The Monday Minute

August 16, 2021

What Science Tells Us About Improving Middle School

This report just hit my inbox today: I have been following resources from Youth-Nex out of the University of Virginia for some time. Many of the main points will not surprise you; they include such things as
  • Interdisciplinary Learning
  • Peer-Assisted and Cooperative Learning
  • Service Learning
  • Time for "Free Play"--Even Recess
  • Later Start Time

What do you think? Is your school incorporating any of these things? What do you see as the biggest challenges?

Photo Credit: Allison Shelley for EDUImages, CC BY-NC 4.0

Matt Miller's Updated Mega Back to School Activities List

While many of you have already been back in school for two weeks or more, these activities could still prove useful to help set the stage for a successful year. Matt has added and updated this list, which includes community building, escape rooms, templates, and organizational tips.

MIddleWeb's Best Posts for New Teachers & Back to School

Every year, MiddleWeb updates their collections of best posts for new teachers and back to school. Here are this year's versions of new teacher advice and back to school ideas.

Start the Year by Focusing on Learning GAINS

Rather than focusing on "learning loss," why not have students reflect on what they've learned in the past few months. What have they accomplished? This article includes a lesson and examples of student reactions, and could easily be used in advisory.
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Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s AskRose Homework Help is a free math and science tutoring service for Indiana students and other students in grades 6-12. Students can call 877-ASK-ROSE, email, video, or chat live with a friendly tutor to work through and better understand homework assignments.
To start a video tutoring session, visit the website, during tutoring hours (Sunday-Thursday, 7-10 pm ET) and click on the video icon in the top right corner of the screen. Students can also call 877-Ask-Rose (877-275-7673) or use chat and email through the website.

Teachers can get promotional materials sent to them for free or download some through this link.

(In their most recent data collection, about 1/3 of all their contacts were in regard to 6th-8th grade math, with 1/5 on Algebra 1 alone.)

News from AMLE


The 2021 Conference that was to be held in Louisville will now be virtual, same dates, November 4-7. Registration is now open, with different individual and school options.


AMLE is hosting free online meet-ups around a variety of topics, strategies, and ideas perfect for this unique back-to-school season. Each 30-minute meet-up will include content from an expert presenter, followed by live participatory conversation around the topic. See the topics & register here.


These resources can be used in a variety of ways, and include implementation guides, case studies, and much more. "..studies have shown that career education positively impacts K–12 students decades later. When engaging in the career exploration programming described in this playbook, educators are providing opportunities for students to dream about their futures and imagine the possibilities."

These resources include a 10-lesson digital curriculum from American Student Assistance, the co-sponsor.

Lilly Creativity Grants: What Would You Do with $12,000?

Applications are now available for Lilly Endowment's Teacher Creativity Grants. They truly are an opportunity for you to pursue a passion, it really is all about you! New this year: you can apply as part of a group (more than two people), recipients may take two years to complete their activities, and educators who do not yet have a professional educator license but have at least a four-year bachelor’s degree that is appropriate for the responsibilities of their educational position may apply. Find the application here, and more details here. Proposals are due October 4. Not only does receiving the grant give you an opportunity of a lifetime, but it also gives you access to fantastic summer workshops afterwards and a strong network of outstanding educators.

It's Another Horace Mann Giveaway!

Enter now for a chance to win one of ten $200 gift cards to your choice of either Amazon or Target. There are plenty of chances to win, so get your name in the running now! The drawings are this week! (Disclosure: I actually won one of their prizes once!)

Richard Byrne's New Practical EdTech Handbook Available

Richard Byrne has frequent, useful, brief posts on EdTech, and periodically puts together a free handbook. You can access this year's here.

Lockbox Activities from Purdue Superheroes of Science

Lockbox topics include Astronomy, Weather & Science, Geology, and the Periodic Table. They also have their weekly science teacher lounge podcast and many other teacher resources.
Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future | Joe Ruhl | TEDxLafayette
As a science teacher, I attended many great conference sessions led by Joe Ruhl, former teacher from Lafayette Jeff. Anyone can be inspired by this TEDxtalk that is once again circulating widely.

Learning Opportunities (all times EDT, Free Unless Noted)

August 17: Ditchbook Webinar, Life After Remote Teaching: The 1:1 Classroom in 2021, (repeats August 25 and September 2), 8 pm

August 18: Indiana Youth Institute Webinar: Back to School Focus on SEL, Noon

August 18: Science of Happiness with Kim Strobel, 7 pm

*August 22: Celebrating 50 Years of Apollo 15, 12:30 pm

August 24: AMLE Collaboration Session, Curating Classroom Libraries, 4 pm

August 25: Keep Indiana Learning-Don't Drop the LMS, 7 pm

August 26: AMLE Session: Michael Matera (Gamification Expert) 4 pm

August 28: edCamp: Design for Learning-Individual Variability, 11-2

August 31: AMLE Session:New Sneaker Energy, 4 pm

August 31: KIL-Group Work That Works: Creating a Classroom Culture of Collaboration (continues on September 15), 4 pm

September 10: 9/11 Anniversary School Video Available

*Suitable for students as well


AMLE Collaboration Meetups, August 24-September 30

Keep Indiana Learning Live Events (many free) Archived Events

PATINS Trainings for Accessibility for All Webinars

Teachers First/OK2Ask Virtual Workshops

AMLE Podcast Series

Indiana Learning Lab. Must log in to see workshop topics. This week's live sessions: EduProtocols, Design, Google Drive

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. Many can be viewed/listened to at later dates.


INSPIRE3 philanthropy education and service-learning projects are available on our website as well as IASP. You can also go direction to Learning to Give for current ideas, including standards-based lessons.

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 year, the Monday Minute will be released on the first and third Mondays of the month.

And don't forget, you can join both IMLEA and AMLE in a joint membership!