Shannon Ruiz has presented sessions, workshops, and keynote addresses for state and district educational conferences in many parts of the country.  He is available to speak on many subjects, but here are a few that he has prepared in the past.  If you are interested in having Shannon at your conference, click the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page.

The Free-Trade Economy – A Department-wide, PBIS-inspired Student Incentive Program

What is a good way teach cultural competence to students when they don’t travel?  How can students have “real-world” experiences without leaving school? How can world-language teachers support math goals?  The Free-Trade Economy is a PBIS-inspired incentive program that helps students gain cultural competence while rewarding them for exemplary performance.  During this session, participants will receive all information required to begin their own program for their departments or schools as well as many resources and ideas to keep the costs low and the benefits high.  Participants in this session are guaranteed to have fun and, most importantly, learn something new!

It’s NOT All Fun & Games in the World Language Classroom

In this workshop or session you will learn several free games to assess vocabulary and grammar knowledge of your students and be shown how to actually grade them.  Participants will get a chance to play the games and practice hosting a game.  For the workshop, bring your laptops, because you will be creating a game during the workshop that you can use the very next day. 

The New Standard of Instruction

This keynote address focuses on instruction, practice, and assessment that always keep the standards at the front of it all.  Shannon will challenge all participants to look within their own teaching to see where they are already focusing on the standards, but more importantly where they are not focusing on the standards so they can become more of a guide for language discovery rather than a teacher of a language.  ACTFL guidelines are the basis for this keynote and Shannon will show how to use the resources that ACTFL provides to help in student assessment.

I’m Not Crazy…I’m a Teacher!

This keynote address is an absurd trip through the mind of a teacher.  During this humorous interactive address, participants will be encouraged to look beyond the stresses and strains of everyday work to find the parts of teaching that keep us coming to work each day.  Shannon will show how even the slightest glimmer of light in a day can become a blinding spectrum if viewed from the right angle.

Poop…and other things to get kids running to class

This presentation was voted Best of Colorado in 2014.  It focuses on ideas and techniques that teachers can use to engage students even before they enter the class.  Many of these techniques are so motivating to students that they actually run to class and begin class themselves.  As always, it is a highly interactive and entertaining presentation.

Video Killed the Listening Lab

Can’t find the perfect video to supplement your teaching? You can make one of your own! Better yet, have your students do it! In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to use simple video techniques and products to create fun learning tools as well as how to use student videos as assessment. Comb your hair and put on your smile because it’s “Lights, Camera, Action!”

Norm! How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Grading Common Assessments

“You want to be where you can see everyone grades the same.  You want to go where everybody knows your name” (or at least acknowledges your abilities as someone who knows how to grade common integrated performance assessments).  In this session, participants will review integrated performance assessments (IPAs) before experiencing how the norming process of grading can be done for like-content teachers, world language departments, and district training in preparation for common assessments.

In this workshop, participants will review the IPA process, review the ACTFL proficiency levels and what they look like, view examples of rubrics based on the proficiency levels, and participate in a few norming activities using English examples.

Norming the grading process is important to maintain consistency when grading common assessments.  Norming based on the ACTFL guidelines also helps when comparing student performance to other schools and national trends.

Participants will receive access (and the ability to share) all materials used in this session.

Grammar is not a 4-letter word

The fourth of ACTFL’s six core practices says to “teach grammar as a concept and use in context” and that teachers should “understand the various approaches to grammar instruction and how to select one over the other.” In this session participants will discuss ideas for acquiring grammar to improve form that can be used after students have had a chance to extract meaning.

In this session, participants will be guided through a review ACTFL’s six core practices and will be given resources to learn more about them.  A discussion will be facilitated to find what approaches are currently being used in the classroom and whether or not those approaches take into account a focus on meaning first.  Finally, participants will be shown additional resources that can be used to help with preparation for comprehensible (CI) grammar instruction.

Release Your Inner Rock Star

This keynote address focuses on the teacher and how he or she can use stage presence techniques to keep students’ attention and captivate them each minute of the day.  Not just for world languages, these techniques can be used in every class at every level.  Shannon uses examples from his experience as a former front-man for a rock band and how he’s incorporated those same movements and crowd engagement strategies to keep students interested.  Participants from the audience will be used as guinea pigs in mock experiments that will have you rolling in the aisles.