Monday Memo

February 23, 2015

Coming up this week:

Monday, Feb 23: Lockdown drill 10AM

Tuesday, Feb 24:

Wednesday, Feb 25:

Thursday, Feb 26:

Friday, Feb 27: Mercy Tech Talk Conference at Mercy High School

Share Students' Opinions on Issues They Care About

Does technology make us more alone? Do teachers assign too much homework? Is school designed more for girls than for boys? Every day during the school year, The New York Times Learning Network invites teenagers to share their opinions about questions like these—on topics from cheerleading to police tactics—and hundreds respond, posting arguments, reflections and anecdotes to The Learning Network’s Student Opinion feature. In its second annual Student Editorial Contest, The Learning Network is asking students to channel that enthusiasm into something a little more formal: short, evidence-based persuasive essays like the editorial The New York Times publishes every day. The challenge is straightforward: Students choose a topic they care about, gather evidence from both New York Times and non-New York Times sources and write a concise editorial to convince readers of their point of view. With contest partner, the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, The New York Times will then use a rubric to select winners to publish on The Learning Network’s web page. To help inspire students, The Learning Network has culled from its Student Opinion feature 301 prompts for argumentative writing, on a wide range of topics, although students are not limited to those topics.

Deadline: Essays due by March 9, 2015

Click Here for More Information

Click Here to Access Free Writing Prompts

Encourage Creative Thinking and Storytelling

PBS KIDS has announced its annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. Open to children in kindergarten through grade 3, the contest encourages creative thinking and storytelling, while building literacy skills through the creation and illustration of original stories. To enter, children can submit stories to their local stations, and local winners will then be entered into the national contest. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2015, and the winning stories will be featured on the contest’s website. The 2015 judges include acclaimed writers, producers and children’s media creators, including Marc Brown, author and illustrator of the ARTHUR book series; and the Kratt Brothers, Martin and Chris, from the PBS KIDS show WILD KRATTS. The national winners will receive prize packages, including ARTHUR books and a personal technology device, courtesy of PBS.

Deadlines: Check with your Local PBS station

Click Here for More Information

Plus: To help young writers get started, PBS KIDS offers a set of resources for children, parents and teachers. Story ideas and activity sheets, along with the previous winning entries, are available on the contest’s website to inspire children during the brainstorming process. PBS LearningMedia is also offering a collection of online teacher resources for use in classrooms nationwide.

Click Here to Access Free Support Material

Know Your Presidents

Just in time for Presidents’ Day (February 16), PBS LearningMedia has collected little-known facts about the US presidents into a fun video collection: 60-Second Presidents. The videos pack a great deal of information into each minute as they share each president’s history in a quirky, engaging style. As they explore the rich history and the institution of the US Presidency—from George Washington to Barack Obama, students will come to understand the duties and powers of the President of the United States and the First Lady, gather important background information from Presidential biographies and engage with videos and primary sources that place them back in time at some of the most pivotal turning points in American history. Teacher’s Guidesand other resources are available for selected presidents.

Click Here to Access Free Video Collection

Click Here to Access Free Teacher Resources

Bring Scientists into Your Classroom

Purdue zipTrips are free virtual electronic field trips that bring Purdue University scientists into your classroom. Through the wonders of technology, students interactively visit labs, greenhouses, aquaculture facilities, Discovery Park, the veterinary school and other amazing places that are off limits to them even in a real-life field trip. The centerpiece of each zipTrip is a live webcast featuring factual, unbiased scientific information presented in an entertaining way. Students will be able to email questions during the show for the scientists to answer, and each trip includes supplementary online videos that feature the work of Purdue scientists. Purdue zipTrips introduces students to cutting-edge research, scientific inquiry and science careers—and best of all, it’s free!

Click Here to Visit Website

Why Do-It-Yourself Charts Help Students

Tech Talk Conference

Friday, Feb. 27th, 8am-3:15pm

29300 W. 11 Mile Road Farmington Hills, MI 48336-1409


A day filled with real world applications for the K-12 classroom.

Friday, February 27, 2015

8:00am - 3:15pm

Mercy High School

Continental Breakfast and Lunch

Continuing education credit available through Madonna University.

Keynote Speaker: KAREN BOSCH

"The Power of TLC:

Technology + Learning + Creativity"


8:00am - 9:00am Breakfast and Registration

9:00am - 10:00am Keynote Presentation

10:00am - 11:00am Breakout Session

11:00am - 12:00pm Breakout Session

12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch

1:00pm - 2:00pm Breakout Session

2:00pm - 3:00pm Breakout Session

3:00pm - 3:15pm Closing

Featured Topics and Speakers

  • Tech Tips for Administrators
  • iPad Apps
  • Google Apps
  • Blended Learning
  • Social Media in the Classroom
  • Backchannels in the Classroom
  • Creating Quality Video
  • Introduction to Photoshop