The Monday Minute

December 7, 2021

More Details for Our March 12, 2022 Conference

Our IMLEA board met on December 6 to further develop plans for our in-person conference at Lebanon High School on Saturday, March 12. In January we will post the request for presenters; we will have both 45-50 minute sessions, as well as "lightning sessions" where you can quickly interact with several different educators to rack up many great ideas in a short period of time. This will be very affordable, informative...and fun! Stay tuned for more details, and mark your calendar, 11 am-3 pm with an informal gathering to follow.

Board Members Honored at IASP

Two of our IMLEA board members were honored at the recent IASP conferences, attended by over 1200 educators. Ryan Welch of Riverside Intermediate in Plymouth was named Assistant Principal of the Year, and Julie Kemp of Boonville Middle School was nominated for Middle School Principal of the Year. You can find the AP nominees here, and MS principals here. Congratulations to all who were nominated!
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Outstanding librarian Shannon Miller has shared the above Choice Board for the Hour of Code/Computer Science Education Week. You can access it here, use it directly or copy it and make modifications. Even when the week is over, many students will want to return to these activities.

8 Googley Winter Activities from Eric Curts

Eric Curts has created new activities and modified some past ones to create a nice winter collection. This new post contains these activities:

โ›„ Activity #1 - Build a Snowman with Google Slides

๐ŸŽ„ Activity #2 - Decorate a Holiday Tree with Google Slides

Activity #3 - Wintertime Magnetic Poetry with Google Drawings

๐Ÿ“ฌ Activity #4 - Holiday Greeting Cards with Google Drawings

๐ŸŽ Activity #5 - "12 Days of Christmas" Guided Google Sheets Math Activity

๐ŸŒŸ Activity #6 - Pixel Art Ornaments with Google Sheets

โ„๏ธ Activity #7 - Wintertime Emoji Rebus Stories with Google Docs

๐Ÿ’ก Activity #8 - Holiday Lights Writing with Google Docs

Extend Learning over Break Through the Library

Leslie Preddy from Perry Meridian Middle School in Indianapolis has shared two ideas she is using to extend reading and learning over break; you could modify these as needed. First, the "Secret Santa" book will give students something else to unwrap. Second, she received a grant to purchase materials for students to do a maker activity at home over each long break. You can see this and other activities on the library's website.
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More Ways to Use Calendar Events in the Classroom (Dec-Jan-Feb)

In a follow up to an earlier post we shared in our October 4 newsletter, Anne Anderson adds a new piece with birthdays and picture books as ways to involve multiple subjects in class starters, read-alouds, and mini-lessons. While she has written entire books on the subject, she also shares much of it on the MiddleWeb blog.

Macy's Make a Wish

This could be a good advisory activity: For every "Letter to Santa" submitted online or dropped off at one of their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. Students can download the template below or create their own design and deliver their wishes to a Macy's store, or they can submit their letter digitally at They can also participate in a global Macy's Make-A-Wish Flipgrid at The guest password is Believe* and videos will be screened by librarian Kristina Holzweiss before they are accepted.

Sheinkin Student Session Includes Codebreaking Contest

Join bestselling and award winning author Steve Sheinkin for a conversation about Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown, one of the most critically acclaimed books of the year. This author talk at 1 pm December 14 will be packed with fascinating details about this momentous period of history and end with a code-breaking workshop and a contest for classrooms to win their own spy gear. Sign up and request contest information here. Sheinkin has written several of the most popular non-fiction books for middle level students, including Bomb, Undefeated, Lincoln's Grave Robbers, and more.

Applications Open for Student Pages During 2022 General Assembly

Students 13-18 can apply to be a page in the House or Senate during the General Assembly. This counts as an excused absence; students are responsible for their own lunch and transportation to the Capitol during this day that's a great learning opportunity! Senate Page requests will be scheduled between Jan. 10th and Feb. 24th on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday; large groups can request a Wednesday. House page requests are found here and here.

Letters about Literature Due January 10

All Indiana students in grades 4-12 are encouraged to enter the Indiana Letters About Literature writing contest! Ask students: Have you read a book, short story, poem, essay or speech that changed how you see yourself or how you see the world? Write a letter to the author and you could be one of our published winners! Complete details can be found here.

Poetry Contest for Grades 6-12

The Poetry Society of Indiana invites all grade six through 12 students in Indiana to enter the annual Manningham Trust Student Poetry Contest. State winners advance to the national contest. To learn more about guidelines and submission, click here. Entries must be submitted no later than January 31, 2022.
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It's Back! #DitchSummit from Matt Miller and Friends

The Ditch That Textbook Digital Summit is a FREE online conference for teachers. It brings together some of the brightest minds in education to discuss technology, pedagogy and more.

This year, the summit is open Dec. 13, 2021 to Jan. 7, 2022. You can watch the videos at your own pace during this time.

Each year, they empower & inspire with new video presentations as well as access to 70+ presentations from previous summits. Generate FREE certificates for professional development credits. And it's free! Get all the details and sign up here.


Special Opportunity for K-6 Teachers in First 3 Years of Teaching

Butler University is collaborating with The Childrenโ€™s Museum of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Zoo, and Codelicious to establish the STEM New Educator Academy to support and retain new STEM teachers. Initially funded by a grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the initiative provides free mentorship and professional development opportunities for K-6 teachers in the first three years of their careers, and even a zoo field trip for your students. You can now learn more and indicate your interest here for this program that begins in February, 2022.
OMLA 2021 Team of the Year

Ohio Middle Level Association Celebrates "Team of the Year"

What would you call a double-team of 8th grade teachers during a pandemic holding class in trailers? Turns out this group from Cloverleaf Middle School was Ohio's Team of the Year! I attended a great webinar (linked above) where they shared many activities, schedules, and more. You can also find their slides here, a padlet with the questions that were asked here, and their website here. The recording is something you could even listen to while driving, working around the house, etc.

Presidential Award Nominations Open Through January 7

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the US government specifically for Kโ€“12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM education. This year's cycle is for teachers in grades K-6. Nomination and application information is available here. Nominations are due January 7, 2022

How Could $5,000 Jumpstart Career Exploration at Your School?

American Student Assistance (ASA) and AMLE have teamed up to create "Career Exploration in the Middle Grades: A Playbook for Educators" that offers a roadmap that ANY school can use to create an impactful program for their students. To celebrate this, they are awarding $5000 to 3 different schools to implement one of the programs in the playbook. Entries are due January 31, 2022. The playbook is available for free electronically, along with contest details and examples.

Looking Forward to January- Unified Champions Opportunities

The eSports competition will begin in mid-January with a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competition. Each school will need 5 two v two teams (one with an intellectual disability, one without). Also, don't forget that there are many other ways to be inclusive with your students of all abilities with strategies like the Unified Classroom and Unified Fitness Clubs. Please contact Tori Batson at Special Olympics if you are interested or would like more information. There is more eSports information in the flyer below; we also have quite a bit of information on our website

Learning Opportunities (all times EST)

*December 6- Computer Science Education Week/Hour of Code

Dec. 6-10: Indiana Learning Lab Computer Science Lunch & Learns, 11:30 am daily

December 7: Free Educator Screening at IN State Museum, "Asteroid Hunters 3D", 6 pm

December 8: KIL-Navigating SEL with Christy Berger, 11 am

*December 8: Free Live Storycast with Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), 1 pm

December 8: Common Sense Webinar-Welcome, 2022 Top 5 Digital Citizenship Trends to Get Ready For, 3 pm

December 8: Dialogue, Not Debate. New Approaches and Resources to Support Ethics Education, 4 pm

December 8: IDOE Dig Deep: Dig Cit & Professional Responsibilities, 4pm

December 8: PAMLE (Pennsylvania Middle) Webinar with Jen Cort, "HUB (Help Us Begin) Strategies to Use in Any Challenging Situation,โ€ 7 pm

December 10: Heading into 2022 with Gimkit, 7 pm

December 13: Supporting Students' Mental Health Needs, 5 pm

December 13-January 7, 2022-Ditch Summit

*December 14: Webinar with author Steve Sheinkin on his book Fallout & Codebreaking, 1 pm

December 15: KinL Livestream-Let's Have Fun Tech Tips Livestream, 2:30 pm

January 7: Deadline to Nominate K-6 Teachers for PAEMST

January 8: Extra Yard for Teachers Summit, In-person/Hybrid

*January 10: Letters about Literature Entries Due

January 14: Deadline to Apply for Federal Teacher Ambassador Program

January 31: Entry Deadline for ASA & AMLE Playbook Challenge

February 6: Deadline for PAEMST Applications

March 12, 2022: IMLEA Conference, Lebanon High School


Keep Indiana Learning (KinL)Live Events (many free) Archived Events, youtube Livestreams

Wednesday PD with IDOE Webinars

PATINS Trainings for Accessibility for All

Teachers First/OK2Ask Virtual Workshops

AMLE Podcast Series

IN LearningPartnership

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.

Saying Goodbye to 2021

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

This is our final newsletter of 2021, a year unlike any other, a year for which we had high hopes. We hope that the final days before winter vacation are productive, and that you experience a restorative, enjoyable break. Our next Monday Minute will be January 3, 2022.

Background image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay