creativity such as positive emotions, engagement, and meaning.
Kelly Kearney, Ph.D., serves as Project SPARK's Research Associate. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Gifted and Talented Education in December 2014. She has worked extensively with out-of-school time programming for advanced learners, and she previously worked as a first grade teacher. Her dissertation research focused on resilience in advanced learners from underrepresented groups. For Project SPARK, she works in schools with teachers and administrators to implement Response Lessons and identify gifted behaviors
Alexis Melendez holds a Master's in Educational Psychology with a concentration in School Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Currently, she serves as a research assistant on the Thinking Like Mathematicians: Challenging All Grade 3 Students project, which focuses on teachers' beliefs about twice-exceptional students and strategies teachers can use within the classroom to challenge all students' academic abilities while also promoting talent development. Alexis has also worked with students primarily in grades K-8 who have social, emotional, behavioral, or learning difficulties.
Jackie Ose holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut with a focus in Secondary Science Education. She has worked primarily with 10th grade biology students in two, large, urban school districts in CT. Jackie recently launched a free, open-source professional development website that consolidates high-quality Next Generation Science Standards resources into a tiered learning progression.
Pam Peters is a doctoral student at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include equity in gifted education and parent/school partnerships. Pam is also the parent of two gifted student (grades 10 and 4) and has worked with parents and districts in five states.
Anne Roberts, M.Ed., previously served as Project SPARK's Graduate Research Assistant. She is a full-time doctoral student in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Giftedness, Creativity and Talent Development. She has worked as a gifted education specialist, Destination Imagination STEM Coordinator, and MakerSpace creator in the Virginia public school system. For Project SPARK, she worked in schools with teachers and administrators to implement Response Lessons and identify gifted behaviors.