The Hocus Focus™ Project
The Hocus Focus™ Project is the educational aspect of Spencer’s Residency. The project provides opportunities for teacher professional development training, interactive classroom experiences with special education students, undergraduate and graduate university presentations (education, special education, rehabilitation sciences, psychology, and sociology), and access to the Hocus Focus Supplemental Curriculum and Analytics software.
Professional Development Training
Spencer offers several Professional Development training programs for general and special educators. Topics include:
This professional training provides participants (elementary/middle school educators and all grade level special educators) with research-based, interactive, arts-based interventions that can be used immediately in their teaching practice. In this presentation, MAGICIAN is an acronym. Each letter corresponds to a concept that research has identified as being an important component of creating a classroom environment conducive to learning. Practical applications are made throughout the presentation.
Creating a Trauma Sensitive Learning Environment
In classrooms across the country, students are trying to make sense of the world while society makes ever increasing demands for greater academic performance regardless of the personal circumstances these children are facing. Teachers play an important role in recognizing the signs of trauma. The result is an urgent need for educators to be knowledgeable of effective classroom strategies that will assist them in creating a trauma-sensitive learning environment. This professional training provides participants with research-based, interactive, arts-based interventions that can be used immediately in their teaching practice.
Arts Integration in the Special Education Classroom
This highly interactive workshop provides special educators with the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary to increase student engagement and boost creativity in the classroom for students of all abilities. Content focuses on learning with and through arts integration with core content subjects. Information is applicable to general and special education students to meet a wide variety of mental, physical, social, emotional, and behavior challenges in multiple settings.
Teaching Artists’ Workshop
This training is designed specifically for artists who may be considering a teaching artist career as well as teaching artists who are interested in gaining additional knowledge and insights into the field. In this presentation, we examine the differences between arts enhanced and arts integrated instruction, best practices for writing learning objectives and lesson plans, identify ways to align your art discipline to academic standards of learning, and how to design effective assessments. Practical applications are made throughout the presentation.
NOTE: Workshop Objectives are available for each of the professional development training sessions upon request.
Interactive Classroom Experiences
Spencer will visit special education and inclusive classrooms (upper elementary, middle and lower secondary levels) for 45-minute interactive sessions. Visits to several classes can be arranged throughout a single school day. Multiple days for classroom experiences are feasible.
Spencer will first perform a few minutes of magic and then students will learn simple magic tricks designed to improve cognitive, motor, communication, and social skills while developing creativity. Activities can be coordinated to connect with academic content being taught in the classroom.
These interactive learning experiences are engaging, highly motivating, and provide opportunities for students to participate in meaningful activities that support their learning.
Spencer is an experienced educator whose presentations are based on sound principles of learning and best practices. He is always engaging, structured, organized, content-rich yet simultaneously entertaining, motivational, and very much “hands on” for his audiences.
He brings extensive experience and expertise to discussions relating to the impact and benefits of arts integration in:
- Special Education
- Rehabilitation Sciences
Hocus Focus Supplemental Curriculum
HOCUS FOCUS™ incorporates simple magic tricks into the learning process to support students with disabilities develop a variety of skills. It combines education and imagination to aid in the improvement of planning, sequencing, organizing tasks and movements, fine motor skills, gross motor function/coordination, concentration, memory skills, communication, social behaviors, and so much more!
Online Teacher Training Program
Hocus Focus Analytics: Measuring Student Outcomes
What is Hocus Focus Analytics (HFA)?
Hocus Focus Analytics provides visual evidence to support student learning through arts-based activities. This cutting-edge, web-based application allows teachers to easily upload data and then provides visual evidence that students have made progress in five areas: cognition, motor skills, communication, and social skills while developing creative thinking.