Happy New Year!

Indiana Middle Level Education Association, January 2023


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 encourage/recommend/nominate colleagues (or yourself) to present at one of those sessions! The application to present is still open. We will also have other education experts but want to highlight teachers as well!

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.

Three Teaching Resolutions for 2023

In this Education World post, NBCT Miriam Plotinsky suggests three resolutions for teachers. You can read the entire article here.

1. Pick just one thing to change.

2. Reach out to a new colleague.

3. Select one resource to explore this summer.

(You can use a chrome extension like Unclutter to make this post easier to read; it seems like Education World has many, many ads now.)

Does Your School Have a Pool? Do Your Students Walk on Water? (We Know Your Staff Does!)

Mt. Vernon Middle School recently held their annual 8th grade "Walk on Water" event. This tradition actually began when Raymond Park Middle School opened in 1994 with the Indy Island pool attached. The late Maurine Marchani created the event there. When science teacher Stacy Griner went from RPMS to Mt. Vernon, she initiated the event at MVMS. You can read more about it on the MV webpage.

Love & Literacy Book Free on Kindle Unlimited

After reading this favorable review of Love and Literacy in MiddleWeb, "Practical Ways to Find the Magic in Literature," I discovered that the book is currently available for Free on Kindle Unlimited. A highlight of the review: "The videos, one-pagers (anchor charts), and exemplars make the methods visible, accessible, and transferable. Even better, the companion website offers printable versions of the posters for classroom use and a workbook for easy access."

Also from MiddleWeb: "How We Use Book Clubs to Empower Our Readers"

Fitting in with the previous article, literacy coach Sara Kugler describes how working with students in small groups in book clubs has been so effective in dealing with students who seem very disengaged at other times. Some of their strategies can be used beyond book club discussions.

Inside the Middle School "Math Crisis"

This article from the Hechinger Report highlights Amber Benson and Ruby Voss, co-teachers we have featured before (including when they won AMLE's top teaching award) Their math scores have rebounded post-pandemic.

And this piece from MiddleWeb by Kathleen Palmieri, "Lifting My Students Out of the Math Fact Fog," describes hitting the brakes, asking students where they need help, and developing a plan to catch up on some basics.

More on ChatGPT and AI

I've heard recommendations from people that this panel discussion from Matt Miller's DitchSummit was very informative, BUT you would need to watch it (and any other sessions) by Friday, January 6, when the Summit is over. (Some people just play the video and listen in their car or while walking, running, doing chores, etc.)

11 Days of Free Virtual Sticker Puzzles

Each weekday from January 13-January 29 (National Puzzle Day), Stick Together is releasing a free virtual puzzle. Teachers have used these for a variety of things, including rewards, collaboration, and calming. Whether or not you participate in a contest they are offering, you can sign up and receive the puzzles through this link. They describe Stick Together as "‘Paint by numbers’ but with pixel stickers, this communal, analog activity instantly engages all ages and abilities. The image starts as a mystery – just a blank canvas – and builds as everyone ‘sticks together.’"

Learning Opportunities & Resources


NOW-January 6- Ditch that Textbook Digital Summit

*January 9- Letters about Literature Contest Entries Due

January 9-edWeb: Making Digital Citizenship Meaningful, 3 pm

January 9- Nominations due for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math & Science

*January 11-A Conversation with a NASA Scientist about the Mars Rover Project and GOOD NIGHT OPPY, 1 pm

January 12- Indiana STEM Conference at Purdue

January 17-AMLE Virtual Teaming Workshop with Jack Berckemeyer, 5:30 (paid)

January 18- 10 Easy Ways to Incorporate SEL in the New Year, 5 pm

January 10- Using Automation to Maximize Instruction & Reduce Teacher Burnout, 4 pm

January 12- IDOE Collaboration with GYTO: Middle Educators, The Reading Wars, 4 pm

January 20- EdWeek Webinar with Dr. Lori Desautels, "Neuroscience-Aligned & Trauma-Informed Approaches to Supporting Students, Teachers & Staff," 2 pm

*January 23-Letters about Literature Entries Due (for Grades 4-12)

January 23- Critical Reading to Identify Credible Evidence: A Conversation with Dr. Jeff Wilhelm, 5 pm

January 24- Using Learning Science & the Science of Reading with Adolescent Students, 4 pm

January 24- Facing History & Ourselves Webinar , 4-6 pm

January 25- Where the Science of Learning Meets the Science of Reading: Unpacking the Evidence, 3 pm

January 30-Addressing Shame in the Reading Classroom, 6:30 pm

February 20- Fulbright Teacher Exchange Applications Due

March 4-IMLEA Conference at Christel House Manual, Indianapolis. Registration now open!

*Includes students


IN LearningPartnership (Includes Wednesday PD with IDOE)

Indiana Learning Lab Workshops (Requires Sign in for Registration)

Teachers First OK2Ask Online Workshops

Keep Indiana Learning (KIL) Free Events & On-Demand Recordings

edWeb.net 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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Put financial fitness at the top of your New Year’s resolution list and start your year off right.

Horace Mann is a long-time corporate supporter, and your local Horace Mann representative can help create a customized financial fitness journey that puts you on a path toward a healthier financial future.

Reach out to your representative today! Your future self will thank you.

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