Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Why Can't Every Day Be Like This? - Motivating Young Adolescents through Cognitive Science

Friday, March 20, 2009
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

The Gage Restaurant
24 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago , IL

The single greatest teaching tool we have is our expertise in how minds best learn. If this element of your teaching is not up to speed, this is the workshop to make it so. Attitude can change a blob of sand into King Arthur’s castle, and this full-day experience presents dozens of practical ideas to minimize inhibitors and maximize motivation for middle level students. To be so compelling that students have no choice but to think, take risks, do the activities, and learn substantive content and skills—these are the goals of every lesson we present. We’ve learned more about how the minds of young adolescents best engage and learn in the last two decades than in all of history up to this point. With overwhelming amounts of research crossing our desks each month, it’s hard to keep up, especially when some of it is contradictory. Rick Wormeli has done the sifting, compiled the salient recommendations, and invented a few strategies of his own. Turn your instructional practice into one that truly reflects 21st century effectiveness: join us on March 20th and learn to teach with your students’ minds as your greatest ally.

This workshop is for middle and upper school faculty.

Rick Wormeli, one of the first Nationally Board Certified teachers in America, brings innovation, energy, validity and high standards to both his presentations, and his instructional practice, which includes more than 25 years teaching math, science, English, health, history, and training teachers. Rick’s work has been reported in numerous media, including ABC’s Good Morning America, National Geographic and Good Housekeeping magazines, What Matters Most: Teaching for the 21st Century, and the Washington Post. He was Disney's Outstanding English Teacher of the Nation in 1996, and is a columnist for the National Middle School Association’s Middle Ground magazine. His books include Fair Isn't Always Equal: Assessment and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom , Differentiation: From Planning to Practice , the award-winning book, Meet Me in the Middle: Becoming an Accomplished Middle Level Teacher, Day One and Beyond: Practical Matters for New Middle Level Teachers , all from Stenhouse Publishers, and Summarization in any Subject , published by ASCD. His classroom practice is the showcase for the first tape of ASCD's best-selling video series, "At Work in the Differentiated Classroom." His new book on teaching through analogies and metaphors comes out in 2009.

The Gage Restaurant
Lower Level-Theodore Ascher Room
24 South Michigan Avenue (between Madison and Monroe)
Chicago, IL 60603

The Gage Restaurant is located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue, between Madison and Monroe. Click here for directions and parking information for The Gage.

Hotel Reservations
Attendees must make their own hotel reservations. ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at The Seneca Hotel.

The Seneca Hotel
200 East Chestnut
Chicago, IL 60614

Call 1-800-800-6261 for the ISACS rate of $109 per night plus tax for a queen and $129 per night for two queen beds for the night of March 19, 2009. Please make your reservations by the cutoff date, March 6th, 2009. Please use the group code "ISACS Middle School" when making reservations. Click here for directions and parking information for The Seneca Hotel.

Registration Fee
  • $200 Member Fee
  • $250 Non Member Fee
  • 10% discount for schools sending teams of two or more
  • Workshop includes lunch

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund.

Questions? Please call 312-255-1244.

Member Cost: $200     Non-member Cost: $250


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