Moving the Middle Forward

PLEASE NOTE: This Conference Has Now Transitioned to Individual Sessions Online; It Will No Longer Take Place on March 12

Spend a Day with Other Middle Level Educators

We understand that this was not the right time to offer a Saturday conference. We are planning to offer some of these sessions online instead, and will also start to plan an in-person conference, perhaps next fall.

What better way to kick off the day than learning from Indiana's current Teacher of the Year, Sharita Ware from East Tipp Middle School!
Ms Ware is an Engineering Technology Educator at East Tipp Middle School in Lafayette. She uses Project Lead the Way, incorporates robotics, design challenges, Lego League, and much, much more in her classroom. She has an engineering background and became a Woodrow Wilson Fellow to transition to a career in teaching.

We were not hoping to hold this conference to make money: we were offering this as a service to allow middle level educators an opportunity to have some positive experiences in the presence of other advocates for adolescents. Our board members have told us that they are "zoomed out" and would like to see people in person! We made this mid-day Saturday so that you would have time to do things before and after, and would not need to worry about substitute teachers.


What Encanto Can Teach Us About our PLCs

Presenter: Carrie Rosebrock, District Alignment Coach

You've seen the movie, heard the songs, and aren't quite sure if you ever want to hear the name Bruno again. But! Have you considered the connections between the Family Madrigal and dynamics of your own professional learning communities? If you're looking for a light-hearted AND seriously relevant session that will help you better support your teachers by helping them better understand, empathize, and support one another in their PLC teams, then this session is for you. From school administrators, to teachers, to counselors and support staff--we're all important members of our school families, and we all need a strong sense of belonging to bring our best selves to the table. This interactive session will help you dive deep (quickly) into team dynamics, and you'll leave with tangible takeaways you can use with your staff (to bring a little bit of Encanto to their days!)

Tools, Toys, and Mentor Texts for Teaching SEL Skills

Presented by author Shannon Anderson, Rensselaer
As a classroom teacher, you know that it is not only a challenge to meet students' academic needs, but also their unique social and emotional needs. Learn strategies to deal with some of these issues and how to help kids develop appropriate mindsets and coping strategies in a positive way. As a teacher for 25 years, from first grade through college level, I have helped create programming and lessons for the social and emotional growth of students for my district. I have also written many books on the topic.

I will share ideas for helping our students who need to hone their leadership skills, provide tips for giving perfectionists a proper perspective, help you develop confidence in your shy students, and give teachers tools to motivate their unmotivated students. This session is packed with practical strategies, props that aid in remembering the lessons, mentor text recommendations, and hands-on lessons you will use for years to come.

Shannon will also have some of her books available for purchase.

Using Quantiles to Differentiate Your Math Classroom

Make differentiation a snap with the Quantile Hub. During this session you will be introduced to Quantiles, what they are and how to use them. Whether you are grouping students for introductory lessons, practice, or remediation, the Quantile Hub allows every student access to the curriculum. The Quantile Hub also includes tools for College and Career Readiness and for Parents.

Jeff Harker, now at Keep Indiana Learning, is a 32 year veteran of Mathematics education, many of them at the middle level. He also spent 5 years as a Literacy Coach and has conducted workshops at the district, state, and national levels. He is leading a free series at KIL on grading during February.

Boredom Busters: Transforming Worksheets, Lectures, and Grading into Engaging Learning Experiences

Presented by Katie Powell, AMLE, Former Southmont Jr. High Teacher

Sometimes we have the perfect activity to support a lesson. And sometimes...we don't. What do we do when our lesson plan just reads, "page 147"? Boredom Busters are low- or no-prep activities that transform our ordinary worksheets and lectures into novel, exciting, engaging learning experiences, perfect for any grade level or content area. Curious? Your students will be too. And they'll want to come back for more tomorrow. Bonus: From Katie's new book, Frustration Busters, learn a new way to look at common classroom management frustrations!

Participants will be engaged through a "choose your own adventure" interactive approach using Pear Deck and will participate in many of the strategies covered. Participants will leave the session with many ready-to-implement ideas.

(We've also encouraged Katie to bring some of her books for purchase)

YA Development: Who Are These People, And What Do I Do With Them?

If you've ever met a young adolescent, you already know they're different from children just a bit younger or teens a bit older than them. This stage of development is wonderfully unique! Join Katie Powell, Director for Middle Level Programs at AMLE, and Pam Millikan, board member of AMLE and retired principal, for an engaging, interactive session exploring the physical, cognitive, and emotional development of our students and the implications for us as educators. Share your experiences and learn from those of others. The session will include active discussion around the unique challenges posed by the development of our students and practices participants are finding successful in their own schools. Participants will also be introduced to resources available through AMLE to support developmentally-responsive best practices in their schools, including The Successful Middle School book and related study materials (both free and for cost), The Successful Middle School Assessment, and the Schools of Distinction program. The session will be delivered using the interactive program Pear Deck.

How and Why You Should Be An LGBTQ+ Ally

Presenter: Kimberly Fidler

There are many questions for all school employees about how and why they should be allies to LGBTQ+ students and adults. Participants in this session will receive answers to these questions and learn about how to help others become allies with a curriculum that offers a variety of activities that can be used for training for new and more experienced school employees. There will also be tips about how to make the community more affirming for LGBTQ+ people.

Tech Updates with Five-Star Technnology

Thanks to Five-Star Technology for sponsoring our snack break! They will also present on the INLearning Lab. Have you had a chance to visit? Did you know it's even been supported by the recent College Football Championship in Indianapolis? The Indiana Learning Lab is built to support educators with instructional resources, professional development opportunities, and other best practices. This includes live, on-demand workshops for educators, as well as live coaching from IDOE staff. As part of this resource, educators have access to expanded online communities focused on supporting literacy instruction, digital instruction and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction. The platform also includes ready-to-use resources and lesson ideas. As one of our board members said, "For those who heard from them or visited their booth at the principal's conference, this would be a good session to offer. PD made easy!"

Also from IDOE: Supports for Students

We thank representatives from IDOE for supporting our conference through sending representatives even on a Saturday! In addition to the session about the new GPS dashboard that will be used to evaluate schools, they will have a session on available supports for students, more important than ever!

Feel Free to Check Out Our Website & Our Most Recent Newsletter

We have many resources on our website; here is an example of our most recent electronic newsletter, "The Monday Minute."

Indiana Middle Level Education Association

The Indiana Middle Level Education Association (IMLEA) is the only organization in the state devoted exclusively to schools, educators, and students in grades 5-9. Before COVID, we had an annual conference, and wanted to offer an opportunity to connect again.