Workshops and Speeches

Click here to watch an Artist draw Bill's talk on Informational Texts

Classroom Observations

Dr. McBride has developed a powerful method of working with indivdual and small groups of teachers in classroom observations. Such close interaction in a positive environment promotes real change in teacher behavior. Contact Dr. McBride at drbilly@comcast.net for more information.

 

Bill McBride  Lists of Workshops and Speeches   

  (Click on any title to see a full description.)

 

 

Workshops:
Engaging the Disengaged: Using Neuroscience to Motivate Learners
Conquering the Common Core by Teaching to Gender Differences.
Using Simple Debate to Teach the Argumentative Essay
Effective Literacy Strategies for Informational Texts
Simplifying Common Core Text Complexity
Close Reading and the Common Core
Teaching Common Core Media Literacy
Saving Low-Income Males in Our Schools
Using Cooperative Learning to Teach Literacy in Informational Texts
Vocabulary Development: Turning Word Losers into Word Lovers
Literacy Across the Content Areas
Teaching Teachers Technology
Teaching Note Making and Summarizing
Building Literacy in Social Studies
Vocabulary Development for Social Studies
Building Literacy in Math
Building Literacy in Science
Building Literacy in Math and Science
Building Literacy and Composition Skills in Language Arts
Researching and Evaluating Internet Information
Vocabulary Development for Mathematics
Vocabulary Development for Science
Vocabulary Development for Language Arts
Using Technology and Student Video in the Content Area Classroom

Keynote Speeches:
Girls will be Girls, Boys will be Boys: Teaching to Gender Differences
Hold Fast to Dreams
Engaging the Disengaged: Getting Today’s Students Involved in Learning

Workshops and Keynotes

Dr. McBride is widely known for his dynamic and humorous workshops and keynotes. He presents both the research basis of best practices while modeling practical strategies immediately transferable to the classroom.

Implementation and Accountability
Workshops are useless unless attendees implement what they learn. Dr. McBride utilizes the following techniques to ensure implementation:

  • An engaging and inspirational workshop experience that models best practices and inspires teachers to try new methodologies
  • Detailed step-by-step handouts so that teachers can practice strategies after the workshop
  • Establishment of content area vertical teams to promote collaboration
  • Activity commitment forms filled out by vertical teams after strategies are presented
  • Duplicate commitment forms shared with administrators who promise positive evaluations for teachers when they attempt a new strategy
  • Follow-up workshops to promote sharing of successes and deeper reflection and change.
  • MP3 podcasts of Bill explaining his strategies on his Blog Spot at: http://entertaininganelephant.blogspot.com/ 

 

Descriptions of Dr. McBride’s Workshops

Engaging the Disengaged: Using Neuroscience to Motivate Learners 

Watch a 50 minute Webinar of Bill's Engagement PowerPoint at this link:

http://www.hmhco.com/educators/webinars/professional-webinars/CAWebinarSeries

Today's students see more and more of a disconnect between school environments and the outside world. Recent research clearly identifies six environmental stimuli that get the brain's attention–stimuli that are inherent in most pieces of technology. Yet teachers rarely employ these elements in their teaching to increase student engagement. This highly interactive workshop will model a number of brain-based literacy strategies that utilize all six stimuli and consequently get students involved in learning. Teachers will learn strategies to help students preview texts, take notes, comprehend while reading, and summarize what they have read. Come prepared to be inspired and have fun. Detailed handouts are provided.

Back to Top

Literacy Across the Content Areas

Content area teachers will participate in research-based, hands-on activities that promote literacy for all readers. The workshop covers the following five areas:

  • Brain-based learning to increase student engagement
  • Vocabulary Development for Older Students
  • Before Reading Strategies
  • During Reading Strategies
  • After Reading Strategies
  • Understanding by Design Implementation

The reading strategies presented represent some of the most successful activities teachers can implement in various content areas. This is a highly interactive and inspirational workshop designed to create teacher change in philosophy and practice. Detailed handouts are provided.

Back to Top

Conquering the Common Core by Teaching to Gender Differences.

The Common Core requires that students be able to make logical inferences, to understand central themes, and to analyze how characters and events develop across all grade levels. These are skills especially difficult for poor readers—the bulk of which are boys. Recent scientific research is illuminating the differences in cognitive development between the male and female brain. Based on the works of Michael Gurian, Richard Whitmire, Michael Thompson, Cordelia Fine and Leonard Sax, this highly entertaining workshop presents the differences in male and female brain development that affect behavior and learning. Teachers will come to understand that most school practices reinforce how girls learn rather than boys; consequently, boys make up the majority of our behavior problems, failures, and drop outs. Practical literacy strategies will be presented that promote Common Core instruction for both sexes. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top 

Simplifying Common Core Text Complexity
The new Common Core Standards require that the level of texts students read should increase in difficulty throughout the grades. Students who are able to read complex texts are much more successful in post-secondary school and career reading tasks. The Common Core measures text complexity by such criteria as readability formulas and Lexile levels, but also by a new system of qualitative and quantitative measures. This engaging and interactive workshop will show teachers how text complexity is measured, how deeper reading enables critical and creative thinking as well as the expectations of student literacy growth demanded by the new Common Core Standards.

Back to Top

Close Reading and the Common Core

The new Common Core Standards require that teachers make a fundamental change in how and what they teach. All content teachers must now move from covering an immense amount of material (breadth) to covering less material much more deeply (depth). This change also impacts how students read. Rather than reading superficially to memorize details and "cover the material," students are now required to read a few sources on a central idea or theme deeply so that they may analyze and synthesize the material. According to the Common Core, reading deeply means that students direct their attention almost solely to the words in the text to understand the central ideas, the supporting details, the meaning of individual words, and how the structure of the text facilitates the expression of ideas. This interactive workshop will show teachers how to make these changes by providing models of close reading instruction, vocabulary strategies for determining key words, and graphic organizers for annotating and outlining exemplars of Common Core texts. Excellent resources for both ELA and Social Studies teachers will be shared. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Teaching Common Core Media Literacy

The new Common Core Standards require that students be able to "integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words." This highly interactive workshop will show teachers how they can use a variety of media, such as Public Service Announcements, Television news casts and editorials to meet these standards. Teachers will learn effective strategies for identifying the central claim of a story, understand a "call to action," identifying the target audience, citing evidence to support a story's claims, and comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each medium. Students will learn to question who created the message, why the message is being sent, how different people might interpret the message and what biases may be included. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Saving Low-Income Males in Our Schools
The high school graduation rates of our low-income males, especially in urban areas, are not only a tragedy, but a huge financial burden on our system. The Gates Foundation estimated that the cost for each high school dropout who goes into a life of crime and drugs will cost the taxpayer between $1.2 and $2.3 million over his or her lifetime. Schools alone cannot turn this situation around; however, they can be a place where many of these young men begin to see themselves as successful and cared for. Based on the works of Michael Gurian, Baruti Kafele, Richard Whitmire, Tyrone Howard, Alfred Tatum, Michael Thompson, Cordelia Fine and Leonard Sax, this entertaining and informative workshop describes how a male brain develops differently from a female's, which may help to explain the impulsive and aggressive behaviors of some boys. Teachers and administrators will come to understand what characteristics the climate and culture of a school must possess in order to help these boys turn their lives around.

Back to Top

Effective Literacy Strategies for Informational Texts
All states now test their students in the reading of nonfiction, or as the new Common Core Standards call this genre, informational text. This highly engaging and interactive workshop will show teachers how to incorporate research-based Fluency, Comprehension, and Vocabulary strategies into their content-area classrooms. Teachers will learn appropriate pre-reading activities to ensure their students succeed in their first reading of the text. The Common Core calls for students to "read deeply;" hence teachers will learn activities that require students to reread a text multiple times while learning different literacy strategies. During and post reading strategies include such Common Core standards as context clues, inference, text structure, summarization and argumentative writing. This workshop not only teaches struggling readers how to read deeply, but teaches content area teachers how to teach reading.

Back to Top

Teaching Teachers Technology

Many teachers feel woefully behind the curve in their use of internet and computer teaching strategies. This workshop is designed to get them over that psychological hump that hinders their use of technology in the classroom. In one day in a computer lab, teachers will learn the following:

  • How to create a movie in Windows Movie Maker
  • How to download video, pictures, and You Tube video into their movie
  • How to include special effects, titles, and transitions into their movie
  • How to add music and narration to their movie
  • How to integrate Movie Maker films into their curriculum

You may never see prouder expressions on your teachers’ faces after this day! Detailed handouts are provided.

Back to Top

Teaching Note Making and Summarizing

Making notes is the first step in studying by requiring a student to reflect on what he or she has read. Summarizing requires a student to reflect once again, and consequently, builds retention. In order for students to learn how to make good notes and summarize, they need good models for each of these processes. This workshop will demonstrate successful strategies that utilize graphic organizers to scaffold the processes of making notes and summarizing texts. These activities also enhance a student’s ability to review and reflect on what they have read.

Back to Top

Brain-Based Teaching to Build Retention

Medical echnology has made profound inroads into learning how the human brain works in the last decade. Though we are still scratching the surface, we now are beginning to understand how the brain learns and retains information. Based on the work of Eric Jensen, Marilee Sprenger, Pat Wolfe, and David Sousa, this workshop shows teachers how to adapt their classroom practices to make use of the way the brain works. Teachers will learn that “chalk and talk” no longer makes sense with today’s kids whose brains are wired by a technological environment. Specific strategies will be modeled that show teachers how to teach for comprehension and retention. Detailed handouts are provided.

Back to Top

Building Literacy in Social Studies

This interactive workshop will present practical activities that get students actively involved in reading their Social Studies texts. Brain-based research shows educators how the brain learns, how to help students store information in long-term memory, and how to engage a student’s attention. Teachers will learn strategies to help students preview texts, take notes, comprehend while reading, and summarize what they have read. Attendees will also learn about best practices to improve the vocabulary development of older students. This workshop combines research-based methodologies and hands-on activities that teachers can translate immediately to their classrooms. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Vocabulary Development for Social Studies

Social Studies texts are filled with a multitude of difficult abstract concepts—many -isms, -ologies, and -ocracies. Terms often describe places and times about which students have little prior knowledge. Vocabulary research points to clear strategies teachers can use with students to help them read and retain difficult academic terms. This highly interactive workshop will provide teachers with an understanding of effective strategies that increase a student’s understanding and retention. Hands-on practical activities and Powerpoint games that are also appropriate for English Language Learners will be modeled. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Building Literacy in Math:

This interactive workshop will present practical activities that get students actively involved in comprehending their Math texts. Teachers will learn how to help students preview texts, learn academic vocabulary, decipher word problems, and use language to aid understanding of key concepts. Teachers will also learn methods to get students more physically and verbally engaged in classroom activities. This workshop combines research-based methodologies and hands-on activities that teachers can translate immediately to their classrooms. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Building Literacy in Science

This interactive workshop will present practical activities that get students actively involved in reading their Science texts. Brain-based research shows educators how the brain learns, how to help students store information in long-term memory, and how to engage a student’s attention. Teachers will learn strategies to help students preview texts, make notes, comprehend while reading, and summarize what they have read. Attendees will also learn about best practices to improve the vocabulary development of older students. This workshop combines research-based methodologies and hands-on activities that teachers can translate immediately to their classrooms. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Building Literacy in Math and Science Texts

Brain-based research shows educators how the brain learns, how to help students store information in long-term memory, and how to engage a student’s attention. This interactive workshop will present practical activities that get students actively involved in reading two of their most difficult textbooks—Math and Science. Teachers will learn strategies to help students preview texts, take notes, comprehend while reading, and summarize what they have read. Attendees will also learn about best practices to improve the vocabulary development of older students. This workshop combines research-based methodologies and hands-on activities that teachers can translate immediately to their classrooms. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Building Literacy and Composition Skills in Language Arts

This interactive workshop will present practical activities that help students read both fiction and nonfiction texts. Teachers will learn strategies to help students preview texts, make notes while reading, and summarize what they have read. Attendees will also learn about best practices to improve the vocabulary development of older students. Teachers will also learn how to use a student’s reading as a springboard for writing instruction. This workshop combines research-based methodologies and hands-on activities that teachers can translate immediately to their classrooms. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Using Simple Debate to Teach the Argumentative Essay

If teenagers love to argue, then why aren't we using this as a springboard to teach them to write persuasively? In this interactive workshop, teachers learn to use this natural "resource" to teach students to argue intelligently with well-supported arguments—exactly what the new Common Core State Standards require. Teachers will learn how to set up simple 8 minute debates in any content area, how to teach students to evaluate what they research on the internet, how to teach logical fallacies and propaganda techniques, and how to transform students' information into well-written argumentative essays. Using this process enables teachers to cover a large number of Common Core Standards in an activity that students love. Make every student a great speaker, listener, and writer! (This workshop is based on Bill's book, If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well.)

Back to Top

Researching and Evaluating Internet Information

Many of our students consider research as simply “cut and paste.” They illegally copy whatever information they find and drop it into their paper. Students also use unreliable sources, or only one source, such as Wikipedia. This workshop will actively engage teachers in using online reference tools, using a variety of Search Engines, doing Boolean searching, evaluating web sites, conducting surveys, and even understanding basic statistics used in research. The workshop also shows the differences between plagiarizing and paraphrasing. Teachers will work online as they practice the same skills they will model for their students.

Back to Top

Vocabulary Development for Mathematics

Math texts include more concepts per sentence and per page than any other textbook. Concepts are often introduced but not used again until later in the text, thus compromising retention. Vocabulary research points to clear strategies teachers can use with students to help them read and retain math academic terms. This highly interactive workshop will provide teachers with an understanding of how to get students to understand math concepts so that they can discuss and retain them. Hands-on practical activities and Powerpoint word games that are also appropriate for English Language Learners will be modeled. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Vocabulary Development for Science

An average high school Chemistry text may include as many as 3,000 new concepts. An average high school student can learn about 3,000 words a year. (That doesn’t leave much for the rest of us!) Science texts are filled with highly technical terms. This interactive workshop will provide teachers with a wealth of strategies to help students retain the complex academic terms presented in science. Hands-on practical activities and Powerpoint word games that are also appropriate for English Language Learners will be modeled. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Vocabulary Development for Language Arts
Language Arts teachers are faced with two vocabulary issues. Students must learn academic terms, such as plot, irony, and foreshadowing. Students must also be able to understand the terms in the literature in order to have a literal understanding of what they read. Vocabulary research points to clear strategies teachers can use with students to help them read and retain words. This highly interactive workshop will provide teachers with a multitude of strategies to teach word parts, Latin and Greek roots, abstract concepts, and context clues. Hands-on practical activities and Powerpoint word games that are also appropriate for English Language Learners will be modeled. Detailed handouts will be provided.

Back to Top

Using Technology and Student Video in the Content Area Classroom
Our students today are drawn to technology and visual images more than to print. This highly interactive workshop shows teachers how to use over a dozen simple types of instructional technology to motivate students to read and retain content information. For example, teachers will learn how to use cell phones as "clickers" to poll student responses and to turn raw video into movies using Windows Movie Maker or Apple I Movie. This workshop requires a computer lab with no more than 2 teachers per computer. For samples of student work, see the Technology and Teaching page of this web site.

Back to Top

Using Cooperative Learning to Teach Literacy in Informational Texts
Nearly every study conducted has shown that Cooperative Learning raises students' achievement, motivation and self-concepts. The Common Core Standards calls for students to be able to work cooperatively as part of the K-12 ELA Speaking and Listening Standards. Many teachers rarely try cooperative learning because they do not know how to effectively structure it so that it will be successful. This highly interactive workshop will provide the basic structure for successful group work, and then apply this structure to a host of proven strategies. Teachers will learn how to implement such strategies as Jigsaw, Think-Write-Pair-Share, Write-Praise-Polish, Numbered Heads Together, Scribe and Sage, Round Robin Brainstorming, Circle the Sage, Buzz Groups, Fishbowl, Rotating Trios, Snowball Groups, Talking Chips, and Write Around. All these strategies will be modeled using informational texts.

Back to Top

Dr. McBride’s Keynote Speeches

Keynote: Girls will be Girls, Boys will be Boys: Teaching to Gender Differences.

Many boys are failing in our schools. Statistics clearly show that boys make up the bulk of our discipline problems, drop outs, and even inmates. Schools may be contributing to these failure rates by not considering differences in male and female brain development. Gender differences in brain development affect our children’s' behavior, emotions, and ability to process information. Dr. McBride's speech will weave humor with specific strategies to promote instruction that supports both male and female brains.

Keynote: Hold Fast to Dreams

Whom do our students look up to? Are they mostly impressed by figures in the media and sports? If they only have these unrealistic representations as models of morality and behavior, what kind of people will they become? Perhaps giving students models of compassion, service, and tolerance is just as important as raising test scores. Perhaps the most important job we do as teachers is not passing on knowledge, but passing on the wisdom to use that knowledge to make the world a more compassionate place.

Keynote: Vocabulary Development: Turning Word Losers into Word Lovers

The Common Core requires students to know a variety of vocabulary strategies. Many students do not have the skills to deal with all the difficult concepts within their content area reading— the abstract -isms, foreign terms, scientific and mathematical words, and concepts about which students have little prior knowledge. Vocabulary research points to clear strategies teachers can use with students to help them read and retain difficult key terms. This workshop will provide teachers with an understanding of what it means to "know" a word, what doesn't work with students in developing vocabulary, and which effective strategies increase a student's word power. Vocabulary strategies will be presented to aids students' word attack skills before, during, and after reading. A number of strategies will be modeled, including Janet Allan's "Predicting ABCs," Spencer Kagan's "Sage and Scribe," Stahl's "Affix List," McBride's "Word Part Game," Beck's "Knowledge Rating, and " Marzano's "Word Map." Teachers will also come to understand how independent reading by students in materials of their liking and choice strongly impacts vocabulary development. Detailed handouts will be provided so that teachers can replicate these activities in their classrooms. (This is also a Keynote Speech topic.)

Keynote: Engaging the Disengaged: Getting Students Involved in Learning

Today's students see more and more of a disconnect between school environments and the outside world. Recent research identifies six environmental stimuli that get the brain's attention–stimuli that are inherent in most pieces of technology. Teachers, however, rarely employ these elements in their teaching to increase student engagement. This highly entertaining speech will model just how engaging learning can be when classroom activities have the impact of a video game.

Back to Top