Monday Minute

Indiana Middle Level Education Association, July, 2023

Seven Indiana Middle Schools Honored at Schools to Watch Conference

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The four middle schools above received their awards at the national STW conference in Arlington, VA; in addition, Rochester & Plainfield Community Middle Schools and Indianapolis Public Schools Center for Inquiry #84 earned the designation last year. Keynote speakers at the conference included Freedom Writer Erin Gruwell, Texas TOY Monica Washington, and Chicago PS teacher Dwayne Reed of "Welcome to the 4th Grade" video fame. (He has another great one, "My Teacher Loves Me.") Interested in becoming a School to Watch? Contact Susie Highley or see our website or the National Forum's website.
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I was able to attend the first-ever Building Thinking Classrooms Conference, held at Franklin HS on June 29-30 by Keep Indiana Learning. It was truly a world-wide audience, with attendees from 42 states, 8 countries, and 4 continents! We featured some of Peter Liljedahl's research in an earlier Monday Minute. It is for far more than just math; there are Facebook groups for just about any subject and grade level, with many free, live sessions being held throughout the summer. Feel free to contact me if you would like to know more and I will be happy to connect you. Keep Indiana Learning also has many cadres following through and also some introducing the concepts. There is also a podcast, "Think Thank Thunk."
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Help Updating Curriculum Maps

In accordance with legislation, IDOE released updated standards that entail a 25% reduction in the total number of standards, with a 33% emphasis on prioritizing the remaining standards.

NIESC and NWIESC took the initiative to create a resource called "Update Your Curriculum Maps." It lists the eliminated standards, the renumbering of standards, and the revised verbiage in the remaining standards. The comprehensive guide offers step-by-step instructions to facilitate the process to update curriculum maps. The primary objective in developing the resource was to streamline the process, allowing you to allocate more time and energy toward other critical areas. Find the clickable links for K-8 ELA and Math here. For any questions, contact Dr. Michelle Grewe.

You can also find more information specifically about the 6-12 ELA standards here, courtesy of consultant Carrie Rosebrock.


After-School Robotics Grant

If your school is new to VEX robotics, you can apply for an after-school VEX grant. With support from the TechPoint Foundation, Indiana now has more VEX IQ teams than any other state!


NASA has many ongoing opportunities specifically for grades 6-8. Their educator website and newsletters feature upcoming events, including webinars suitable for students to view and classroom resources.

The NextGen SPARX curriculum offers PD for educators throughout the year.

ZeroLandfill Indy Harvest, 2023

Need materials for projects, maker spaces, or other hands on activities? Get ready for a fun, free, arty event as ZeroLandfill Indy returns. There will be materials from the architecture and interior design industry. Fabrics, carpets, tiles, stone, plastics, randoms, and so much more. Everything is free! Bring a cart. Bring a bag. Bring your creativity! August 26, 9 am Last year's attendees took over 10 tons of materials away!

Hosted by Mayer Fabrics, 500 S. Kitley Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46219

What Would You Do with $15,000?

The Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Grants are now worth $15,000! These grants ARE all about you! Is there something you've always wanted to do, place you've always wanted to visit? Lilly wants to make those dreams come true for teachers, giving you a sense of renewal and wonder. There are two upcoming webinars where you can ask questions and learn about past winners on August 8 and 10. Applications are due September 11 at 5 pm.


AMLE (our national affiliate, Association for Middle Level Education) is offering free subscriptions to first and second year teachers (and those new to the middle) Sign up at

Free AI-Infused Classroom Video Series

Holly Clark and. Indiana's own Matt Miller are leading a free AI video series. This sign up website is somewhat simple; here are more details. Starting July 17, a new video will drop each day for 10 days. The videos will be available through August 15.

Learning Opportunities & Resources


July 17-August 15-The AI Infused Classroom (10 Videos Released)

July 27- Understanding the Impact of Trauma and Chronic Stress on the Brain, Learning, & Behavior, 9-10 am (Keep Indiana Learning Counselor Connect)

July 27- Wakelet Community Showcase, Noon

August 1-AMLE Will Open Second Call for Presentations for AMLE50

August 2- Deadline for Nominations for the Individual Indiana Education Excellence Awards (middle school teachers are eligible for almost all of them!)

August 2: Donors Choose 50% Match from Gates Foundation (while funds last)

August 3- Online OER Project Conference for Social Studies, 11-5:45 pm

August 3- Kylene Beers- When Kids Can't Read: What We Can Do Now That Makes a Difference, 5 pm

August 5&6- AI X Education Online Conference, 11-5 both days

August 8-Teacher Creativity Grant Webinar, 5 pm

August 9- 3 Cool Tools for Retrieval Practice, 6 pm

August 10- Teacher Creativity Grant Webinar, 4 pm

August 14-Free Teacher Takeover at Indy Children's Museum, 4-8 pm

August 15- AMLE Teacher Leadership 101: Leading from the Classroom, 7 pm

August 16- Deadline to Apply for a Short-Term Fulbright Teacher Exchange

August 17- 10 Things You Can Do to Start the School Year Off Right, 3 pm

August 22-What Just Happened? New Things in the EdTech World, Leslie Fisher, 7 pm

August 24- Early Bird Registration Deadline for AMLE (National Harbor, MD, Nov. 1-4)

August 26- ZeroLandfill Harvest 2023, 9 am-3 pm (see story above)

August 31-NSTA Webinar-An Eclipse Double Header is Coming This School Year, 7 pm (must create a free account to register if not a member)

September 11- Applications for Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Grant Due, 5 pm

September 19- AMLE Teacher Leadership 101: Self Care, 7 pm

November 1-4- AMLE 50th Anniversary Conference, National Harbor, MD


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); Live Events (some $) Past Recordings/Digital Content 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

From Our Sponsor Horace Mann

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In addition to providing auto, home, life insurance as well as retirement solutions, longtime corporate supporter and exclusive sponsor of the Shining Star Program, Horace Mann, is dedicated to helping you make informed financial decisions so you can stay in the job you love. They offer no-cost financial wellness workshops on a variety of topics important to educators.

For more information, contact your local Horace Mann agent or visit

Horace Mann Service Corporation and certain of its affiliates (Horace Mann) enter into agreements with educational associations where Horace Mann pays the association to familiarize association members with the Horace Mann brand, products or services. Contact for more information.

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