The Monday Minute

January 25, 2021

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Some schools have separate teachers for online and in-person students, while others have individuals doing both simultaneously. One of the best 30 minutes I spent last week was in Dr. Catlin Tucker's webinar. I Iike the term "concurrent teaching" to describe teaching both sets of students at the same time; "hybrid" has taken on a multitude of meanings! Not only did she address the main concerns teachers have, she gave excellent examples of pedagogy, organization, and activities that can be used. She gave me permission to link to the webinar; you will just need to put in your email to watch the recording. There are detailed examples in the webinar slides, and many other resources on her site. She was also featured in this episode of the Wired Educator Podcast, and had an earlier blogpost about concurrent teaching. These strategies can be applied in many different situations, not just concurrent.

Buzzer Games for Remote Environments

The buzzer activity in Deck Toys lets you create an in-person team/individual buzzer game for a remote environment. It even shows who buzzed in first so that you don't have to take your best guess. Bonus: Students don't have to log in or create an account to use the buzzer.

Create a Buzzer "buzz-in" Activity in Deck Toys

Would You Like to Meet with Teachers in Other Schools in Your Discipline?

The New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) is hosting Job-Alike Groups (JAGs) that are open to anyone. We have considered this for IMLEA, trying to help you connect with others without taking up much of your time. This week NELMS has JAGS for performing arts and math teachers. See the schedule and examples of questions here.

Horace Mann Speaker Series: Welcome, Adam Welcome!

Horace Mann supports educators in many ways in addition to offering insurance tailored to teachers' needs, whether it's prizes, extensive Donors Choose donations, or educational programs. This year they are offering a special virtual speakers series, sponsoring outstanding presenters who frequently keynote large conferences. See the announcement below, or download the entire flyer. You may register here.
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Great Opportunity: Laura Bush Library Grant, Due Friday

K-12 schools may apply for $5000 grants to purchase library materials, including print, eBooks, audiobooks, periodicals, and reference materials. In order to be eligible, a paid professional must be designated by the school administration as responsible for the collection, care, and use of the materials housed in the school library. Applications are due this Friday. This could be a great opportunity to beef up your eBooks and other digital materials.

Join DOE's Book Study

This spring the DOE book study will be reading and discussing The Interactive Class: Using Technology to Make Learning More Relevant and Engaging in the Elementary Classroom by Joe and Kristin Merrill. The book study will begin in February and will be run in Moodle. Even though this book is geared toward elementary teachers, secondary teachers may also benefit from the discussions and all participants will earn PGPs. If you are interested in participating in the book study, please complete this form.

Maker Challenge for Students-Chain Reaction

Calling all makers! Amazeum and CoBuild19 have teamed up to challenge you to build the coolest chain reaction possible right from your home. How many obstacles can you create? How many reactions can you cause? Gather up some household materials and join Amazeum educators via Zoom as they guide you through your explorations to create your very own chain reaction. Ages: 8-11 years old Virtual workshop via Zoom, January 28-Feb. 11.

Fee: free thanks to generous support from the National Science Foundation and Infosys Foundation USA

Advanced registration is required for each participant in order to receive the supply list and link to the virtual call.

Google Puzzle Party, A Way for All Students to Collaborate

Want simple, free activities for students to work together informally? Google Puzzle Party is an easy way to involve students, no matter where they are, in school, at home, elsewhere as they put together the pieces to form a famous work of art. There are many other activities available in Google Arts and Culture Experiments.

Free Learning Opportunities (all times EST)

January 26-29: FETC Conference, Free!

January 26: IDOE/Keep Indiana Learning Dyslexia Community of Practice, 4:30 pm

January 26: 3 Cool Tools for Station Rotation, 7 pm

January 26: Job Alike Group (JAG)-Performing Arts, 7 pm

January 27: Keep Indiana Learning Session for Counselors: "Am I Still Relevant in the New Normal of Schooling in 2020? And How Can Data Help?" 11:30 am

January 27: DOE WebEx on About Time by Make Mattos, 7 pm

*January 27: RosieCon Virtual Author Panel, 7 pm

*January 28: Free Virtual Author Visit with Author Alan Gratz, 9:45 am

January 28: Getting Started with Everfi's Free Resources, (They have added more content areas!),4-4:30 pm

January 28: AMLE Webinar: It's not Too Early to Begin Planning 2021-22 Schedules, with Scheduling Guru Elliot Merenbloom, 4:30-5:30 pm

January 28: Job Alike Group (JAG)-Math, 7 pm

*January 28-February 11: Maker Challenge: Chain Reactions (various times)

January 29: Applications Due for Laura Bush Library Grant

February 2: Horace Mann Speaker Series: Adam Welcome, Kids Deserve It, 8:30 pm (See Flyer Below)

February 3: World Read Aloud Day

February 4: AMLE: A Virtual Approach to Social Emotional Learning, 4 pm

February 4: Job Alike Group (JAG)-ELA, 7 pm

*February 9: Accessibility Tools for Students with Dyslexia, 7-8 pm

February 10: Reading the Pictures; Visual LIteracy with Renee Hobbs, Frank Baker, & Michael Shaw, 4 pm

*February 11: Accessibility Tools for Students with Dyslexia, 9-10 pm

*Includes (or aimed at) Students


Keep Indiana Learning Live Events, Archived Events

PATINS Trainings for Accessibility for All

Corwin Monday Afternoon Webinar Series

Indiana eLearning Lab (Must Register to See Live Schedule; Tutorials always available. This week's sessions include Extensions, Assessments, & Wakelet .)

Leslie Fisher Webinars

National Geographic Online Courses (several started on January 20)

Teachers First/OK2Ask Webinars

Next Week: Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, Plus Exciting News from Keep Indiana Learning!

You can access past Monday Minutes via this link on our webpage, and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter; we will be posting there more frequently. Principals and others: Feel free to forward this newsletter to your staff, and email us at any time.

And don't forget, you can join both IMLEA and AMLE in a joint membership! See a special announcement from AMLE below.

Special Announcement on Great Opportunity from AMLE!

Dear IMLEA/AMLE members,

Let me take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am a former Indiana principal and I currently serve on the AMLE Board of Trustees. As a proud Indiana resident, I am excited to tell you about an upcoming contest offered by AMLE and ASA. I am including the details of the contest. Believe me when I say that I would LOVE to have schools from Indiana enter this contest. We have so much talent in our state that I would love to highlight it throughout the nation!

As a member of the AMLE Board of Trustees (and a former member of the IMLEA Board), I am always open to hear your ideas about how we can make the middle level better for all of our students and educators. Don't hesitate to contact me at with your thoughts and ideas! Please let me know if you decide to enter this contest. Also know that I am here to help however you need! Good Luck! Let's represent the talent in our Hoosier state!

Sincerely in the middle,


AMLE and ASA are offering a terrific contest for middle school students. You have the opportunity to win some fantastic recognition and great prize money for your school. I would love to see your school enter (and win) this contest! Go to for details. The four areas include:

6-8th grade teachers can sign up a team of up to 5 participants and select one of 4 standards-aligned challenges for their class to tackle:

  • The Economic Impact of COVID-19
  • Solving COVID-19: A Community Challenge
  • Building a Colony on Mars
  • Acting on Climate Change

Key Dates:

  1. Contest open to 6-8th grade public schools (Teachers must register)
  2. Registration closes 2/15
  3. Winners announced 4/2
  4. Prizes awarded for winners
    1. 1st Place:
      1. $10,000 for the school
      2. $1,500 to be split by the student team
    2. 2nd Place:
      1. $5,000 for the school
      2. $1,000 to be split by the student team
    3. 3rd Place:
      1. $2,500 for the school
      2. $500 to be split by the student team

For additional information, go to

Good Luck!!