Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday, October 16

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Breakfast and lunch are included.


Addressing the Common Core with Socratic Seminars

Presented by Oscar Graybill, M. Ed

Director, Socratic Seminars International


This highly-interactive session will introduce the fundamental skills involved with leading Socratic Seminars. Socratic Seminars engage students in dialogue to enlarge their understanding of big ideas, issues, and values. Regular participation in Socratic Seminars helps students to develop close reading and critical thinking skills to support the expectations of the Common Core State Standards. Students gain confidence in the ability to think for themselves, comprehend complex texts, and participate effectively in civil conversations.


As Director of Socratic Seminars International, Oscar knows how to train and coach teachers well. Oscar’s 30 years as a high school English teacher in California and in Washington state taught him well what teachers want and need to improve their practice. As former Director of Teaching and Learning for Walla Walla Public Schools in Washington, he understands the goals of schools and districts in providing outstanding professional development opportunities that address student engagement and critical thinking.


Common Core for School Administrators

Presented by the South Dakota Department of Education

Due to the generous support of the South Dakota Department of Education, public school administrators who attend this pre-conference workshop will receive a $125 discount on their conference registrations.


Building the capacity of school principals is critical for successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It demands a shift in thinking to enhance instruction, assessment, and learning. Successful implementation of CCSS will move districts from preparing students for graduation to preparing students for college and careers. This workshop will provide principals with practical, hands-on experiences to better understand how the Common Core fits within the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Workshop activities will also focus on what higher-order instruction and assessment should look like in the classroom. Lastly, the workshop will help principals understand how the Common Core State Standards, the South Dakota Teaching Standards (Danielson Framework) and the Teachscape Evaluation system all fit together.