News from IMLEA

October 1, 2020 Indiana Middle Level Education Association

YOUR IMLEA BOARD: What's Working? How Can IMLEA Help?

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Our IMLEA Board met virtually on September 25. One main topic of conversation was how to support teachers in their efforts to reach all students. Here are some of the ideas shared on that and other topics:
  • Find ways to take things off teachers' plates, since so many things have been added. One example: One principal has an assistant who handles virtual attendance, and another who does in-person attendance, letting teachers concentrate more on instruction. Others have designated people who are tracking down missing students and notifying the appropriate teachers.
  • Carmel Clay Schools has made support of teachers one goal for the year. Some of the required PD time has been used for staff to take the "Science of Happiness" course from DOE. Past IMLEA president, Jessica Tubbs, says it has made a difference!
  • Our president, Jana Vance from Rochester, encouraged us to reach out to local mental health providers. They can supplement the programs your counselors and others have in place, especially with student well-being a big concern now. They also collaborated with the prosecutor's office on attendance policies.
  • "Porch visits" and/or home visits.
  • One eLearning Day/month designated as catch up/PD. Teachers have learned a lot since remote learning has started, and also have questions on strategies and ideas to share.
  • Special virtual class period with students having difficulties
  • Being extra vigilant in keeping proximity less than 15 minutes
  • Julie Kemp, Boonville principal, shared that she has a teacher who has managed the simultaneous in-person/virtual class very well, and has had visitors observe.
Our board members form a very supportive network. You can find them listed on our website. They are willing to serve as resources. Do you have any tips for us? Please share!

Crowd-Sourced Hybrid Tips from Jennifer Gonzalez: When Things are Scattered

In an earlier edition, we shared a long twitter thread with tips shared with Jennifer Gonzalez, creator of "The Cult of Pedagogy." She has organized them into this helpful piece and created a podcast to go with it. "How to Teach When Everyone is Scattered." It has tips for teaching students F2F and virtually, especially at the same time.

Learning (Math) Virtually: Learning as We Go

This practical, authentic piece from Michelle Russell on the Middle Web blog could be applied to any subject. Her first tip: Don't assume students understand the technology.

From Bill Ferriter: "A Lesson Learned on Grading During a Pandemic"

This tweet by Bill Ferriter, a long-time North Carolina middle school teacher, generated a lot of responses and inspired a blog post. In this unusual time, what constitutes "late?" How much grace should be extended to students? Adjusting his policies led to some surprises.
6 ??? to Help Read the Room- A Virtual Room, That Is

This short video from Edutopia shows a simple way to increase feedback and interaction.

Hybrid Model Survival 101

New piece from Education World. I especially liked the idea of finding a way to pair a virtual student with a F2F one, even if you do not do it this particular way.

Have You Tried the Waterfall Chat Strategy?

Tuesday I attended an excellent webinar by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, & John Hattie on "Going Deeper with Distance Learning." They gave an example of a fun way to increase engagement in the chat if you are using Zoom/Google Meet/MS Teams synchronously. Give the students a question, tell them to type their answer in the chat, but not to send it. Wait a bit, and tell them, "1-2-3 Go!" The cascade of answers will be amazing. Give students time to look over the results; ask them what they notice. This is good for several reasons:

1. Increasing wait time helps students be more thoughtful about their answers.

2. Often in chats, students will hold back and expect the same 3-5 students to answer first. Then they either copy those answers or don't share at all. This way, no one is really first.

3. They may spend more time looking at what others said.

Others in the webinar called these "Nitrochats" or "Chat Flurries." Here is a link to the recording (sometimes I just listen in the car) they have several other free webinars coming up in October. Fisher also said he has noted an increase in inter-age tutoring

National Geographic Certification Open for This Year; Deadline Sunday

Sunday is the deadline to register for National Geographic Certification; several teachers have said this is the best PD they have ever experienced. Not only does NG have great resources; this educator certification is the first step toward qualifying for some amazing travel experiences! (Whenever that happens again>)
Educator Certification Program

This Week's INSPIRE3 Update

Highlights included in this INSPIRE3 Update 9/28/20. Thank You for sharing this Update with your staff and colleagues as these resources are beneficial in service-learning planning for in-school and/or virtual instruction for the 20-21 school year.

  • Thank You Very Much for sharing our updates and web page with your staff and colleagues

Champions Together: Virtual Training Available This Year!

Several of our middle schools have had wonderful experiences with Champions Together, the collaboration between the IHSAA and Special Olympics that has been extended to middle schools. You can contact Tori Cox at Special Olympics if you are interested, and we at IMLEA can connect you to schools with successful programs. Tori can help you carry out the program in this unusual year, activities that one of our principals calls, "the best anti-bullying program we've done."

Free Learning Opportunities & Recognitions (all times listed are EDT)

Ongoing: DOE Study of The Perfect Blend by Michelle Eaton

Ongoing: Keep Indiana Learning Series on The Distance Learning Playbook

October 1: Free Webinar with Todd Whitaker, "Inspirations & Strategies for a Great School Year," 4 pm

October 1: DOE Town Hall, 7 pm

October 3: Celebrate Science Indiana (online) 9:30-5. Keynote by Miss America Camile Schrier (Who did a science experiment as her talent) Many Experiences for Students

October 4: Deadline to Apply for National Geographic Fall Cohort

October 6: Robert Kaplinsky Webinar: Why We Should Reconsider Using Worksheets (And What We Should Be Doing Instead), (Esp good for math) 5 pm

October 7: Digital Citizenship in the Age of Distance Learning, Common Sense/Google 4 pm

*October 9: Updated Deadline for AMLE Student Influencer Contest

October 16: Preliminary Activities Start for AMLE20

October 23-25: AMLE Virtual Conference

November 2 : Lilly Creativity Grant Applications Due

2021: IMLEA Conference-Now Virtual!


DOE Digital Learning Series

Leslie Fisher Free Webinars

PATINS Trainings for Accessibility for All

The Emergency Home Learning (and More) Summit

Corwin Monday Afternoon Webinar Series

Indiana eLearning Lab (Must Register to See Live Schedule; Tutorials always available)

That's All for Now!

We don't want to overload you, but want to share some of the best things we've found on the web. Feel free to send us your successes and ideas!

You can access past Monday Minutes via this link on our webpage, and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter; we will be posting there more frequently. Principals and others: Feel free to forward this newsletter to your staff, and email us at any time.

And, if you are one of the districts going on break this week, enjoy!

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The AMLE Conference is fast approaching! Conference discounts available for AMLE Members; there are also special rates for IMLEA/AMLE joint memberships! Please check out our website for more details.