Building Community to Foster Social Change

Monday, February 1, 2021

Monday —
February 1, 2021

The Internationals Network’s 2021 Annual Professional Development Conference took place remotely on Monday February 1st. Teachers and school staff from across our national network convened virtually in a wide array of practitioner-created workshop sessions that addressed this year’s theme, Building Community to Foster Social Change, we shared and learned from one another’s expertise and experience. Below, please find descriptions of the many innovative workshop sessions presented by community members from across the network. You will also discover some workshop recordings along with supporting documents.  

Even under new and challenging circumstances, we are thankful for the innovation and creativity of our network, and we are always to see you at our annual conference where we can strengthen our work together as we all strive to better support multilingual learners and each other. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to this year’s conference.

Student Voices

Rather than a traditional gathering in an auditorium with keynote speakers and introductions, this year’s conference was anchored by student voices. Available asynchronously in order to accommodate the varied schedules and demands of all participants across the country, this video includes numerous students from across our schools harmonizing on the themes of building community and fostering social change. We hope that these words by these young people’s ideas and hopes will continue to contribute to our shared purpose.

Thank you to the following Internationals Network schools and students for contributing to the video.

  • Brooklyn International HS students
  • Claremont International HS – Fatoumata, Noor
  • Crotona International HS – Raimelis
  • International Community HS – Elda
  • Manhattan International HS – Iñaki
  • Pan American International HS @ Elmhurst – Antonio, Gilsson
  • Pan American International HS @  Monroe – Fabiola
  • South Bronx Middle School – Laury

Promising Practice Shares

This year saw the return of a former conference staple: the midday promising practice share! Numerous teachers from across the network have recorded videos to describe and share about an idea, strategy, or resource that has been useful or important to them this year. In order to accommodate the varied schedules and demands of all participants from across the country, this video library of compelling ideas, practitioner reflections, and real stories from across our network will be available online here. 

Using Collaborative Roles to Increase Engagement

This promising practice share highlights collaborative roles that result in increased participation and understanding. These roles can be applied across multiple contexts, disciplines, and activities.

Facilitator(s): Jenell Pezzulich

Outdoor Learning
This promising practice share highlights outdoor learning and field trips. Offering even occasional outdoor field trips has strengthened student engagement in content courses and helped fill the emotional void lost in remote learning. Outdoor field trips have also introduced our students to the history around them and provided access to all the history that NYC has to offer. With a little cash and time on the weekend students can go on otherwise inaccessible field trips to Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and even local points of interest in their own neighborhoods.

Facilitator(s):Britt Louise Fremstad

How to Monitor All Student Work in Real Time
This promising practice share highlights how to use Google Sheets Tabs, Google Slides, & Desmos to monitor each student’s work as they work and offer students feedback and support when needed. It also enables students to support one another and share their findings in discussions.

Facilitator(s):Jane Kang

TikTok Celebration
This promising practice share highlights an example virtual celebration using TikTok. During The Brooklyn International High School’s Virtual Thanksgiving Feast, students shared and celebrated their culinary skills through video.

Facilitator(s): Megan Minturn

Don’t Know Coding? No Problem! You Can Still Build A Website!
This promising practice share highlights how to build a website using Google Sites which comes standard with a gmail account. Educators are shown how to start a Google Sites, some helpful features, how to control who can view the site, and some ways that a website can help support students and improve communication. Especially during remote learning but also quite useful during a non-COVID school schedule, knowing how to use a website is very useful in providing students with information, providing resources for schoolwork, and a way to communicate information to families. If an educator feels comfortable and adept enough, it also provides a possible skill to be transferred to students.

Facilitator(s): Martin Castro

Student Advisory Group: Collecting Feedback from students on Curriculum
This promising practice share will highlight “cogenerative” conversations based on the work of Dr Emdin from the book, “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood.” Guidelines for cogenerative conversations will be shared, as well as how we can use those guidelines to create “advisory” groups of students, so they can provide student feedback about projects. assignments and virtual lessons in the remote setting.

Facilitator(s): Melissa Meola Shanahan

Making Remote Learning a Fruitful Experience with PearDeck
This promising practice share highlights the way that Peardeck has helped address multiple needs in the Internationals Classroom. With so many online tools and platforms, how do you know which one is the most beneficial to you? In this promising practice share, we take a quick look at one platform that seemingly has it all, PearDeck. PearDeck is an online platform that is easy to use and elevates your remote teaching experience to an interactive one. This video shares why it’s useful in the Internationals classroom and a few tips on how to use it.

Facilitator(s): Ayana Colvin

Gameify, Gameify...Talk!
This promising practice share highlights how creating different game routines has helped me and my ninth grade advisees survive the change from blended to remote learning. As a result, I feel I have a strong relationship with each of them, and that they also have a strong relationship with each other.

Facilitator(s): Julie Arcement

Engagement Rubric
This promising practice share highlights a department-created engagement rubric specifically for online learning. The rubric includes: look fors, a student friendly version for self assessment, and categories for communication (synchronous and asynchronous, self advocacy, collaboration and contribution, and task completion of non-graded work). There is also a set of slides to support students in exploring the rubric and setting goals. The rubric’s goal is to clarify expectations in online learning and give students a clear path to success. The rubric is used for goal setting, self assessment, teacher assessment, and for tracking the data to analyze what can be done to increase opportunities for engagement in the virtual setting.

Facilitator(s): Kathleen Camden

Collaboration, Conversation and Creativity through Google Slides
This promising practice share will highlight how Google Slides can be used to foster interaction, talk, and creativity. Like so many, I have spent much time figuring out how to best support collaboration between students during remote learning. It is a challenging task. My co-teacher and I finally had some breakthroughs when we created templates on Google Slides which have engendered conversation, group work and laughter in those breakout rooms. Some examples include sorts, comic creation and collages.

Facilitator(s): Lisa Peyser

Online Evidence Notebook for Building Student Writing Skills Asynchronously

This promising practice share will highlight a GoogleSlide “notebook.” The notebook includes instructional videos and allows students to work at their own time and pace, and rewatch as needed. It also includes engaging videos, and keeps formative and summative assessments in one place to help students get feedback and demonstrate mastery. The notebook is particularly helpful for reaching students who are not online for synchronous Zoom instruction. The example highlighted is used to prepare students for their Graduation Portfolio Project.

Google Slides “notebook”

Facilitator(s): Lori Sandler

Well Wishes for 2021
This promising practice share highlights a strategy for students to share a story using visuals and texts. Students create short videos on their own public art project. Students create “flyers” with well wishes, and then record their experiences and create a video.

Facilitator(s): Jane Lawrence

Building Community With Remote Families

This promising practice share highlights grouping students based on friendships and connection to foster social connections even in these remote times. Students collaborate with the same group in Breakout Rooms to work on fun group assignments such as creating Kahoot games. This has led us to a stronger community even in these difficult times.

Facilitator(s):Tania Mohammed, Nina Kogut-Akkum

Online Classroom Notebook

This promising practice highlights an online version of a notebook. This strategy makes the online classroom feel more authentic and gives more accountability for both the student and the teacher.

Digital Notebook Template

Facilitator(s): Kara MacDevitt

Co-Constructing Text with Language Experience Approach
This promising practice share highlights the Language Experience Approach (LEA). In LEA, teachers use experiences, objects, or visuals to elicit oral language from students. The teacher and students co-create a shared text which can be used for various extension activities. LEA is a powerful strategy for integrating content, language, and literacy. When we capture student oral language and transcribe what they say, students are creating and engaging with text as well as building metalinguistic awareness. LEA works in various contexts including one-on-one, small group, whole class as well as in-person and synchronous online settings.

Facilitator(s): Suzanna McNamara, Annie Smith

Reading Together to Build Community
This promising practice share highlights a Book Club group reading strategy and community building activity. Students read out loud in a small book club group with a graphic novel. Students all have the book at home and are reading different characters. Students are able to practice reading comprehension as well as their spoken English.

Facilitator(s): Taylor Overturf

Communicating Together While Not Together: How To Use Different Tech Platforms to Get Our Students to Engage & Discuss
This promising practice share highlights how to use Nearpod and Google Classroom tools to engage in conversations or prompt engagement from students. Nearpod and Google Classroom can be used in a few ways to engage students and ensure that even the quieter students are still engaging in lessons even while we are learning remotely. Students are more engaged in the work, are provided other ways to participate other than speaking, and they feel more connected to the class.

Facilitator(s): Martin Castro

Translanguaging Writing Conferences for Struggling Students
This promising practice share highlights translanguaging writing conferences for struggling students. Two struggling students with a common home language are paired together for their conferences. One student reads their work while a classmate listens. The listening classmate is then asked to summarize the main idea. Students support each other with their home languages in order to understand concepts in their papers and to revise their work.

Facilitator(s): Nisa Nuonsy

MyOn Reading Comprehension Website

This promising practice share will highlight MyOn, a reading comprehensive website which incorporates all subjects from Science to Technology to Social Studies, as well as English. The quizzes MyOn provides helps you assess whether or not the student is understanding the story, and will decipher if the student should go up a lexile level or decrease a lexile level. It is a way to help ESL students learn the target language as well as strengthening their basic literacy skills. The website includes diagnostics tests, projects which include writing and benchmarks, translation read into their first language as well as target language which can serve for differentiation.

Facilitator(s): Meriem Hadjahmed, Nexcy Richardson

Classroom Screen: A way to increase engagement
This promising practice share highlights the strategy of using a technology called Classroom Screen to increase engagement and organization of class. This strategy allows the use of the timer, clock, calendar, to call on random students, give signals such as silence for the task, put a sticky note of the work, share a featured media, etc. This tool can be used to organize the class, increase student participation, and keep everyone organized.

Facilitator(s): Tara Lewis

Building Students' Tech Literacy Using Iorad
This promising practice share highlights Iorad, which is a chrome extension that allows teachers to create step by step tutorials in under 5 minutes. It facilitates the creation of tutorials that walk students through a multi-step tech process or assignment and it has a built in translator so students can see the tutorial in their native language. The video shows teachers how to use it and a finished product.  

Facilitator(s): Gallia Kassiano

The Pendulum Project: A Hands On, at Home Science Project

This promising practice share highlights a hands-on science project that students can complete remotely. Due to lack of materials it has been hard to have students complete science projects that are not based on simulations. This project allowed them to create their own pendulum out of any materials they had around the house while allowing them choice of materials. It was a great activity for students to stretch themselves and be creative. Students built a pendulum at home and used it to measure time. The students were very creative! The project was done in conjunction with the math department, who used the period of a pendulum formula to calculate the length of their pendulums. Students then “timed” themselves with the pendulum during a short activity.

Facilitator(s): Lucy Blackford

Storytelling to Build Community
This promising practice share highlights how to engage students in storytelling in order to build community, strengthen speaking skills, and build understanding of narrative structure. Students begin by studying storytelling techniques and writing their own short mini- stories. These mini-stories are eventually built out into longer narratives. At the end all students share their stories in a remote storyingtelling presentation.

Facilitator(s): Alex Porter


A Relevant, Engaging, and Remotely Taught Interdisciplinary PBAT- Photo Essay

How can students apply content knowledge to their practical experience? How can we engage students in learning about the founding documents of the United States and current injustices in our society under the challenges and restrictions of Covid-19 life? In this workshop, participants will have an overview of a humanities task that incorporates social studies content and ELA skills. Students apply the skills of arts and journalism to analyze whether the founding principles are upheld or if there are observable injustices in their community. Participants will take away a unit plan with all of the resources included, and have time to brainstorm how they would implement or transfer ideas from this unit, including how, even in these challenging times, there are ways to encourage students to be physically outside, and engage in work that is tangible and of personal meaning to them. This unit also promotes finding depth in tasks that are accessible to all types of learners. The unit plan presented in this workshop can be adapted to STEM content as well.

Facilitator(s): Tania Mohammed, Nina Kogut-Akkum

Intended Audience: All educators

Category(s): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education, Experiential Learning 

Click here for workshop materials.

Acting Up: Using Theatre of the Oppressed to Reimagine Our (in-person and virtual) Worlds, Together

This workshop will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of Theater of the Oppressed and explore how to engage students online using this method. The workshop is brought to you by three 12th-grade teachers who have created an interdisciplinary humanities course titled Power, Identity, and Equity (PIE). Pre-pandemic, the team worked with students to create performances that center the experiences and needs of young people and bring them into conversation with community members and decision-makers to explore solutions to the problems they face through Theater of the Oppressed. In our new reality, we have been experimenting with how to bring these practices into the virtual classroom. We hope that participants will come away from this workshop ready to employ techniques from Theater of the Oppressed in their schools/classrooms, whether in the form of short-term activities or long-term projects, including online!

Facilitator(s): Shahzia Pirani-Mellstrom, Sheila Aminmadani, Malcolm Sacks

Intended Audience: Everyone is welcome, though the workshop may be best suited for teachers of Humanities and Arts. We encourage groups of teachers from the same school to attend if they plan to develop an interdisciplinary project like the one we are sharing.

Category(ies): Experiential Learning

Click here for workshop materials.

Engaging Students in Remote Reading through Text Analysis and Discussion

Struggling to get your students to read, analyze text and have productive discussions during remote learning? In this workshop we will share planning strategies and protocols for rolling out reading and text discussions in a remote setting. We will also discuss our successes with various platforms for reading and discussion as well as different forms of assessing text discussions online. Participants will also have time to apply these strategies to their own curricula and to consider how reading and discussing culturally responsive texts builds classroom community and provides a platform for students to engage with important social issues.

Facilitator(s): Kendra Miller, Tamara Del Rosario

Intended Audience: ELA, SS, Humanities, Reading Teachers, All educators

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration

Click here for workshop materials.

Facilitating Student Talk in Science & Planning Experiments in Remote Setting

How do you create a meaningful peer collaboration among your students in your remote science classroom? What strategies can be used to facilitate students to talk at home? What practical experiments can be done at home safely? This workshop is designed to allow participants to articulate their best practices and challenges in teaching science remotely especially real life experiments that students can do at home. Participants will also have the chance to explore how to reduce feelings of isolation and plan activities that can support the emotional well-being of students.

Facilitator(s): Martin Pascual

Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for science teachers, but all are welcome!

Category(s): Remote Collaboration

Click here for workshop materials.

Imagining the Possibilities: Collaborating, Creating and Envisioning in the Hybrid Zoomisphere

bell hooks writes that “The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is-it’s to imagine what is possible.” This workshop looks at projects and activities in the zoomisphere and hybrid teaching environments during an unprecedented year. From the COVID-19 global pandemic, to the racist violence and subsequent uprisings for justice, 2020 demanded deep questioning, reflection, and imagination for a more just world. This workshop will consider student discussions, projects, and activities that occurred both remotely and in socially distanced classrooms throughout 2020, centering possibilities in the way only the arts can. Using the Arts Blueprint Strands as a guide, this workshop moves through themes including honoring essential workers, celebrating Black is Beautiful, reflection, and envisioning the future radically. With video, drawing, spoken word, and movement, this workshop is facilitated by an INPS Dance Teacher, English teacher, and 9th grade student. Together, these three facilitators will create an environment where individuals connect with one another and share from their multiple backgrounds and experiences. Ultimately, they will create a community capable of delving into discussions that examine how school can be a site of liberation and deep social change.

Facilitator(s): Taylor Overturf, Megan Minturn

Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for any educator interested in encouraging the arts, reflection, collaboration, and imagination!

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

Click here for materials.

Lines in Time: Using timelines as a tool to understand the effect of events, experiences, and people that shape the identity and worldviews of ourselves and others. A Social Justice Project that Builds over Time.

How can we create a progressive and cumulative curriculum that builds on personal identity, encourages community outreach, and fosters social change? How can we apply what we learn from the study of civil rights leaders to encourage students to make changes in their own community? How can we effectively use language and art to evoke change in our world? How can we use public space to build community within our city and showcase student work and talent? In this workshop, participants will examine projects that explore these questions, while integrating text and student production. Multiple short term products build over time, to result in a longer-term project and a student public showcase. After exploring examples, participants will have time to apply these strategies to their own curricula and co-plan with their peers.

Facilitator(s): Melissa Meola Shanahan

Intended Audience: All educators

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration, Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education

Click here for workshop materials.

Playing the Unspeakable: Trauma and Creative Techniques in the Classroom

This didactic and experiential workshop will provide participants with a greater understanding of how to use play in the classroom with students of all ages affected by traumatic stress. Trauma-Informed work is essential for community building particularly during this time where normal school community functionality is disrupted. Collaboration that addresses the traumas that both students and staff are experiencing can offer opportunities for healing and can generate viable and sustainable community change. Participants will gain/review the definition of complex trauma and collective trauma with an understanding of how trauma performs particularly in the classroom. Participants will learn and experience creative, playful strategies for supporting students to address challenges, promote resilience, and move through the effects of traumatic stress. Through action based experiences, case examples and reflection, participants will explore how these concepts can be applied to their own educational, clinical, artistic and personal work.

Facilitator(s): Heidi Landis

Intended Audience: Counselors, Social Workers, All educators

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration,Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education, Experiential Learning (Remote PBL, Remote inquiry, Remote public products and authentic tasks, creating student centered activities)

Click here for workshop materials.

Reading Authorship in Social Studies

Borrowing from ideas raised within cultural studies, participants will use Werner’s (2000) text on reading authorship to examine, with a critical eye, sources of knowledge, especially textbooks. Using different methods for reading authorship of a text, participants will engage in hands-on practice of analyzing not only what the text is saying, but also how it was constructed. Reading authorship is different from reading a text, as reading authorship invites the reader to examine how texts were created, what information they might convey, and how it can teach students to use a critical lens to view and read texts. Participants will leave with the tools to question epistemic narratives and normalized knowledge within social studies and the larger community, as well as strategies for building these skills with their students.

Facilitator(s): Josef Donnelly

Intended Audience: All educators

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

Click here for workshop materials.

Recruiting for the Summer Youth Employment Program

The recruitment process for the NYC Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is sometimes difficult to achieve in a regular year. It is even more difficult during this new virtual world which caught us by surprise! Come hear about how we adjusted our strategy and increased our effort to find recruits for the program. By not giving up and cultivating perseverance in students and staff, we were able to get it done. In the end, through SYEP, students from all backgrounds were brought together to focus on the same target and idea. Participants will walk away with ideas about how to enter into or maintain their own SYEP initiative during times of uncertainty.

Facilitator(s): Jesus Martinez

Intended Audience:  All educators

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration

Click here for workshop materials.

Scaffolding Slides for Student Success

Are you overwhelmed with all of the tech strategies being thrown at you? Do you find that students struggle with understanding and completing the tasks you send them? Do you find yourself wondering, how can I take advantage of tech strategies to engage my students in remote learning? In this workshop we will explore how something as simple as formatting a google slide can create a more inclusive learning environment. Our workshop will address the digital literacy gap for students and teachers alike. Participants will partake in a mini-lesson which has been formatted and scaffolded to engage all types of learners. We will then discuss the scaffolding and differentiating strategies used in the lesson, and learn how to format our own lessons. Participants will also have time to apply these strategies to their own curricula and plan with the support of their peers. Teachers will receive a toolkit that details how to use functions of google slides (plus more) to break down what they want students to do and scaffold it in a way that is abundantly clear to students.

Facilitator(s): Alia Elsayed-Dilone, Cynthia Vele

Intended Audience:  The intended audience of this workshop are teachers who feel stuck when using technology to engage all students; all are welcome!

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration, Teaching basic technological literacy

Click here for workshop materials.

SLIFE Literacy Support Through Book Creator

How can we support Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education in a heterogeneous class? What does this look like during remote learning? How can we support SLIFEs to become independent learners? In this workshop we will explore how to support SLIFEs with literacy and tech literacy through a user-friendly book creating program. Participants will explore the online tool Book Creator, and walk away with strategies to use in their classrooms, hybrid and remote. Participants are encouraged to bring their class materials to start creating their own teacher template using Book Creator.



Facilitator(s): Areum Kang

Intended Audience: All are welcome!


Category(ies): Remote Language Development


Click here for workshop materials.



Social Media for Student Engagement

Building a sense of community over the computer and in small class sizes is challenging. Not everyone uses social media, and staying fully engaged over a screen can be daunting for both adults and students. In this workshop, participants will get the chance to explore a variety of activities that can help students and staff stay invested in the school community. These activities can be done on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, but they can also be done via Google Classroom, a school website, or any other internal platform that brings staff and students together. We will showcase successful examples from our school and the educational community at large. If possible, Student Government officers will give testimonials about how the Spring and Fall activities kept their morale high. We will answer any questions about the logistics, administrative/staff buy-in, and more. Participants will also get the chance to plan a student engagement campaign of their own.

Facilitator(s): Jacqueline Thomas, Yanira Roman

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration, Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

Click here for workshop materials.

Student Circle Keepers

Are you looking for meaningful ways to incorporate student voice and empower young people to help each other? Whether you are experienced with Restorative Justice, or new to the concepts and strategies, we’ll share how we are working with our students so that they can facilitate Circles in their Advisories. We will provide a foolproof template for planning circles, as well as lessons that we use to teach students how to become facilitators. You’ll meet a few of our current student circle keepers and hear them talk about the impact of student led circles. Participants will walk away with new tools and strategies for empowering students to take ownership of restorative justice in their school.

Facilitator(s): Heather Cristol, Sarah Cunningham

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education, Student leadership

Click here for workshop materials.

Teaching Physical Education And Health Education Remotely

How can we teach physical education and health remotely? In this workshop, participants will explore different ideas and units for teaching physical education and health education remotely. We will explore units in nutrition, muscle and exercises, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Participants will walk away with a toolkit of remote games, strategies in classwork, and tools for engaging students in an online setting.



Facilitator(s): James Leung


Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for Physical Education and Health teachers, but all are welcome!


Category(ies): P.E./Health in Remote Contexts


Click here for workshop materials.



The Power of Sentences

How can we move students beyond sentence frames and starters to generate oral and written sentences about the content they are learning? How can we make small changes in our approach to syntax in order to have a big impact on student writing? Social change is rooted in a vision of what is possible and fostered by a sense of belonging and voice. Supporting students to gain control over the ways they can use language to communicate and express their ideas reinforces the value of those ideas and perspectives. This workshop focuses on making explicit the relationship between ideas at the sentence level. When students have powerful language tools, they gain more power over their own agency and voice. In this workshop, we will examine a range of approaches for sentence level comprehension and production. We will present a set of interactive sentence tasks that support students to internalize and generate simple, compound, and complex sentences across all content areas. These can be used in both in-person and online classrooms. Participants will have opportunities to practice the strategies and discuss with peers.

Facilitator(s): Suzanna McNamara, Annie Smith

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Remote Language Development

Click here for workshop materials.

Trauma Informed Teaching In A Self-Paced Classroom

When we value speed and content over relationships we fail to make a connection with students that can help them apply interpersonal skills that will lead them to advocate for themselves. Working with trauma-affected students is a difficult balancing act but its benefits are far reaching and impactful. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that childhood trauma is far more pervasive than previously believed and is often invisible. This workshop will explore how trauma disrupts brain development. Participants will engage in discussions on SEL practices that benefit all children, building critical skills like self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and an openness to teamwork and cooperation.

Facilitator(s): Jal Raval

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

Click here for workshop materials.

Using Models To Build Independent Learners

How can we teach students to use models to structure essays and develop analysis? When we teach students how to use models, they learn a process first. Students are given feedback and directed to reflect on how they use the model to revise their writing structure. Once the model is mastered, feedback can be focused on higher level critical thinking skills like analyzing information. In this way, students build the self-efficacy skills needed to become independent learners. Once students can organize their writing we can free up space to really dive into how to build the analysis in argumentative writing. These models can be leveraged for writing assignments across contents and should result in higher-level writing. Using models fosters a mindset change in students that builds not only writing skills, but also confidence, self-efficacy, and the skills needed to become independent learners across content-areas.

Facilitator(s): Lisa Sacco

Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for ELA teachers and teachers who teach argumentative and multi-paragraph writing, but all are welcome!

Category(ies): Remote Language Development

Click here for workshop materials.

Working Together to Support Post-Secondary Opportunities for Our Students

Want to share and discuss some challenges to the work of developing a post-secondary readiness team? Want to learn about some successful strategies or examples that have arisen at an Internationals School around this work? Want to have a bank of resources and materials that can help you in developing post-secondary readiness at your school? Want to join a session that does not end at the workshop because the goal is to start a network of educators in our schools that want to commit to regularly supporting each other, sharing ideas, helping to problem-solve, and generally being there for each other in times when it feels like you’re the only one doing this work at your school? This workshop may be for you!

Facilitator(s): Martin Castro

Intended Audience: Teachers, counselors, and school staff involved in or interested in developing a stronger post-secondary system in their schools and among our Internationals network; all are welcome!

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration, Post-Secondary Readiness

Click here for workshop materials.

Beyond Elections: Student Government for All

How can we provide opportunities for students to gain valuable leadership experience while reinforcing literacy skills? How can we develop an inclusive democratic tradition that empowers students through collaborative community-oriented tasks? In this session, participants will hear examples of how to schedule impactful events that provide opportunities for student leaders-in-the-making to use various modes of communication in carrying out their responsibilities. Participants will have time to plan structured activities for their student leaders and receive feedback from peers.

Facilitator(s): Tim Ross

Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for staff involved in student government, or those interested in facilitating student government in the future; all are welcome!

Category(ies): Student leadership

Click here for workshop materials.

Building Community Through Immigration Projects (History/Math)

Have you ever wondered what kind of projects you can implement to build connections with the young people you serve that can be successful in both remote, in-person, synchronous and asynchronous contexts? Then, this workshop is for you. With two teachers, teaching two very different contents, from the history and math department, learn how units on immigration can achieve such goals. In this workshop we will examine how the use of the theme of immigration can be a great step in engaging students’ curiosity of their own histories and in getting them to look at immigration from the perspective of mathematicians. From the historical perspective, an introductory unit on immigration helps students develop their research skills, understand the role of historians and create their own accounts of primary sources or verbal accounts through family interviews. From the mathematical perspective, students will develop and use math skills, such as graphing and rate of change, and learn how mathematics, and graphs in particular, can help tell a story. Through such projects, students develop their 21st learning skills of analyzing, researching while getting to know their own histories and identities. Moreover, students get to learn about one another’s immigration experiences and thus create a sense of belonging, a community and understanding.

Facilitator(s): Sara Qatabi, Julie Arcemont

Intended Audience: Teachers, Administrators, and all are welcome.

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education , Experiential Learning, Teaching basic technological literacy

Click here for workshop materials.

Cameras Off: Making a Safe, Interactive Online Class for Reluctant Learners and SIFE

How can we reach ALL of our students in live online classes, especially students with interrupted formal education? How can we see student work and evaluate student progress over Zoom, while many students are also new to the technology we use? In this workshop, participants will explore ways to build on the prior knowledge our students bring to the remote classroom. We will experience strategies for differentiating lessons and holding students accountable using Nearpod, writing activities with WhatsApp, and dialogues for oral practice. Participants will also engage in Nearpod activities from the perspective of a SIFE with developing literacy. Participants will walk away with more strategies for differentiating remote instruction for a diverse group of learners. The strategies explored are also transferrable to in-person contexts.



Facilitator(s): Amanda Vender, Katie Lotz


Intended Audience: All are welcome.


Category(ies): Remote Language Development


Click here for workshop materials.


Creating Group Work In The Remote Classroom Environment

How can we encourage and facilitate meaningful, remote collaboration for our students? In this session, participants will explore strategies that have been successful for cultivating remote collaboration, and will see some examples of group work from a remote Science classroom. Participants will then have time to apply these strategies to their own curricula and co-plan with their peers. Participants will walk away with some new tools for creating authentic opportunities for remote student collaboration.

Facilitator(s): Kara MacDevitt

Intended Audience: All are welcome.

Category(ies): Remote Collaboration, Experiential Learning

Click here for workshop materials.

Creating Interdisciplinary Projects: Social Studies & Mathematics

SSLet’s brainstorm innovate Math & Social Studies projects together! How can Social Studies units reinforce math skills and vice versa? Join 3 teachers who have created interdisciplinary projects in both Junior Institute and Senior Institute classrooms and both in-person and remotely. In this workshop we will present interdisciplinary projects that made students analyze issues like affordable housing, student loan debt, and globalization. Then we will have time to brainstorm ways to bring more interdisciplinary projects to our own schools.

Facilitator(s): Britt Louise Fremstad, Jane Kang, Luis Ramon Diaz

Intended Audience: Math and Social Studies teachers; but all are welcome!

Category(ies): Experiential Learning

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Exploring Inequities Revealed By The Pandemic

What is the pandemic showing us about disparities between neighborhoods in NYC, and how can we explore these disparities with our students? Government data will be analyzed to clearly show that neighborhoods in NYC are not equal when it comes to the effects of COVID 19. Background knowledge and articles will reveal the root causes behind these inequities. Participants will then brainstorm solutions to these problems in breakout rooms. This discussion will turn into an argument essay style letter to a NY politician. Scaffolding methods for the letter and the articles will be shared as well as sample letters and real responses from a state senator! Also the distribution of a public health questionnaire provides the opportunity for students to assist local officials and public health advocates. The questionnaire helps to identify vulnerable populations and spread useful information about staying healthy. Participants will walk away with many tools and strategies for exploring these inequalities with their students.

Facilitator(s): Wesley Hoffman

Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for ELA and Social Studies teachers, but all are welcome!

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

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Exploring the Impact of Systemic Violence and White Supremacist Culture In Our Schools

How does White Supremacist culture show up in our education system and in our schools, and how can we work to undue the damage it causes? Through this session, we will reflect on how systemic violence impacts the emotional well-being of both us as educators, as well as our students. We will reflect and discuss aspects of White Supremacist culture that are present in our everyday interactions as educators and human beings. Finally, in an effort to disrupt White Supremacist culture in our school environments, we will identify antidotes and best practices to support ourselves and our students during these times.

Facilitator(s): Tania Romero

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

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Google Sites: Engage Students Asynchronously

Engaging students remotely is difficult, especially when so many of our students have other responsibilities that compete with their ability to attend synchronous classes. In this workshop, participants will learn how to create their own Google Site to engage with students asynchronously. We will look at an example Google Site with an anti-racist curriculum, and how it can be used in tandem with Google Classroom. Topics to be covered are creating video lessons, example assignments, and student reference materials to promote independent asynchronous learning.

Facilitator(s): Marc McEwan

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

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Hey Listen Games: Teaching With Video Games

Welcome to the Hey Listen Games: Teaching With Video Games Workshop! Video games are rife with educational potential, but are very rarely implemented in our classrooms in meaningful ways. What are often used in schools are “educational” video games. This workshop is not about that! We will instead focus on how “entertainment” games that our students are already playing can be utilized as educational resources. The video game industry is the largest entertainment industry in the world and every teacher has gamers in their classroom. We need to bring their own passions into the room in order to get them excited about education. This is especially true during a pandemic with so many of our students stuck at home with only video games as a source of pleasure. If you are a gamer, or have considered teaching with video games but don’t know where to start, then this session is for you! This workshop will focus on lessons in Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Social-Emotional Health.

Facilitator(s): Zachary Hartzman

Intended Audience: All are welcome, but it is recommended that participants have basic knowledge of how to use modern video game consoles and/or game digital distribution services on computers.

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

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Journal Writing: Daily Practice; Creative Resource

As teachers, we use daily writing in all subjects to help our students focus, make personal connections in anticipation of unfamiliar material, build skills, and practice solving the problems posed by our disciplines. Daily writing is available to us, too, not only in our role as teachers but as individuals seeking outlets for self-discovery. Formal studies and anecdotal evidence have shown the power of a daily writing practice to unravel confusion, untangle mental and emotional chaos, soothe our minds and hearts, and promote honest conversations with ourselves. In this workshop, we will write in response prompts and activities; review some of the research that supports the health benefits of writing; discuss strategies for using daily journals as a resource for teaching ideas and other creative projects; explore ways to use journals to overcome procrastination, resistance, and blocks; and use poetry, prose, and images to collage. You will come away with your own writing, a reading list of books that can help support a personal journal writing practice, and multiple writing activities that can be used in your classrooms, along with an understanding of how low stakes writing builds writing stamina and creative thinking and aids problem solving.

Facilitator(s): Pamela Gordon

Intended Audience: Teachers seeking a safe, non-judgmental space in which to explore and sort out, through writing and some collaging, the multitude of experiences the past year has visited upon us; all are welcome!

Category(ies): The efficacy of low-stakes writing for personal discovery and academic support.

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Mitigating Trauma in the Newcomer Classroom: A Commitment Beyond Borders

How can we best support immigrant youth while they are transitioning and settling into our country, and how can we grasp the necessary knowledge on trauma and the sociopolitical and geopolitical context of this transition? In this workshop, school personnel will explore the tools to intervene and alleviate the effects of trauma in the classroom with expertise, empathy, and confidence. This workshop looks forward to pushing for collaboration and dialogue among school personnel and teachers. All adults involved in educating young and newly arrived scholars to the country should be involved in these efforts. We (educators and school personnel) are all in need of tools for listening, empathizing, and supporting immigrant students to succeed. The purpose of this workshop is to offer teachers an entry point to address, study, implement strategies, and advocate for the well being of students inside and outside classrooms and schools. This session is offered as a starting point not only for teachers, but also for school personnel to internalize the complexity of trauma in adolescents, particularly immigrant youth.

Facilitator(s): Laura Garriguez, Katie Applegate

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

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Parts of a Whole: Building Rigorous Portfolio Work Through Cumulative Project Planning

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the task of creating student-centered projects? How can we scaffold towards larger projects, by using smaller, more manageable mini-projects? How can a cycle of student choice and repeated themes help increase engagement and understanding? In this session, participants will explore these questions through multiple examples from an ELA classroom. Participants will see examples of smaller, less time-consuming projects, that eventually lead students towards a larger portfolio, including real examples that address the following driving questions: How are the challenges of the past reflected in the present (or vice-versa)? and How does investigating diverse primary sources help us make reasoned arguments about our past (and present)? Participants will be able to see and discuss the ways that choice and repetition contribute to an accumulation of student knowledge, skill, and engagement. Participants will be able to apply these ideas to their own classroom.

Facilitator(s): Eric Bradshaw, Lydia Langer

Intended Audience: All are welcome!

Category(ies): Remote Language Development, Experiential Learning, Teaching basic technological literacy

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Remote Science Portfolio Projects

How can we design remote interdisciplinary or disciplinary experiential projects using science and physical exercise curricula? In this workshop, we will explore the possibilities of designing an interdisciplinary PBAT project or disciplinary PBAT project which can be done remotely. We will look at students’ Science PBAT papers and identify various skills that were practiced and presented in the projects. We will explore different strategies and examples for integrating physical exercise concepts into science classes. Participants will have time to discuss and bounce ideas about developing projects that can be accomplished remotely without stressing about the distribution and use of classroom materials for data collection. All the resources that went into developing these projects will be shared with the participants.

Facilitator(s): Tamanna Talukder

Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for science and PE teachers, but all are welcome!

Category(ies): Experiential Learning

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Unpacking Pronouns: Identifying and Reshaping Gender Norms through an Interdisciplinary Approach

This workshop will highlight the year-long interdisciplinary curriculum between English and Art on the theme of perspective. We will showcase a case study on teaching Gender Norms and empowering students to share their own perspective on gender constructs. The session will include a discussion of how to approach this subject matter in your classroom as well as work time to create curriculum about contemporary conversations through an interdisciplinary approach.

Facilitator(s): Sarah Stahl, Lionel Cruet

Intended Audience: Teachers of Art, English, Social Studies, Advisory and Counselors are encouraged to register, but all are welcome.

Category(ies): Interdisciplinary planning curriculum and approach.

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Using Games and Puzzles in Desmos to Support Learning

Are you familiar with the Desmos’ Classroom Activities? How can we use games and puzzles to foster collaboration and critical thinking during remote learning? Through this workshop, participants will get a brief introduction to Desmos, a free website that can be used to provide students with opportunities to practice and develop mathematical skills. Then, participants will be able to participate in some games and puzzles as students, while simultaneously seeing what the teacher dashboard looks like, and how to use it to engage with students. By the end, participants would have explored how to use games and puzzles through Desmos to have students collaborate with each other to build critical thinking skills as they build community. If time allows it, participants will begin to explore how to create our own activities using Desmos.



Facilitator(s): Juan Perez, Mehmet Zubaroglu


Intended Audience: This workshop is intended for math teachers, but all are welcome!


Category(ies): Remote Collaboration


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