JANIS R. BARON
Over thirty-five years experience teaching, developing and administering children's programs, training faculty and administrators, and conducting follow-up demonstration lessons and small group consultations with K-12 staff. Advisor to principals and superintendents, as well as mentor to teachers, parents and students in diverse communities, resulting in a unique perspective on successful practices in the classroom. Proven track record of success in strengthening teachers' abilities to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners.
Founder and Director of Creative Learning for Children, Inc. (DBA Kaleidoscope), a 41-year-old non-profit summer enrichment program that began as a one-week program for fifty children. In 2013, over 100 staff members worked with 750 students from 40 communities.(www.kaleidoscopekids.com)
Founder and Director of KITE summer program for high ability students in Grades K-8.
Staff Development Consultant for over thirty years, specializing in Differentiated Instruction and Effective Teaching Strategies
As a Nationally Certified Trainer for the Talents Unlimited critical and creative thinking skills model, trained thousands of teachers throughout New England; recognized as one of the most respected and effective Talents trainers in the country.
Authored a publication ("Fulfilling the Promise: Enrichment Strategies for the Regular Classroom") for the Massachusetts Department of Education's Office for Gifted and Talented.
Invited to present at local, state, regional and national conferences.
Developed and taught graduate level courses in critical and creative thinking and curriculum differentiation for Salem State College, Simmons College, and Endicottt College. (K-12)
Principal of Meritor Academy in Middleton, Massachusetts (a private school for students in Pre-K through Grade 6)
Member, Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education, Massachusetts DESE. Currently serving three-year term.
Sample courses include:
For new AND veteran teachers, a course that provides an essential tool-kit for the educator hoping to optimize his or her practice.
Topics will include:
- Using backward design to plan standards-based units
- Creating ongoing formative assessments to inform curriculum and instruction
- Chunking a lesson
- Using activators and summarizers to maximize student learning
- Promoting higher-level thinking
- Differentiating instruction for all learners
- Creating a positive classroom climate
- Collaborating with colleagues
- Forming partnerships with students' families and communities
Differentiated Instruction has become a necessity in today's demanding educational landscape. We know that students progress and perform at higher levels as educators respond to the varied needs of all learners. The wide range of students' readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles demand differentiated content, activities, and assessments. This course offers a range of support to educators interested in differentiating instruction in today's diverse classrooms. Participants will examine a number of differentiated activities and use these to design experiences for students in the classroom.
- Examine brain research and its impact on student learning.
- Establish a culture and climate that supports differentiated practice through routines, procedures, and respectful and rigorous expectations.
- Target key skills and/or concepts that are differentiated by readiness, interest or learning profile.
- Identify learning goals/learning outcomes.
- Design differentiated content, instructional activities, and products to meet a set of learning goals.
- Ensure that differentiated assessments measure desired learning goals
A practical, exciting and "hands-on" workshop for teachers that includes the following topics and more:
- Bloom's Higher Levels of Thinking (Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating)
- The "Six Hats Model" of Edward DeBono (development of lateral thinking)
- The metacognitive Talents Unlimited thinking skills model (emphasizing and integrating the skills of productive thinking, communication, cause-effect thinking, decision-making and planning into the curriculum at all grade levels)
- Learning modalities and styles and their application to differentiated lessons (Multiple Intelligences, Gregorac Learning Styles, and others)
- The use of motivation theories and contracts to encourage independent learning
- Creative thinking strategies that enable students to "think outside the box"
- A substantial toolkit of strategies and activities designed to raise the level of student engagement