Title

Raising Expectations for "At-Risk" Youth

Location

Ballroom E

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The information presented during this session will provide educators on other professionals who work with at-risk youth tools on how to increase rigor in their classrooms or buildings while providing equity among the students regardless of their academic abilities (special needs), cultural background or socio-economic status. The strategies introduced will foster student engagement and relevance. When students are challenged but supported enough so they are successful, they can view themselves as equals and socially acceptable among their peers.

Brief Program Description

Students who are considered at risk have unique challenges and may be perceived as unmotivated and not willing to be challenged. At-risk students are often the recipients of watered down curriculum as a means to accommodate their lack of success. In this session, we will discuss and practice instructional strategies that will increase rigor and challenge at-risk learners while providing them with the support they need to meet high expectations. You will leave this session with strategies and ideas to help you challenge and motivate your students while creating a supportive environment for them to experience success.

Summary

This session will include practical methods and instructional strategies for increasing rigor and challenging at-risk students such as students of poverty and English language learners. At-risk students, just like students with few obstacles in life, will meet whatever expectations set for them. If high expectations are set, the students will strive to meet them. At-risk youth should be exposed to curriculum that is challenging and relevant but instruction and a support system should be in place to help them gain success. The activities shared through this presentation will give educators the tools needed to increase rigor and support at-risk learners. Activities include Tic-Tac-Toe formative assessments and question matrices. Participants will learn how to use differentiated formative assessments like Tic-Tac-Toe homework. This strategy allows the instructor to create assignments based on curriculum standards on various levels and students are able to choose the assignments based on difficulty. The rigor comes in when students are prompted to choose a problem they would ordinarily not. Question matrices guide the instructor so they are asking students higher level questions. It prompts the instructor to expect and accept answers that require proof and explanations. The session strategies will help educators and those who work with at-risk youth learn how to accommodate students’ needs without watering down the curriculum and teach them to have high expectations for themselves and believe they can have academic success. Participants will walk away with the correct meaning of rigor, practical ideas and free templates they can use in their classrooms or buildings. The strategies and practices shared during the session are appropriate for teachers, administrators, guidance counselors and district personnel who work with or make curriculum decisions for youth.

Evidence

Much of the session is supported by the research of Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering and J. Pollock on increasing student achievement; Eric Jensen’s research on students in poverty, and Barbara Blackburn’s work on rigor in the classroom.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

I have been an educator for 19 and 1/2 years, ten of which I spent teaching young adolescents from diverse ethnical and socio-economic backgrounds. I have been at Winthrop University for 9 and ½ years where I teach and work with teacher education candidates. I have also consulted in various schools systems across the United States such as Chicago, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina and North Carolina where I have shared my expertise on motivation and my own story of growing up in poverty and being at-risk.

Keyword Descriptors

rigor, challenging curriculum, relevant curriculum, at-risk

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-4-2015 9:45 AM

End Date

3-4-2015 11:00 AM

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Mar 4th, 9:45 AM Mar 4th, 11:00 AM

Raising Expectations for "At-Risk" Youth

Ballroom E

Students who are considered at risk have unique challenges and may be perceived as unmotivated and not willing to be challenged. At-risk students are often the recipients of watered down curriculum as a means to accommodate their lack of success. In this session, we will discuss and practice instructional strategies that will increase rigor and challenge at-risk learners while providing them with the support they need to meet high expectations. You will leave this session with strategies and ideas to help you challenge and motivate your students while creating a supportive environment for them to experience success.