Professional Development

Early Release Day, Wednesday April 2

Registration Ends on Monday, March 31, at Noon

Embedding Strategies to Teach Executive Function Skills

Dr. Lucila Marazita-Espinosa

“The Executive Functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one’s resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.”

-Kahan and Dietzel (2008)

For students to be academically successful they must develop increasingly complex executive functioning skills, that include but are not limited to, the ability to develop good study skills, to plan, to set appropriate goals, to prioritize, to organize material, and to be able to bring closure on a project. Students lacking in these skills may grasp the main concepts, but be unable to show their knowledge. This is why an embedded approach to teaching and practicing these skills is effective. Embedding executive functioning skills in our lessons will facilitate many students the opportunity to become independent and flexible problem solvers.

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Applications of Cognitive Behavioral Psychology

Mr. Jorge Muñoz-Bustamante

Many people, but especially children, believe that emotions as well as emotionally influenced behaviors and decisions are caused by events. Cognitive Behavioral Psychology (CBP) postulates that emotional disturbance is primarily caused by our interpretation of events rather than the events themselves. It also postulates that we can learn to manage our emotions so that they help us rather than hinder us in attaining the goals that we set for ourselves. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the principles of CBP and to discuss its possible applications both in the classroom and for personal growth.

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Brain-Based Research and its Impact on Teaching

Mr. Dan Montesi

The speaker will discuss some of the more common learning "disabilities" and some of the "good things" about learning disabilities. The speaker will also challenge the notion of these learning problems as actually being a "disability." Many psychologists now view to these "disabilities" as "learning differences." Psychologists are now using neuroplasticity to rewire the brain with tremendous success (lessons from the Arrowsmith School in Toronto, Canada.) Psychologists are rewiring the brain to enable these otherwise struggling students to thrive in a main-streamed classroom. Suggestions will be shared as to things that can be done in the classroom that can empower the student with a difficult learning difference and enable them to feel success.

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Simple Tech Tools for the Flipped/Blended Classroom: A Student-Centered Approach

Ms. Ana Suárez and Ms. Michelle Jordan

This hands-on session will present the basics of a flipped classroom where students take ownership of their own learning. Free apps and tech tools will be introduced to facilitate this approach.

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High Functioning Autism

Ms. Teri Gutiérrez

The criteria for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has recently changed and the numbers of children being diagnosed with some form of ASD has continued to increase. The current statistics state that 1 in 88 children have a diagnosis of ASD with the incidence greater among males: 1 in 55. The symptoms of ASD can cause significant behavioral, emotional and social impairments that can disrupt the learning environment however many of these students are also highly intelligent and perform very well academically. This presentation will offer teachers strategies to minimize the disruptive behaviors while maximizing these students’ intellectual and learning capabilities. In the school counseling department we have seen more students who present ASD symptoms in the recent years and feel greater knowledge in this area will help our teachers tremendously.

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Sharing the Ignatian Vision: Walking with our students to 'seek after Jesus'

Ms. Carmen Villafañe and Ms. Kathleen Mackle

The JSEA Religious Educator's conference provided great opportunities to continue growing & learning as Theology teachers. It offered creative & challenging ways to continue forming our students to be faith-filled & faithful people (each within their particular religious practice) who reflect solid Ignatian identity. Great HOPE is expressed by those who gathered in San Antonio as we address the 'authentic yearning' of our students within our many Catholic, Jesuit institutions.

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