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Conferences and Workshops
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What Is Project Based Learning, and Why Should I Care? Grades 5-9
Phil Schlemmer, Educational Consultant

Monday, December 5, 2011
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Hotel Allegro
Chicago, IL

The current national concern about global competition and the future well being of our nation and today’s children has sparked a conversation about the need for schools to emphasize “21st century skills” and to help students become creative, innovative, collaborative adults. How is this to be accomplished? Consensus among many educators points to project based learning (PBL) as an effective approach. But, what does this mean for middle level teachers? Are there ways to address these needs without completely retooling, or possibly going insane? The answer, thankfully, is yes. 
This workshop is designed to introduce middle level teachers of all core content areas to concepts associated with project based learning, and to provide a wide variety of concrete, ready to use strategies and project ideas (again – all contents!). There is no need for participants to have prior experience with PBL, only a desire to learn about it. The session is not intended to preach the critical importance of PBL, or to convince participants that they should become adherents and dramatically change what they are doing. It will be considered a success if participants come away having reflected on the potential value of projects in the academic lives of students, and feeling that they have some basic ideas that could be implemented to good effect in their classrooms. 
During the day we will address these and similar questions:
What, specifically, are 21st century skills and why are they considered important?
How do well-designed projects address 21st century skills?
What are the basic elements of a project; how is one constructed?
How are projects assessed? 
How are small-group team projects organized and conducted? 
When students collaborate in teams, isn’t there a problem knowing who did the work?
Isn’t PBL time-consuming? What happens to content coverage?
Can I see some examples of fully developed projects?
What are some simple ideas I can take with me to get started?
Is it possible for me to feel comfortable introducing PBL into my classroom?
The goal for the day will be for participants to get satisfactory answers to these questions, and to feel that they know substantially more about Project Based Learning at 3:00 than they did when the day began.
Phil Schlemmer has been a teacher, administrator, writer, consultant and curriculum designer since 1973, writing ten books along the way. His main areas of expertise are project-based learning, differentiated instruction and the powerful concept of “kids-teaching-kids.” His focus is to help students become critical thinkers and self-directed, lifelong learners. His most recent books are Teaching BEYOND the Test: Differentiated Project-Based Learning in a Standards Based Age, and Teaching Kids to Be Confident, Effective Communicators: Differentiated Projects to Get All Students Writing, Speaking, and Presenting.  Phil’s workshops are designed to introduce K-12 teachers to innovative strategies that lead to greater engagement, motivation and success for their students. Participants can expect to come away with exciting new ideas that can be immediately added to their teaching repertoire.
The workshop will take place in Chicago at the Hotel Allegro, 171 West Randolph Street. The Hotel Allegro is located in the heart of downtown Chicago in the busy theatre district in close proximity to the Art Institute and Navy Pier. It is also just minutes from Grant Park, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park and Chicago's beautiful lakefront that stretches for miles.
Hotel Allegro offers valet parking service.  Valet parking is $26 for 4-6 hours and $49 for over 6 hours with in and out privileges (rates are subject to change).  The self parking rate is $44 for over 6 hours. There are several lots within a few blocks of the hotel that offer less expensive daily parking.
Click here for directions and parking information for the Hotel Allegro.  
Hotel Reservations
ISACS has secured special discounted room rates at the Hotel Allegro: $129/night plus tax (single or double occupancy). To make a reservation, call 1-800-KIMPTON and use Group Code: "ISACS Learning" or click here to reserve a room online. Special discounted rates are available until Friday, November 11, 2011. 

If you are unable to make a reservation at the Hotel Allegro for the discounted rate, please call the ISACS office at 312-255-1244. ISACS staff will put you in touch with the hotel to secure the discounted rate.

Registration Fee
$175 Member Fee
$225 Non Member Fee
First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
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 the ISACS office at 312-255-1244.

Member Cost: $175     Non-member Cost: $225


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