Annual Conference: Powerful Learning for Young Adolescents

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 Powerful Learning for Young Adolescents

October 23-24, 2014

Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center

Northport

One of the many spectacular views from Point Lookout.

One of the many spectacular views from Point Lookout.

 

2014 Conference Program (PDF)

 

What makes an outstanding school for 10-14 year olds? The well – research position paper from the Association for Middle Level Education, This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents lists four essential attributes:
  • Developmentally Responsive: using the nature of young adolescents as the foundation on which all decisions are made.
  • Challenging: recognizing that every student can learn and everyone is held to high expectations.
  • Empowering: providing all students with the knowledge and skills they need to take control of their lives.
  • Equitable: advocating for every student’s right to learn and providing challenging and relevant learning opportunities.
The MAMLE Annual Conference is the perfect time for staff to reflect on the vision for their school and how it is being implemented. It is the only event in Maine that explores the current issues facing schools through the lens of effective teaching and learning for 10-14 year olds as exemplified by the essential attributes outlined in This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents.
Just look at the opportunities at the conference:
For everyone:
  1. Two outstanding keynote speakers: Matt Nelson, MPA Middle Level Principal of the Year and Nancy Doda, international expert on educating young adolescents.
  2. 35 + concurrent sessions on a wide range of topics
For folks interested in STEM:
  1. A STEM Model For Problem Solving – Sara Nason, Sanford Middle School
  2. Make ‘Space Day’ Everyday- Sharon Eggleston, Aerospace Educator
  3. Getting Students to Beg for More Math Time! – Alison Veilleux, Lyman Moore Middle School
  4. Gaming in the Classroom – Suzanne Simmons, Bonny Eagle Middle School
  5. Working to save clams from European green crab--Woolwich Central School

    Working to save clams from European green crab–Woolwich Central School

    Soft Shelled Clam Connections – Denise Friant, Hesper Reith, Edward Striewski, Leanne Fisher Woolwich Central School

  6. STEM Programs Roundtable – Jeff Rodman, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  7. Start Developing iOS and OS X Apps Today! (Double Session D & E) - Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  8. Moon Unit – Alison England, Adam Bullard, Sonja Schmanska, & Josh McPhail, St. George School
  9. K-12 Outreach – Interactive Civil Engineering – Lauren Swett
STEM projects

STEM projects

  1. The Auburn Land Lab – An Opportunity To Learn Differently – Phil Brookhouse, Auburn School Department
  2. FROM CURIOSITY TO CAREER: Transforming Student Engagement into Career Pathways – Jay Collier, Educate Maine
  3. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Field Marine Science – David Williams, York Middle School
For folks focusing on culture and climate:
  1. Middle Level Theory into Practice – The Troy Howard Middle School Story – Kimberly Buckheit & Students, Troy Howard Middle School; Kelley Littlefield, Ecology Academy Teacher; Chris LaValle, Innovation Academy Teacher; Sarah Wyman, International Academy Teacher
  2. The Power (and Struggles) of Shared Leadership Teams – Mike Muir, Auburn School District
  3. Legacy: Making Education Meaningful Through Service Learning – Shianne Priest & Students, Leonard Middle School
  4. Meeting the Standards in a Restorative Classroom – Celeste Libby, Travis Taylor, Lisa Hall, Ansley Newton and 6th Grade Guidance Counselor, Saco Middle School
  5. Enthusiastic and engaged students at Space Day-Auburn MS

    Enthusiastic and engaged students at Space Day-Auburn MS

    It’s All About Choice… And a Lot of Planning! – Carl Bucciantini, Auburn Middle School

  6. The Fourth “R”-The Power of Relationships in Middle School – Jerry Kiesman, Hermon Middle School
  7. Building Community Through Challenge - Gert Nesin & Todd McKinley, Leonard Middle School
  8. Positive Adults + Positive Interventions = Positive Students – Sheila Underhill; Reuben Fowlow; & Tracy McKay, Central Middle School
  9. The Anatomy of a Successful Parent Night – Ward Willis, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  10. Student Reflecting and Conferencing – Melissa Fenelon, York Middle School
  11. “Ignite the S.P.A.R.K!”~Students Promoting Acts of Random Kindness – Jodie Bennett & Molly Brewer, Medomak Middle School
  12. Brain Breaks for Students – Susan Callahan, Auburn Middle School
For those who literacy throughout the curriculum remains an important topic:
  1. Talking About the Text: Engaging Ways to Boost Comprehension and Understanding — Nancy Doda
  2. Read 180: Increase Student Engagement, Ownership, and Achievement – Tammy Ranger, Skowhegan Area Middle School
  3. A Culture of Collaboration in Writing – Kym Granger, Mt. Ararat Middle School
  4. Allagash Tails and Tales – Tim Caverly, Allagash Tails
  5. Mark Twain

    Mark Twain

    Dual Purposes that Serve the Needs of Both Curriculums… Take a Risk!! – Abby Jacobs & Mike Burke, Westbrook Middle School

  6. Classroom Blogging with Google Apps for Education – Suzanne Simmons, Bonny Eagle Middle School
  7. Creating Visual Notes with Apple MLTI Tools (Apple MLTI Primary Solution) (Double Session D & E) – Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  8. Writing Power: Creating Authentic Audiences for Student Voices – Joyce Bucciantini, Auburn Middle School
  9. Meeting Literacy Standards in Health and the Other Allied Arts – Strategies to Help Students Excel in Your Class – Doreen Swanholm & Courtney Belolan, Mt. Ararat Middle School
bandFor participants who believe the Allied Arts are an integral part of any outstanding middle grades program:
  1. Recreating Radio Dramas – Barbara Greenstone, Boothbay Region Schools
  2. Empowering Students Through Assessment Techniques and Strategies – Jane Snider, Hancock Grammar School
  3. Tricks and Tips to Help Students Take Really Good Pictures – Jill Spencer, BoomerTECH Adventures
  4. Legacy: Making Education Meaningful Through Service Learning – Shianne Priest & Students, Leonard Middle School
  5. Dual Purposes that Serve the Needs of Both Curriculums… Take a Risk!! – Abby Jacobs & Mike Burke, Westbrook Middle School
  6. Proficiency-Based Education in an Art Class – Gloria Hewett, Mount View Middle School
  7. Dual Purposes that Serve the Needs of Both Curriculums… Take a Risk!! – Abby Jacobs & Mike Burke, Westbrook Middle School
  8. Meeting Literacy Standards in Health and the Other Allied Arts – Strategies to Help Students Excel in Your Class – Doreen Swanholm & Courtney Belolan, Mt. Ararat Middle School
  9. A STEM Model For Problem Solving – Sara Nason, Sanford Middle School
  10. K-12 Outreach – Interactive Civil Engineering – Lauren Swett
  11. Start Developing iOS and OS X Apps Today! (Double Session D & E) - Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  12. World Language Market – Tad Williams & Ellen Jardine, Middle School of the Kennebunks
For attendees whose interest is personalizing learning and MCL:
  1. Teaching MCL: Beyond the Theory - Erin Hoffses, Presque Isle Middle School
  2. Proficiency-Based Education in an Art Class – Gloria Hewett, Mount View Middle School
  3. Assessment with iPads - Barbara Greenstone, Boothbay Region Schools
  4. May the Force Be With You: Planning for the Unique Needs of Young Adolescents – Lindsay Mahoney & Hope Herrick, Messalonskee Middle School
  5. Metacognition and the Middle Schooler – Andrea Logan, Lake Region Middle School
  6. Back to Basics: How to Create Learning Targets and “I CAN” Statements – Jennifer Etter, York Middle Schools
  7. Motivating Students With Engaging Tasks – Mike Muir, Auburn School District
  8. Customize the Brain – Bill Zima, Mt. Ararat Middle School
Americans who Tell the TruthFor folks who help their students develop a world view:
  1. Hands-On History: The Bangor Community Heritage Project – Ron Bilancia & Pricilla Soucie, William S. Cohen School; Larissa Vigue Picard, Maine Historical Society; Bill Cook, Bangor Public Library
  2. World Language Market – Tad Williams & Ellen Jardine, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  3. TOP’s Turning Points and Timelines! Kids Get Chronology! – Jacqueline Littlefield, Goethe-Institute Washington -Transatlantic Outreach Program
  4. From History to Action, Using the Lessons of the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement to Empower Students – Elizabeth Helitzer, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine
  5. Models of Courageous Citizenship: Connecting students to themes in social studies, language arts, science and other curriculum areas - Connie Carter
Especially for leadership teams and administrators:
Jeff Rodman, President of MAMLE and,John Keane, President Elect

Jeff Rodman, President of MAMLE and John Keane, President Elect

  1. Developing Teacher Expertise – Ben Harris & Mick Roy, Bonny Eagle Middle School and Stacy Penna with Learning Sciences
  2. Apple’s Five Best Practices of Excellent Schools! – (Double Session A & B) - Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  3. Middle Level Theory into Practice – The Troy Howard Middle School Story – Kimberly Buckheit & Students, Troy Howard Middle School; Kelley Littlefield, Ecology Academy Teacher; Chris LaValle, Innovation Academy Teacher; Sarah Wyman, International Academy Teacher
  4. The Power (and Struggles) of Shared Leadership Teams – Mike Muir, Auburn School District
  5. Making Sense of Chapter 180: Implementing the New Teacher Evaluation System in Two Districts – Bill Zima, Mt. Ararat Middle School & John Keane, Leonard Middle School
  6. The Anatomy of a Successful Parent Night – Ward Willis, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  7. Administrators Roundtable – Jeff Rodman, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  8. Meeting the Standards in a Restorative Classroom – Celeste Libby, Travis Taylor, Lisa Hall, Ansley Newton and 6th Grade Guidance Counselor, Saco Middle School

All of these sessions plus more form the backbone of our conference.  What school wouldn’t benefit from having teachers and administrators participate in such a rich experience?

Registration: http://mainemamle.org/conference/registration/

Full program: http://mainemamle.org/conference/conference-schedule/

Yapp app for mobile devices: http://my.yapp.us/MAMLE

Or contact Wally Alexander:

Phone: (207) 859-1362
Fax: (207) 859-1114
E-mail: Wallace_Alexander@umit.maine.edu

 

 

Messalonskee Middle School Gets Iced

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Just in from Lindsay Mahoney….

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 6.03.04 PMThe Messalonskee Middle School staff and Olympian Julia Clukey recently accepted the ALS ice bucket challenge! After hearing Clukey speak about overcoming obstacles and persevering to accomplish personal goals, 42 lucky MMS students had the privilege to dump water over the heads of their teachers and Ms. Clukey. Students were able to purchase tickets for the chance to dump buckets of ice water over their teacher’s heads while teacher’s paid $10/each to participate. After spending time reading, watching videos, and discussing this cause and craze that has gone viral, students and staff collectively raised over $600. After all the excitement, we forgot to challenge other schools so maybe yours will be next!

Check out all of the great pictures of the ice bucket challenge at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125274966@N08/sets/72157647671378372/

A Letter of Invitation

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September 15, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back! We hope that you had a great break and had time to get away from school and enjoy this summer’s outstanding weather. As the leadership of Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE), we would like to take this opportunity to share with you exciting news about your statewide middle level association.

Did you know that MAMLE is the only educational association in Maine designed to meet the specific needs for the students and staff within our grade levels? MAMLE provides outstanding professional development and support focusing on the educational, academic, social, and emotional needs of our emerging adolescents as well as those topics trending in the field of the middle level education.

 

View of Penobscot Bay from Conference Center

View of Penobscot Bay from Conference Center

Once again, MAMLE’s annual conference will be held on October 23 and 24 at the Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center in beautiful Northport, Maine. Point Lookout, located on Route One just north of Camden, is an easy ride from all areas of the state.

 

We are very excited about this year’s conference program. We have two-days jam packed with exceptional presenters, sessions, and keynote speakers who are committed to the improvement of middle level education. Highlighting this year’s program are our keynoters, nationally recognized teacher-leader, Nancy Doda and Maine’s Middle Level Principal of the Year, Matt Nelson.

 

You will find no conference more affordable yet more valuable than MAMLE’s fall conference. The cost to attend for both days is only $195. A one-day registration is just $135. Complete information regarding registration, housing, and this year’s program can be found on the MAMLE website (http://mainemamle.org/conference/).

Please take time to take a look at the conference program and consider sending a team of educators to the conference. There is a special rate for teams of six or more. Contact Wally Alexander at wallace.alexander@umit.maine.edu for more details on a group discount.

There is no middle level conference at the state, regional, or national level that delivers a more comprehensive middle level program at an affordable cost than our own fall conference. It is a solid investment for your students, staff, and school.

We hope to see you at Point Lookout on October 23 and 24. For more information regarding MAMLE and this year’s conference go to www.mainemamle.org. And remember to like us on Facebook.

Sincerely,

 

Jeff Rodman

Principal, Middle School of the Kennebunks

President, Maine Association for Middle Level Education

 

John Keane

Principal

Piscataquis Community Secondary School

President Elect, Maine Association for Middle Level Education

 

Jeff Rodman & John Keane

Jeff Rodman & John Keane

Helping Students Manage Their Screen Time

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The start of the school year is a perfect time to talk to students about managing their screen time. Although many students have personal smart phones and tablets, for some 7th graders, receiving an MLTI device will be their first experience with 1:1 computing. Suddenly they will have in their possession a wonderful tool for reading, writing, viewing, creating, and gaming. It will be available at school and at home, 24/7, and while it’s a necessity for schoolwork, it can also become a bone of contention in the classroom and with the family.

student with laptop and iPad

Photo Credit: ransomtech via Compfight cc

Excessive screen time has been linked to obesity, insufficient sleep, and social issues for children and teens. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of screen time per day. This includes TV viewing time as well as interactions with computers and mobile devices. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, however, only 27% of young adolescents meet that limit. Given that they are expected to use laptops or tablets for schoolwork, it’s unlikely our students in 1:1 computing classes will meet that goal, but we can help them monitor their screen time and become self-regulating. Here are some strategies that may help.

Make classroom expectations clear. 

Give kids clear guidelines for using their MLTI laptops or iPads and their personal devices in the classroom. There are times when students should not be looking at a screen but should be giving their full attention to you or to other students in the room. Come up with a verbal cue to let students know to put their devices away. For years MLTI teachers used “close and focus” (or some variation) to let kids know when to put the lid down on their laptops. A similar cue can work for tablets too. Many teachers have students put their iPads and phones face down on their desks when they enter the room and leave them there when they are not needed for classwork. Your school should also establish guidelines for using devices in the library, cafeteria, hallways, and other common areas.

Allow some personal use, with limits.

Electronic devices are a part of students’ lives and we can’t realistically expect them to unplug when they come to school. Work with your team and your administrators to establish a time in the day when students are allowed to check their email, communicate with family and friends, listen to music, or play an approved game. This is also an opportunity to introduce some digital citizenship goals. Common Sense Media provides an excellent curriculum with plenty of free resources to help students learn how to behave safely, ethically, and responsibly in online environments.

Talk to parents.

While our students have grown up with this technology, their parents have not, and many of them will need help managing screen time with their children at home. Most middle schools in Maine have a parent night in the fall when they discuss the MLTI devices. This is a good time to make parents aware of some of the challenges and help them develop strategies and guidelines that work for their families. Parents are excellent resources for each other too, especially those who have older children and who may already have some family practices in place. A few years ago I met a parent up in Aroostook County who knew how to deal with the problem of late-night screen time. She had a shelf in her house where all members of the family (adults too) placed all their electronic devices at 9:00 P.M. each night and plugged them in to charge. They didn’t pick up the devices again until after breakfast the next morning. It was simple but effective, and it made a lot of sense. Parents can also take advantage of Common Sense Media‘s resources for setting screen-time limits.

Model appropriate use.

One of the most effective ways we teachers can help students is by moderating our own digital lives and modeling appropriate behavior. If you expect students to have their phones turned off and put away in class, you should not be using yours. We have a rule in my school that students may not have their iPads out of the carry cases in the hallway. I make a point of using my carry case whenever I’m in the hallway too, even if I’m just stepping into the next room to show a teacher something on my iPad.

If we set clear expectations while allowing students some freedom, and if we partner with parents and model appropriate behavior, our students are more likely to develop healthier habits and learn to moderate their own screen time.

from the President’s desk…

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Jeff Rodman, President of MAMLE

Jeff Rodman, President of MAMLE

It’s late August and once again it’s butterfly season in Maine. No, not the season for any of the more than 55 species of butterflies that inhabit our great state, but the ones that we feel in our stomach as another school year approaches. These are the butterflies that keep us up at night wondering about those first days of school. Will I have a good class? Will the students like me? Am I prepared? Did I remember to zip up my fly?

 

Teaching middle school is a great challenge as each fall enthusiastic, energetic, eager, and well-rested budding adolescents arrive to begin a new school year. The students come to us in all shapes and sizes with a myriad of abilities and needs. They are simple, yet complex. Just when we think we know our students, we find out there is so much more to learn about them. Middle school students are truly a wonderful enigma. As middle school educators, we need to understand what it means to be simple, yet complex. We are lucky to work with them but we have an incredible task that takes great skill, great patience, and great humor.

 

We should expect to bring to our students a firm and professional commitment to their educational, intellectual, and social-emotional well being that will ensure their growth and development toward becoming positive members of our schools and our communities. Teaching is an obligation we have all made. We have all dedicated ourselves to being the best teachers we can be. I am confident we will all succeed in this endeavor. There is so much to be accomplished in all of our schools but there is no better place where it can happen than in our middle schools.

 

As my mother-in-law, who was a great teacher herself, always said, “If you don’t feel a little nervous before the school year starts, it’s time to retire.” This year, I begin my 38th year in education, and thankfully, I guess I’m ready as I’m still feeling the butterflies.

 

I wish you all a successful school year. May it be filled with great learning, great patience, and great laughter.

Sincerely,

Jeff Rodman

Principal, Middle School of the Kennebunks

President, Maine Association for Middle Level Education

Seven Middle Level Teachers Finalists for Teacher of the Year!

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MAMLE congratulates the following middle level teachers who have been named finalists for Maine Teacher of the Year!

 

Kara Beal, 8th grade language arts teacher at Valley Rivers Middle School in Fort Kent

Sara Brokofsky, 5th grade teacher at Westbrook Middle School in Westbrook

Cory Chase,  a language arts teacher from the Boothbay Region Elementary School

Dan Crocker, math teacher from Hall-Dale Middle School in Farmingdale

Dyan McCarthy-Clark, a social studies teacher from SeDoMoCha in Dover-Foxcroft

Jenn Dorman, a language arts teacher from Skowhegan Region Middle School

Ann Luginbuhl, a 6-8 teacher at Charlotte Elementary School

Auburn Principal Search

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Mike Muir writes to tell us that Auburn is in the midst of a principal search for their middle school:

“Frankly, we’d love to find another team member, who is enthusiastic about driving and leading meaningful school change through shared leadership, might have some experience in one or more of our three innovation areas and could come up to speed on the others quickly (they aren’t trivial initiatives!), and is just plain fun to work with!

Did I mention that you’d get to work with an innovative district, making exciting progress on implementing innovative programs to help all children learn at their peak, a district that actively supports and empowers its educators in their professional learning, leadership, and educational entrepreneurship?”

Read the entire post: http://multiplepathways.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/were-looking-for-a-wonderful-middle-school-principal/

The job is posted online at School Spring.