Monday Minute

Indiana Middle Level Education Association, February, 2023

Unfortunately, March 4 Conference Canceled

The conference has been canceled. Stay turned for further events.


IMLEA is holding a conference on Saturday, March 4 at Christel House Academy South/Manual on the near southside of downtown Indianapolis. We have Jack Berckemeyer, an outstanding keynote, and will have 4 different breakout time slots. Please register by February 14 if at all possible. You can register and request an invoice. Breakout sessions, some led by Dr. Rhonda Roos and Carrie Rosebrock, include:

Equitable Mathematics Practices That Engage Middle School Students

The Switch is on to the Next Generation Science Standards

Lean Positive! (Even when it's really hard.)

Inquiry-based Activities for People and the Planet

Conflict - How Can We Be More Deliberate & Courageous?

Create a Competitive Edge w/ Cognitive Skills

Hold Space: The Messy Magic of the PLC Progression

Ready to Teach the New Sixth Grade Civics Class?

Come be inspired by spending time with other middle level teachers and experts! There is a discount for IMLEA members and a free registration for each 4 registered. Schools may also join at the time of registration to receive the discount. While beneficial for all, this would be a great opportunity for newer teachers to experience a conference!

Black History Month Resources

Several government entities have come together to create this comprehensive site, with teaching ideas and resources to use with students. You can also find some curated collections in the Indiana Learning Lab, including Google Digital Applied Skills.

We have featured Dr. Torrey Trust's choice boards before; you can make a copy of her Black History Month one here.

Indiana Middle Schools Participating in Readable English Pilot with IDOE

With support from IDOE and the Cook Medical Group, several schools with middle level students are using Readable English as a pilot for improved literacy. Last week, Austin, Washington Community, Clarksville, Crothersville, Crawford County, Princeton, Southwestern (Hanover), and Emma Donnan and Northwest MS from Indianapolis met in Bloomington to collaborate. You can learn more about Readable English here. Past districts that have found success with it include Franklin Township in Indianapolis, MSD Warren County, and Mitchell Community Schools. PIctured: Brent Comer, Supt. of Mitchell Community Schools

Virtual Math Summit, February 25-26

While this summit is geared primarily toward elementary teachers, there are several speakers whose work applies at all levels. Plus, it's free, and you can watch replays through March 6. One of the speakers, Peter Liljedahl, has authored several popular math method books, and will be in Franklin June 29-30 through Keep Indiana; you could get a free preview of what his work entails.

Dollar General Literacy Grants

Dollar General is very generous with Literacy Grants, and the deadlines for some of them are coming up. They give out many in Indiana!

ChatGPT: What Teachers are Saying Now

Now that there has been time to explore some of the latest AI technology, some educators are discovering more about beneficial uses for teachers rather than gloom and doom; it should be noted that ChatGPT specifies that users should be 18 years old. This video is an eduMatch forum discussing ChatGPT and several other useful tools, including EducationCoPilot (30-day free trial). AI has been used in such products as Wordify, Grammarly, Photo Math, and others, but once ChatGPT opened up and was featured in TikTok, it's gotten more attention. Teachers are using AI for differentiation, rewriting materials at different reading levels, formatting parent emails, presentations, and more. There are concerns about bias and currency, things that should be addressed in conversations with students.

IASP's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest

The 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest is now open! Students in grades 6-12 are invited to participate in this contest. Students are being asked to write their essays based on the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

More specific contest information can be found on the Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest website, The online submission deadline is February 28, 2023. This program is FREE for Department of Student Programs member schools. Non-member schools will be charged $10 per essay.

Developmental Characteristics of Young Adolescents: Research Summary

Courtesy of AMLE, this thorough article could be used for professional learning, for teachers doing graduate work, for a faculty discussion, and more. With so much research and publicity given to early learning and high school college and career readiness, it's nice to have a resource devoted to the middle level. It includes implications for educators in physical, cognitive, social emotional, and psychological domains.

Fantastic Summer Opportunities for Educators

Studying bison in Yellowstone? Witch trials in Massachusetts? The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) offers tuition-free opportunities for K-12 educators and higher education faculty to study a variety of humanities topics at various places across the country. Stipends of $1300-$3450 for residential programs and $650-$1725 for virtual programs help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs. Applications for all programs close on March 3, 2023. Five spaces in each seminar are held for teachers relatively new to the profession.

Kittl: Designs Similar to Canva

Kittl is a German-based program similar to Canva; some educators are enjoying the available templates.

Learning Opportunities & Resources


Now-February 17: Horace Mann Sweet-stakes

February 9- The Power of Deep Reading with Maryanne Wolf, 1 pm

February 13- What Students Need from Us to Fight Fake News (with Jeffrey Wilhelm) 6:30 pm

February 14-Please Register for Our Conference by This Date if Possible

February 15- ChatGPT in Education Roundtable Including Matt Miller and Scott McLeod, 7 pm

February 16-Building Content Vocab in Middle School, (GYTO and IDOE) 4 pm

February 18- Creating Assessments with Canva to Engage the Modern Learner, Noon

February 20- Fulbright Teacher Exchange Applications Due

February 25-26- Virtual Math Summit

February 27- Building a Culture of Reading with Adolescents (IDOE), 4 pm

February 27- Corwin Webinar: The Will to Learn, 6:30 pm

March 2- Using Writing to Become a Better Reader (GYTO & IDOE), 4 pm

March 3- Application Deadline for NEH Summer Programs

March 3- Focused Reading Strategies at CIESC (Indianapolis), 9-11 am

March 4-IMLEA Conference at Christel House Manual, Indianapolis. Canceled

March 7- Unpacking Updated Computer Science Standards at CIESC, 9-3:30

March 13: ChatGPT: To Ban or Not to Ban, 3 pm

March 15- Digital Learning Day

June 21- Hands-On and Minds-On STEM Summit at Children's Museum ($40)


IN LearningPartnership (Includes Wednesday PD with IDOE)

Indiana Learning Lab Workshops (Requires Sign in for Registration)

Teachers First OK2Ask Online Workshops; (past on-demand sessions)

Keep Indiana Learning (KIL) Free Events & On-Demand Recordings Webinars (if sponsored, "commercials" are at the end)

PATINS Trainings for Accessibility for All

AMLE Podcast Series

AMLE Events (some free, some paid)

Corwin Webinars

Please note: Webinars and events mentioned in this space are not an endorsement of commercial products; on the contrary, we try to avoid listing events that appear to be commercial in nature. Every effort is made to strip social media/tracking data from provided URLs. In many cases, you can register and receive a recording later.


The only organization in Indiana devoted to promoting, improving, and supporting middle level education. We are the Indiana affiliate of the national organization AMLE, and administer the Schools to Watch program for the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.

Join us! Membership Benefits and Application

Susie Highley, Executive Director

Shirley Wright, Schools to Watch Consultant

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Enter our partner @HoraceMann’s Love is Sweet-stakes for a chance to win a $75 restaurant gift card, a $50 Uber gift card, a $30 Crumbl Cookie gift card, a $20 Netflix gift card and popcorn! One winner will be announced on 2/17. Good luck and enter here.

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