Heidi Cocco teaches Honors Spanish at Pinnacle High School in the Paradise Valley Unified School District.  Previously, she taught social studies, reading, and AVID at Greenway Middle School for 12 years in the Honors Core Program and 3rd, 4th and 6th grade Elementary School for 5 years.  At Greenway, she conceived and developed the Honors Core Program, a unique magnet program for spatially gifted children.  Throughout her career she has aimed to find novel ways to engage her students and enhance their learning.  Her passion for engagement led her to arts integration.  She began working with Scottsdale Center for the Arts 13 years ago. She has also attended multiple years of Teacher Trainings from the Kennedy Center, spent time working with the Phoenix Art Museum, and has taken an intensive teacher training with the Smithsonian Art Museum in Washington, D.C.  

Heidi has worked as an AVID trainer for the past 7 years. She is a presenter and a writer for workshops that pertain to training teachers for gifted students, ELL students, and arts integration strategies. She holds a BA in Education from Arizona State University and a MAE in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. She additionally holds bilingual/ESL, gifted, and reading endorsements. 

 'Providing Equitable Access through Cultural Education'
Nationally there is a need for our instruction and curricula to reflect the ethnic diversity of our student population. Most teachers have an increasing number of culturally and linguistically diverse students.   How do teachers integrate and utilize the diverse perspectives, values and talents that students bring to the classroom?  Participants will leave this seminar with strategies for optimizing student engagement and facilitating deeper learning.  (Course may be used toward the gifted endorsement)

Workshop Objective: How do teachers honor the diverse perspectives, values, and talents that students bring to the classroom?  In this workshop, participants will explore the meaning of culture and examine various cultures:  Western, Eastern, Latin, Middle Eastern, African, Native American, Black, Hispanic, and Poverty.   Participants will use these understandings to design and implement culturally relevant materials, instructional strategies and projects to involve and engage all students.  

Cost of this four day workshop is $750.00.  Breakfast the first morning and lunch each day are included.
Day One
~Examine descriptions, attitudes and assumptions of culture.
~Examine make-up of individual classrooms
~Recruitment and identification of culturally diverse gifted students
            ~Relevant teaching strategies 

Day Two
Poverty is pervasive in all of the cultures of the students who attend our public schools.
~Overview of the culture of poverty
~Explore the extent, the effects and the trends of poverty
             ~Relevant teaching strategies

Day Three
Assumption:   Public Education in the United States was created from the Caucasian Middle Class perspective. 
~Discuss assumptions, perceptions, and expectations of different cultures
~Recognize Language levels of students:  reading, writing, speaking, vocabulary
~Compare and Create Assessments
            ~Relevant teaching strategies

Day Four
~Expand Project Based Learning
~Develop Relationships in the Culturally Relevant Classroom