Ignite Your Education Spark
July 23 - 27, 2018 | The Woodlands, TX

Event 1: Pre-Symposium Workshops - July 23-24


Register for one of the following workshops and experience a two-day, deep-dive training with these leading writers and thinkers in education:

Workshop 1: Understanding by Design with Jay McTighe
How can you design curriculum and learning experiences that make it more likely that students will understand the “big ideas” of content and be able to apply them in meaningful ways? Since 1998, thousands of educators globally, have used the Understanding by Design (UbD) Framework® to answer that question and create more rigorous and engaging curricula. Workshop participants will apply a set of practical and proven UbD 2.0 tools and templates to create or refine a unit of study, with an emphasis on Stages 1 and 2 of “backward design.”

More specifically you will learn to:
• Apply “backward design” model for the development of curriculum, assessment and instruction;
• Use essential questions to frame curriculum and focus on “big” ideas;
• “Unpack” Standards to establish curriculum priorities and determine content worthy of deep understanding;
• Explore six “facets” of understanding and their implications for assessing understanding;
• Apply selected design tools to create authentic performance tasks for engaging learners and measuring what matters most; and
• Access a large collection of UbD-supportive web based resources.

School and district leaders will receive practical ideas and resources for leading and sustaining UbD in their settings.

Register now! Spaces are limited for this workshop...

Workshop 2: Spider Web Discussion with Alexis Wiggins

The best classes have a life of their own, powered by student-led conversations that explore texts, ideas, and essential questions. In these classes, the teacher's role shifts from star player to observer and coach as the students
• Think critically,
• Work collaboratively,
• Participate fully,
• Behave ethically,
• Ask and answer high-level questions,
• Support their ideas with evidence, and
• Evaluate and assess their own work.

Spider Web Discussion is a simple technique that puts this kind of class within every teacher's reach. The method is proven to work across all subject areas and grades, and you only need a little know-how, a rubric, and paper and pencil to get started.

In this workshop, Alexis Wiggins will provide a step-by-step guide for the implementation of Spider Web Discussion, covering everything from the research behind the technique to creating rubrics for discussion self-assessment to the nuts and bolts of charting the conversations and using the data collected for formative assessment. We will discuss troubleshooting tips, ideas for assessment and group grading, and the experiences of real teachers and students who have used the method. We will try the method ourselves and self-assess that work together as part of the Spider Web Discussion process. This workshop aims to pass the "Monday-Morning Test" - you will have all the resources and information you need to begin implementing SWD on your next Monday morning at school. This workshop is appropriate for K-16 teachers of all subject areas, instructional coaches, and administrators.

Register now! Spaces are limited for this workshop...

Workshop 3: Concept-Based Math with Jennie Chang-Wathall:

Traditional curriculum focuses on rules and procedures with little attention paid to the conceptual relationships of mathematics and mathematics is a language of conceptual relationships. Traditional curriculum often assumes the deep understanding of concepts, and fails to teach for transferability, or to consider context. With the exponential growth of information and knowledge students need to move to a higher level of abstraction. We need to develop students' ability to critically think and reason in order to solve complex problems and create new ideas.

This workshop will cover the concept-based curriculum design model specifically for mathematics. All content will be based on Jennifer Wathall's book Concept Based Mathematics; Teaching for Deep Understanding in Secondary Schools and a copy will be supplied for the workshop.

More Details

Register now! Spaces are limited for this workshop...

Workshop 4: Mindfulness in Education with Dr. Juan-Diego Estrada

Mindfulness can be defined as the ability to be fully present, as the cultivation of awareness by paying attention with curiosity and openness. It is not just a technique or an activity to bring to class, but a way of being in relationship with oneself and one’s experience. Given this, the best way to bring mindfulness into education is to embody it, one teacher at a time, before even talking about it in class.

The practice of mindfulness allows us to become familiar with and use our minds in more skillful ways. It promotes emotional self-regulation and makes us less reactive and more effectively responsive to our own needs and those of our students. Once we are able to access our inner resources as educators we are ready to help our students do the same. This workshop will present ways in which educators can incorporate mindfulness into their lives first, and then into their classrooms.

Register now! Spaces are limited for this workshop...



Should you have any specific questions or technical problems, please contact and we will get back to you shortly.

Cancellation Policy:

*Should you register for one or more events and need to cancel, you can get a 50% refund up through May 31. From June 1 onward, there are no refunds for cancellations.

**Please note: we reserve the right to cancel the Symposium, in part or full, prior to May 31. In case of cancellation, we will refund all registration fees for cancelled events. We are not responsible for any travel expenses you incur in case of partial or full event cancellation. Please book flexible travel options for your event/s, or make travel bookings after May 31.