The Monday Minute

October 4, 2021

News from the IMLEA Board Meeting

What a delight it was to get our board together last Friday, some in person, and some via Zoom.

The board decided to proceed with planning an in-person conference during spring, 2022.

Board members shared challenges and successes in the past year and a half, including:

-Conscious Discipline as PD across Tippecanoe County School Corporation

-Holding an informal coffee for parents of new students with administrators and counselors (Creekside Middle School)

-Cascade Middle School uses the Second Steps program for SEL during a daily mentor period.

-Hebron Middle School has a well-established mentor program with student leadership and planning as an important component.

-Boonville Middle School has used IDOE's Social-Emotional Learning Toolkit: Built Upon a Neurodevelopmental Culturally Responsive Framework

-Lebanon Middle School combated the "TikTok Challenge" with a tipline; students wanted their restrooms open!

-New board member Dr. Matthew Moulton of Indiana State University shared many of the program ideas used with education majors, including having classes meet inside Sarah Scott Middle School in Terre Haute. Possible video connections were discussed.

-We have one new school applying for new Schools to Watch designation this year, and two for redesignation, with others interested for next year.

-Most importantly, our members enjoy working with middle schoolers; despite all of the obstacles occurring right now, we need to keep in sight that the job can be very rewarding, and we need to contemplate what can be done to encourage students to consider teaching at the middle level.

If you would like to know more about any of these programs, feel free to contact Susie Highley, or the corresponding board members, found here.

Lynn Schmale

We are sorry to share the news of the passing of Lynn Schmale, one of IMLEA's supporters in so many ways. As the state manager for Horace Mann Insurance, Lynn could be found at our conferences, our board meetings, and our schools. He delighted in celebrating teacher, school, and student accomplishments. He enjoyed participating in Schools to Watch celebrations, and often told us, "write your name on a piece of paper; I'm going to draw for some gift cards." Horace Mann supports our Shining Star Awards, and provides such services as Student Loan Solutions in addition to insurance. Our organization is so much richer for his involvement.

Exciting News from IDOE- the Summer of eLearning Will Be Back in 2022!

Some of the best PD I've attended took place at various schools across the state as part of Indiana's Summers of eLearning. Keynotes that included top education and tech speakers and sessions led by expert teachers, all free or at minimal cost made Indiana the envy of many across the country. (The late Candace Dodson had a lot to do with its success.) Districts can now apply to be hosts for next summer. Learn more and link to the application here. Applications now open, due November 1; information webinar on October 7 at 10 am.

New Presidential Video Contest for Students

The Benjamin Harrison Home reached out to us to promote a new annual presidential history program. Project POTUSTM challenges middle schoolers to research an American president, using at least one primary source, and to create a video of 1 minute or less sharing what was learned in a creative and historically accurate manner. There is no cost to participate, and teachers are encouraged to use this program in a way that fits their needs best, as a review project, extra credit, or assignment.

Videos can be submitted to a national competition for consideration by a Presidential Site jury that will award over $5,000 in prizes to student winners. Awards will include 45 prizes for the 'best of' video for each POTUS, and these winning videos will be compiled into the inaugural "46 Administrations in 45 Minutes" and posted on the Project POTUS platforms. Video submissions will be accepted from Presidents' Day - February 21, 2022 until April 15, 2022 (Tax Day). More information and example videos from our pilot test of this project with Indiana teachers during Spring 2021 can be found at .

Using Quirky Calendar Days as Teachable Moments

Who makes up all of these special days, and how do they get seemingly universal agreement? Did you know that today is not only "World Animal Day, " but "National Taco Day" and "National Vodka Day?" (probably better not use that in the classroom.) Why not take advantage of some of them for some classroom curiosity? Writing in MiddleWeb, Anne Anderson has some suggestions and links. Get ready for World Octopus Day on Friday!

Unlocking the Middle School Mind

Amplify Learning is bringing together experts and thought leaders to discuss topics specific to the needs of middle schoolers on October 7. Even if you can't attend live, register for the event to receive a recording for on-demand professional development. Amplify is a content provider, but some of these sessions could be valuable.

Speakers and their topics include:

  • Dr. Daniel Siegel: What cognitive science tells us about the adolescent brain—and how building relationships is key to engaging students

  • Chelonnda Seroyer M.ED.: The power of a culture of consistency to re-engage middle schoolers

  • Dr. Kevin Chapman and Dr. Chelsea Mitchell: Creating a classroom culture where all can thrive

  • Natalie Wexler: The role of writing in building academic knowledge
New Ways to Play City Guesser - A Fun Geography Game
Have you heard of GeoGuessr? Now there is also City Guesser. Students manipulate images to find clues to guess where in the world a photo/3D image or video was taken. It's a great activity for students to work in pairs or small groups, individually, or in competition. There are many more features being added.

Instead of Reviewing, Teach with a "Blind Kahoot"

Matt Miller put together this post to explain how you can use Kahoot to introduce a new topic. There are examples, tips and links to biology teacher Stephanie Castle, who came up with the idea. He explains that its, "a way of leading students down a path of curiosity, understanding and reinforcement to learn a new concept." I like the idea of using it for PD, too!

Have You Checked Out

I continue to be amazed by all of the features in that can make great visuals and interactive content, with many templates provided. Here's a great post from Karly Moura with 15 different ways to use it, and some examples of digital escape rooms she's created with it. (Free educator accounts, some features are paid.)

A Magical Escape

Mission: School Blackout

Mission: School Blackout Junior

Is Your District a Region 8 Service Center Member? Check out This STEM Grant!

There is a great STEM grant opportunity for member districts who put together a team of 3 grades 5-12 teachers (any subjects). Applications are due October 10. Projects include Computational Thinking and Micro:bits, Robotics with Edison, and Programming/Prosthetics with NeuroMaker Hand.

Looking Ahead to Digital Citizenship Week, Oct. 18-22

Life Hacks for Aspiring School Leaders

Would you like to add to your credentials, but don't know how you can fit in just one more thing? This piece in ASCD was written by a friend of mine, Oona Abrams, in 2020 as she pursued a supervisor certification. Her strategies must have worked, because she has just begun work on her Ed.D. Maybe some of her tips will help you as well, even if you are not pursuing more higher education.

Thinking Beyond Breast Cancer Awareness

Our sponsor Horace Mann has important messages to make this more than just Breast Cancer Awareness Month. See the flyer below for more details on ways to take action.

As a reminder, Horace Mann is also in the process of awarding DonorsChoose prizes this week. Find more information here.

Learning Opportunities (all times EDT)

Ongoing through October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month

October 5: Solution Tree-Avoiding Educator Burnout & Emotional Exhaustion, 5 pm

October 5: Keep Indiana Chatting (via Zoom) I'm Not Okay-How to Keep Planning in an Every-Changing World, 7 pm

October 6: PD with IDOE-Instructional Design & Digital Pedagogy, 4 pm

October 7: IDOE Summer of eLearning Intro Webinar, 10 am

October 7: Amplify Unlocking the Middle School Mind, 11-3:45

October 7: Five-Star/IndianaLearning Webinar-Wakelet, 4 pm

October 7: KInLearning-Read Alouds to Build Strengths from Challenges, 4:30 pm

*October 7: AMLE Student Voice Off Entries Due, 11:59 pm

October 13: Hacking Learning Centers in Grades 6-12, 7:30 pm

October 14: Successful Parent/Teacher Conferences Panel, 9 pm

October 15: US DOE STEM Webinar on Data Literacy, 2 pm

October 15: STW Applications Due

October 15: Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program Application Deadline

October 20: KInLearning IN SPED Community Support Network Initial Meeting, 12:30 pm

October 21: KInL/Indiana Learning/Five-Star #DigCit Summit

October 26-28: Adobe MAX: The Creativity Conferencer

October 28: Make Learning Magical: Innovative Strategies to Inspire, Immerse, and Empower with Tisha Richmond, 7 pm

November 4-7: AMLE Virtual Conference

*Designed for Students as Well


Keep Indiana Learning Live Events (many free) Archived Events Webinars

PATINS Trainings for Accessibility for All

Teachers First/OK2Ask Virtual Workshops

AMLE Podcast Series

Indiana Learning Lab. Must log in to see workshop topics

Free Courses from the Friday Institute

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 Monday Minute is currently sent to member schools, districts, and individuals. You can access past Monday Minutes via this link on our webpage, and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Principals and others: Feel free to forward this newsletter to your staff, and email us at any time.