Session Descriptions


Tentative session descriptions for the Building Bridges Conference.


The New Normal: Moving the Common Core into All Classrooms

Ruthann Williams
Assistant Professor
University Of Central Missouri

Are you playing “Where’s Waldo” with the Common Core standards? This session will help you ferret them out of your curriculum and you’ll learn to embed them into the curriculum through Project Based Learning.


Differentiation Strategies in All Classes, Part III

Lois Barnes
Director, State Services for School Improvement
SREB (High Schools That Work)

Differentiated instruction is critical in academic and CTE classrooms if diverse learners are to achieve Common Core and discipline-specific state standards and skills/competencies. Participants will identify similarities and differences between traditional classrooms and differentiated classrooms. They will practice some differentiation strategies to experience how to effectively modify content, process and products in order to address individual students’ learning needs. This is Part Three of three sessions on differentiation strategies. Each session is a stand-alone and different from the other two, so participants are welcome to attend one, two or all three sessions.


Differentiation Strategies for All Classes, Part II

Lois Barnes
Director, State Services for School Improvement
SREB (High Schools That Work)

Differentiated instruction is critical in academic and CTE classrooms if students are to achieve Common Core and discipline-specific standards and skills. Participants will consider how to effectively differentiate instruction through pre-assessment, modifying the learning environment, content process and product (assessments) in order to address diverse learners’ needs. They will engage in an activity to explore a variety of differentiation strategies and determine the ones they will commit to trying in their classrooms. This is Part II of three sessions on differentiation strategies. Each session is a stand-alone and different from the other two, so participants are welcome to attend to one, two or all three sessions.


Differentiation Strategies for All Classes, Part I

Lois Barnes
Director, State Services for School Improvement
SREB/High Schools That Work

Differentiated instruction is critical in academic and CTE classrooms if diverse learners are to achieve Common Core and discipline-specific course standards and competencies.  Participants will identify different learning modalities using a literacy strategy and investigate how to effectively differentiate content, process, product, and learning environment in order to address individual student learning needs. They will practice some differentiation strategies as a means of providing students different avenues for acquiring content. Handouts will be provided. This is Part One of three sessions on differentiation strategies. Each session is a stand-alone and different from the other two. Participants are welcome to attend to one, two or all three sessions.


Embracing Student Learning Through Social Media

Billie Perrin
FCSE Program Coordinator
University of Central Missouri

As educators we should embrace technology rather than fight it in the classroom.  This presentation will compare pros and cons of social media, explain how to successfully manage it in the classroom, and reveal ways to increase student involvement/engagement through Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, Glogster, and media production.


Enhance Your Program With Missouri Connections

Tom Schlimpert
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Students are more successful when they can connect to their future and understand the relevance for their learning. Missouri Connections is a free, web-based education and career planning program that can assist you in helping students develop viable plans for their desired options beyond high school. Program features including career information, assessments, portfolios, resumes, and career education curriculum. New features will be addressed. Join this session to learn about the newly redesigned features and how they can help connect your students with their future.


Our Journey with 1:World

Ivy Nelson
Melody Paige
Technology Director and Integration Specialist
Monett High School

This session will describe Monett High School’s journey with a 1:1 technology initiative. Attendees will be able to ask questions and guide the presentation based upon their needs and interests. The panel of presenters will be able to offer perspectives from the teacher standpoint, as well as an administrator and technology specialist standpoint.


Implementing the CCSS in CT Centers

Debbie Hall
Reading Specialist
Southern Regional Education Board

Attendees will learn how career and technology centers can use instructional strategies, writing templates and complex texts to address the rigor of the new Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Technical Subjects.


Using Socratic Seminars to Teach the Common Core

Greg Noble
English Teacher
Park Hills Central High School

This session addresses complex readings of informational and literary texts, group discussion, and writing that require justification of ideas and opinions. Attendees will benefit by gaining an understanding of Socratic seminars to enhance student learning, particularly in Social Studies and English courses. Conference attendees will want to attend this session because they will be introduced to a student-centered practice which strongly relates to the Common Core. This program has been successful because it requires students to read challenging work, think deeply, and articulate their ideas, insights, beliefs, and perspectives both verbally and in writing.


Cadet Teacher Program for A+ Tutoring Hours

Cindy Aldrich
A+ Coordinator/Teacher
Neosho High School

All students enrolled in the A+ School Program are required to complete 50 hours of tutoring.  Neosho High School has implemented a Cadet Teaching Program to allow students to tutor in an elementary classroom on a daily basis. Approximately 65 students provide 4000 hours of tutoring within our district each year. This has been an effective program for 14 years. Success is based on clear guidelines and expectations, as well as a checks and balances system of supervision. Attendees will receive information to begin their own program. Duties for the supervisor, cooperating teacher, administrator, and student will be clearly presented.  In addition, curriculum ideas will be shared. Our students receive course credit as well as the required tutoring hours.


Building Bridges to HS: A Freshmen Transition Program

Adam Kealen
Assistant Principal
Sullivan High School

At Sullivan High School, a need to focus on the 9th grade class became apparent as failure rates were going up, attendance rates were down, discipline increased, which was believed to caused our graduation rate to decrease.  Without the traditional resources of extra staff, building space, and a separate budget, it was decided to create a ‘Freshmen Transition Team’ to begin a focus on the 9th grade and help those students transition and more effectively experience success during their 9th grade year.  Realistically, we knew that some students would need more assistance than others.  Our team dedicated ourselves to these students and their parents, thus embracing the HSTW fundamental belief of relationships.  In addition, we revamped our advisement program to be more meaningful and created a Summer Bridge program designed to help our most at-risk 8th graders transition prior to coming to high school. Please follow this link for additional information:


What New Teachers Really Want You to Know

Tara  Link
New Teacher Induction Coordinator/Federal Programs
Moberly School District

This session will provide insight into working with beginning teachers. Common concerns and needs of beginning teachers, strategies for giving feedback and an overview of a Moberly School district’s systematic beginning teacher induction program will be shared.


Educational  Administration  VS  Instructional Leadership

Dave Shepard

Are you an EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATOR or an INSTRUCTIONAL LEADER? Do school scores need to improve, but changing programs, policies, and personnel hasn’t worked? This session will look at your current role as a leader, and what ideally you could be doing to help teachers. The ideas, tools, forms and processes needed to change your emphasis from management to instruction will be shared. Collecting better data, setting school priorities and writing better action plans will be focused. All present will learn.


Specific Tips for Improving Special Education Collaborative Classes

Dave Shepard

Working together in an inclusion class is a great experience, right? Schools across the country are moving in this direction rapidly, but is it the best answer? Inclusion as a practice is only as good as the teachers and the program that use it. Come examine and learn many ideas to more successful and efficient implementation of this delivery model. The session will examine teacher roles, planning, shared responsibilities, active teaching techniques, and differentiation practices that help all students.


Using Walk Through Observations To Change  Instructional  Practices

Dave Shepard

When your school programs are evaluated by outside organizations, does the staff embrace the data and easily use the findings to begin their school improvement efforts? Would your school staff be more inclined to base their efforts on their own data? This session will outline a complete process for using teacher walk through observation data to enhance school improvement efforts. Participants will learn to use the instrument, compile the data, and set priorities.


Specific Steps For Improving Parental Involvement

Dave Shepard

Is your school always looking for more ways to involve parents? Do you sit and lament the fact that parents aren’t very active in your school? Do you constantly ask “What Do We Do Now?” This session will outline a complete blueprint for improving parental involvement. Come and learn techniques for finding invisible parents, hooking reluctant parents, and focusing school efforts to facilitate change.


Improving The Efficiency of Smaller Learning Communities

Dave Shepard

Does your school have middle level interdisciplinary teams, a ninth grade academy, or various career academies for upper level students? When these groups were established was there an expectation that students would benefit from their work. Has that occurred? This session will look at the dynamics of educators working together and how these groups can become more efficient. Tips on planning, different roles, meeting effectiveness, member accountability, and evaluating efficiency will be shared. Bring your whole group, whether you are highly efficient or just getting started, and take back usable suggestions and ideas.


Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Dave Shepard

Do you ever find yourself saying, “If they do that one more time I’ll scream.”? Come take a humorous look at the never ending communication snags that affect the teacher/principal dialogue on a daily basis. This session will examine many of the ‘pet peeves’ we all encounter as educators, and provide some ideas for their elimination. Bring a “significant educational other” from your school so you won’t be looking at yourself and laughing alone. You will leave with a good feeling about your own efforts, a greater appreciation for your ‘other,’ and some ideas and solutions to make life better in the building.


Aligning Instruction & Assessment with Common Core

Lisa Jacques
UCM Instructor
University of Central Missouri

Participants in this seminar will walk away with research based instructional strategies that are simple to implement in their classroom.  These instructional strategies specifically align with the increased rigor expectations of the Common Core.  Although the strategies modeled by the instructors are primary secondary in nature (6-12 grade levels), participants will be able to adjust for use at the elementary level.  The strategies are universal for all content.  Strategies are based on brain research from the past 15 years, work by John Hattie (2009, 2012), work by Robert Marzano (2001-2008), and Rick Stiggins & Jan Chappius (2001, 2006).   This seminar is a practitioner’s approach to how students learn. Participants will be provided reproducible strategies that are most effective for high level thinking.


Creating a Motivating, Personalized Learning Environment

Lynda Jackson
Director, Technology Centers That Work

A major component of effective classroom management is careful planning to get to know students well and create a classroom climate that is well-organized, motivating and personalized. The keys to motivating students in CTE are: 1) creating a sense of belonging; 2) setting high expectations; and 3) actively engaging students in learning. During this session, participates will learn strategies for working with teachers to create a classroom that is well-organized and engaging.


The Big Picture of Instructional Planning

Lynda Jackson
Director, Technology Centers That Work

Effective teachers create both short- and long-term instructional plans.  During this interactive session, participants will analyze the different planning tools used in CT centers: curriculum maps, unit and lesson plans. They will create criteria on what constitutes a quality planning tool and learn strategies on how to provide effective feedback to teachers.


CPI – Career Preparation Interview for Every Senior

Kelli Engelbrecht
Placement Coordinator
Eldon Career Center

Learn how to cooperate with the high school, career center, and business and industry to prepare your senior class for a professional job interview. This session will give you tips on how to plan, organize, and conduct a Career Preparation Interview day for every senior in your high school.


Lesson Transformation: Rudimentary to Rigorous

Nichole Tews
Integrated Academics Instructor
Cass Career Center

Are you an academic teacher looking to increase relevance? Are you a CTE teacher looking to increase rigor? Are you an administrator or counselor looking for ways to help teachers design challenging lesson plans that prepare students to be competitive in this global economy?  A teacher’s responsibility is to provide a rich education to prepare students not only for the demands and rigors of college and careers, but also real-world experiences where skills are rarely called upon in isolation of others. This is a challenging task, and this presentation given by Cass Career Center’s Integrated Academics Team will provide attendees with guidance and practice in transforming rudimentary lessons into lessons that are rigorous and relevant, preparing students for the demands of the 21st century and rigors of life outside high school. Attendees will leave excited and armed with knowledge and applicable tools to take lessons from basic to ballistic!