The Accelerating Learning Conference 2022

Full Agenda

Virtual Conference July 19-20, 2022

For Teachers, Instructional Coaches, School and District Leaders

Over 25 breakout sessions are available throughout the conference, with three-four concurrent sessions being offered at one time.   

Day 1 - Tuesday, July 19

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM 

Keynote Session: Brian Kight

The Performance Pathway

The performance pathway is a system organizations can leverage to get the results they want. The performance pathway is this: leaders create culture, culture drives behavior, and behavior produces results.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Embed Previewing Schoolwide - It's Worth It!

The idea of integrating Previewing schoolwide can seem overwhelming. With Previewing, your teachers will spend less time reteaching and remediating struggling students. By preparing struggling students in advance of the lesson, there is less remediation and less struggling! Learn the best options for supporting your teachers as they incorporate Previewing in every lesson.

Differentiating Doesn't Have to Be Exhausting!

Using Tiered Assignments is a practical approach for individualizing lessons that help all students succeed with meeting learning goals. Rather than focusing on the nearly impossible general philosophy of differentiating instruction, this solution targets sensible methods for creating and adapting specific assignments to reach diverse student learning preferences, readiness levels, and interests.

A Case Study for Designing Unit Assessments: The Next Step in Curriculum Mapping

Learn how a district can use their mapped curriculum to design high quality unit assessments. These assessments, if given by all teachers in every grade level and analyzed down to the question level, can be used to assess student learning, to have grade level conversations about curricular strengths and needs, and to support a K-12 curricular alignment. We will discuss the process, the challenges that might present, and the reasons we believe this endeavor is worth the work and commitment.

Strategies for Middle and High School Students Who Can't Read

Too many students are unable to access classroom instruction because of poor reading skills. Learn different strategies that will engage even the most reluctant reader. The presentation highlights different strategies that teachers can use to help students better understand how words are constructed, comprehension, and authentic interaction with text.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Lunch)

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Close the Gap! Address Word Poverty with Previewing

Vocabulary matters because students cannot understand what they read or hear without understanding what words mean. Vocabulary is the foundational block upon which comprehension is built, and as such, is of critical importance to every content area and grade level throughout the entirety of a students’ academic career. Previewing vocabulary ensures that students can read and comprehend the text during the lesson.

Accelerate with Challenge!

Challenge does not mean more work. If the class is assigned twenty problems to solve, asking students who have already mastered that skill to solve thirty problems does not serve to advance their learning. The same is true of writing five pages instead of two or reading four articles instead of three. Challenge involves increasing the complexity – not the quantity. Challenge is finding the right amount of complexity for the content students are learning as well as the complexity of the activity, task, or assignment. Discover how you can help stretch all students' thinking while deepening their understanding of grade level standards.

How do I Effectively Use Assessments to Improve Student Performance?

Explore the process of looking at formative and summative assessment data, specifically math data, to determine how to use the data to design instruction in both MTSS sessions and in regular classroom instruction. We will review acceleration practices to help us ask the following questions:
1. What skills do I need to review/preview during MTSS so that students can be successful during classroom instruction?
2. How will I group my students during classroom instruction?
3. What scaffolding will I need to put in place so all students can access the grade level content? Who needs that scaffolding for the upcoming lesson(s)?
4. Who might need a double dose and what are the other students doing while I am providing a double dose?
5. How do I determine on what skills I should focus?

Using Morning Meetings to Accelerate Learning

Morning meetings cultivate social, emotional and academic learning but they can be so much more. They can be a bridge to building relationships, fostering inclusion, and molding a respectful classroom. Morning Meetings can set the tone for the day, it is an investment that will be repaid many times over because the student that feels loved and respected in the classroom will perform better academically and behaviorally. This workshop will give you ideas on ways to make your Morning Meetings engaging, productive, and meaningful for teachers and students alike.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Conversations Are Essential, But Who Has the Time?

All administrators are trained to provide feedback to improve instruction. Gain ideas for gathering better data, providing more supportive feedback and developing solutions for the Knowing-Doing Gaps in your school. Learn how administrative conferences are pivotal to continuous improvement in a school.

How You Address What Students Already Know Is More Important Than You Think!

Prior knowledge of a topic is considered a better predictor of comprehension than either an intelligence test score or an achievement test score. Research shows that the more a students knows about a topic, the easier it will be to learn and recall something new about the topic. Unfortunately, students are often missing the background knowledge that helps them access, participate, and progress through grade level curriculum, which means it is that much harder for them to make connections with new content. Learn a process that identifies how to prepare students for learning.

Use Motivation Strategies to Accelerate Student Learning

Discover how to use the most effective motivational strategy... choice! Learn the essentials for providing your students with assignment choices. Learn how to plan activities and assignments that not only ensure students are working toward grade-level expectations, but they are motivated to do it!

Use Distributed Practice to Make Progress

"Practice makes perfect!" is impracticable. Progress is possible with practice when it is both accurate and distributed. Learn how to restructure your student practice activities to avoid frequent missteps and increase learning. You won't have to throw out your current plans! You'll learn how to create AND adapt to accelerate learning.

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Critical Thinking Isn't Even a Possibility... Or Is It?

Rigor, Rigor, Rigor! Everyone wants students to be thinking critically about their content but getting them to do so often feels out of reach. One of the keys to accelerating learning is to ensure that students are meeting the expectations of the standards. Supporting students by Previewing and teaching strategies for higher order thinking gives students the ability to apply critical thinking during lessons, on assessments, and in everyday life. Discover the process of Previewing, teaching, and Scaffolding Higher Order Thinking Strategies so all your students can be successful critical thinkers.

Reaching Greatest Impact: Advancing Through a Strategy's Continuum

In the beginning, when you first start something new, there is always an increase of effort because you are experiencing new and exciting results. It is easy to stay focused and engaged in something new, but then “the Dip” happens. Coined by Seth Godin, the term "the Dip" is where the gap between a “beginner” mindset and the approach to deliberate practice or “continuum” begins. When many people hit the Dip, they just try to ride it out or settle for their current level of understanding. Highly successful schools and teachers “lean” into the Dip. They embrace the idea that all strategies, including those for Accelerating Learning, are implemented along a continuum, and they focus on moving through the continuum towards the greatest impact. Learn how self-assessment, collaboration, and deliberate practice combine to improve your use of Acceleration Practices to their greatest impact.

Closing the Knowing-Doing Gap

"If we know better we do better" is not accurate because the majority of professional development does translate into classroom practice. The Knowing-Doing Gap arises from a combination of factors, and it is essential that leaders understand them all and how they interrelate. In education, we have focused primarily on the concept of knowledge as something explicit to build or to collect. This emphasis was done under the presumption that knowledge will be used appropriately, effectively, and efficiently once possessed. The premise is often not valid. However, some recurring themes help us understand the source of the problem and, by extension, some ways of addressing it. Join us to learn about the eight guidelines that increase the likelihood of successful implementation.

Day 2 - Wednesday, July 20

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM 

Keynote Session: Dr. Todd Whitaker

"What Great Educators Do Differently"

What are the specific qualities and practices of great educators that elevate them above the rest? This workshop reveals what the most effective educators do differently than their colleagues. Participants will focus on what the most successful educators do . . . that others do not. Everyone will leave knowing what great educators do differently, why they are more effective, and how to immediately implement each of these into your own classrooms and schools.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Increasing Student Movitation Through Self-efficacy

Why do some students lack motivation? Explore ideas that will make our subject and class as interesting and relevant as possible while providing experiences that will boost self efficacy (confidence through competence), motivate students to try harder in academic areas, and reward them for putting forth their best efforts.

You Can't Really Accelerate Learning Without Scaffolding

Scaffolding is an instructional strategy that reduces negative emotions and self-perceptions that students experience when grappling to learn skills and concepts. Learn how to avoid overwhelming students and successfully "scaffold up, not down" by using specific scaffolding practices temporarily to make learning attainable.

Prioritize Learning Goals for Rapid Improvement

There is too much content and skills represented in grade level standards to teach each and everyone the same. Prioritizing leads to rapid improvement by focusing significant amounts of time and practice on what has been identified as essential to students' learning. The process is further improved when specific content and skills are targeted through the designing of Learning Goals. Learn more about how this prioritization process provides the foundation for Accelerating Learning.

Implementing Structured Review to Accelerate Learning

To further solidify students’ understanding and retention of essential content, exemplary schools create a Structured Review Schedule to plan review sessions that are distributed across the year; each focusing on the most essential learning of the course or grade level. Learn how proactively planning for review leads to better and stronger lessons, and ultimately, improved student achievement.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Lunch)

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Decrease Stress and Increase Learning with Graphic Organizers

A lesson with a Graphic Organizer is nearly always more effective than a lesson without one. When you teach, you want students to understand new concepts and skills and remember what they have learned for a long time. Learning is a combination of the storage of information and the ability to retrieve information when needed, which is why a Graphic Organizer is such a critical instructional strategy. Learn how to integrate graphic organizers most effectively and see the benefits immediately!

Student Success with Methodical Vocabulary Instruction

Systematic vocabulary instruction at every grade level, in every subject, in every classroom is one of the most important intervention practices schools can employ to eliminate “word poverty,” close the achievement gap, and raise achievement for all students. A focus on intentionally using a variety of strategies in a comprehensive method provides students opportunities to expand their knowledge and use of words in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Discover the most impactful characteristics for vocabulary instruction and how to consistently and pervasively promote specific strategies for implementation in every classroom.

Social Emotional Learning: Little Bodies Big Emotions

SEL provides the framework for developing one’s social and emotional skills and the benefits can improve school climate, student behavior and academic achievement. Learn some effective and fun strategies that foster a trauma informed classroom where students can develop and expand emotional skills in a fun, developmentally appropriate manner while improving teacher morale and happy healthy students.

Effectively Use Writing to Learn Strategies To Accelerate Learning

Writing to Learn is an evidence-based instructional practice that does “double duty” as it enhances student learning and helps teachers to tailor instruction immediately to student needs. Accelerate learning with writing strategies that deepen student understanding of content and advance their learning by grappling with course content and thinking about their learning. Learn more how Writing to Learn guides students with summarizing, clarifying, explaining, posing questions, building connections, revealing confusion, shaping meaning, and reaching an understanding of specific Learning Goals.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Writing Expectations: How To Know If They Are Appropriate and Why Every School Should Have Them

The research on the importance of the use of writing when learning is clear -- it improves comprehension. Learn ideas for developing and using writing expectations school-wide to improve student achievement. This session will explore the connection between writing and reading to help you create school-wide writing expectations.

Experience Immediate Student Improvement By Previewing and Scaffolding Graphic Organizers

Previewing and Scaffolding Graphic Organizers allows you to build prerequisite knowledge and increase students’ confidence in their ability to successfully understand the content, skills, and thinking, reading, and writing strategies. When students believe in the importance of the Graphic Organizer, they are committed to using it and transferring the use to other learning experiences. This self-regulating skill is what you are striving for as you collaborate with students on learning tools, especially for those that have difficulty reading the material, applying a rigorous thinking strategy, or have difficulty organizing their ideas prior to writing.”

Remediation Is Not Repeating

If Previewing and Scaffolding fail to ensure that students are successful during a lesson, then it may be necessary to use Remediation with struggling students during and after the lesson. Learn how Remediation presents essential content and skills in different ways in order to help students who struggled to grasp it initially. Discover how the most effective Remediation occurs during the lesson after each formative assessment in order for students to move forward with their learning as you are teaching.

Classroom Question Strategies and Their Impact on Students

Questioning is one of the most frequently used classroom instructional strategies. One study proposed that teachers ask an average of 300 to 400 questions each day and for a variety of purposes - to engage students, focus learning, help students connect to their background knowledge, collect evidence of learning, spark conversations, enhance listening skills, increase the depth of learning, and often just to see who is paying attention. It also lets us check students’ understanding at key points during the lesson, and then make adjustments as needed and to promote thinking. Learn how effective questioning requires purposeful planning of not only when to ask a question, but that the expected student response will provide evidence of the targeted Learning Goal.

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Identifying Struggle Points, A Proactive Necessity

Students who struggle typically lack background knowledge, academic or domain-specific vocabulary, experiences, or the prerequisites needed to understand new content. Difficulties may be manifested in many ways, but may include listening, verbal expression, reading grade level texts or materials, and writing legibly or expressing themselves clearly in writing. Identifying where these areas of struggle may occur is an essential step in planning for Accelerating Learning.

Data Meetings and Acceleration: How Are They Related?

Data Meetings are frequently focused on progress monitoring data, including benchmark assessments, assessments for early literacy skills, or on teacher genderated data regarding students' current levels of proficiency. Often, these data points are not used to drive instruction at a lesson level. The bridge between the data that these measures provide and daily lesson instruction are Learning Goals. Learn how this bridge in data can direct Data Meetings that will make a significant impact on student learning.

Advance Organizers Are Must Have Mental Frameworks

Learning is organized through a schema, which provides the basis for how students connect what they know and what they are learning. Many students struggle with building effective mental structures to organize and connect information. Advance Organizers provide students with the schema for categorizing essential content. They are a tool for students to store, access, and recall the key concepts, vocabulary, and connections the concepts have to each other. Advance Organizers are ideal tools for students to retain and transfer new knowledge into long term memory. Learn how Advance Organizers work and which to use in order to accelerate student learning.



It's Time to Level Up!

Registration for the conference is $199 per person.

Learning is better in teams!

Register three people and receive a 50% discount on the third registration fee.

Register today and pay with next year's budget!

Continous improvement is better than delayed perfection-min


call 866-955-3276