In early November, University High School faculty and staff traveled to Chicago to attend the 2017 Annual Conference of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).

In addition to attending sessions on topics related to teaching and learning, ranging from the future of happiness to information literacy, four University High School faculty members led three sessions of their own.


How to Avoid the Winter Blues: Innovations in Education

Presented by Alicia LaMagdeleine, Assistant Head of School, and Carolyn Bradley, Science Instructor

January Term is often cited as the most innovative program offered at University High School. In their session, “How to Avoid the Winter Blues,” Alicia LaMagdeleine and Carolyn Bradley outlined for other schools exactly how we do it. Topics covered included the course proposal and selection process, the balance of travel and non-travel courses, the daily schedule, and what teachers love about our three-week term.

The session description read: “Students have a unique opportunity to learn — January Term. For three weeks, students and teachers put aside standard courses and focus on one class. They explore topics in depth with extended time for experiential learning, field trips, guest speakers, and travel opportunities. Learn the planning and logistics required to implement a stand-alone interdisciplinary term as well as the challenges and rewards from teacher and student perspectives. This session is for upper school.”

Here are photos and videos captured from the session:


Educational Games & Activities in the Math Classroom

Presented by Jenny Cox, Math Instructor

She’s the queen of Kahoot! and the ringleader of Pi Day at University High School, and in early November, Jenny Cox shared some of her favorite activities with middle and upper school math teachers from across the Midwest. She presented “Educational Games & Activities in the Math Classroom” at the 2017 ISACS Annual Conference to a standing-room-only crowd.

The session description read: “’Oh, I hate math’ is sadly a common phrase. Math doesn’t have to be boring. Learn hands-on methods for factoring, graphing lines, and proofs. Receive logarithm and probability activities, mortgage project guidelines, and Kitchen Calculus recipes. Learn how to engage your students during test review while using darts, Cranium, charades, Bingo, and Kahoot. Let’s make math class your students’ favorite class. This session is for middle and upper school math faculty.”

Here are photos and videos captured from Mrs. Cox’s session.


Supporting Student Learning with Standards-Based Learning

Presented by Erica Posthuma-Adams Science Instructor

University High School’s Erica Posthuma-Adams is no stranger to presenting on standards-based learning; she’s led workshops, summits, and countless science conference sessions on the topic in venues across the country. And last month, for the first time, she presented at the ISACS Annual Conference a session called “Supporting Student Learning with Standards-Based Learning.”

The session description read: “Standards-based learning (SBL) is a mastery-based assessment philosophy centered around providing feedback on a student’s progress toward learning objectives. Leave with examples of rubrics, feedback procedures, assessment design, and grade reporting. Learn how SBL can be implemented across disciplines and how the framework can be applied to any subject. Examples will be provided from high school Chemistry, but the framework can be applied to any subject. All are welcome.”

Here are photos and videos captured from Mrs. Adams’s session.