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EARCOS Weekend Workshop: Instructional Strategies that Engage and Assess with John Zola

Workshop Outline

A two day "Instructional Strategies that Engage and Assess". This workshop models a wide variety of teaching strategies that are appropriate for nearly any content area from intermediate grades through high school. The workshop is highly interactive and experiential. Participants "do" the activities with adult content and then have opportunities to adapt them to fit their specific classroom settings and content areas. The overall theme of the two days is that students should be more actively engaged in their learning and that many engaging instructional activities can provide pre-, formative, and summative assessment data to teachers. Students can both learn and be assessed at the same time! Some of the specific activities include:

  • Scored Discussions
  • Creating conceptual flow charts on the floor
  • Recipes as assessments
  • Deliberate Discussions
  • Structured Academic Controversies
  • Improving Student Writing in the Content Areas
  • Strategies for inviting and encouraging more active student voice in the classroom.

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • describe how instruction and assessment can go hand in hand;
  • distinguish between pre-, formative, and summative assessment;
  • explain the value in promoting student voice in classrooms and evaluate different strategies for increasing student voice;
  • adapt and apply course content and activities to individual classroom settings.


Day 1:
08:30-10:00 - Session 1: Understanding Active and Engaged Teaching
10:00-10:20 - Coffee Break
10:20-12:00 - Session 2: Encouraging Student Voice: A Sampling of Activities
12:00-12:45 - Lunch Break
12:45-14:30 - Session 3: Flow Charts: Playing with Concepts
14:30-14:45 - Coffee Break
14:45-16:30 - Session 4: Scored Discussions: Evaluating Student Talk

Day 2:
08:30-10:00 - Session 5: A Sampling of Additional Interactive Strategies
10:00-10:20 - Coffee Break
10:20-12:00 - Session 6: Adaptation, Application and Working with Colleagues
12:00-12:45 - Lunch Break
12:45-15:00 - Session 7: Wrap up

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About John Zola

John Zola spent 32 years as a high school social studies teacher, most recently at New Vista High School, a “break the mold” public high school in Boulder, Colorado. There, he developed a wide variety of courses and implemented Socratic seminars and other interactive instructional strategies on a regular basis. John served as a Senior Instructor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado where he taught the secondary Social Studies methods course. He also was the Director of School and University Partnerships where he directed an innovative program that focused on new teacher induction.

Throughout his career, John has developed interactive teaching materials and trained colleagues in active learning strategies and Socratic seminars. He has presented workshops that help teachers make the voice and work of students central in the classroom. Many of these workshops were presented in countries of the former Soviet Union where they helped to promote the skills and dispositions needed in the new democracies. John currently conducts in-service trainings on civic education and teaching strategies in a variety of locations around the United States, Central Europe, and Asia.

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Workshop Details

Trainer: John Zola

Who should attend: Classroom teachers, grades 5-12 in any content area; especially language arts, social studies and the humanities

When: Saturday, 3 and Sunday, 4 March 2018, 8.30am-4.30pm (until 3pm on Sunday)

Where: UWCSEA Dover Campus, Conference Centre

Workshop fees: US$65/S$90 for EARCOS member schools | US$165/S$230 for non-EARCOS members

*Fees include certificate of attendance, course materials, notepad, snacks and lunch both days.

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