Keynote Speakers

Dr. Okhee Lee | Keynote Speaker

STEM Education for All Students Including English Learners

Three emerging forces promise to shape the landscape of STEM education: growing student diversity, increasing academic rigor of content standards, and advancing technological innovations. The convergence of broadening participation in STEM subjects through technological innovations represents the lives of students and teachers. As disciplinary practices in STEM subjects (e.g., develop models, argue from evidence) are language intensive, engagement in these practices presents both learning opportunities and demands to all students, especially English learners. Using classroom examples, this presentation will highlight the mutually supportive nature of instructional shifts in STEM subjects and second language acquisition.

Dr. Okhee Lee is a Professor of Education at New York University, and an author of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). She is currently leading collaborative research between New York University and Stanford University to develop instructional materials aligned with the NGSS in order to promote science learning and language development of elementary students including English learners. She was a keynoter for us back in 2012 when the NGSS was introduced. We are glad to have her back.

Dr. Concepcion Molina | Keynote Speaker

Language: The Key to Mathematics Access

This keynote session examines the impact of mathematical language, symbolism, and representation on mathematics instruction and on students’ attainment of conceptual understanding of various mathematics topics. The presentation includes investigations of difficulties due to the nature of the English language itself, problematic language-based tendencies ingrained in mathematics instruction, and a glimpse as to what true understanding of mathematical concepts entails.

Dr. Concepción Molina is the author of The Problem with Math Is English: A Language-Focused Approach to Helping All Students Develop a Deeper Understanding of Mathematics. He has been amath teacher, and a professional development specialist with the American Institute of Research (AIR) throughout the Southwest for K-12 mathematics. His experience as an EL student has given him a unique perspective that led to the development of multiple professional development trainings focused on the impact of language in the learning and instruction of mathematics.

Savanna Flakes | Pre-Conference Speaker

Also returning is Savanna Flakes, who just inspired us at the Fall Institute: Special Populations in Bilingual Education in Wenatchee. She was so popular we are bringing her back for a Thursday pre-conference workshop. She will focus on STEAM topics with many engaging activities, blending technology, teaching ideas, thoughtful discussion and fun. As a former Technology Integration and Instructional Specialist, she has worked with school communities to incorporate technology tools and resources across the curriculum. Savanna is a national speaker on motivation, equity, and innovation. This workshop will offer STEM clock hours.