Think Big, Start Small: How to Differentiate Instruction in a Brain-Friendly Classroom

Martha Kaufeldt

   Presenter:  Martha Kaufeldt, M.A.


   Registration Fee: $175  - $150 for Texas ASCD members


   *If you are interested in scheduling this workshop in your district please call 512-477-8200.

Presentation Part 1: “Begin with the Brain: Three Things New Teachers Need to Know

Brain-Compatible Element # 1 - LESS STRESS!!

  • Stress, and Perceived Threat can minimize the brain’s capabilities to learn
  • Create a Safe and Secure Climate and Environment
  • Avoid the REFLEX Response: Inclusion & Physical Environment 


Brain-Compatible Element # 2 -  DO THE REAL THING

  • Neural Plasticity: Multi-sensory experiences promote brain growth and connections
  • Provide Enriched “Learner-Centered” Environments for learning
  • Encourage First Hand Experiences, Discovery Play and Meaningful Engagement


Brain-Compatible Element #3 - USE IT OR LOSE IT!

  • Multiple opportunities to Actively Process new learning assures Long Term Retention
  • Differentiate Instruction, Provide Choices, Vary Grouping and Honor the Multiple Intelligences
  • Orchestrate opportunities to apply new learning in real-world experiences


Presentation Part 2: “Think Big, Start Small: Differentiated Instructional Strategies That Work!”

  1. Managing the Differentiated Classroom: Systems & Procedures – The Key to Successful Differentiation.
  2. Build up a repertoire of practical differentiated strategies to: 
  • Engage Learners: Get students’ attention using novelty, movement, and humor. Keep them engaged using variety, relevancy and meaningfulness. 
  • Explore the Concepts and Skills: Learn a variety of ways to differentiate tasks and vary how students process what they are learning. Learn ways to adapt, modify and tier lessons so that all students are working on challenging tasks. 
  • Extend Learning: Discover ways to challenge highly-capable learners with lateral enrichment. Learn how to set up Anchor Activities for students who finish assignments early. 


Short Descriptor:

Successful teachers keep the brain’s natural learning abilities in mind. Expand your understanding of brain-friendly teaching strategies with an enthusiastic veteran ‘neuroeducator.’ Learn how stress and perceived threat, lack of inclusion, and chaos in the classroom can minimize learning. Discover how multi-sensory experiences in an enriched environment can promote brain growth and development. Build up your repertoire of differentiated instructional strategies to help students actively process new learning to assure long-term retention. Learn new techniques to engage your students as the presenter models the strategies. No matter what grade level or subject you teach – you will gain tons of ideas from this popular presenter.



About the Presenter:

Martha Kaufeldt, M.A. is a veteran K-12 teacher, author, and popular international presenter on brain-compatible teaching, differentiated instruction, and integrated curriculum development. Martha is skillful in translating recent educational neuroscience and how it should guide educational practice and professional development. Her best selling books are Begin with the Brain: Orchestrating the Learner-Centered Classroom – 2nd ed., Teachers, Change Your Bait! Brain-Compatible Differentiated Instruction, and her latest book (co-authored with Gayle Gregory) Think BIG, Start Small: How to Differentiate Instruction in a Brain-Friendly Classroom. Her audiences appreciate her practical application, and her personable, humorous style.


For more information please call (512) 477-8200.

Differentiation and Personalizing Learning for All Students

 Differentiation and Personalizing Learning for All Students


Presentor: Sally M. Reis
For PowerPoint Presentation: click on the button
 For audio recording:


Webinar Overview: When teachers use both personalization and differentiation of instruction and curriculum, they are able to meet the diverse needs of students of all achievement levels.  Using both differentiated content and instruction, teachers can meet the needs of a variety of learners in their classrooms through multiple approaches that modify instruction and curriculum.  In this session, a rationale and specific examples will be provided about why and how educators can meet the needs of all students by differentiating learning activities, and challenging and personalizing instruction and content for all students.

About the Presentor: Sally M. Reis is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at The University of Connecticut where she also serves as a Principal Investigator for the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.  She was a public school teacher for 15 years, 11 or which were spent working with gifted students on the elementary, junior high and high school levels.  She has authored or co-authored over 250 articles, books, book chapters, monographs and technical reports.  Her research interests related to differentiation of instruction, enrichment and talent development, as well as diverse groups of talented students.  She is also interested in extensions of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model for academically talented students and as a way to expand offerings and provide general enrichment to identify talents and potentials in students who have not been previously identified as gifted. Call 512-477-8200 for more information.

This webinar is a join partnership with:



Real Discussions about Response to Intervention

Vonita White

Presenter: Vonita White
Workshop Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Registration time: 8:30 am
Registration fee: one-day $175 ($150 for Texas ASCD members)

Please contact our office to schedule this institute at your location.

Response to Intervention is uniquely implemented in each district.  This session is designed to enable the participant to examine the philosophy of RTI development and implementation that best matches their local practices.  Participants will be asked to share the guidelines and process of RTI in their district and to identify challenges of RTI implementation.  Time to develop a problem solving approach to the challenges will be included.

The session will be developed around the following principles:

  • RTI is a process, not a document
  • Understanding district philosophies about special education and intervention are paramount  to the successful design of a local RTI model
  • Skills/content included in tiered instruction should be clearly identified
  • Analysis of data and is the foundation of tiered instruction
  • Time is a critical element in the implementation of RTI
  • District standards for student performance must be established
  • Student performance using classroom interventions must be documented
  • Consistency and communication are underlying attributes of successful RTI implementation
  • RTI development and implementation is a journey and must be monitored and reviewed
Vonita White
Vonita White has twenty years of work in curriculum and instruction through the central office.  She has observed teachers and principals grow professionally through difficult challenges mandated by state and federal guidelines.  Vonita believes RTI is one of those difficult challenges.  She has had the opportunity the last six years to work as a monitor for American Institute of Research.  She has observed the various approaches districts have designed and implemented to make RTI work for their unique needs.  Participants can learn more efficient ways to approach this topic by sharing experiences.

Who Should Attend:  Administrators, Principals, Directors of Assessment and those involved in tiered instruction.

Begin with the Brain! Orchestrating the Learner-Centered Classroom

 Martha KaufeldtPresenter: Martha Kaufeldt
Workshop Time:
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Registration time: 8:30 am
Registration fee: $175, $150 for Texas ASCD members for a one day session
$349, $299 for Texas ASCD members for a two day session

Please contact our office at 512.477.8200 to schedule this institute at your location.

This engaging seminar provides valuable information about three key elements of Brain Compatible Teaching and Learning. Recent research about how student’s brains grow, develop and respond to the environment should influence our classroom practices. Understanding some “brain basics” can give educators guidelines that will help them design truly brain-compatible classrooms and school environments. Participants will gain specific practical strategies to help reduce student stress, discover systems and procedures for effective classroom management, orchestrate opportunities for differentiated instruction and learn a variety of strategies for grouping students. Discover how to create a brain and body compatible environment that will bring the JOY of learning into their classrooms!  Creating a climate and environment that is conducive for learning is the foundation for success.

Learn about the 3 Key Elements of Brain-Compatible Learning:
  • When the brain reacts to stress and perceived threat, its capabilities are MINIMIZED. Maintaining an emotionally SAFE and SECURE, and a physically HEALTHY environment is vital for learning!
  • For POWERFUL LEARNING to occur, the brain must be stimulated in multi-sensory, ENRICHED ENVIRONMENTS.
  • To assure long-term retention, the brain must ACTIVELY PROCESS new learning. Using preferred learning styles and intelligences, the learner can REFLECT, COLLABORATE and MAKE CHOICES.

Martha Kaufeldt:
Martha Kaufeldt brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her motivational and dynamic workshops and keynotes. She is a full-time trainer and consultant with an extensive background in brain-compatible teaching and learning. She has taught at all grade levels, served as a district level gifted coordinator and staff developer, and most recently was the Lead Teacher and restructuring coordinator of a demonstration "brain-compatible" school. Martha is also a master at designing integrated, meaningful curriculum. She began her passion for understanding brain research and classroom applications in 1984 as a lead trainer for the Kovalik ITI model. She is the creator of the "Concept in a Day" (book & video) program that demonstrates how educators can maximize learning using a brain-compatible immersion strategy.
Her best-selling book, "Begin with the Brain: Orchestrating the Learner-Centered Classroom" (Zephyr Press, 1999) gives concrete classroom application strategies on how to implement the theories. Martha's audiences appreciate her personable humorous style and she is often recruited to present the introduction of brain-compatible learning concepts and the practical applications for educators.

Who Should Attend: Classroom Teachers, ESL, Instructional Support Staff, GATE Teachers, Specialists, Student Teachers and Administrators!

Instructional Strategies to Hook Every Learner: A Differentiated Instruction Stimulus Program


Martha Kaufeldt Presenter: Martha Kaufeldt
Workshop Time:
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Registration time: 8:30 am

Registration fee: $175, $150 for Texas ASC D members for a one day session
$349, $299 for Texas ASCD members for a two day session

Please contact our off ice at 512.477.8200 to schedule this institute at your location.

A whole day of practical strategies teachers can use in their classrooms right away! Already convinced that differentiated instruction is necessary in today’s diverse classrooms? Come fill up your “teaching tackle box” with dozens of ideas to help you modify, adapt and extend your basic lessons. Learn dozens of ways to integrate clever, engaging activities to help your struggling learners, as well as strategies to provide enrichment for your highly-capable students. Expand your knowledge of the Multiple Intelligences and discover how you can ‘hook’ every learner. Be ready to actively participate, network with other teachers, and go home motivated with ideas you can use on Monday morning!

A few of the strategies you’ll walk away with:
  • Mini-books, flip-books, pop-up-books,
  • 2-D and 3-D graphic organizers,
  • Game show formats,
  • Hand jives, rhymes, and mnemonics,
  • Partner and small group tasks,
  • Movement and energizers, and
  • Creative drama, living tableaux, role-play ideas.

Martha Kaufeldt is a veteran K-12 teacher, author, and popular international presenter on brain compatible learning, differentiated instruction and integrated curriculum development. AS a classroom teacher for over 25 years, Martha put her expertise into practice on a daily basis as a High School English and Drama teacher, a Middle School Humanities Core teacher on an Interdisciplinary Team, and as the Intermediate Lead Teacher at an alternative public elementary school.

Martha is skillful in translating recent brain research and how it should guide educational practices, instructional strategies, and curriculum design. Her audiences appreciate her personable and humorous style.

She is the author of "Teachers, Change Your Bait! Brain-Compatible Differentiated Instruction," (Crown House Publishing, 2005) and "Begin With the Brain: Orchestrating the Learner-Centered Classroom." (Zephyr Press, 1999, (2nd edition – Fall 2009 Corwin Press).

Who Should Attend:
Session is designed for K-8 classroom teachers, specialists, GT and resource teachers.

Upcoming Events:


1601 Rio Grande, Ste. 451
Austin, Texas 78701

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Tel: (512) 477-8200
Fax: (512) 477-8215
Toll-free: (800) 717-2723

Office Hours
9 a.m. - 5 p.m  CST
Monday - Friday