Creative Learning Consultants Inc.

Staff Development Specializing in Differentiated Instruction
from Pieces of Learning

Carolyn Coil's Topics

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   Keynote Descriptions

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   Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat?

A thermometer is an instrument that can accurately measure what is. It gives us the facts. A thermostat, on the other hand, can change the temperature. It doesn't just tell us what is; it has the ability to change the status quo into something better. In this keynote, Carolyn compares thermometers and thermostats to the attitudes and actions we may have as educators. This keynote will inspire you to live your life as a thermostat rather than as a thermometer!

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   Educational Leadership in a Time of Change

Our world has become a global village, and this has immense implications for educators! Like the explorers of long ago, we are forging into new territory as we lead students into the 21st century. In this motivational keynote, Carolyn helps us to see our dreams, set our visions and communicate clearly. She then points us, our students, and our colleagues in the direction where we might journey together.

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   Encouraging Achievement

So many of the mind sets common to 21st century life discourage rather than encourage achievement. How can we reverse this and be the encouragers, the nurturers and the promoters of student achievement? In this keynote filled with both enthusiasm and practicality, we will consider ways to encourage all of our students to be passionate about learning, persist and grow through times of failure and discouragement, and take responsibility for their own work.

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   Sparking Your 'Sparkle' Throughout the School Year

How can we spark our own enthusiasm? What are the keys to self-motivation? How do we encourage others? In this upbeat keynote, Carolyn answers these questions as she talks about developing and maintaining our 'SPARKLE'; Strengths, Participation, Attitude, Recognition, Kindness, Laughter, Enthusiasm and Energy.

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   Workshop Descriptions

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   Solving the Assessment Puzzle

How and why we assess students are the essential questions of this workshop. We will look at how to develop and use types of performance and authentic assessments, especially when differentiating classroom instruction.

Included is how to link standards to curriculum units, how to develop assessment criteria for specific products and performances, how and when to create complex rubrics, how and when to use product criteria cards and the use of student logs, rating scales, checklists, portfolios, student self assessments and group assessment procedures.

Recommended book bundle: Solving the Assessment Puzzle

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   Challenging the "Hidden" Gifted Underachiever

Many gifted students slide by in school, getting reasonably good grades and scoring well on standardized tests, but put forth little or no effort.  Following a different pattern of underachievement than the one traditionally recognized, these students could be called "hidden" underachievers. 

In this session (or keynote) we will look at reasons for this type of underachievement and examine ways to guide such students to embrace academic challenges and choose demanding learning activities instead of the easiest ones.  We will discuss how to encourage them to persist through times of disappointment or failure, how to learn from their mistakes and how to take responsibility for and find joy in their own learning.

Recommended book bundles: Encouraging Achievement and Becoming an Achiever

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   Developing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

This workshop gives teachers the opportunity to learn the basic principles of both creative and critical thinking, and shows ways to teach these skills in a standards-based classroom. Thinking skills in all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy are considered and workshop participants are active participants in learning how to incorporate higher-level questioning into their classroom activities. Questivities, a new way to encourage and teach research skills, higher level thinking and active questioning using a variety of learning styles and multiple intelligences, are introduced in this exciting and motivational workshop.

Recommended book bundles: Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

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   Differentiating Curriculum in the Multi Ability Classroom

How can teachers meet the needs of all their students when these needs and ability levels are so diverse?  This workshop focuses on practical strategies showing teachers the "how-to" of differentiation.  Strategies include flexible grouping, tiered lessons and units, curriculum compacting, independent study, learning centers, learning contracts, ways to give students choices of learning activities, classroom management strategies in a differentiated classroom and more.

Recommended books: Standards-Based Activities and Assessments for the Differentiated Classroom and Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

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   Differentiating Curriculum for Middle School Students

Differentiation works best when students are motivated to learn, have good time management, study and organizational skills, and know how to work productively both independently and in various types of small groups. Most middle school students, regardless of ability or readiness level, need structure and guidance in learning how to do these things. In this workshop, we will discuss ways to develop these skills, consider how to best manage classroom organization and flexible grouping and see sample planning formats for differentiated units of work.

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   Differentiating Curriculum for AP and Pre-AP Students

The Advanced Placement Program provides rigorous curricular guidelines with a reliable common assessment for all students. Students of differing abilities, learning styles, study habits, etc. are likely to be enrolled in AP and Pre-AP courses. Differentiated curriculum will help students attain this national standard for excellence. This workshop includes lots of practical strategies and planning formats that can be used right away.

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   Differentiating for Gifted Students in the Regular Classroom

Similar to the workshop described above including many of the same strategies, but with an emphasis on meeting the needs of gifted and high ability students.  Teachers will learn how to assess and document what their students already know, how to plan for and monitor challenging alternate activities, and how to design and implement learning activities which promote higher level thinking.

Recommended books: Standards-Based Activities and Assessments for the Differentiated Classroom and Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

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   Differentiating Curriculum for LEP (Limited English Proficient) Students

Differentiation is an approach to teaching that provides students with a number of different options for learning. LEP students need different approaches due to their cultural backgrounds and/or language acquisition. We will discuss the impact to culture on learning and discover numerous strategies for differentiation specifically targeted to meet the needs of these students.

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   Differentiated Instruction in American History

In this practical and interactive workshop/workshop series, participants will explore differentiation strategies that work to engage all students as they learn more about American history and government. Rich in both content and innovative strategies, it will help teachers instruct their students more effectively, thereby increasing their understanding of and appreciation for our nation and our democracy.

The workshop will be custom-designed to meet the individual needs of a school or district, including number of days, grade levels and specific content or standards.

Recommended books: Standards-Based Activities and Assessments for the Differentiated Classroom and Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

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   Encouraging Achievement: Challenge, Responsibility and Persistence

How can we encourage students to embrace academic challenges and choose demanding learning activities instead of the easiest ones? How do we encourage them to persist through times of stress, disappointment or failure and take responsibility for their own learning? How do we teach students to plan long range assignments and independent study so that they make the best use of their time? How do we encourage discouraged students? Find some answers to these and other similar questions in this workshop.

Recommended book: Encouraging Achievement

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   'Giftedness': What It Is -What It Isn't:  How To Deal With Those Who Are 

In this workshop Carolyn gives a broad overview of giftedness, including myths about gifted students. Identification, service delivery models, scheduling and logistics, appropriate curriculum, grouping patterns and strategies, and ways to work with parents are discussed. Provides excellent overview for administrators and/or general education teachers.

Recommended book: Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

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   Motivating Underachievers

Frustrated by students who have potential to achieve but somehow do not? This workshop focuses on these students...our underachievers. We will examine the causes of underachievement, and explore numerous practical strategies that can be used by teachers, counselors, and parents to help and encourage underachieving students. Suggested strategies are practical and can be implemented in any school setting.

Recommended book: Motivating Underachievers

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   Parent-Teacher Collaboration

In this workshop, Carolyn gives practical suggestions for building trust and communication between home and school. Also includes methods for structuring and planning parent-teacher conferences, communication skills, developing positive attitudes which invite home-school collaboration, and suggestions for post conference follow-up. Includes role playing and skills practice.

Recommended books: Teaching Tools for the 21st Century and Practical Tips for Parents

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   Seven Steps to Successful Student Achievement (3-12)

Discover seven steps that will lead your students to higher achievement: …
• Developing self-confidence
• Setting short and long term goals
• Becoming motivated to learn
• Managing time and organizational skills
• Improving study skills
• Learning how to take tests and other assessments
• Dealing with 'the system'
In this practical and interactive workshop, you will learn a variety of proven strategies for each of the seven steps that you can use with your students immediately!

Recommended book: Becoming an Achiever

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   Standards-Based Activities and Assessments for the Differentiated Classroom

Today's classrooms focus on the standards. Mastering them is the goal for all students. How does this goal fit with the philosophy and implementation of differentiation? In this workshop, examine three approaches to differentiation that can be used with your standards. Learn how to develop both the differentiated activities and the corresponding assessments, including appropriate extensions that challenge gifted and high ability students.

Based on Carolyn's #1 best selling book: Standards-Based Activities and Assessments for the Differentiated Classroom

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   Surviving the Middle Years

Explore the challenges of working with students in the middle years (ages 10-15). Included in this informative and practical workshop are the characteristics and needs of these children, organizational patterns for schools, social growth and development, physical changes, intellectual development, home/school communication, and study and organizational skills for students. Appropriate workshop for teachers, parents, counselors, those involved in pastoral care and youth workers of all types.

Recommended book: Becoming an Achiever

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   Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

This session provides practical, concrete methods for individualizing lessons and units which meet the needs of all students, and gives specific teaching strategies and techniques which can be used with a variety of learning styles and ability levels. Includes opportunities for student choices, multiple intelligences, learning modalities, Bloom's taxonomy, use of new technologies and alternative assessment strategies. Teachers attending this workshop will develop lesson plans which they will be able to use in their classrooms.

Based on Carolyn's best selling book: Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

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   Criteria Cards: Tools for Formative and Summative Assessment

Learn how to develop criteria cards that can be used for student self-assessment, peer assessment and teacher grading.  Criteria cards are generic assessment tools that can be used multiple times as students work on similar products or master a learning process.  Used as formative assessments, they encourage students to be more responsible learners.  As summative assessments, they make the grading of differentiated projects and performances quick, easy and accurate.

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   Flexible Grouping: It’s More Than Just Moving Their Seats!

Flexible grouping for the delivery of instruction is the cornerstone of differentiation.  When implemented well, it leads to success for every student.  While this sounds good in theory, how is it actually implemented in real classrooms?  In this practical session, we will discuss 13 Guidelines for Managing Flexible Groups, advantages and disadvantages of various grouping patterns, and the logistics and management of group work.  You will come away with ideas and strategies you can use in your classroom immediately.

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   “If It’s on the Internet, It Has to Be True!”

What a statement… yet this is what many kids believe in this age of information explosion.  In this session we will look at ways to teach students how to become savvy information consumers as they look at various print and Internet resources.  To accomplish this, we must structure our schools and classrooms to target skills in critical thinking and independent learning.  This session focuses on practical strategies to build these skills and help students develop the ability to understand, evaluate and integrate information from a wide variety of sources.

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   Planning for Successful Schoolwide Differentiation

How can we change schools so that differentiation is an approach used by teachers every day?  There is no quick fix!  In this session, Carolyn will discuss a long-term approach with several important components:

  1. A motivational introduction to the concept of differentiation
  2. Ongoing training showing teachers practical strategies for differentiation
  3. Time to write differentiated lessons/units and to gather resources
  4. Practice and implementation in the classroom
  5. Regular follow-up sessions and/or sharing in Professional Learning Communities

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   Successful Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom

In this presentation, we will discuss a number of practical strategies to use when differentiating curriculum.  Emphasized are strategies that challenge students, focusing on developing higher level thinking skills.  Strategies include curriculum compacting, learning contracts, resident expert, anchoring activities, and Tic-Tac-Toe.  Each of these strategies can be implemented in any classroom setting.  

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   Using ‘Questivities’ to Develop Creative Thinking

This session introduces ‘Questivities’, an easy-to-use format that encourages creativity in the differentiated classroom.  It provides a way for students to brainstorm answers to creative thinking questions before beginning a project or research activity.  These questions stimulate ‘outside the box’ thinking, give practice in research skills and extend any project activity.  In this session, you will see examples of the Questivities format, participate in brainstorming answers to sample Questivities Thinking Questions, and discuss applications of this strategy for your own classroom.

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   What to Do for Stressed-Out Kids: Dealing with Stress and Perfectionism

This presentation focuses on stressors faced by children and some of the things parents and teachers can do to help alleviate them.   Carolyn discusses the causes of stress in modern society, with an emphasis on those factors which most affect children such as perfectionism, the fear of making mistakes, our hurried lifestyles and too many activities.  We’ll look at a number of practical ideas and strategies we can use to deal with stress in children and help them live more relaxed and less stressful lives.

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   Creativity x 2

This interactive session introduces two easy-to-use formats, Questivities™ and Encounter Lessons, appropriate for enhancing creativity for gifted students.  Each provides ways for students to use their imaginations by considering and then answering a series of divergent thinking questions.  These questions stimulate ‘outside-the-box’ thinking, give practice in both research skills and storytelling, and provide a springboard for students to develop creative project activities.  In this session participants will see examples of each format and will actively participate in two demonstration lessons, one for each format.

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   Using the RTI Approach with Gifted Underachievers

What can be done to help gifted underachievers when they lack motivation, struggle academically or display behaviors not conducive to high achievement in school?  The Response to Intervention (RTI) approach identifies the needs of each underachieving student and links those needs to specific strategies and interventions that can lead to success.  In this session, learn how to identify student needs, become familiar with many practical strategies and interventions and find out how to implement these strategies and monitor each student’s steps to success. 

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   Top Ten Parent Questions

Parents of gifted students have a wide range of questions encompassing the academic, social and emotional needs of their children. Other questions focus on the concept of giftedness, cultural diversity, the use of new technologies and the proper relationship between home and school. In this session, you will hear both the questions and the answers to the "Top Ten". This workshop can be designed for parents, for teachers or for both groups.

Recommended book: Practical Tips for Parents

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   Using Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences in the Differentiated Classroom (K-12)

How do we meet the needs of the many different types of learners in today's classrooms? In this workshop we will review learning styles, learning modalities, and multiple intelligences and learn practical strategies for meeting individual student needs. Learn how to create individualized lesson plans and units you can take back to your classroom and use immediately!

Based on Carolyn's best selling book: Teaching Tools for the 21st Century

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Train-the-Trainers Workshop for Successful Schoolwide Differentiation

This two-day workshop is designed for school leaders--administrators, coordinators, and teachers:

  • who are already familiar with differentiation
  • who recognize the value of differentiation in the classroom
  • who want to become Trainers or Resident Experts in differentiation in their own schools or school districts

The first day includes:

  • an overview of basic differentiation concepts and ideas
  • an introduction to and review of numerous differentiation strategies.

Through interactive discussion, the focus is on classroom implementation of those strategies and how to instruct teachers to incorporate the strategies into their classrooms.

During the second day, participants will develop a Plan of Action for their own in-house training.

  • Carolyn will offer practical suggestions and approaches toward implementation of a schoolwide plan, working with the whole group, small groups, and each participant as needed.
  • Each educator will then choose specific differentiation strategies on which to focus in developing his or her Plan.
  • Carolyn will also include "How-to's" for becoming a successful Trainer, presenting a number of specific techniques and tips.

This staff development training is based on Carolyn's new book Successful Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom.

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   Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap 

Every educator faces the challenge of raising achievement for all students.  The "achievement gap” refers to the disparity in academic performance between sub-groups of students, particularly low income and minority students. This workshop focuses on a variety of research-based strategies that can be used in schools to help raise student achievement.

In this practical and interactive workshop, you will learn a variety of proven strategies to help students:

·         Set short and long term goals
·         Manage time and organizational skills
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 Improve study skills
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Learn how to take tests and understand other assessments

You will also learn ways to:

·         Address different learning styles while teaching the standards to all students
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Design tiered lessons and units
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Use formative assessments to drive instruction

Recommended books:
Becoming an Achiever
Successful Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom
Differentiation, RTI and Achievement: How They Work Together

 


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