Dr. Jann Leppien

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Jann Leppien is an associate professor at the University of Great Falls in Great Falls, Montana, where she teaches course work in curriculum and instruction, gifted education, assessment and learning, educational research, and methods in social sciences. Additionally she teaches curriculum courses and thinking skills courses online and in the Three Summers Program at the University of Connecticut. Before joining the faculty at the University of Great Falls, she worked as a research assistant for The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT). She has been a classroom teacher, enrichment specialist, and coordinator of a gifted education program in Montana. She is the co-author of, The Multiple Menu Model: A Practical Guide for Developing Differentiated Curriculum, and The Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High-Ability Students. She conducts workshops for teachers in the areas of differentiated instruction, curriculum design and assessment, thinking skills, and program development. She serves on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children and the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS).

Description: Many highly gifted students choose to underachieve because the curriculum does not engage their interest or their intellectual curiosity. Unfortunately, these non-productive learners often find other avenues outside the regular curriculum to satiate their quest for knowledge, understandings, and creative productivity. Practitioners need to understand how to provide a curriculum that will ignite the minds of gifted learners and support their journey from novice to expert. This keynote will outline the essential elements needed to provide appropriate challenge, engagement, and intellectual rigor for highly gifted students.

Description: If you want to assist your students in conducting independent research and need some tools and strategies to ensure your success, this session is for you! Students of any age can begin to learn the skills for conducting active and authentic research to pursue questions that are of following: (1) integrating research investigations into the curriculum; (2) applying research methodologies and tools to the investigations; (3) managing the research process; and (4) accessing Internet sites that support the research process. Research project ideas will be shared along with some websites that provide resources for students who wish to conduct research investigations or independent studies telecollaboratively.

Description: The Internet can help teachers locate meaningful curriculum resources that are engaging and that require students to apply critical and creative thinking as they solve problems, explore complex decisions, or respond to meaningful text. This session will guide teachers to interesting resources they can use to apply the principles of Differentiated Instruction to the development of curricular units. Other technology equipment that support student learning will also be shared.