Monday Minute

May 30, 2019

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Congratulations to a brand new School to Watch, Benjamin Franklin Middle School of Valparaiso. Their celebration last week included performances by their band, orchestra and choir, student speeches, and more. In addition to receiving an "A' school grade from DOE, students have a wide variety of activities beyond athletics through which they can develop relationships, skills, talents, and interests - everything from Student Council to STAND, from STEAM club to Builder’s Club. They learn about and practice respect, metacognition, and citizenship in classes and through extracurricular and co-curricular activities such as Brainology, LEAD, & the Team Peace mentoring program. Some clubs are the result of student ideas put into action.


Our Indiana Schools to Watch agree to serve as mentors for other schools. You can see the list of schools and their profiles on our website; here is Benjamin Franklin's as an example.

Horace Mann Shining Stars Awarded to Kylie Close (Hebron) & Nolan Shawl (Connersville)

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In the past week, IMLEA honored two outstanding middle level students: Kylie Close from Hebron Middle School, and Nolan Shawl of Connersville Middle School.

Dan Pastrick, the teacher who nominated Kylie, described her this way: "She serves as an officer in National Junior Honor Society, cross country, basketball, track, and is a mentor. She is a vocal leader in each of her activities, but more importantly she leads by example by working hard and giving her best effort. Kylie’s willingness to help out each club and team is unmatched. I can say with confidence that without Kylie involved in these extracurriculars each of them would not have been nearly as successful or productive."


While in 5th grade Nolan started fundraising for the production of prosthetics. He became passionate about it after watching Robert Downey, Jr. (AKA IronMan) present a prosthetic arm to a boy named Alex. Further investigating the product, Nolan started fundraising for Limbitless Solutions and Kenzie's Helping Hands. He is currently organizing "Nolan Kicks 4 Causes”with the help of his parents, his 3rd annual 3V3 NK4C Soccer tournament to be held June 15, 2019 at River’s Edge Park in Connersville. This year he has added several attractions to increase the fundraising opportunities and attract teams and spectators. Approximately $5,000 was raised last year; the goal is to meet or exceed it this year.


Photos above: Kylie Close & Parents; Connersville MS Principal Beth Denham, Susie Highley of IMLEA, Nolan Shawl, & Parents. We will be adding more information and pictures of our winners on the Shining Star page of our website. Thank you to Horace Mann for sponsoring these awards!

IMLEA Registration: Don't Leave School Without It!

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Principals: No matter when your school year finishes, don't forget to send some registrations for the 2019 IMLEA Conference. Our conference website is now live. You may register your staff members (no price increase) and make hotel reservations (an increase of only $3 from last year. There is a price break for sending a team of five or more.

You can register now and submit names of attendees later. You can use a PD eLearning Day and send your entire staff! (Approval from DOE is no longer even required.)


Our keynote speakers are Buddy Berry and Lori Desautels. You can see an annotated list of our breakout sessions here; uploading that document into wordart.com resulted in the graphic at right.

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What Would You Do with $12,000 to Spend on Yourself?

Yes, applications are now open for the Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant. It IS all about you! Note that the application deadline is September 3; often educators scramble at the last minute, especially with letters of reference. I have heard that reviewers often make an initial opinion of the application in the first thirty seconds; be sure to convey your passion for your topic from the very beginning!

Looking for Some Good Reads This Summer?

Admittedly, you deserve a break when the school year is over! But, if your mind eventually creeps into reading some books for PD, there are many great suggestions in this post from Jennifer Gonzalez, "Cult of Pedagogy;" check the comments for additional good titles.

One of my favorite PD reads this year was Daniel Pink's When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. (He narrates the audio.) I recently watched the livestream of one of his keynotes that was summarized in this post, "How Schools Can Spend Time More Wisely." A previous article with an interview you can listen to can be found here on EdSurge.

Access Middle Level Bookmarks-- Or Even Join the Group!

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Since 2011, I have maintained a diigo group with bookmarks that could be of interest to middle level educators. (Since it goes back that far, some of the 1200+ are probably obsolete by now!) I am trying to include many of the links that have been a part of the Monday Minute. diigo has free and premium versions (I only use the free)You can access them anytime, plus there is a place on the webpage pictured above where you can join the group, add bookmarks yourself and/or be notified of new ones. I often use it to search my bookmarks when thinking, "What was that website I saw? I hope I bookmarked it!"

This Week's INSPIRE3 Update

This week’s INSPIRE3 update includes a new Spotlight on Service-Learning Article: Now Serving: Health and Wellness, LTG Lessons and Resources for National Lemonade Day and World Refugee Day in June, and three free INSPIRE3 Service-Learning Workshop opportunities in Northern IN – June 18 and 19. See PDF of workshop info and registration link below. Contact Joan Belschwender, Director INSPIRE3 program, with any questions. IASP and IMLEA facilitate the grant funded service-learning program.

Opportunities for Educators & Students

June 3: Summer of eLearning Book Club Begins (The Epic Classroom)

June 4-August 2: Summer of eLearning Events throughout the State

June 5-6: Indiana Youth Institute College and Career Institute, Indianapolis

June 5: Powerful Teaching Book released; Book Study Continues on FB

June 6: D-Day Electronic Field Trip from WWII Museum; live 10 am ET (repeats later in day)

June 7: Middle School Science Outreach, Purdue Ft. Wayne

June 14: IMLEA Board Meeting, IASP

June 18: INSPIRE3 Workshop, Wells County Public Library, Bluffton, 1 pm

June 18-19: Indiana Economic Education and Financial Literacy Conference, Noblesville

June 19: INSPIRE3 Workshops, Ft. Wayne Ivy Tech, 8 am; Elkhart Public Library, 1:30 pm

June 24-26: Media Literacy Workshop for Secondary, IU Bloomington, with Renee Hobbs

June 30: Deadline to Apply for Field Trip Grant from INRF for 2019-2020 School Year

July 7-26: Strobel Summit: Free Online PD Webinars with Top Presenters!

July 8: Kate Messner's Free Online Summer Writing Camp, "Teachers Write 2019" begins

July 15-19: CS First Workshops at IU (Computer Sessions Still have openings, free to IN Ts)

July 23-26: STEM event at Purdue

July 27: Teaching Freedom & Unfreedom Workshop, Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site, through the State Museum (free)

August 1-14: Hive Summit (online free PD from outstanding speakers)

September 3: Deadline to Submit Lilly Creativity Grant ($12k/person)

September 29-30, 2019: IMLEA Conference, Indianapolis Marriott North

November 7-9: AMLE, Nashville, TN

That's All, Folks!

And I said this was going to be a short one....Please forward this to staff or anyone else who might benefit from the content. As always, we welcome your contributions and suggestions! Past editions of the "Monday Minute" and our newsletters are available under the 'Publications' tab on our website. Still in school? Here's a direct link to our edition that had several end of the year suggestions.


This is the final "regular" edition of the Monday Minute until the beginning of August, but you can still contact us! We will also be sharing great ideas on Facebook and Twitter that just can't wait until next school year; please follow us! Have a wonderful summer!