Tomorrow is a buffet of sessions. I'm still in the process of making the final choices. Here are the top four I am looking at for the 8 - 9:30 timeframe:
- Beyond Reteaching and Regrouping: Using Data to Dramatically Improve Instruction---I am always on the hunt for strategies to share when it comes to reteaching, especially for secondary teachers. This seems to be a weak point in many classrooms.
- Teacher Assignment: The Key to Maximizing Student Learning---This one is on the list because the description makes me a little nervous. But, sometimes controversy can be a good thing. If I don't find coffee tomorrow, I'll go get my adrenaline pumping here.
- Assessing 21st Century Skills---A session that is high on the list for this timeframe, mainly because it directly relates to my current job and I am interested to see how others are trying to solve the same problems that we have.
- Conferring with Students: Practical Strategies That Close the Achievement Gap---Another one that is at the top of my list. I'm a firm believer in collecting and using qualitative data in the classroom. This session has a secondary focus, which represents the grade levels least likely to include student conferences as part of the assessment process.
Then, in the afternoon, between 1 and 3...
- Teaching With Poverty in Mind---Could be another controversial session. I do have an earlier book by the presenter/author (Eric Jensen) and am interested in his take on reaching our ever-growing populations of children living below the poverty line.
- Working Successfully with Difficult and Resistant People---Dude. Who couldn't use a session like this?
- I'm also interested in Guskey's session on Fair and Meaningful Grades for Exceptional Learners, (natch) a couple of sessions on differentiation/tech integration, and one on using Social Studies and Math to Teach Social Justice.
At the end of the day (3 - 5 p.m.), I'm looking at
- Boosting the Cognitive Complexity of Instructional Tasks and Assessments---Anyone who uses Webb's Depth of Knowledge over Bloom's for designing assessments is a person after my own heart.
- Collaboration Through Technology for Assessment Information---presented by Jen from Elementary My Dear, or Far from It. I'll totally go to this one. Go, Jen, go!
- There are also a couple of sessions on increasing rigor and a few on tech integration that pique my interest.
What I love about ASCD---and that I don't find at any other conference---is the representation of ideas. How wonderful to be in a position to have so many choices...to see all of the ways the pieces of our schools can fit together. It is rejuvenating to be in a place where the focus is where it should be: kids and teachers.
Here's hoping I remember to show my enthusiasm in appropriate ways...