Friday, June 15, 2012

Martin Institute Day 2

Yesterday I attended the second day of the Martin Institute 2012 Summer Conference. The day started off with a panel discussion with Bo Adams, Sande Dawes, and John Hunter. It was interesting to hear their views on certain aspects of education.

Similar to Day 1, there were four sessions in which participants got to choose which presentation they wanted to attend. I was only able to attend one session due to presenting during the last two and having to eat and set up during the second one. I chose to go to the session titled "Hotwired to Inquire" by Ms. Melissa Miller Benson and Dr. Clinton Smith both educators in Memphis. It was a presentation on getting students with Autism Spectrum Disorders to ask questions and communcate in class. I was interested in this because I had an autistic child in my class last year, and I enjoy learning ways to help students with disorders. I realize that this subject did not pertain to most attendees, but I was very disturbed by something that happened in the middle of the presentation. Two of the six attendees got up and left during the middle of the presentation - not at the very beginning when the lady explained what the presentation would be about and not at the end but right smack down in the middle. I thought this was very rude and felt very bad for the two presenters. As a presenter myself, I know how much work goes into preparing for a conference such as this one. On a more positive note, I did gain the idea of using the word STAR to get students to Stop, Think, Ask, and Reflect when wanting to ask a question in the room. I think this could be used for any students not just one with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

I presented during the afternoon sessions on "Creating a Classroom for ALL Students". It was centered around using every second to reach students on their own levels. Here is what the description for the session stated:

"Do you have a hard time creating a classroom ful of learning that meets the needs of all students? Come and hear how you can expound on the Common Core Standards in your daily lessons, utilize group learning for all students, and assess student's achievements in unique ways."

I never mind presenting at conferences, but I always am hesitant if what I have to say is worth people's time. I was delighted to hear from numerous teachers about how they gained some new ideas from the presentation. Some even stated that they will be in contact for future help! This made my day. I am not letting you out on the ideas. I plan on blogging about some of my points in the weeks to come.

After presenting, I got to attend a featured session with Dr. Katie Wood Ray on Teaching the Qualities of Good Writing Through Illustration. I loved her thought process about how much goes into making a picture and how as teachers we need to pull from student's thinking behind illustrations to making their writing better. I plan on researching Dr. Ray's works more throughout the summer.

I have to say that the Martin Institute Summer Conference is one of the best conferences I have attended. I am so thankful that I have been able to attend as a presenter the past two years. Hopefully, more will be in my future.


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