Saturday Keynote: Susan Close
Susan is the founder of SmartLearning, and has been guiding initiatives in B.C., Alta., N.W.T., and the Yukon since retiring in 2007 as Asst. Superintendent (SD40). Susan leads a team of trainers, educators with deep experience implementing and studying the effects of SmartLearning. They design ways to use SmartLearning to achieve classroom, department, school, and district goals. Training sessions include a combination of workshops, and classroom-based learning rounds. Workshops model how to bring SmartLearning to life in the classroom, and showcase the thinking and research behind the principles and practices inherent in the approach. Learning rounds feature SmartLearning in action in the classroom. Participants engage in planning designed with specific goals in mind; they participate in the learning with the students; and they analyze the effects of the practices on achievement. Currently Susan is coordinating the writing of publications designed to guide the implementation of SmartLearning: SmartThinking Tools: powerful ways to stimulate pathways in the brain and develop important skill-sets; Pathways to Powerful Learning: SmartLearning sequences designed with deep comprehension in mind (K-12); The A•S•K Reading and Responding Assessment: assessing how well learners apply skills and knowledge to texts (K-9); With Deep Comprehension in Mind: five SmartLearning practices that together build habits of mind that lead all learners to deep understanding of text, right from the start (working title).