Idenitifying and supporting gifted students
Presented by: Dr. Steven Pfeiffer (January 2020)
Dr. Pfeiffer is a renowned speaker on gifted education, as well as a psychologist, author, consultant, and therapist. He is Professor Emeritus at Florida State University and was Executive Director of Duke University's gifted program. He has worked as a pediatric psychologist and maintains an active clinical practice. He is the lead author of the Gifted Rating Scales. Among his most recent books are Serving the Gifted (2013) and Essentials of Gifted Assessment (2015).
Dr. Pfeiffer consults internationally on topics related to the social-emotional needs of gifted students.
Dr. Pfeiffer discussed the unique characteristics of and challenges in working with gifted learners, as well as his evolving work on both head and heart strengths and their relationship to optimal mental health among high ability youth.
Educational and Mental Health Resilience for Students with Mild Cognitive Disabilities: Translating research into practice
Presented by: Dr. Steven R. Shaw (May 2019)
In this workshop, Dr. Shaw provided school psychologists, teachers and other educational professionals with clear and practical information for improving the resilience and school performance of students with borderline intelligence and mild intellectual disabilities. The assumption was that education for this population will be delivered increasingly in diverse inclusive classrooms. The six topics discussed were: real world and classroom effects; converting assessment results into effective interventions; proven teaching methods for reading, writing and mathematics; improving academic motivation; mental health and behavioural issues; and teaching students how to thrive instead of how to survive. The goal was to address the needs of these students while saving teacher time and resources.
Managing Middle School Mayhem: Evidence based strategies to address behavioural challenges in the classroom
Presented by: Dr. Aslaug Woelstad & Rachel Zylka, Provisional Psychologist (Winter 2019)
Presented by: Dr. Aslaug Woelstad & Alethea Heudes, PhD Candidate (Winter 2018)
This four part series was designed for regular classroom teachers in middle and junior high schools. The 12 hour workshop, spread over four months, focused on evidence based strategies to understand and address behaviour challenges in early adolescence. Facilitated by a team of an experienced school psychologist and a behavior class teacher, the sessions provided opportunities for discussion and sharing of relevant experiences. Participants were supported to implement learning in their classrooms between sessions.
The Neuropsychology of Mathematics: Taking the mystery out of math learning
Presented by: Dr. Steven Feifer (January 2019)
The Neuropsychology of Mathematics speaker event explored how young children learn basic mathematical skills, from a brain-based educational perspective, for a variety of audiences. Dr. Feifer explored the role of primary neurocognitive processes involved in the acquisition of significant foundational number skills. Participants in each stakeholder group learned how to integrate this exciting new knowledge in their support of children’s math learning.
Managing Anxiety in the Classroom: Expanding current knowledge to meet needs of students, teachers and school staff
Presented by: Dr. Kathrine Martinez (January 2018)
This informative and practical workshop was designed for psychologists/clinicians working with children and adolescents in school settings. Participants gained theoretical and applied knowledge of advanced CBT tools and techniques. Dr. Martinez also addressed specialized youth topics with links to anxiety such as perfectionism, sleep disorders, and poor academic engagement, as well as relevant findings/knowledge from other disciplines/areas that can be incorporated into the work of a school psychologist. There was time for experiential activities, application of interventions, and a collaborative discussion on how to apply what research and clinical practice are telling us will work best in preventing and treating anxiety.
Practical Management of "Tough Kids"
Presented by: Dr. Bill Jenson (November 2016)
This presentation focused on the practical management of behaviourally disordered/emotionally disturbed students (BD/SED).
These students are frequently referred to as "Tough Kids" because they exhibit strong behavioural excesses such as arguing, noncompliance, and aggression while at the same time they possess significant behavioural deficits in self-management (rule governed behaviour), social skills, and academic abilities.
Progress Monitoring within Multi-tiered Systems of Support: Why, when, and how?
Presented by: Dr. Kristen McMaster (October 2015)
Dr. Kristen McMaster, an expert in the area of progress monitoring, addressed the importance of progress monitoring in data-based decision making and ways teachers can incorporate progress monitoring into their assessment practices.
Progress monitoring is an assessment process to determine if students are making adequate academic gains. The data from these assessments is used to make decisions about which students need extra support and to provide evidence about the effectiveness of interventions.
Past Community Engagement Events
Me, myself and iKids: Screen time, social media and the developing child
Presented by: Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz (September 2019)
This interactive workshop explored the pervasiveness of technology in children’s lives, present recent research on how screen time and social media are changing the neurological, social, and emotional development of children and youth, and discussed how parents can understand, model, and establish boundaries around media and technology in the family.
What Parents Need to Know about Executive Functioning? Practical strategies for home and school
Presented by Rachel Zylka, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Provisional Psychologist (June 2019)
Executive functioning skills are a group of skills that allow children to manage their thoughts, actions, and emotions in order to "get things done". These skills include: paying attention, organizing and planning, starting tasks and staying focused on them, regulating emotions, and self-monitoring. Issues with executive functioning can make it hard for children to complete school work and everyday tasks. Parents and other caregivers play an essential role in helping children develop executive functioning skills from early childhood through adolescence. During this presentation, parents learned practical strategies to improve their child's executive functioning skills for greater success at home and school.
The Neuropsychology of Mathematics: Taking the mystery out of math learning (Parent Lecture)
Presented by: Dr. Steven Feifer (January 2019)
In this presentation, Dr. Feifer explored how children learn and acquire basic mathematical skills from a brain-based educational perspective. He explained the critical role of language, visual cues, memory strategies, and symbolic thinking in the development of automatic fact retrieval, quantitative reasoning, and number sense. A discussion of how parents can help to minimize math anxiety and maximize math performance was an important component of the talk. Brain-based strategies for keeping math learning fun, interactive, and meaningful through games and activities were featured.
"Tough Kids" and their Families: Who they are, what causes these behaviours, and how to manage them? (Parent Lecture)
Presented by: Dr. William Jenson (November 2016)
At the time of the event, Dr. Jenson was a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah. His research interests include externalizing behavior disorders, the management of noncompliance and aggression, practical classroom behavior management, behavioural assessment, academic intervention, and parent training. His presentation focused on the practical management of “Tough Kids”, a topic on which he has published extensively.
My Child’s Anxious Mind: A caregiver’s guide to strategies that work for children and teens (Parent Lecture)
Presented by: Dr. Katherine Martinez (January 2018)
This presentation was designed for parents, family members, and other individuals caring for school aged children and adolescents. Participants gained knowledge of the science behind anxiety and how it "looks" in children and teens, including why it is important to identify and challenge unwanted anxiety. Additionally, participants learned various cognitive-behavioural strategies to help support their youth in calming both routine and unexpected stress and anxiety. There was an emphasis on how to assist anxious young people to change their thoughts and behaviours to positively impact their development.