THE EDUCATIONAL FORUM at
YOUR CO-HOST Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child serves over 500 students in grades K-12 in Summit, NJ. Grades K-6 are coeducational; grades 7-12 are all girls.
NOVEMBER 14, 2017: The sign up form for Student Session slots is now available online. Click on the orange "EVENTBRITE FORUM SIGNUP" button above. Complete the form, then sign up for stuent sessions. Remember, Student Sessions are held in classrooms where space is limited. Sign up now!
Check out the FORUM PROGRAM SCHEDULE
PRESENTATIONS thus far:
Powerful Ways to Improve Critical Thinking & Writing with Nathan Levy, Educator & Author, Nathan Levy
Explore numerous, proven methods to reach and effectively challenge highly capable children with well-known author and educator Nathan Levy. Come away with a variety of new strategies and specific ideas to help learners become better creative and critical thinkers. Bring your thinking caps and your funny bones.
Multipotientiality & Decision-Making with Jiaxi Wu, Asst. Dir. of Gifted & Talented Program, Montclair State University
The condition is known as multipotentiality and it can be the bane of those with high ability. Those with capability, with their advanced intellectual abilities and intensive curiosities, are prime candidates for multipotentiality: the excelling in multiple subjects or academic areas. It can make things complicated when one is faced with choosing among a variety of options with seemingly equal amounts of appeal. So, if you feel you or your children sometimes have difficulty with decision making, you may do well to learn about multipotentiality - what it looks like, why it matters, and what strategies you can follow to mitigate the challenges it presents.
The Relevance of Learning History with Paul Kutner, Chair - World Language Dept., Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child
At Harvard, history is described as encompassing “every dimension of human interaction, including social life, the economy, culture, thought, and politics”. There are few fields that can offer the intellectual explorer as much variety as history - you need only to take the first steps. So, how do we make history come alive and how can we apply it to other disciplines? Join in to hear how researching Holocaust participants – a subject with many layers - is woven together to create a lesson that makes us more enlightened and knowledgeable. Experience first-hand why we should value the study of history and then see how you can foster an interest in your children to strengthen their capacity for learning and understanding.
The Heart of EQ: Tools to Empower w/ Dr. Kate Bachtel, (Board President of SENG) Founder, SoulSpark Learning
Emotional intelligence – EQ - is inextricably tied to cognition, achievement and well-being. Join in this presentation and acquire a variety of evidence-based strategies and tools to cultivate the development of discrete social and emotional skills in gifted learners. Learn ways to avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism, develop optimism, engage intrinsic motivation and enhance emotional literacy while growing healthy relationships. You will leave empowered with practices to support student social and emotional development in school and at home.
Technology in Education with Alex J. Podchaski, Dir. of Technology, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child
Implementation of technology can greatly enhance the classroom experience. Optimal adoption and application of technology can create a classroom environment that not only bolsters a student’s capacity to learn but also allows one to take advantage of the opportunities that invariably come when new technologies become available. Partake in an interactive presentation on the current trends in instructional technology, the impact of technology on different types of learners, and how to work with educators to best integrate technology into your student's life.
Challenging Adolescents into Interdependence with Pier Kooistra, Teaching Master, The Lawrenceville School, & Bernadette Teeley, Executive Director, Lawrenceville Summer Scholars
Helping ignite our children’s curiosity and supporting their growth into critical thinkers and risk takers is a major objective for parents. Key here is to foster engagement in evidence-based discussion. Whether at school or around the dining table, young people can, and should, learn to respect and explore the views of others, examine their own views, and share their thinking while remaining open to collaborating with others. Using a classroom setting, as an example, see how you can leverage discussion to promote in-depth thinking.
How to Assess Summer Enrichment Programs w/ Susan Kornick, Director of Admissions, Summer Discovery
The selections seem infinite, as do the possible settings, purposes, and emphases. These are the wide assortment of summer enrichment programs all offering experiences that would provide your child with intellectual and emotional growth. But how would you look for a program that is best suited for your child’s needs and for your financial budget? More importantly, how might you assess the program’s suitability relative to the benefits that it may provide? Join in for a discussion that could enable you to contribute meaningfully to your child’s life.
Gifted/Talented Advocacy: When the Answer is "No" w/ Paulette V. Blowe, Educator, Administrator, and Founder of Educate Sum 1
You've met with your child's teachers. You've tried to meet with the principal. You're considering challenging the school board to get the accommodation your child needs. You are not optimistic. To be sure, there is no clear cut way for advocating on behalf of your gifted/talented child, or for yourself, if you are a gifted/talented learner. But, there are ways to help reduce barriers. Come gain an understanding of some advocacy protocols; become acquainted with the characteristics of effective programs and services for the gifted and talented. Obtain tools to become flexible in a seeming inflexible situation. And, even if you are just starting down the advocacy path, it is always good to be prepared.
Immunizing Against College “Sticker Shock” w/ Andrea P. Gray, Financial & Portfolio Advisor, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, Inc.
For many of us, regardless of the grade(s) of our child(ren), the thought of paying for college causes stress. For some, there is the “sticker shock” when first confronted by today’s college costs. But for a large number of us, there is a lack of awareness of the many resources that are available to ease the burden. Participate in a session that will introduce a variety of options for paying for higher education. Learn how to determine the costs of college and of ways to reduce those costs. Obtain tips for applying for Federal Student Aid and locating other funding sources that are the right ones for your student(s) and your family. College planning – it’s never too early, or too late, to start.
Freshman Year to Freshman Dorm – A Successful Student’s Path w/ TBA, Hilltop Tutoring Center
For many parents, helping their children navigate the path from the first year of high school to the first year of college is daunting. The list of questions seems endless: How can students find success each school year? Which standardized test should students take? When should they take them? When should they write their college essays? What topics do admissions officers want to see? Obtain the answers to these and related questions. But as importantly, understand why the myths about test prep and the college essay writing process are just myths. Here is your opportunity to learn how to help make the path to college for your child as smooth and as successful as possible.
The International Baccalaureate Programme and Whole Child Development w/ Nelyda Miguel, Middle School Director, The Red Oaks School
We know that the best learning takes place when the content of coursework is not an end in itself, but the raw material with which students make connections between disciplines ... when learning takes place not in a vacuum, but when students must use their skills to seek out and solve real-world problems ... when students can understand and can articulate why their learning matters. This describes the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB). For those with intellectual curiosity, entering adolescence with doubts and anxieties, about school, about peer relationships and about themselves, the flexible rigor that is IB has provided a stable platform for healthy intellectual and personal development the world over. Explore IB and understand why it is so widely accepted.
Preparing Students for College Success w/ Caitlyn Pezza, Dir. of Outreach & Admissions - Park Ave., Brendan Cartlidge, Dir. of Outreach & Admissions - Princeton, Fusion Academy
Studies confirm what parents and educators instinctually know: a student’s academic confidence, engagement, pursuit of goals, and overall wellbeing are far more important than high test scores when it comes to flourishing after high school. To be sure, grades and scores are important; but unless students have the ability to develop socially and emotionally, the potential for academic growth and intellectual progress can be noticeably curtailed. Understand the factors that current research has identified that, holistically, best prepare students for college success. And see how you can apply those factors in practical ways that would promise your child(ren) a happy, and flourishing, college experience.
Project-Based Learning for a Superior Educational Experience w/ Silvia Davis, Lower School Head, The Wardlaw+Hartridge School
It has been written of seven skills that have appeared consistently among those who have found success in life: critical thinking, collaboration, adaptability, initiative, communication, information analysis, curiosity/imagination. To develop these skills, it has been shown that project-based learning (PBL) is more than an effective vehicle to gain proficiency. That’s because PBL is a teaching method that involves the acquisition and application of knowledge to solve a problem – the project. And, this approach stimulates creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving capabilities and collaboration as well as cultivates the intellectual and social skill sets necessary for adulthood. Come and discover the PBL approach and why it can be so beneficial for your child’s educational experience.
STUDENT SESSIONS thus far:
Let Your Voice be Heard … (grades 4-6, 7-10) w/ Zeph Chang, Dir. of Education, Lumos Debate Institute
… by becoming adept at the art of public speaking. It is in the thrill of arguing – and more than just knowing how to use evidence to support your case. It's also about employing body language, and tone, and enunciation, all to your advantage to convince others to see your point of view. Arguing can be fun. But knowing how to argue effectively is a rush.
(grades 4-6 & 7-10, session limit: 20)
3 D (printing) - 2 D 4 (grades 4-8) w/ Cynthea Traverso, Upper School Math Teacher, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child
Be a hands-on participant with the latest in manufacturing technology. The future is now with 3-D printing – the technology is being used already to craft components for the medical, fashion, and even food industries, to name just a very few. Learn about 3-D printing and see what’s being designed and created with software and the press of a button. And, this is almost exactly what you will be doing in this session. Visualize your personalized keychain, backpack or luggage tag. Learn and operate the software Tinkercad to detail your design and then the computer will do the rest. Your product will be printed and mailed to you making you a tagged citizen of the 21st century.
(grades 4-8, session limit: 16)
Creating a Virtual World (grades 6-12) w/ John Petito, Upper Sch. History Teacher, and Shelley Hinson, Upper Sch. Computer Science Teacher, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child
Allow your sensations to work overtime. With the help of virtual reality headsets and computer programs, you can feel the aura of Machu Picchu, the desolation of Antarctica, the grandeur of space from the confines of International Space Station. You may almost sense the altitude, the cold, the starkness when you experience these locations without leaving New Jersey. So, get armed with some Google Expedition virtual reality goggles and a smattering of online apps and programs, learn how to create a digital environment so that others can experience sensations that exist beyond the Delaware-Raritan Canal and realize, first-hand, the potential of what virtual reality can do with the educational landscape.
(grades 6-12, session limit: 20)
The Magic of Modern Tinkering (grades 4-12) w/ Kimberly Connolly, Lower Sch. Technology Coordinator, and Tanya Grap, Lower Sch. Science Teacher, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child
For the free-form tinkerer in all of us – enter into a room that fulfills the dreams of every free-form 21st century tinkerer the world over. Enter, and find a cache of electronics, tools and programs that will let you and your imagination journey into realms of innovation, design, engineering and science. Code with Dot and Dash, program with Sphero, tinker with Makey Makey, invent with LittleBits … Aren’t familiar with any or all of these techno-tools? No problem, there will be capable techno-nauts available to light the way. So, tinker, make and go for it. Tink long and prosper!
(grades 4-12, session limit: 20)
Should Human Head Transplants be Allowed?! (grades 7-9) w/ Dr. Jason VonWachenfeldt, Co-Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies (The Lawrenceville Sch.), Lawrenceville Summer Scholars
In 1970, scientists completed the first successful head transplant of a monkey. Although the animal only survived ten days, the operation spawned a whole new field of research and spurred investigation into the potential of someday transplanting human heads. That day may have arrived. Last April, an Italian scientist scheduled the first human head transplant for this December. While some have acknowledged the many medical benefits of such an operation, others have concerns about the practical and ethical implications. Clearly, considering this issue requires the knowledge and learning of many disciplines, the capacity to appreciate viewpoints, and the ability to make oneself heard. So, come and learn about what is to take place this month in Italy, and experience the excitement of an informed discussion.
(grades 7-9, session limit: 25)
Towards a Stronger You (grades 4-6 & 7-12) w/ Cristina Iribarne, Lower School Reading Specialist & Certified Yoga Instructor, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child
Let it be said that positive affirmations help elevate one’s mindset in every facet of life. Come and experience the power of yoga and of mindfulness and learn how you can seek and discover some of the unique strengths that are intrinsic to you. Engage yourself in both physical and mental activity, practiced and refined over millennia, that has enabled wellness of body and mind. You will emerge feeling more assured, more relaxed, more confident. And then, you will know what to do the next time you feel stress or lose confidence. So, come and learn how to work toward becoming a stronger you.
(grades 4-6 & 7-12, session limit: 16)
Games and Brain Teasers for a Brain Boost (grades 6-12) w/ Brian Miller, Partner, Hilltop Tutoring Center
Let’s play! All games offer lessons. A simple card game teaches numbers and sequencing. And, if one were further up the learning curve, a game of cards could introduce an awareness of statistics, an appreciation for strategy, the importance of focus … But most of us don’t think of the practical gains when we are having fun. The truth is games and puzzles can go a long way in developing the tools we use to make us better students. The key is to find those fun, funny, and fundamental games and puzzles that will immediately help strengthen our capacities to learn. Interested? Come experience those games and puzzles that will almost guarantee a smile on your face and a nod from your teacher.
(grades 6-12, session limit: 30)
Building Contemplation & Empathy with Writing (grades 6-10) w/ Bernadette Teeley, English Master (The Lawrenceville Sch.), Lawrenceville Summer Scholars
“…when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller …” (Daniel Goleman) – learn how observation, perspective, diction and description can help shift the focus of a reflection and reframe a situation through another’s eyes. These efforts all reflect creative writing techniques. Use these techniques to gain awareness of ourselves and our surroundings that will help us better navigate social and academic situations. And, at the same time, experience how these techniques improve our ability for self-expression and our capacities as writers. How else could Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn remain popular after over a century of being in print with such a diverse cast of characters set in a highly divisive environment?
(grades 6-10, session limit: 20)
Calling All Math Detectives! (grades 6-8) w/ Jo-Ann Gaul and Stacy Apostolico, Middle School Math Teachers, The Red Oaks School
Mathematics – the ultimate language of logic that can pose questions that defy logic, yet need logic to craft answers. Sound logical? Before you answer, perhaps it is best to first explore how your logical mind truly works. Join with others in a rollicking hour seeking patterns, searching clues and solving mysteries on paradoxes, paradigms and puzzles that have played, or plagued, mathematically-inclined minds for centuries. So, leave the drudgery of four-function arithmetic behind and experience the adventure that mathematics really offers.
(grades 6-8, session limit: 20)
The Mystique of African Art (grades 4-6 & 7-12) w/ Darryl Walker, Educator, Newark Museum
The art of Africa has been beguiling the world for over a hundred years. In fact, many of the most important western artists of the past century have taken inspiration and ideas from the artists of Africa. And the influence of African art continues to this day. We may see beauty in art, but art from distinctive cultures provide new perspectives that widen our concepts of beauty. Our knowledge becomes broader, and richer – we become smarter. Discover the art of Africa, hear of its traditions, learn of its impact on the creativity of others, and create a piece of art so that you can experience the aesthetics of a continent that exists, for many of us, mainly in our imaginations.
(grades 4-6 & 7-12, session limit: 25)
How to Write About Yourself: A Critical Skill (grades 6-8) w/ Dr. Corinna Crafton, Middle School Head & English Instructor, The Wardlaw+Hartridge School
Join in a creative writing workshop focused on providing the fundamental skill set that articulates the “true you”. Perhaps you’ll become better acquainted with content and form, or with assonance and alliteration, but certainly with focus and imagination. The benefits could be big: think about that personal statement you will be crafting for college admissions, or, further ahead, for that job application or that fellowship submission. You might even apply what you discover on that history paper next week. So, come learn how to tell your story and see why this ability plays a pivotal role in any narrative writing exercise.
(grades 6-8, session limit: 20)