IDEA Curriculum Fair 2019: Workshop Descriptions

Click on the links above for the general information about each location, and the links in the key below to go directly to the workshop schedules. (Links will be active once the workshop schedules are completed and posted.)

Key for workshop location:
A=Anchorage
F=Fairbanks
J=Juneau
S=Soldotna

“Agriculture and Natural Resource Education in Alaska” (Kevin Fochs)

Many people have the opinion that when you say ‘agriculture,’ you’re just talking about farmers and ranchers, but that is not a true picture of what agriculture is. In fact, it really falls under career and technical education. In this workshop, we will discuss how animal science, plant science, veterinary science, horticulture, mechanics — including welding, carpentry and electricity — and leadership roles — sales, public speaking, marketing and parliamentary procedure, all play a vital part in agriculture. Classes follow a national “three-circle model” of agricultural education: classroom/laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural experience programs, or SAE, and student leadership organizations. Learning Workshop, FFA (A)

“All Hands on Deck K-5” (Stephanie Bainbridge)

Game play is a powerful tool that allows all students to share their ideas and understanding of math concepts with each other. Come prepared to play math games that use regular cards and dice to teach operational fluency strategies, basic facts, number sense and mental math. Participants will also learn how to differentiate these activities with a simple change of instruction or adding/taking away dice to meet the needs of all students while teaching the same concept. Gameboards, student samples and journal ideas will be provided. Learning Workshop, Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks (A,F,J)

“Answering the “Why”: Math-U-See Teaches Mathematical Understanding from PreSchool to Calculus” (Nathan Martin)

Math-U-See’s unique instructional approach uses a distinctive set of manipulatives and strategies presented through videos and textbooks to help students master math concepts and fundamental skills. Our manipulatives are central to our instruction through Algebra 1, allowing abstract math concepts to be represented in clear, relatable ways, making mathematics understandable for students and parents. Our proven instructional methods guide students (and parents) from concept to concept as they build a solid understanding of mathematics from preschool through calculus. Let us show you how to help the most reluctant mathematician – parent or child – develop a positive relationship with math. Product Workshop, Math-U-See/Demme Learning (A)

“Awesome Adulting: How Your Learning Journey Fuels Your Homeschool” (Julie Bogart)

We expect our kids to be learners and tap our feet waiting for a passion to ignite. Yet what if the opposite is true? What if you discover that your interests and pursuits are the pathway to a vibrant, engaged homeschool for your kids? Children have you as their role model of what adulthood can be. Does your life paint a portrait of aliveness, exploration, and opportunity? Or is it weary with responsibility? The good news is that you can bring new energy to your family life simply by paying better attention to your own interests and skills. You are awesome already. Time to live up to who you are in the presence of your children, who are eager to root you on. Watch your homeschool become a family adventure of learning. Learning Workshop, Brave Writer (A,F,J)

“Beyond Gaming and Shopping…Exciting Ways to Use the Internet to Learn about Finance and Investing (using free and safe resources)” (Eric Stasak)

Are you ready for new ways to use the internet and Google Apps for learning about finance and investing? Come to this fast paced workshop to get clear and practical ideas, web-based resources (free) and a daily routine that will excite you and your family! Everyone will be excited to see how they can learn about stocks and build a portfolio of winning new investing ideas, and measure their success over time. Come with questions that Eric will answer by the end of the workshop. Learning Workshop, Stock Market Companion (S,A,F)

“Bringing Alaska History Alive!” (Laurel Bill)

Alaska author Laurel Downing Bill will share how her series, Aunt Phil’s Trunk, brings Alaska history alive! Did you know:
* The last shot of the American Civil War boomed in the Bering Sea?
* Notorious con man Soapy Smith was an angel of mercy in Homer before he became the king of crime in Skagway?
* The famous U.S. Air Force song was written by an Alaskan?
* America’s World War II hero Jimmy Doolittle grew up in Nome during its gold-rush heyday?
* A painting pachyderm named Annabel started the Alaska Zoo?
Aunt Phil will share these and many more stories from the pages of her five-book series, which helps children learn how Alaska became the great state in which we live today through short stories and hundreds of historical photographs. Want to learn more? Come prepared to have a ton of Alaska history fun! Product Workshop, Aunt Phil’s Trunk (S,A,F,J)

“Cultivating a Love for Learning” (Cindy Wiggers)

How can homeschooling be different from schooling at home? What can you do to change the dynamic in your homeschooling interactions? Listen to ways to transform schooling struggles into schooling success. Come to hear how to develop, or rekindle, a love for learning in the hearts of those you are teaching! Learning Workshop, GeoMatters (A)

“Don’t Learn a Foreign Language; Actually Talk in One!” (Adelaide Olguin)

You could spend two years meeting a foreign language requirement, or you could actually talk in a foreign language and change your future opportunities forever. Shift from just learning grammar and vocabulary to easily using the language in your everyday life. With this workshop with Adelaide, the founder of TalkBox.Mom, you’ll move years ahead of trying to learn a foreign language! Whether your family knows something or nothing, you’ll learn how to talk in a foreign language in your homeschool the same day you start, moving far down the path towards fluency without tears. Session includes a free workbook! Learning Workshop, TalkBox.Mom (S,A,F,J)

“Don’t Let High School Writing Scare You” (Julie Bogart)

If you and I had dinner together, I could teach you the essay format on the back of a napkin! What’s missing in most writing programs for high school is teaching insight generation. This session will focus on how to grow your teen’s rhetorical imagination so that your student has something of worth to put in all those essays. I will share tools and strategies for expanding your teen’s world through research, risky thinking, and writing. We’ll also look at the unique and delicate dynamics of parenting teens while teaching them at the same time. Learning Workshop, Brave Writer (A,F)

“Earth, Air, Fire & Water: Observations in the Natural World” (Kay Gibson)

Natural science offers many opportunities to understand the world where we live. Developing a relationship with nature builds compassion, growth, and knowledge of our human connection with plants, animals and the elements of the earth. Through games, songs, and hands-on activities an integrative and multi-level approach to learning about different aspects of our world will provide meaningful methods for exploring natural science with groups or individual learners. Learning Workshop, Oak Meadow Independent Learning (S,A)

“EARTHQUAKES: shake, rattle, & roll” (Brett Martin)

Alaska is a land of earthquakes. Tectonic plate movement creates earthquakes that cause the land to shake, rattle, and roll. The 1964 Great Alaskan earthquake was the second largest earthquake of the 20th century, and the pressure is building in Alaska for a similar earthquake in the future. This workshop covers information on five different types of earthquake waves: p waves, s waves, love waves, rayleigh waves, and harmonic tremors. Tsunamis are giant sea waves that travel in the open ocean at the speed of a jet plane. We’ll explain how and why tsunamis are generated by earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. These are just a few of the topics covered in this fascinating workshop for people living in Alaska! Product Workshop, Ring of Fire (A,F)

“Facts and Myths About Foreign Language Education” (Kit Strauss)

What’s right for you and your students? Please join us to explore the most updated information on foreign language education. We will discuss the facts and myths surrounding this often-confusing subject. We will share different perspectives and experiences from other homeschooling parents and teachers in this area. Your time, effort, and wallet matter to us. With the most updated information, we aim to help you decide when, how, or even whether to teach your students foreign language. Attendees will receive Kit’s latest published articles on foreign language education and teaching foreign language in homeschools. Learning Workshop, Foreign Languages for Kids (S,A,F,J)

“Goal Setting – A Family Event!” (Dennis DiNoia, M.A.Ed)

Goal setting is often thought of as a great idea and something everyone needs to do but we rarely do it and when we do, we usually lose track of the goal along the way. In this workshop, goals are brought to life through creation and conversation. Everyone participating will create a goal and a visual display for that goal during the workshop. This process can be done with family members over and over again as well as with other homeschool groups as activities. The process is created in a fun and fast paced style with everyone having an opportunity to create and share their goal that will leave each participant inspired by their goal and by the goals of others. Learning Workshop, Mr. D Math (A,F)

“How to Design an Engaging Science Unit (STEAM Focus)” (Colleen Walker)

What are the components of an engaging science lesson? How do I incorporate science, technology, engineering, art and math? Join me as I reveal four simple steps to design a fun and interactive science lab. Whether you are brand new to homeschooling, need some help coming up with new ideas or are a veteran homeschool educator, I will help you design an engaging and fun science lesson. Learning Workshop, Self ESTEAM Learning (A)

“How to Speak and Talk Math” (Dennis DiNoia, M.A.Ed)

What if math was its own language? Learn to speak math similar to the way you learn to speak other new languages. Learn the basic foundations on which the math language is created and how to see Algebra skills in basic math. This workshop will give participants wanting to expand their thinking to higher levels of math using basic operations they already know. Learn how the “secrets” of mental math and how to apply them in everyday situations. Participants access a common math language that can be used at any grade level. Learning Workshop, Mr. D Math (S)

“Keeping Doors Open ~ Making Opportunities” (Deb Mackie)

How do I develop a four year plan that will give my High Schooler the most open doors when they graduate? For many students what they will do after high school is a blank slate with no real plan in place. This is fine as they have four years to plan and prepare. But how do you plan for something you aren’t sure you going to do? This workshop will show how to get the best out of your high school studies and prepare you for multiple options after high school. Learning Workshop, IDEA High School Specialist (S,A,F)

“Know Thyself…and Thy Kids Too” (Melanie Wasko)

Have you ever wondered why the curriculum that was perfect for one of your kids is the absolute worst for another? Why one seems to get your instructions right away and the other looks at you like you’re speaking a foreign language? In this workshop, Melanie Wasko will reveal how knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations—and those of your kids—can lead to a more effective and less stressful homeschool environment. This fun seminar focuses on personality types not learning styles, though the two are related. Melanie will share real-life stories of what worked, and what didn’t and give practical tips for working with students whose personalities differ from yours and one another. You will leave her session encouraged, envisioned, and equipped—and reassured that you’re not crazy. Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (S,A,F,J)

“Laying the Foundation – Early College & Career Exploration” (Shelly Morgan)

Learn about Early Career Explorers classroom resources, and the I Know I Can and Kids2College early college/career awareness programs. Programs and resources are designed for Pre-K through 6th grade, with flexibility up through Middle School. Understand program details, review success statistics, learn how to bring these programs to your students, and discover potential partners. Learning Workshop, ACPE – Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (A)

“Learn Spanish Pronunciation FAST!” (Leticia Smith)

The key to fast vocabulary acquisition is learning proper pronunciation skills. Students who are reading in English can learn to read in Spanish with this fast, fun and easy method. We will cover the following points:
* Present picture associations of the sounds of the letters that are different in Spanish
* Use cognates to practice pronunciation skills
* Describe how to use color-coding to identify nouns, adjectives and verbs
This is a fun, dynamic, hands-on workshop to be presented by Leticia Smith, an experienced elementary Spanish instructor and founder of “Risas y Sonrisas – SpanishForKids.com” Learning Workshop, Risas y Sonrisas – SpanishForKids.com (A)

“Literacy Games K-5” (Stephanie Bainbridge)

Come experience a workshop that is engaging, fun and effective for students of all ability levels. Help students gain confidence and competence with key literacy concepts. Come prepared to play literacy games that incorporate the use of cards, dice, alphabet dice, letter tiles and other easily found literacy manipulatives. Concepts will include letter recognition, phonics, word families, sight words and beginning reading and writing strategies. Participants will play each game, learn how to differentiate the activities, how to develop learning extensions and how to use the game activities for assessment. Games, handouts, and student samples will be provided. Product Workshop, Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks (A,F,J)

“Making a Portfolio – A High Schooler’s Resume” (Deb Mackie)

By the time your student becomes a senior they will have had many opportunities and experiences that have shaped them and taught them. So what do I need to keep track of, and how? Knowing how to organize and keep track of community service, experiential learning and my academic experiences will make filling out all those senior applications, like college or program admissions or scholarship applications, so much easier. Come learn about a couple of resources that may make this task simple and profitable for you and your high schooler. Learning Workshop, IDEA High School Specialist (A)

“Making the Most of Moving Beyond the Page” (Keith Howe)

Moving Beyond the Page is a unique curriculum. From the integrated literature and engaging projects to the challenging writing assignments and hands-on science experiments, you won’t find anything like it. If you are using or considering Moving Beyond the Page, you should attend this workshop. You will learn how to take full advantage of the educational strategies that we incorporate into each lesson and learn how to structure your day and year with Moving Beyond the Page. Also, if you have children in 4th grade and younger, come take a look at our new math program. It is unlike any math program you have ever seen – including hands-on projects, integrated literature, and an online review tool that automatically focuses on areas of weakness for each student. You won’t want to miss it! Product Workshop, Moving Beyond the Page (A,F)

“Math Myths, Math Anxiety, and Math Learning Challenges” (Maren Ehley)

Is your child facing learning challenges? Does your child have math anxiety? And what myths are we talking about?? Children with learning challenges must truly understand in order to remember. The traditional approach of teaching mathematics does not work for them. In this workshop, you will learn some teaching strategies and techniques that will help children with learning challenges, reduce math anxiety, and debunk the myths that make your task harder than it needs to be. Learning Workshop, RightStart Math (F)

“The Most Important Person in Your Homeschool is You!” (Julie Bogart)

Are you tired of your kids not cooperating with your clear vision of how your homeschool should function? Does one child get under your skin repeatedly? Do you feel batted about by so many different educational theories, you can’t see straight? Every homeschool parent faces a day of utter inadequacy—the feeling that he or she is not right for the job. In this workshop, discover how to drop the anxiety about failing, and how to harness your bright, bold energy to bring your best self to the educational task. How you feel in your homeschool has everything to do with how well you understand the job! That’s what this session is all about. Learning Workshop, Brave Writer (S,A,J)

“Notebooks: The Secret of Adding Spice to Any Curriculum” (Cindy Wiggers)

Did you know George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson all kept notebooks? Explore this natural approach to education that encourages your students to be life-long learners! Open the door to self-motivation, academic excellence, creativity, and true learning for your children through notebooking. See how readily it adapts into any home education program and how to start your family on this exciting journey of discovery learning. Learning Workshop, GeoMatters (A)

RightStart™ Math: Why It Works! (Maren Ehley)

Have you heard the buzz about RightStart™ Math? Hear about our philosophy and what sets us apart from other curriculum. We will teach children that a real mathematical problem is like a puzzle, that math is more than memorization, and that math is fun. Come and learn what’s special about our math program! Product Workshop, RightStart Math (S)

RightStart™ Math Middle School: Level G (Maren Ehley)

Prepare your middle school student for higher level math by encouraging them to think critically and creatively with the RightStart™ Math Level G. This is an entry level, student-led course emphasizing the practical use of knowledge learned up to this point. This is not a typical boring worksheet curriculum, rather is a hands-on approach with a real-life application and a focus on understanding. Come and learn more about this innovative program! Product Workshop, RightStart Math (F)

“Risas y Sonrisas – SpanishforKids.com” (Leticia Smith)

Find out why so many homeschoolers prefer to learn Spanish with “Laughter & Smiles”. This award winning Spanish Program includes all the hands-on and online tools to make teaching and learning Spanish fun and effective. We will show you in this session how to use all the materials including the instructor’s guide, a hardcover book, four activity workbooks, a music CD with 39 songs for learning Spanish, a cognate picture cards set, a cognate folder, a flash card set with 14 vocabulary dominos and personal pronoun conjugation cards, and a 1 year subscription to the online program. Product Workshop, Risas y Sonrisas – SpanishForKids.com (S,A)

“Rolling Into Fact Fluency K-5” (Stephanie Bainbridge)

Who knew dice games could be this much fun? Come play hands-on games that incorporate the use of math shakers, multi-sided dice, and double dice that teach fact fluency, operations, number sense and place value. Participants will learn engaging activities that they can use to help each student, at their own level, achieve success in math. Learn how to differentiate each activity to fit the needs of your students and create a learning environment that fosters student growth, excitement, and cooperative peer interaction. Student samples, gameboards and journal ideas will be provided. Product Workshop, Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks (A)

“SAT Math – It’s Not the Math, it’s the Question that is Confusing!” (Dennis DiNoia, M.A.Ed)

This workshop will focus on math, the language behind the questions and show participants what they really need to know before taking the math section of the SAT. Find out the words on the test that give tips for how to solve the questions as well learning what formulas you really need to know before the taking the SAT. Students and parents alike will learn how to unravel the questions being asked into something they can solve quickly and easily. These techniques can be used for other testing situations and subject areas as well. Learning Workshop, Mr. D Math (S,A)

“Science Labs in a Box (STEAM Focus)” (Colleen Walker)

Wish you had engaging science lessons prepared for you? No hassle involved! Come learn about Science Labs in a Box, guaranteed to engage kids in learning. I’ll share the four simple steps to designing a fun and interactive science lab with a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) focus, as well as tips and tricks to helping students learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think! Product Workshop, Self ESTEAM Learning (A)

“The Secret to Breakthroughs in Writing” (Julie Bogart)

Programs, curriculum, homeschool gurus—they all miss it. Yet it’s so simple! Find out what professional writers know about writing instruction that educators often miss. You’ll walk away from this seminar knowing exactly what to do to change the dynamic around writing in your family…for good. In fact, you can turn your writing program around in one step, once you know what it is and follow through. The good news is: anyone can apply this principle to writing (you don’t have to be an expert writer yourself). By the end of the session, you’ll have an 8-week writing plan to use right away—no purchase necessary! End the hand-wringing and tears for good. Learning Workshop, Brave Writer (S,A)

“Show Me the Money” (Julia Renfro)

Participants will learn how to use AKCIS to research and compare education options for after high school, research financial aid options, and utilize the Application Tracker tool for applying to schools and for financial aid. Apprenticeships, Certificates, 2- and 4-year options will be addressed. Learning Workshop, ACPE – Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (A)

“Statewide Research Resources & Skills” (Elizabeth Nicolai)

Research can be about more than google or finding a book on the library shelves. Come learn about statewide resources for research, amazing databases, and the best skills to use them. All resources are free and available to all Alaskans. Learning Workshop, Anchorage Public Library (A)

“Teach Spanish Successfully in Your Homeschool” (Kit Strauss)

Foreign language is a valuable skill for your children and significantly develops their overall cognitive functioning, love of learning, and confidence. Please join us to discover for yourself, through lively demonstrations and thoughtful discussion, how your students can learn a new language faster than you thought possible. Foreign language can add a wonderful element of fun and variety for everyone in your homeschool! Attendees will receive Kit’s latest published articles on foreign language education and teaching foreign language in homeschools. Product Workshop, Foreign Languages for Kids (A,J)

“The Three Little Pigs of Amazing Curriculum and Retention” (Zach Edwards)

What is the world getting wrong about curriculum and education as a whole? Why are American students not keeping up with other students around the world? How do we help students retain the information they are learning in school and desire to learn more…even on their own time? In this workshop we will answer these questions and show you how we can change the trajectory of the education system today. Can’t wait to see you in this workshop! Learning Workshop, Historical Conquest) (A,F)

“Time4Learning – Making an Online Curriculum Work for You” (Katie Shuler)

Time4Learning is an award-winning, comprehensive, online curriculum for PreK through 12th grade covering math, language arts, science, and social studies. With flexible scheduling, student-paced learning, automated grading, and more, Time4Learning makes homeschooling easier! We’ll walk you through getting started, creating activity plans, customizing reports, and more. Product Workshop, Time4Learning (S,A)

“Travel the World While You Homeschool – Smart Family Travel on a Budget” (Adelaide Olguin)

Your homeschool adventures could absolutely include diving into history by literally climbing the Aztec’s Temples or walking the beaches of Normandy as you follow the battles of WWII. You could be exploring the biodiversity of the rainforest or the vast salt mines in Germany. Whether it’s for science, history, foreign language development, or fun; Adelaide, the creator of TalkBox.Mom, will take you behind the scenes to show you the “how” of taking your homeschool abroad and even a look inside their budget that makes homeschooling on multiple continents possible. Learning Workshop, TalkBox.Mom (A,J)

“You CAN Be a Great Math Teacher” (Maren Ehley)

Maybe you struggled with math, so how do you choose a curriculum to avoid the same fate for your child? Maybe you are really good in math but are unsure how to teach it now? Should you include manipulatives or not? What DOES it take to be the best teacher for your child? Find out the science and the art of teaching math. It is a science because much research has been done on how children learn, especially in math. It is an art because each child is different and lessons need to be tweaked. Come learn and be encouraged to become a great math teacher. Learning Workshop, RightStart Math (A)

“What I Wish I Knew Then: Thoughts from a Mom Who’s Crossed the Finish Line” (Melanie Wasko)

Melanie Wasko homeschooled her four daughters from kindergarten to college, and looking back she realizes that sometimes she made things harder than she needed to, and other times she was actually doing better than she thought she was. Join Melanie as she shares the good, the bad, and the ugly from her own journey. She plans for a brief time of Q & A, too. Her hope is that you leave encouraged, inspired, and less stressed than you were when you arrived. Whether you’re just starting out or nearing the end of your homeschooling road, this session is for you.
Learning Workshop, WriteAtHome (J)