Making Teaching Matter

Brainerd, Minnesota
Sunday, November 13, 2016
MREA 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE: Making Teaching Matter
Nov. 13-15, 2016 I Brainerd, MN
Cragun's Resort & Conference Center
MREA member registration opens  July 11.
Non-member registration opens August 15.
Select registrant type:
MREA Member, Individual Registrant
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13  

Conference Check-in  
5:00 PM
Location: Main Lobby

Light Dinner Buffet  
5:30 PM
Location: Poolside

Conference Connections Kickoff  
6:15 PM
Location: Poolside

Early-Bird Sessions  
7:00 PM

Learning to Look: Finding Learning and Shifting Instruction  (details)
In this interactive session, we'll practice how to observe classrooms-in-action in ways that will help shift our conversations about teaching and learning. Using a series of classroom videos, you'll have a chance to not only learn to "look for moments of learning" but see how this process can also bring about more purposeful instruction.
Location: Lakeshore 1

Personalized Learning The Flipped Model  (details)
Finding more time to integrate various instructional techniques in the classroom, including active learning and higher order thinking, along with increased student-to-teacher interaction is a challenge every educator faces. Based on research recently conducted, flipping the classroom may aid educators in this quest. The flipped classroom has been around for many years, and the increased digital learning initiatives in our schools may make the flipped classroom easier to implement. If implemented appropriately, the flipped classroom may improve the learning opportunities for students. This presentation will examine findings from a study recently conducted in Minnesota. The following areas will be presented: potential benefits for students, instructional considerations, learning, student considerations, parent considerations, and considerations based on grade level and content area taught. This presentation will also highlight various applications of the flipped classroom along with recommendations for effectively implementing a flipped classroom based on research.
Location: Lakeshore 3

Education's Silent Opponent  (details)
Prepare yourself to learn about possibly the single-most important topic educators are facing.  Unfortunately, most educators know little to nothing about this silent opponent.  Learn how toxic stress changes the brain and interferes with learning.  This session is not just for early childhood or elementary teachers; it is for every educator, within every discipline at every level.  A broad array of toxic stress research will be presented and practical solutions/techniques will be explored.  Most importantly, learn how YOU can help change everything.  
Location: Lakeshore 4

Teacher Cadet Program  (details)

Having trouble filling teaching positions in your school, especially in critical shortage areas?  Is your teaching pool low on teacher diversity?  The Teacher Cadet Program can help you to “Grow Your Own” teachers.  This innovative teacher recruitment program is designed to attract talented young people to the teaching profession through a challenging introduction to teaching, taught as a rigorous, dual credit accrual high school course. The program targets 11th and 12th graders and seeks to provide high school students with an insight into the nature of teaching and opportunities for experiential learning through job shadows and internships.


Location: Paul Bunyan 3

Voluntary Pre-K Forum for Funded Districts  (details)
Schools who were awarded grants can meet with other funded schools and MN Department of Education staff to discuss their issues, successes, aha! moments, and questions. The primary focus will be on supporting schools that are beginning programs to ensure the success of rural children.
Location: Lakeshore 2

Why We Play/Teach  (details)
Why we Play is no longer just a co-curricular initiative that will come and go.  Why we Play was implemented by the Minnesota State High School League in 2010 and has been transformational in its approach to education based athletics.  The idea of identifying core values, develop of a personal, team and school purpose statement has gone beyond just the athletic fields and has made a big impact in schools and classrooms across the state as well.  This session will assist you in better understanding the common language as well as provide practical implementation strategies for your district and school.
Location: Paul Bunyan 1


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14  

Breakfast Buffet  
7:00 AM
Location: Main Dining Room

Welcome & Opening Keynote Speaker: Sarah Brown Wessling
"Reclaiming the Value of Teaching"
(Details)  
8:15 AM
Location: Event Centre

*Morning Break  
Location: Poolside

Breakouts Session I  
10:05 AM

Authentic Intellectual Work: Improving Teaching through Rigorous Learning
 (details)
Participants will analyze the quality of thinking in a first grade math lesson and discuss how the structure of the assignment impacts the quality of authentic thinking. The lesson used for the workshop is from Chapter 2 in Corwin 2016 book on Authentic Intellectual Work. One of the book's authors, Dana Carmichael, is co-presenting with keynote speaker, Sara Wessling. Come join this interactive session on authentic thinking.
Location: Lakeshore 1

Change the Achievement Culture in Your School
 (details)
Get a better understanding of programs used in schools to successfully create student excitement for learning and to instill an achievement  culture that expects career and college readiness for all learners. Presenters from MREA member districts will discuss how they implemented the John Baylor Prep program and the success their students attained.
Location: Tech 1

Concurrent Enrollment: Staying Strong and Committed in Minnesota
 (details)
Attend this interactive session to learn more about the current landscape of concurrent enrollment across Minnesota. Concurrent enrollment directors from three rural MnSCU institutions will address NACEP accreditation and requirements, the collaborative efforts of MnCEP (Minnesota Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships), and trending topics such as graduate-level coursework and credit for prior learning options and MnSCU’s framework for tested experience. Come to learn about state, system, and campus-level work to support concurrent enrollment and to ask questions and share your insights.
Location: Lakeshore 2

Gender Non-Conforming and Transgender Students: Law and Practice of Inclusion
 (details)
We will discuss the current state of the law including the U. S. Department of Education’s May Letter and recent court decisions. After establishing the legal framework, we will break into small groups and discuss what the essential requirements for inclusion are including: 

Developing a gender inclusion policy – why have a policy, who should create it, how to discuss this with your Board and your community
Gender Inclusion Practices – what are the best practices for including students and avoiding discrimination? Practical suggestions for pronoun use, records, dress codes, instruction for the Board, community, students and staff 
Responding to concerns – how to address community concerns, staff concerns and student concerns around religion and free speech in particular  
Location: Lakeshore 3

Innovative Para-to-SPED Teaching Initiative
 (details)
This session will share the development and implementation of a collaboration between the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative and Southwest Minnesota State University's School of Education in part to alleviate the shortage of special education teachers in rural schools in our area. This initiative allows paraprofessionals in special education to work toward the Special Education: Academic Behavioral Strategist license in an online format while continuing to work in their district.
Location: Paul Bunyan 3

Journey to Celebration/Reward School Status
 (details)
Minneota Public Schools found itself in Needs of Improvement status four years ago.  A strategic plan was developed with the School Board, Administration and staff.  Just three years later the district achieved Celebration School status and now Reward School status just a year later.  The strategic plan and strategies used will be shared all levels of school staff.
Location: Pioneer Room

Smart Solutions to Minnesota's Teacher Shortage
 (details)
Minnesota’s teacher shortage in some content areas and in some geographic regions is acute. Fewer of Minnesota’s college students are considering entering the teaching profession than ever before, and more of our new teachers are leaving the profession before completing their first five years on the job.  EPIC, the Education Policy Innovation Center at Education Minnesota, combines academic research with educator voices to guide policy, and in the spring of 2016, an EPIC team produced a paper on the recruitment and retention of teachers.  This session will provide an overview of the findings and recommendations to come out of that process.     
Location: Tech 2

Teacher Leadership: Maximizing Your Human Capital
 (details)
Many teachers, as well as, school administrators, indicate that there are many leaders in schools and school districts without formal titles. The most effective teacher leaders operate without the title of teacher leader or school badge – as they are leaders who truly understand that in order to lead in many cases they must work and operate behind the scenes to make sure that colleagues are getting the resources and support that they need to be successful themselves.  Instead of one person carrying the burden and responsibilities of creating an effective school environment, educational administrators and teacher leaders are seen as the new model for school leadership.
Location: Lakeshore 4

Voluntary Pre-K Grant Recipients: Moving Forward
 (details)
Come learn more about the the program, how many applied, and who got funded. Hear what funded sites have learned and pick up insights for 2017.
Location: Paul Bunyan 2

What’s the Buzz about Co-Teaching?
 (details)
Since 2004, St. Cloud State University (SCSU) has studied, implemented, and encouraged a co-teaching model of student teaching. This model has gained national attention and today hundreds of institutions have implemented and adopted the co-teaching model of student teaching. Co-teaching is an exceptional way to encourage collaboration between cooperating teachers and their teacher candidates. Research has shown co-teaching positively impacts the academic achievement of elementary students; and benefits have been reported for all stakeholders including, cooperating teachers, teacher candidates, and P-12 students (Bacharach, Heck & Dahlberg, 2010).  However, Co-Teaching isn’t just an effective strategy to be used when hosting a teacher candidate, but is effective whenever there is more than one adult in the classroom. We are building capacity to support co-teaching not only as a model for student teaching, but as best practice for co-teaching between general education, special education and ELL teachers. 
Location: Paul Bunyan 1

Breakouts Session II  
11:10 AM

Creativity through Constraint: Projects that Enliven and Challenge
 (details)
If you’ve found yourself asking, “How do I get my students to see beyond the surface? How do I get them to think?” you’re part of a huge club constantly trying to help students “get beyond.” When we're learning more deeply, when we're deconstructing the processes of thinking, we're cultivating our strongest thinkers. In this workshop, we'll do a deep dive into some projects where students are challenged to exercise their deeper learning.
Location: Lakeshore 1

Crisis in AgEd: Recruitment and Retention Efforts
 (details)
Minnesota faces a critical shortage of school-based agricultural educators. As such, recruitment and retention efforts are increasingly important. Since 2014, Minnesota has been a pilot state participant in the State Teach Ag Results (STAR) program, coordinated by the National Teach Ag Campaign aimed at addressing the shortage of agriculture teachers. Through intentional and strategic conversations, a number of recruitment and retention strategies have been identified and implemented by Minnesota’s state leadership team. This workshop will dive deeper into three strategies, highlighting an Immersion Camp to recruit high school students into the teaching profession, a summer internship program to retain undergraduates in the Agricultural Education major, and two mentoring programs to assist current practicing professionals, one targeting first-year agricultural educators and one for mid-career teachers. Come learn more about each of these efforts and how they can contribute to success of agricultural education in your local school district.
Location: Paul Bunyan 2

Learning to Improve: the Power of Data!
 (details)
This session will discuss the importance of research, evaluation and assessment to guide decision-making and improve student outcomes. Examples will be provided on maximizing the use of research-based instructional strategies and practices that have a high impact on student achievement. Ideas will be shared on how to evaluate programs and practices in your building and use the information to improve student outcomes.The results of a statewide needs assessment will be shared. Participants will be given the opportunity to give input on how best to respond to state needs.
Location: Lakeshore 2

Focus on Math and Science Teachers
 (details)
This session will present an overview of the National Science Foundation's new grant to The College of St. Scholastica to recruit, support and retain teachers in math and science with special encouragement to groups underrepresented in these teaching fields. Attendees will learn how rural districts can collaborate with St. Scholastica’s School of Education to achieve the goal of preparing 34 new math and science teachers over the next five years. The grant also supports opportunities for high school and community college students to explore math and science teaching as a profession and participate in STEM teaching internships with local partners. 
Location: Paul Bunyan 4

Inside Montevideo Public School's Communications Initiative
 (details)
Communications should neither be left to chance nor only used in difficult times.  Rather, it should be a strategic process that creates a framework to help achieve goals, enhance parent and community engagement and provide accountability.  With that core belief, Montevideo Public Schools embarked on a major communications initiative in the fall of 2014.  This session will outline how the district put a system in place that would allow our district could provide a clear and consistent message that focused on our district’s three core values: 
Progressive:  We continuously evaluate new opportunities and practices to improve our curriculum, instruction, and learning environments.
Excellence: We believe we are not successful unless we provide outcome-driven educational opportunities for all students as we prepare them for the future.
Engagement: We cannot achieve the success we desire in our schools and in our community without the support of parents and community members.
Location: Lakeshore 4

Non-Traditional Approaches to Post-Secondary Attainment for Non-Traditional Populations
 (details)
Access to Post-Secondary learning is becoming a major civil rights issue of the 21st century. Those without some type of Post-Secondary certification either/including certificates, 2 year degrees, 4 year degrees, professional degrees and vocational degrees will find career tracks increasingly difficult to enter and even harder to advance within. Attainment is conditioned on Access and access on Preparation and preparation on information and information on distribution. So join us to make steps towards learning ways to get more kids involved and families informed about creating effective launching pads for the futures of our communities.
Location: Paul Bunyan 1

Online 18 -- Preserving Concurrent Enrollment
 (details)
Learn the specifics of the Northwest Regional Partnership, known as Online 18. This partnership among Lakes Country Service Cooperative, Northwest Service Cooperative, and Minnesota State University Moorhead allows teachers who teach concurrent enrollment classes in high school to meet Higher Learning Commission requirements through reduced rate online graduate credits in content areas. The realization of this partnership is the result of a $3 million allocation by the Minnesota Legislature. This legislation targets those school districts who are part of the Lakes Country and Northwest Service Cooperatives, but it is open potentially to all school districts in Minnesota.
Location: Lakeshore 3

Preparing Early Childhood Teachers: A Collaborative Online Licensure Program
 (details)

Minnesota is waking up to the importance of Early Childhood Education coming on the cusp of hard times that have wreaked havoc on the system that prepares Early Childhood teachers. We are faced with decreased capacity for preparing the teachers necessary to provide high quality early childhood experiences in the state. Come learn about a collaborative approach within higher education to work together to deliver an online early childhood teacher licensure program that will reach all corners of the state and how this program will work in tandem with other state-wide efforts addressing these issues. Learn the steps necessary to make this program a reality and contribute to a brief, facilitated discussion about having the best program possible.

Location: Pioneer

Student Growth Measures in TDE/Q Comp
 (details)
Student academic growth measures are required in both TDE and Q Comp, but how can this be meaningful and differentiated for teachers in different grade levels and subject areas? Participants will learn how to create a transparent process—known as Student Learning Goals (SLGs)—for goal-setting and walk away with practical tools for setting and approving goals. Student Learning Goals can be embedded in professional learning communities, reflect emerging best practices, and are focused on developing teacher literacies in standards, instruction, assessment and data.
Location: Tech 2

Overview of Winona State University Education Village
 (details)
The WSU Education Village is an outgrowth of the Bush Foundation Teacher Effectiveness Initiative called Teach21 at WSU.  Community partners, faculty, staff, and students have worked together for this innovative “Good Stewardship” project that reuses and renovates three vacated buildings. Every inch of the re-purposed buildings and landscape will be used for learning. The Education Village provides the framework for a multi-layered learning environment designed to encourage intergenerational learning across the lifespan.  The programmatic aims and enhancements for twenty-first century learning environments will be communicated. Focus will be upon increasing quality teachers, school counselors, administrators, and organizational leadership candidates for Southeast Minnesota.  Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
Location: Paul Bunyan 3

TRA Funding Challenges for 2017
 (details)
Minnesota school districts are now required to report and disclosure enhanced results of their share of TRA financial and actuarial amounts. TRA will provide estimated June 30, 2016 funding results and a preview of pension issues likely in the 2017 legislative session.  School districts are between two prevailing trends:  The sustainability of TRA benefits is crucial for school districts to recruit and retain quality teachers. However, school districts may be asked to contribute higher amounts to TRA to maintain those benefits.  The retirement security of the Baby Boom Generation is a prominent national topi. Come learn about the impact on Minnesota teachers and schools.  
Location: Tech 1

Lunch & Reflective Conversation  
12:00 PM
Location: Main Dining Room

Breakouts Session III  
1:30 PM

Apple Classroom and Swift Playgrounds

 (details)

Join us for a closer look into Apple’s latest tools for leading and learning. Explore Apple Classroom, a powerful new iPad app that helps teachers guide learning and manage student devices. Teachers can launch apps and websites instantly on student devices, lock into an app for assessments, and lock iPads when not needed. Also preview Swift Playgrounds , another new iPad app that helps anyone learn to code. Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out and provides a unique way for seasoned developers to quickly bring ideas to life.

Location: Tech 1

Community and Business Partnerships that Work

 (details)

This session will explore opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships with your community and businesses.  Fundraising, workforce development, adopt-a-classroom and more will be shared.

Location: Lakeshore 2

Making Your Collaborative Teams More Effective

 (details)

Effective collaborative teams can positively affect teacher morale, practice, and student learning when the model used by a school faculty fits their situation, needs and goals.  In this session, you will learn what research-based characteristics of effectiveness are met/not met through collaborative teams in AIW and which are met/not met by DuFour-style teams (PLCs). You will discern which model has the best fit with your building or district's professional development needs. 

Location: Lakeshore 4

Mentoring in Action -- Moorhead’s Mentoring Program

 (details)

Across the nation, up to 50% of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Coupling this with recent evidence that suggests beginning teachers make up a greater percentage of today’s school faculty than at any other time in the last twenty years, mentoring programs are being highlighted as a way to improve teacher retention rates, increase teacher effectiveness, support student learning, and foster reflective practitioners. Moorhead’s unique mentorship program, coordinated by Lakes Country Service Cooperative, is designed to support new teachers without being evaluative. Moorhead’s mentors are experienced teachers hired specifically for this role. Goals and activities of Moorhead’s program include building supportive relationships between mentors and mentees, utilizing established frameworks to discuss elements of effective practice, conducting classroom observations for each new teacher, visiting strategically selected model classrooms, networking in regularly scheduled cohort sessions, reading and discussing current literature, and hearing the wisdom of veteran teachers. 

Location: Lakeshore 3

PBS LearningMedia

 (details)

PBS LearningMedia is a free online resource for teachers. It gives teacher access to thousands of videos, articles, images and games across a range of subjects and grade levels. See how to access and leverage these free, innovative, standards-aligned and curriculum-targeted digital resources.

Location: Paul Bunyan 2

Post and Pray?  Not Today!

 (details)

Teacher excellence plays a crucial role in the quality of a child’s education, and finding the right teacher matters.  School administrators across the nation are experiencing teacher shortages and are struggling to attract qualified educators.  Gone are the days of 'Post and Pray' recruitment efforts, and school administrators can no longer be passive in their approach.  During this session, you will hear about one agency’s efforts in redefining its talent acquisition process.  The presenters will share with you the current trends in recruitment and how they have moved from a passive recruitment strategy to a more intentional and aggressive strategy.  This is a great chance to gain practical insight, ask questions and hear about their successes and misfortunes along their journey.

Location: Paul Bunyan 3

Private Funding for Public Schools

 (details)

This session will explore private funding sources ranging from setting up an Education Foundation for a school district to pursuing grants from foundations to support key school district initiatives.

Location: Paul Bunyan 1

Who 'Ya Gonna Call? Stress Busters: Because YOU Matter!

 (details)

If there’s something strange in your life right now: Who ya gonna call? Stress Busters! If it’s something weird, then take this vow: Who ya gonna call? Stress busters!

Meetings, phone calls, emails, laundry, volleyball practice, dinner… When does it ever end? Stress…that nemesis that torments our lives. When it comes to stress-busting, one size does Not FIT ALL. It’s time to take care of you because YOU matter. Learn to discern when stress is lurking in the shadows and ways to bust it. The Top 7 stress busting strategies will be demonstrated so you can leave us confidently saying “I ain’t afraid of no stress!"

Location: Tech 2

Who Saw the Sparkle?

 (details)

Participate in an interactive technique for recognizing talent in others. This workshop can be replicated and would be valuable for schools interested in promoting parent partnerships — especially in preparation for parent teacher conferences. Plus, it's just fun! Come join us.

Location: Pioneer

Youth Mental Health First Aid

 (details)

Mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety, are common and complex. In fact, 1 in 5 youth have or will have a serious mental health disorder. It is imperative that school staff understand these needs, especially in rural settings. Similar to CPR, Youth Mental Health First Aid is help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis until other professional help is ascertained or the crisis resolves. It is an international, evidence-based program that can empower your schools and communities by building knowledge and skills to help youth in need. This interactive training helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses. This will be an interactive introduction to the program as the full course is 8-hours. Risk factors and warning signs will be discussed as well as specific disorders, interventions, and a 5-step action plan to help someone in crisis.

Location: Lakeshore 1

*Afternoon Break  
Location: Poolside

MindStorm  
3:00 PM
Location: Poolside

Legislative Lessons & Social Hour: What's Next for Rural Schools?  
4:30 PM
Location: Lakeshore 1-4

Greater Minnesota Education Celebration & Awards Banquet  
6:00 PM
Location: Main Dining Room

Dessert & Conversation  
7:30 PM
Location: Lakeshore 1-4


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15  

Breakfast Buffet  
7:30 AM
Location: Event Centre

Gallery Walk  
7:30 AM
Location: Event Centre

Closing Speaker: Kayla Delzer
"Reimagining Education"
(Details)  
9:30 AM
Location: Event Centre

MREA Annual Business Meeting  
10:30 AM
Location: Event Centre

Prizes & Send Off  (details)
Prizes worth more than $1,000 will be given away at the close of the conference. Register Tuesday morning to win one of 5 $200 gift certificates. You must be present to win.
11:00 AM
Location: Event Centre

 

Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Pay by check or credit card. Mail check payment with a copy of the invoice to:

    MREA
    PO Box 187
    St. Cloud, MN 56302-0187
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