Summer Workshops for Educators

I direct the Center for Innovative Teaching (CIT). This summer (2012), we will offer workshops at two locations: the Urban School of San Francisco, and Chapin School in New York City.
June 18-19: Become an Expert Interactive Whiteboard User: Practical Teaching Techniques
June 18-19: Back to the Future: Building a Natural Chinese Language Acquisition Environment
June 18-21: Hands-On Geometry
June 20-21: Flipped Teaching and Screencasting — a Hands-on How-to
June 20-21: Innovating Language Learning and Teaching
June 20-22: Healthy Teens: Collaborating to Encourage Physical, Socio-Emotional and Moral Health Among Teens
August 13-14: Become an Expert Interactive Whiteboard User: Practical Teaching Techniques
August 13-15: Visual Algebra
August 13-15: Digital Tools to Enhance Science Teaching
August 15: Assessment and Grading
August 15-16: Flipped Teaching and Screencasting — a Hands-on How-to
August 16-17: It's Not Just About Serving Soup Anymore: Implementing a Meaningful and Successful Service-Learning Program
August 16-17: Reading Genes: What DNA Say About Our Human Family
August 16-17: Re-imagining High School Math
August 17: Developing and Teaching Online Classes

Discounts on some Key Curriculum Press and Cabri materials will be available to the participants.

I will lead three workshops. For math teachers, I also recommend the SmartBoard and Screencasting workshops.

You can find more details on my workshops below. For information on the other workshops and their presenters, and registration information, go to the CIT site.

To arrange a CIT professional development workshop at your school or district, contact me directly.

--Henri Picciotto


Hands-On Geometry

with Henri Picciotto

Monday-Thursday, June 18-21 2012 (SF)
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

circle geoboard

(2 continuing education unit from the University of Southern California's School of Education.)

Who: This workshop is designed for high school and middle school mathematics teachers who want to make geometry more accessible, richer and more fun.

In this four-day workshop, I will present kinesthetic activities, as well as many hands-on and electronic tools and activities, and some enrichment lessons. This curriculum is intended to complement related work in paper-pencil and compass-straightedge environments: it serves to preview, review or extend key concepts in geometry.

I will also present an authentic approach to proof, which tries to navigate a middle course between the too-abstract traditional curriculum and the insufficiently rigorous nature of some reform programs.

These lessons were developed in somewhat heterogeneous classes, and reach a wide range of students. They provide support for the less visual by complementing the drawing and studying of figures, and enrichment for the more talented by offering deep and challenging problems. In addition, participants will get to take some of the problems to a deeper teacher level.

Special guest: Richard Lautze, a colleague of Henri's at Urban for 30 years, will present an afternoon of activities and discussion, focused on how this curriculum interfaces with a pedagogy that focuses on "discovering how", rather than "remembering how":
- creating a classroom where it's OK to take risks and be wrong
- using journals to aid communication
- group work
- teaching in the long period
- keeping students in heterogeneous classes engaged

Visual Algebra

with Henri Picciotto

Monday-Wednesday, August 13-15 (NY)
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


In this three-day workshop, I will present a wealth of visual approaches to the teaching of algebra, including:
- Lab Gear manipulatives for basic symbol manipulation
- geoboard lattices for slope and radicals
- a powerful parallel axes representation for functions
- intelligent use of technology
- three distinct visual paths to the quadratic formula
Participants will learn techniques that will allow them to serve the whole range of students better by offering:
- greater access, because of addressing multiple intelligences
- greater challenge, because of expecting multi-dimensional understanding
- greater variety, because of using manipulative and electronic tools

In addition, participants will work on teacher-level problems rooted in high school subject matter, and strengthen their understanding of the underlying mathematics.


Reimagining High School Mathematics

with Henri Picciotto

Thursday-Friday, August 16-17 (NY)
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


In this two-day workshop, we will rethink every aspect of a high school math program:
- Pedagogy: How can we do better than the I-explain-you-practice model, in order to reach a broader range of students, and to help them develop their ability to make sense of what they are learning? How do we balance discovery and instruction?
- Learning tools: How can we use technology support these changes, and move our program to become more visual, more interactive, and more creative? How can manipulatives simultaneously help us increase both access and depth?
- Curriculum: How can we escape the tyranny of the textbook, and develop our program by moving, removing, and adding topics in order to reflect the needs of our particular students? What electives can we introduce to get off the freeway to calculus and bring to students the variety and richness of mathematics?
- Assessment: How can we complement tests and quizzes with additional approaches that reveal different strengths and weaknesses? How can we give feedback to students based on our learning priorities rather than just on the now-obsolete emphasis on accuracy and speed?
- And finally: How do all these ideas play out if you teach in the long period? How do they affect our ability to work with heterogeneous classes? (All classes are heterogenous!) How do we navigate the pressure towards limitless acceleration? How do we surmount the obstacles in the way of progress?

For these changes to take root, it is essential for the department (or parts of it) to work collaboratively, to share successes and challenges, and to take this on as a step-by-step, gradual, and permanent project. This is what we have been doing for 25 years at the Urban School of San Francisco, and we are happy to share what we have learned. Bring your questions and ideas!

More details

More info about me: Henri Picciotto

Registration, time, place, logistics: Center for Innovative Teaching

Questions? Send me e-mail

Past years: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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Related pages on this site:
My talks
Another project of CIT:
Escape from the Textbook!