Sunday, January 26, 2014

Photos from "Unlocking Potential"

This year's 10th Annual Conference was an exhilarating day of learning, connecting, and sharing. Here is a photo journey through the day's events.




Stay tuned right here as we work on our plans for next year's Alabama NBCT Conference.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 Conference Survey

Today was a prodigious day of learning. Thanks to all of you who made today such a meaningful learning experience for all of us. Please take a few minutes to complete the closing survey so that we can plan the type of learning experience that you want for next year.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tidbits for 10th Annual Conference

In just a few days educators from across the state will convene for our 10th Annual Conference, Unlocking Potential. With a keynote speaker, Rick Wormeli, and lunch keynote, Dr. Tommy Bice, along with formal and informal opportunities to connect and learn from educators, this will be a professional learning event you will not want to miss.

We wanted to take a few minutes to give you a few tidbits to help you get the most out of the day.

  • Registration will open at 8:00. We will have coffee and snacks available to you, so there's no need to swing by and pick something up on your way. We'll have it waiting for you when you arrive.
  • When you arrive at Spain Park High School, look for the yellow signs pointing you to the school. You will be able to enter through the front or side doors (marked by large banners). However, the side parking lot will be closer to the registration area, which will be in front of the theatre.
  • Please bring your devices as we will have free wifi available to everyone. If you would like access to handouts, digital ones are available for you to access or download from our blog. 
  • If you are on Twitter or Instagram, please tweet or post all of your learning throughout the day and add the hashtag, #alnbct, to your tweets so that other NBCTs and teachers can learn from afar.
  • Lunch is provided in the cost of your registration. We will be having a taco and fajita bar catered by LaPaz. 

  • Remember that we will have a professional photographer on site to do professional head shots. He will take three digital head shots for only $15 total. This is a great opportunity to get one to use as your avatar on your Social Media accounts.
Remember that this conference is open to ALL educators and preservice teachers. It is always more fun to share your learning with others, so bring your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions for us, please let us know. Our email is alnbctnetwork@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Opportunity at Our Conference

As educators, we know the power of learning from one another. In today's digital world, there are so many options. The world of social media provides a multitude of opportunities to connect, collaborate, and grow professionally. However, research has proven that individuals are hesitant to build meaningful professional connections with people that can't "see." Educators are much more likely to engage in educational dialog when they know there's a real person on the other side. It may seem like a small thing, but having a personal photo avatar on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Instagram will greatly increase your opportunities for connections.

We know that everyone's life is busy and getting a good headshot to use can be challenging. At this year's conference, we have invited a professional photographer to attend and set up to take these photos for you. For only $15 he will take three digital shots for you. He will be set up during registration time and stay through lunch time. Drop by, have a mini photo session, and increase your ability to learn from those all over the world.

Not sure how to set up an account on a social media tool? Wondering how to begin learning and connecting through social media? Make sure to stop by the Tech Playground for the answers to all those questions plus a whole lot more.

Remember that this conference is open to ALL educators and preservice teachers. It is always more fun to share your learning with others, so bring your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions for us, please let us know. Our email is alnbctnetwork@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

photo credit: Matt Hamm via photopin cc

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Our Tech Playground

At this year's conference, we are excited to bring you a new learning opportunity, the Tech Playground. This is an informal area that will be open during the second, third, and fourth breakout session times. You can drop by to ask questions regarding challenges that you may be having with technology, new goals that you may be trying to reach, or share an idea with other educators. If you have asked any of these questions lately, the Tech Playground is the place for you!


  1. Are you trying to build a Professional Learning Network with whom you can connect and learn? 
  2. Have you tried using Twitter but are unsure how it could be useful in your own teaching practice? 
  3. Did you just learn about a new tool in another session and want some additional time to play with it until you find your comfort zone?
  4. Are you looking for ways to easily organize your life with the use of digital tools? 
  5. Do you have an idea of a learning activity you would like to do with your students, but you aren't sure what tools to use or how to put it into practice?
  6. Have you been hearing about gamifying the classroom, but you aren't sure how to begin?
  7. Do you have questions about managing technology within your classroom?
  8. Have you tried some new tools with your students and you've gotten stuck and aren't sure how to proceed?
  9. Do you have a tool or lesson that really went well and you want to share it with others?
If any of these are questions that are on your mind, the Tech Playground is waiting for you. This area will be hosted by educators who have an enormous amount of expertise in the area of technology. The Tech Playground is a sandbox area where you can ask questions, get answers, and learn a host of new ideas to begin immediately putting into practice.

We know this addition to the conference schedule will bring a different type of learning to the program. Be sure to register soon. The conference is less than a week away. See you on January 25th.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Our Breakout Sessions 2014- Updated

Here is an updated version of our 2014 Breakout Sessions for our Annual Conference on January 25th at Spain Park High School.









You can download a copy of the 2014 Breakout Sessions here. Be sure to mark your calendars for January 25th for this exciting day of professional growth. Our conference is open all educators and preservice teachers, so bring a colleague and join in the learning and networking together. If you have not registered, do so soon. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to drop us an email or contact us through Twitter or Facebook. We look forward to see you on the 25th!

Learning from Rick Wormeli

We are fortunate to have Rick Wormeli, internationally acclaimed educator, author, speaker, and NBCT as our keynote speaker at this year's 10th Annual Conference, Unlocking Potential. Here's a look at some of the Breakout Sessions that he will be leading throughout the day:
Differentiated Grading: Fair Isn’t Always Equal
Differentiated instruction is a nice idea, but what happens when it comes to grading students?   Being sensitive to students’ readiness levels, interests, and learning challenges while holding them accountable for the same standards can be a challenge.  What’s fair and leads to real student learning?  Join us for a candid look at what grades really mean, and how to handle students’ failures, averaging, zeroes on the 100-point scale, homework, late work, feedback, re-done work, setting up the gradebook, 100 vs 4.0 scale, extra credit, group projects, grading exceptional students, formative vs summative assessments in grading (or not), and much more.  While offering practical tips, this workshop reveals participants’ core beliefs about teaching and learning and has an unusually high incidence of transforming classroom practice.   Don’t miss it! 
Metaphors and Analogies: Power Tools for Teaching any Subject 
Every third sentence a teacher uses has an embedded metaphor in it, but many students don’t understand what we’re teaching because they do not understand the analogy we’re using.  They achieve an, “A-HA!” moment, however, when we use just the right comparison that works for them.  Even better, they move content into long-term memory when required to defend their construction and deconstruction of metaphors.  Metaphors are a highly effective bridge between students’ developmental stages and course content, and in our increasingly technological world, we can no longer rely on tangible objects to explain new ideas.  Since society relies on citizens to accept unperceived yet defined patterns and relationships on a daily basis, a command of cognitive linguistics is one of our students’ new currencies.  Critical to 21st century learning and based on the best-selling book of the same title, this session explores how to use metaphors strategically in any subject to improve, deepen, and assess student learning. Don’t miss this opportunity to open your mind’s eye!
21st Century Homework Success: Principles, Practicalities, and Products
Dealing with homework is a big stress for students, teachers, and parents.  What’s ethical and doable, and what gets in the way of student success?  Boost your students’ homework completion rate with these highly motivating, easily applicable homework practices for the modern classroom.  Yes, you can assign complex homework, get it returned with thoughtful responses, and have a life outside of school!  We’ll look at when to give homework and when not to give it, as well how to assess it, how to motivate students to do it, how to design developmentally appropriate assignments for diverse students, how much homework to assign, and much more.  Join us for research-based and insightful ideas from a 30–year classroom veteran that generate inspired efforts by your students.  ‘Tonight’s assignment?  Reserve a spot in this session! 
Be sure to mark your calendars for January 25th for this exciting day of professional growth. Our conference is open all educators and preservice teachers, so bring along a colleague and multiply your professional learning. If you have not registered, do so soon. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to drop us an email or contact us through Twitter or Facebook. We look forward to see you on the 25th!