The Monday Minute-September 7, 2022

Indiana Middle Level Education Association

Two Middle School Teachers Among Finalists for State TOY

Helen Hearon, 6th grade Social Studies teacher at Cascade Middle School, Clayton; and Courtney Ramos, ENL teacher at Chapel Hill 7th and 8th grade center in MSD Wayne Township/6th Grade at Westlake Elementary in Indianapolis, are both top ten finalists for Indiana Teacher of the Year. Congratulations! The winner will be announced later this fall, but they have already been selected from among hundreds of teachers!
Big picture

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You!

AMLE will be sending postcards to each middle school principal with an offer of 10% off the cost of a school membership and a complimentary copy of The Successful Middle School: This We Believe for new/returning professional members. It is also possible to become a joint member of AMLE/IMLEA. Should you decide to become a the joint member after being a member of just one organization, previous dues paid will be pro-rated. This offer is good through September 30; it's a great way to apply ESSER funds. We would love to have you as a member!
Big picture

Congratulations: Unified Champion Banner Winners for 21-22

Big picture
Big picture
To learn how you can participate in Champions Together in the Middle, described by one principal as, "the best anti-bullying program I have ever seen," contact Tori Batson at Special Olympics. They have added Unified eSports and are working on Unified Robotics! There are also many Unified Classroom resources and High 5 for Fitness.


Students can submit designs to be used for voters in Indiana's election in November. Find the details and ways to submit entries here. One of the categories is specifically for grades 4-8.

The sticker design must include the phrase “I Voted” or a representation of the phrase. Entries due September 18.

Criteria One: Design’s focus/attention on voting

Criteria Two: Design’s ability to showcase Indiana

Criteria Three: Design’s overall creativity/uniqueness


Although some people don't seem to realize that many schools have been in session for over a month, the back-to-school resources keep coming in! Some of these activities could be useful at other times of the year.


Carrie Rosebrock has been a popular presenter at our conferences, and contributor to the print newsletters we had in the past. Now working as a consultant, she recently shared this basic tool to organize a district's curriculum; you could modify her template for just your school. Several of our members have also recommended her workshops on PLC's. There are many more resources and her contact information on her website.


Constitution Day is now observed on September 17 (many schools will do this on Friday, September 16). There are many judges in Indiana who are willing to speak to classes, not just during this time; you can find them here. There are a variety of Constitution Day resources available from the Constitution Center in Philadelphia and the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and even the Office of Judicial Administration in Indiana.

"Constitution in the National Archives" by Mr.TinDC is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.


As part of its mission, Indiana Sports Corp, the Big Ten Conference, and the College Football Playoff Foundation want to honor and support innovative teaching and learning by funding educational initiatives in the state of Indiana.
The Indiana Sports Corp Grants Committee will select 10 teachers, with the goal of recognizing 10 different schools in the state of Indiana. Each of the teachers (kindergarten through eighth grade) will be awarded a grant up to $4,000 to assist them with educational projects. The 10 teachers will attend and be recognized at the Big Ten Football Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Get more information and the application here.


These math resources have risen to the top. What are some other favorites? Send them to me, and I'll share!



TinyWow is a free website to edit and convert PDF's, images, videos, crop, edit, remove backgrounds, and much, much more. They keep your work for just one hour on their servers, and there is just one ad on their site. Check out all of the options here!


Richard Byrne of Free Technology for teachers recently wrote about a new feature of quizalize: you can turn any quiz into a video game! Find his explanation here. It's a freemium model; you can have 3 classes and 5 activities for free.

Free Raspberry Pi Computing Kit

Through the support of Infosys Foundation USA, qualified educators can request a free kit of materials to participate in a free online course called ‘Design, build, and code a rover with Raspberry Pi Pico’. The offer is available to 1,000 US-based K–12 public or charter school teachers on a first-come, first-served basis. To claim your kit, create a free account on Pathfinders Online Institute and start the course. On the first page of the course, there are instructions on how to apply.

The Secret to Great Middle School Presentations

There are several examples and suggestions for organizing student presentations in this article from edutopia by Carly Van Der Wende. While reading a book by Chip Wood (co-founder of Responsive Classroom), she noted his point that, "...children of middle school age are more invested in what their peers, rather than their teachers and parents, think of them," and found ways to leverage that.
Big picture

Erskine Personal Impact Curriculum

All schools now have an easy way to utilize the materials connected with the new film and project about Carl Erskine. While more than 300 schools signed up earlier and became part of the EPIC movement (more than 70,000 books were shipped out all across the state!), there is now an Open Educational Resource site. Find classroom lessons, videos and materials there, including classroom versions of the film. Several schools have found this to be a great fit for advisory.

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 & Resources


September 6- Indiana Learning Lab: STEM Certification with Edgewood Jr. High, 4 pm

September 11- Resources from MiddleWeb: Teaching Tragedy; Diverse Voices of 9/11 from Sept. 11 Memorial/National Council of Social Studies

September 13- Media Literacy and Civic Learning Activities to Promote Student Agency, (Common Sense Education), 3 pm

September 14-AMLE Administrator Roundtable: Fostering Family Engagement, 5 pm

*September 15- International Dot Day (includes a live stream at 1 pm)

September 16: AMLE Early Bird Discount Deadline

*September 16-17-Constitution Day: Resources from the National Constitution Center, Resources from the National Archives

*September 17-Museum Day (register in advance for free tickets)

*September 18- Deadline for Student Entries in "I Voted" Contest

September 21-Indiana State Museum Virtual Program: Riverboats & Slavery, 7 pm

September 22- What's New, Cool, & Upcoming with Screencast-O-Matic, 7 pm

September 22- "The Best We've Got: The Carl Erskine Story" airs on WFYI in Indy

September 27- Free Virtual Screening of the Film "The Upstanders" (Cyberbullying) 7 pm

September 29- Creating Infographics That Ignite & Demonstrate Learning, 5 pm

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

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

*October 15: Deadline for Students to Enter Booth Tarkington Writing Contest

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!

*Includes students


IN LearningPartnership (Includes Wednesday PD with IDOE)

Indiana Learning Lab Workshops (Requires Sign in for Registration)

Teacher First OK2Ask Online Workshops

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)

Corwin Webinars

Leslie Fisher Webinars (tech)

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.

And a Podcast for Good Measure...

Do you ever listen to podcasts, on your commute, while running, walking, cleaning, etc.? Each issue we will recommend one podcast that might be of interest or use. Feel free to send me your recommendations!

First up: The Hidden Brain, and in particular, the episode "Why You're Smarter than You Think" with Scott Barry Kaufman, author of many books on teaching and learning.


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....

Big picture