The Monday Minute-August 15, 2022

Indiana Middle Level Education Association

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Welcome Back!

Welcome to the first "Monday Minute" for the 2022-23 school year! IMLEA and AMLE define middle level as any school with any of grades 5-9, no matter what your configuration is! The MM is generally emailed the first and third Mondays of the month. It is sent to all IMLEA members, and occasionally to all middle level principals in Indiana on a list we have received. With numerous administrative changes, many of you are receiving this for the first time. The idea behind the Monday Minute is that it will take but a few minutes to share resources that we think will be of use to you; if you don't have time now, you can always go back and look at them later. Principals are encouraged to forward this to your staff; you are also welcome to send contributions, including photos of your school and students! For any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact Susie Highley (PS: This paragraph and this issue are longer than usual!)

MiddleWeb's Beginning of the Year and New Teacher Bonanza!

Although some of you are already on week 3 or more of school:

MiddleWeb is one of the best resources for all things middle school, and their beginning of the year resources are no exception. (Which they seem to update every year.) Here are a few examples:

-MiddleWeb's Back to School Resources

-Blackburn's Best Advice for Beginning Teachers

-New Teacher? Find Help and Inspiration Here!

-The Bumps & Scrapes of First-Year Teaching

Additional Resources from Other Sites:

*Some encouragement from Esteban Bachelet via ASCD: "What New Teachers Really Need to Know about Classroom Management", my favorite line: "All teachers start from the same place, so take classroom challenges in stride."

"80 Back to School Ideas & Activities" from Indiana's Own Matt Miller

Free eSports Opportunities for Students

Both AMLE and Special Olympics/Unified Champions are offering opportunities for students to participate in eSports.

*AMLE: AMLE (Association for Middle Level Education) knows that their member schools enjoy friendly competition! The AMLE Esports League allows student teams to play popular games against other middle schoolers while developing real-world skills like teamwork, communication, and critical thinking – all taking place on a safe, COPPA-compliant platform designed specifically to make gaming a fun and supported experience for kids. All skill levels are encouraged to participate in the fun. Find more information here, including how to register for an information session on August 25. There are some great prizes, including for a teacher sponsor to attend AMLE! (Learn about joining AMLE here; the teacher, school or district must be AMLE members to participate.)

*Indiana Special Olympics: FREE opportunity for your school to join the Inclusion Revolution with UNIFIED ESPORTS! Students of all abilities will work together in different eSports games to compete against other Indiana middle and high schools. You can access the Unified Champions information in the flyer below; the Rocket League starts next week! For questions, you can contact Tori Batson at Special Olympics.

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It sounds too good to be true: someone offers you $12,000 to pursue a personal passion of your own. But, in this case, it's true! Lilly Endowment is once again offering the Teacher Creativity Fellowship, and they are having two information sessions next week to answer questions and explain the process, August 22 at 5:30 pm EDT; August 24 at 4:30 pm EDT. Many people say that it is the best personal development they have ever experienced-- you design it, they pay for it! Grant applications are due October 3, and are on this website.

This Week's PD with DOE: New Social Studies Standards

This Wednesday is a special opportunity to discuss the new 6th grade Civics standards, as well as changes to the 6th-8th grade social studies standards. Sign up through this portal for the 4-4:30 pm EDT PD. (You can also watch later in the IN Learning Lab.) You can find the updated standards and resources on DOE's website here.

Quick Hits for Busy Teachers!

Free Morning Meeting Planners and SEL Lessons from Kikori

Richard Byrne explains the site and which features are free in this blog post. Morning meetings can equate to advisory for middle school.

For Future Vacation Planning: Free Educator Admission to Kennedy Space Center

Get more details here! (and get some free resources.)

Monthly School Calendar Themes via HMH

This calendar includes resource and activity links for the themes that are included. There are writing prompts, games, scavenger hunts, bulletin boards, and more for elementary, middle, and high school.

Kapwing Video Editor Now Free for Teachers and Students

Kapwing is a powerful video creator/editor that allows collaboration, and includes many templates and copyright free resources to incorporate. Use this link to access the educator sign up.

And an Oldie but Goodie: Is Your Lesson a Grecian Urn?

Although this post from Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy Fame is six years old, it often surfaces at this time of year. A lesson may be "engaging", but are students learning? "Is Your Lesson a Grecian Urn?" Some faculties or departments have used the article as a point of discussion.

Image credit: "IMG_3541" by jophan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

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Erskine Personal Impact Curriculum

I attended premiere #2 of Ted Green's film about Carl Erskine, "The Best We've Got" last Saturday in Anderson; it's an amazing film! You can learn more about future screenings here, and investigate the student EPIC curriculum that was developed related to the film.

This unique, adaptable curriculum builds upon the success of the Unified Champion Schools® and Champions Together initiatives to promote social and emotional learning for every age level, using stories and experiences from Carl’s life to create lessons and activities with themes including empowerment, friendship, inclusion and leadership. Register now to receive your free EPIC Preview Packet.

On a Personal Note...

One of the highlights of my summer was attending the National Schools to Watch Conference in the Washington, D.C. area, with over 900 enthusiastic middle school educators in attendance! I also attended a STW training in State College, PA, and experienced an even deeper dive into the STW framework. I will share more information about training possibilities, and how to learn about using this free school improvement framework to effect meaningful change involving your entire staff. The keynote speaker during the video below was Hamish Brewer.

Stay Connected with Us!

Please connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. We follow Indiana middle level schools & retweet/share what we can. We also retweet any learning opportunities (almost always free) grants, and special events that we come across that might be of interest.

Learning Opportunities


August 16: Science of Math: Firing up the Hippocampus to Accelerate Learning, 4 pm

August 17- Weds PD w/ IDOE, Civics Standards & Resources, 4 pm

August 22-IN Learning Lab Leadership Series: Tamika Catchings, 4 pm

August 22-Information Session: Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, 5:30 pm

August 22- Corwin: "The School of Hope," 6:30 pm

August 23-

Quick-Click-Media Lit Resources! An Exploration of The Cyber Citizenship Initiative

August 24- Weds PD with IDOE: How to Connect with Your Online Students, 4 pm

August 24- Information Session: Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, 4:30 pm

August 24-AMLE: It's Time for a School Reset w/ Jack Berckemeyer (members free), 5 pm

August 25-AMLE eSports Competition Information Session #3, 4 pm

August 30-KIL: The What, Why, Where & When of the New Indiana Science Standards, 1 pm

Sept. 1- High Ability Coordinator Meeting at CIESC, Indy, 1-3 pm

September 1- Forum Credit Union Teacher Grant Applications Due (Teachers or administrators in K–12 accredited schools in Marion, Hamilton, Johnson, Boone, Hendricks ,or Hancock counties, up to $2500)

September-Deadline to Complete Free "PD Your Way" courses

October 3-Deadline to Apply for the Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant ($12,000)

October 31-Current Deadline for Special Consideration for Student Loan Forgiveness; Horace Mann can help you navigate!

November 3-5- AMLE Conference, Orlando

March 3-Tentative IMLEA Conference!


Indiana Learning Lab Workshops (Require Sign in for Registration)

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)

IN LearningPartnership (Includes Wednesday PD with IDOE)

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 & Application

Susie Highley, Executive Director

Shirley Wright, Schools to Watch Consultant

And a Word from One of Our Sponsors....

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You have until Oct. 31, 2022 to find out how you can take advantage of the limited-time

Changes to Public Service loan forgiveness.

Click here to learn more or contact your local Horace Mann representative.

Horace Mann Service Corporation and certain of its affiliates (Horace Mann) enter into agreements with educational associations where Horace Mann pays the association to provide services aimed at familiarizing association members with the Horace Mann brand, products or services. For more information, email your inquiry to

AM-C04627 (Aug. 22)

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