Nashville Schedule

The conference schedule is designed for you, as the attendee, to get the full experience while you are in Nashville.


3300 Siegel Road

Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Saturday, April 13, 2019space

Schedule for event

7:45 – 8:15
Breakfast/Sign In/Registration

8:15 – 9:30
Welcome: Jimmy Casas
Opening Keynote: Tom Murray

9:40 – 10:45
Concurrent Sessions A: Jimmy Casas, Sarah Thomas, Garnet Hillman, Jennifer Gonzales, Shaelynn Farnsworth, LaVonna Roth, Brian Mendler

10:55 – 12:00
Concurrent Sessions B: Jeff Zoul, Tom Murray, Sarah Thomas, Garnet Hillman, Jennifer Gonzales, Shaelynn Farnsworth, LaVonna Roth, Brian Mendler

12:00 – 1:00

1:10 – 2:15
Concurrent Sessions C: Jimmy Casas, Tom Murray, Sarah Thomas, Garnet Hillman, Jennifer Gonzales, Shaelynn Farnsworth, LaVonna Roth, Brian Mendler

2:25 – 3:30
Concurrent Sessions C: Jeff Zoul, Sarah Thomas, Brian Mendler, Garnet Hillman, Jennifer Gonzales, Shaelynn Farnsworth, LaVonna Roth

LaVonna Roth

Trauma, Turbulence & Tumbleweeds: Great Educators Build Strength & Resiliency Through Adversity
Triggers. We all have them. It can be an event from our childhood, a moment in time that took us by surprise or something we thought wasn’t a big deal, yet it is. Our students have stories and many of them consist of things no child should experience, and definitely not endure alone. Through this insightful and head-on session, we will face our student’s stories and embrace ways to help them through the trauma and turbulence so they take the tumbleweed that makes up their story and use it as unimaginable strength. Walk in wondering what you can do, but leave knowing you are the answer!

Great Educators Rise and S.H.I.N.E.! Pushing Boundaries and Challenging the Status Quo
The education system has been the same for many years. It serves some of our students well… those that perform well in the box of reading, writing, math and science. But what about our students who S.H.I.N.E. in other ways? Those that come from tough backgrounds or have high anxiety due to their experiences or learning challenges? There is a way to create a thriving learning environment where ALL students achieve. It does require a shift in thinking and one where we put the whole child first. Join me as we push boundaries to create a system where every student S.H.I.N.E.s!

Shaelynn Farnsworth

Great Educators Cultivate Students Who Are Healthy Skeptics and Fact-Checkers
With ubiquitous access to information, why is it that we still have people who believe that the Earth is flat, 9/11 never happened, and vaccinations cause autism? Technology provides users with unprecedented amounts of information at the click of a button. From primary sources to catching up on the hottest celebrity gossip, readers are inundated with endless search results that are filled with truths, half-truths, fake news, bias, fallacies, and fictitious websites. To be literate in this information age, it is imperative educators develop healthy skepticism within their students. Teach students how to think, not what to think; by providing them with opportunities, strategies, and tools to hone skills to analyze, evaluate, and debunk the misinformation that they encounter daily. Join me as we discuss the changing definition of literacy and how all educators can support students in honing skills necessary for their working, civic, and personal lives.

Great Educators Differentiate in the Classroom to Meet the Needs of All Students
When moving from direct instruction to a more student-centered classroom, care and consideration must be taken to reach all learners. Through differentiated instruction, educators rely on several different methods and techniques to ensure students are successful. Differentiation of content, interest, process, and demonstration can all serve to increase engagement and challenge students at their level. Effective technology integration provides additional support to a differentiated classroom. Join me as we examine the components of differentiation and how technology fits in the inclusive classroom. You will walk away with a ready-made, technology-infused differentiated toolkit and strategies to implement differentiation in any classroom.

Jeff Zoul

Great Educators Lead with Principles
“When you base your life on principles, most of your decisions are already made before you encounter them.” Successful educators lead their districts, schools, and classrooms with core principles and values to which they adhere consistently. In this session, we will examine ten principles for leading exemplary schools, including the Priority Principle, The People Principle, The Outcomes Principle, and the Self-Leadership Principle. We will learn what each principle means, why it matters, and how we can monitor our actions to ensure we are leading principled professional lives. In addition we will examine “culture crushers” associated with each principle, identifying what negative behaviors to look for and how to address them in order to maintain a positive and productive school culture.

Jimmy Casas

Great Educators Cultivate Cultures of Excellence
In this session, school leaders will gain practical application strategies to build a school community where everyone has the opportunity to leave their legacy. Hear first-hand and learn by example how establishing meaningful relationships with all members of the school community is an essential component to making a positive impact on the culture of a school and creating an environment where all students and staff can be a part of something great!

Sarah Thomas

Great Educators Teach and Learn Through Video
In this session, catch the bug as we discuss using video to teach and learn. Topics covered will include videotaped lessons, useful resources, and best practices to begin.
Participants will:

  • Be introduced to the initial concept, including flipped instruction and blended learning.
  • Discuss common challenges of flipped instruction and their solutions.
  • Preview and test resources for video creation, editing, and curation.
  • Examine best practices for using videos for teaching and learning.

Great Educators Level Up: Five Steps to Gamify Your Class
The face of instruction is changing, as educators often struggle to engage students. Gamification, or applying game mechanics to non-traditional settings, has proved to be an innovative and effective way to capture the interest of today’s learners. In this session, educators will create a basic template to help them begin the process of gamifying their classroom for little or no money.
After attending this session, participants will:

  • Understand what gamification in education means, and how it will help to engage students.
  • Understand the difference between gamification and game-based learning.
  • begin to create a gamification model.
  • learn other resources to gamify for little or no cost.

Brian Mendler

Great Educators Defuse Power Struggles
We all have that One Kid (sometimes more than one) that you battle and struggle with.
This high-energy session teaches specifically how to defuse power struggles with any student, in any situation, at any time with our proven step-by-step process. Discover two words guaranteed to stop mouthy kids in their tracks. Learn exactly what to say when removing a student so they want to return to your class.

Great Educators Reach That One Kid
Plagued by severe undiagnosed ADHD and reading difficulties, I began disrupting class in 4th grade. I believed my peers would laugh at me for being “dumb” so I made sure they laughed at me for being “bad” instead. I was defiant, disruptive, and relatively unmotivated. I was “that one kid” that drove my teachers crazy. By sixth grade my academic skills were so below grade level that I was pulled out of school.

Two weeks later in a brand new school I had one teacher dramatically change my life. He did in about five minutes what nobody had done between kindergarten and 6th grade. And the amazing thing is that it is something any of you can do with any of your students immediately! Do you want to know what he did? Do not miss this session!

Tom Murray

Opening Keynote: Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today
Having no historical precedent, the current speed of technological breakthroughs has lead to the coming age of workplace automation, dramatically altering the world of work that our students will enter upon graduation. With the vast disparities of inequity that have existed for centuries, all that is known about how students learn, and the predictions regarding the world that our students will face tomorrow, utilizing a traditional, one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning is educational malpractice. Built upon the foundation of leadership and school culture, a redesigned learning experience fundamentally shifts the teaching and learning paradigm to one that is personal, while altering the use of authentic assessments, how technology is leveraged, the spaces in which the learning occurs, the way educators grow professionally, how schools collaborate with the community, and ultimately, the sustainability of the system as a whole. In this keynote, Murray will dissect these eight keys, which each serve as a puzzle piece for redesigning the learning experience, to unlock tomorrow’s schools so that today’s modern learners leave ready to create new industries, find new cures, and solve world problems. We must create tomorrow’s schools today and you are part of the solution.

Great Educators Use Tech Tools for Student Engagement and Teacher Efficiency
Join this hands-on session to explore a myriad of digital tools that will empower you to further engage the students in your classroom. From dynamic open digital content, to tools for formative assessment, to ways to communicate effectively and efficiently and teacher time savers, this session will be learner-centered and collaborative. Various tools will be modeled and participant ideas explored. Bring your devices and come ready to share and curate your favorite digital tools! All participants will leave with a complete copy of the work from the session.

Jennifer Gonzales

Great Educators Choose Technology with the End in Mind
How do we avoid getting distracted by the “shiny objects” of tech and stay focused on learning? One of the best ways to approach our tech decisions is with backward design. Using examples from different content areas, this session will look at how teachers can first clarify what students should know or be able to do by the end of a learning cycle, then thoughtfully choose the experiences and technology that will get them there.

Great Educators Build Strong Relationships
Relationships are the foundation of a successful school. By building strong student-to-student, teacher-student, and teacher-teacher relationships, educators can minimize behavior problems, help students take more academic risks, and improve our own job satisfaction. But relationships don’t just happen: Key systems, specific habits, and some honest self-assessment can help us ensure that these relationships are built to last. In this session, we’ll look at how to put these practices into action.

Garnet Hillman

Great Educators Grade For Learning
Grading practices have a substantial impact on learning environments, let’s make sure it is a positive one! When we move grades to the background, learning can take its rightful place at center stage. This session will explore the key tenets of standards based grading and how they support student learning and engagement.
Participants will gain a general understanding of standards based practices and school/classroom application ideas. Examples from the field will be shared as well as rationale for a change to healthy grading practices that support learning.

Great Educators Know How to Let Go
Let’s face it, allowing students take control of the classroom can be very scary. Giving students autonomy in not only how they learn, but also in the demonstration of knowledge and skills is extremely powerful for them. This session examines the amazing transformation that happens when students take ownership of their learning. Ideas and examples will be shared – it’s time to let go!
Participants will learn about various ways to incorporate student voice and choice in the classroom. From small steps to more significant change everyone can find a way to turn learning over to the students!