The Game is Afoot at Mt. Ararat MS!

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Sherlock Holmes uttered the famous line, “The game is afoot.” in The Adventure of the Abbey Grange. “Games” is a concept everyone understands, and Team Androscoggin students from Mt. Ararat Middle School used it as a way to demonstrate their learning this spring.

Here’s a report on their Celebration of Learning from Nicole Karod, science teacher on Team Androscoggin:

On June 3rd, Androscoggin Team Students and Parents held a celebration of learning.  Our students have been working hard writing and publishing companion books to go with the book “The Other Side of the Sky” as well as creating and engineering board games around the topic of disease and the human body.  The work that these students have put in and the outcome they’ve accomplished is amazing.  In the afternoon students shared with their parents their hard work through an I-Spy challenge and playing board games.

The books were a reflection of a large unit on informational writing.  Social Studies themes were incorporated through the study of the book and students’ final product included many inserts about Afghanistan and the theme of the book.

Each game that was created was based around a disease that the students chose.  The games had to incorporate not only information about the disease but also be structured to relate to the disease and how it affects the human body.

Below is just a sample of our games and books from the event.

Students Hard at Work!

Students Hard at Work!

The Plague

The Plague

Rabies!

Rabies!

A Race to the Doctors! A game about strep throat

A Race to the Doctors!
A game about strep throat

Heart Attack!

Heart Attack!

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Register for Annual Conference at 2014 Rates!

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It’s the end of the year, but it is not too early to think about next fall!

One of the many spectacular views from Point Lookout.

One of the many spectacular views from Point Lookout.

The MAMLE Annual Conference is October 22 & 23, 2015 at Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center.

Register by June 30, 2015 and Save–Registration fees remain at 2014 rates until the end of June.

Call or Email MAMLE Executive Director Wally Alexander TODAY to save your spot–Send PO later.

wallace_alexander@umit.maine.edu
207-649-1576

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Samantha Smith Challenge Celebration

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The first Monday in June is designated Samantha Smith Day in Maine. This year the first annual Samantha Smith Challenge celebration was held in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House on Samantha Smith Day. Over 500 students from across Maine accepted the challenge put forth by American Who Tell the Truth and the Maine Association for Middle Level Education to choose a problem in their community, state, country or the world that they would like to address and help solve.

King Middle School sets up their project.

King Middle School sets up their project.

The Hall of Flags began to pulse with energy as students poured into the room to set up their projects. Posterboards, trifolds, iPads, laptops, and oil paintings appeared and transformed the Hall into a showcase of student curiosity, hard work, research skills, and commitment to addressing troublesome issues. These students tackled a myriad of topics: underage drinking, animal abuse, poverty, homelessness, mental illness, cyberbullying, suicide, and harmful bacteria lurking right under our noses.

 

an image of student projects

Examples of projects

Students who accepted the Samantha Smith Challenge

Students who accepted the Samantha Smith Challenge

 

image of students talking to visiitors

Students explain what they learned and how they hope to address the issues.

A variety of distinguished visitors shared with students their stories related to becoming an active participant in addressing the problems of our communities–near and far.

image of Nancy Doda

MC Dr. Nancy Doda

Dr. Nancy Doda, 2014 MAMLE Annual Conference keynoter and Brazee Award honoree, guided the festivities and introduced the honored guests.

Jane Smith, the mother of Samantha, congratulated students and reflected upon her daughter’s legacy to the world.

image of jane Smith

Jane Smith, Samantha’s mother.

Former Maine legislator Elizabeth McTaggert introduced Senator Angus King who addressed the students via a video message.

Elizabeth McTaggert

Elizabeth McTaggert

image of Senator Angus King

Senator Angus King, Senator (I) from Maine

Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage chatted with students and helped put into context the world in which Samantha Smith lived–the Cold War era.

image of Ann Lepage and students

Ann Lepage chats with students from Lyman Moore Middle School.

image of Ann LePage

Ann LePage addresses the students who participated in the Samantha Smith Challenge.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap shared why his family moved to Maine during the Cold War and congratulated students for becoming involved with important issues in their community.

image of Maine's Secretary of State

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap

image of the audience

The Hall of Flags was packed!

Florence Reed, the founder of Sustainable Harvest International, shared how she was on a similar journey to the students to address real issues that affect communities and possibly the world at large.

image of Florence Reed

Florence Reed

The morning ended with each school receiving from Robert Shetterly of Americans Who Tell the Truth a poster of his painting of Samantha Smith.

image of King Middle School Students

King Middle School, Portland

image of Leonard Middle School Students

Leonard Middle School, Old Town/RSU 34

images of Lyman Moore students

Lyman Moore Middle School, Portland

image of Messalonskee students

Messalonskee Middle School, Oakland/RSU 18

image of Mt. Ararat students

Mt. Ararat Middle School, Topsham/SAD 75

image of students from Whittier MS

Poland Community School

The teachers were also honored and received a thundering round of applause from their students.

images of teachers involved

The Teachers

 

Lessons learned by participating in this type of project—quotes from the students. 

“I always have room to grow. I had thought about poverty as something very other than myself, something that didn’t really affect me. Turns out it’s not, and the kind of thinking I used to have was actually part of the problem because it prevented us from finding solutions.”  Leonard Middle School student

Doing suicide has been a tough challenge.  It’s been devastating reading each story and finding a solution.  Through the past couple of weeks on working on this, it’s been rough.” Lyman Moore Middle School student

“It was fun because it wasn’t “school work”; we got to go out in the community and change an issue that is affecting our area.”   Messalonskee Middle School student

“I learned that I didn’t give up after we had our first setback and two more after that.” York Middle School student

“Working on this project has made us come back to reality and realize that this is a bigger problem than we thought. It’s hard to believe that we have found over 110 cases of cyberbullying that end in suicide.  We were shocked by the large amount of teens (especially females) that have admitted to cyberbullying and/or being cyberbullied.  Cyberbullying is a huge epidemic of the modern day world. It has to stop now before we lose all sense of morality.”

Poland Community School students

Scholar-Leader Dinner

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Last Thursday’s 16th Annual Scholar-Leader Dinner, sponsored by NELMS and MAMLE,  was a huge success once again.

5 Scholar-Leaders

Scholar-Leaders

All the way from Ft. Kent to celebrate!

All the way from Ft. Kent to celebrate!

 

Proud Families

Proud Families

 

MC Bill Zima, principal of Mt. Ararat MS

MC Bill Zima, principal of Mt. Ararat MS

The music was provided by the Mt. Ararat Middle School Jazz Band, Margie Landis conducting.  They were fabulous!

Mt. Ararat Jazz Band

Mt. Ararat Jazz Band

Part of the brass!

Part of the brass!

Margie Landis conducting

Margie Landis conducting

Families from all over the state came to Augusta to celebrate and honor these middle-level students.

Families enjoying the evening!

Families enjoying the evening!

Maine’s Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap, congratulates the Scholar-Leaders.

Secretary of State, Matthew  Dunlap

Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap

The evening’s keynote was delivered by Nicholas Parker, a freshman at Hampden Academy. He reminded the Scholar-Leaders to not only to set goals and work hard, but also take the time to live life with a capital L by experiencing everyday moments to their fullest.

 

Nicholas Parker

Nicholas Parker

Nick addresses the Scholar-Leader Dinner attendees.

Nick addresses the Scholar-Leader Dinner attendees.

You can listen to Nick on MAMLE’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Maine.MAMLE

See you next year!

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One Student Can Make a Difference!

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Lindsay Mahoney from Messalonskee reports how one student took on the Samantha Smith Challenge:
“How can we work together with the Maine Government to reduce homelessness, hunger, and poverty in our state?” That was the essential question for our Samantha Smith challenge. Throughout the research process, we discussed existing programs in Maine such as food stamp assistance, WIC, and SNAP. The “SNAP-Ed” challenge not only fit perfectly with what we were doing, it gave learners another opportunity to take action and make a difference in our community through authentic voice and choice!
Molly
Molly is a young lady who is no stranger to volunteering and providing food to those less fortunate than herself. She also enjoys cooking and experimenting with vegetarian meals for her and her family.
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The SNAP-Ed challenge was open to anyone in the state of Maine, and I could not be more proud that a middle school student accepted and won this challenge! Read more about the challenge and her recipe.
Maine State House

Maine State House

Participants in the Samantha Smith Challenge will be honored June 1, 2015 in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Augusta. First Lady Ann LePage, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, and Sustainable Harvest International founder Florence Reed will join in honoring the students. Over 600 middle grades students from across the state accepted the challenge. Kudos to all of them and their teachers!
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MAMLE Exemplary Practice Award

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Honor colleagues by nominating them to receive MAMLE’s Exemplary Practice Award. Presented at our annual conference in October, this award recognizes middle level educators in Maine who have designed and implemented powerful programs that engage and challenge their students.  Recent honorees include:

  • A team of educators, community members, and university faculty led by Denise Friant from Woolwich Central School who tackled the invasive European green crab problem threatening the livelihood of local clammers.
Working to save clams from European green crab--Woolwich Central School

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

  • Central Middle School’s PBIS Intervention Team that developed an approach that overwhelmingly improved the climate and culture in their school.

Central copy

  • Carl Bucciantini’s program at Auburn Middle School that teaches students the power and responsible use of social media by exploring Twitter.
Carl Bucciantini--Exemplary Practice Award Winner-We're  All A'Twitter at Auburn MS

Carl Bucciantini–Exemplary Practice Award Winner-We’re
All A’Twitter at Auburn MS

The deadline for nominations is June 1, 2015 so there is still plenty of time to fill out the nomination form.  You can download it here: exemppractice1.

Who in your school is touching students lives in unique and powerful ways?  Honor them by nominating their program or practice for an Exemplary Practice Award.

 

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