CyberDay at Auburn Middle School

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Student works on iPad keyboard

iPad Keyboard

High school students, central office administrators, community members, and teachers led workshops for Auburn Middle School students on CyberDay. Each student was able to choose 3 workshops to attend.

Like many middle schools in Maine, students and staff switched from laptops to iPads this year.  CyberDay was a time to share what had been learned and explore new possibilities.

Some students opted to learn how to make commercials in a session entitled “Welcome to Hollywood” led by Jake Bazinet, a high school junior.  The best student commercials were showcased on the Lewiston-Auburn local access channel.



Everyone got involved!

Music and movie making sessions were popular:

Makiing Movies

Making Movies

Making Music

Making Music


Sharing and collaboration characterized the event.

Collaboration CyberDay


Classmates collaborate and share ideas and products.

Classmates collaborate and share ideas and products.

The Day was featured in the Lewiston Sun Journal.

At the end of the day, it was obvious that CyberDay was a grand success!

BigShare CyberDay

Share with MAMLE members what’s happening in your school.  Write a comment below and we’ll be in touch!

Madison Junior High’s Community Blood Drive

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This post was written by Kathy Bertini, an eighth grade teacher at Madison Junior High School

The annual Madison Blood Drive takes place each February at the junior high to replenish critically low blood supplies for the American Red Cross during the winter months. This particular interdisciplinary unit was created after a colleague attended the annual MAMLE conference and participated in a session put on by the Frank Harrison Middle School of Yarmouth that blended academics with community service.

The sixth grade was assigned the tasks of letter writing to encourage people to donate blood as well as learning what constitutes the parts of blood. The eighth grade completed detailed presentations about the cardiovascular system, showcased activities that keep your heart healthy and made 3-D versions of human blood based on a liquid’s density. In Art classes students created clay models of the human heart that were then painted and labeled with correct names.

Image of the Tree of Donors

Tree of Donors

This year a new idea was added to the blood drive called the Tree of Donors. The Tree of Donors idea began with a visual of a caricature of a tree without any leaves. Then the sixth grade students cut out blood drops to represent leaves for the tree. After donors gave blood at the drive, their names were placed on each leaf and hung on the tree. The tree symbolized the importance of each blood donor as they became part of the donor tree. Sixth and eighth grade students were vital in assembling the initial tree and adding names to leaves as volunteers gave blood that day.

On the day of the blood drive, students were responsible for greeting people at the door, registering blood donors, escorting those who have given blood to the snack table, running the snack station, as well as the final break down and clean up. The Madison Junior High Blood Drive was showcased this year on WLBZ Schools That Shine segment for the academic connection to community service. This learning experience was made possible because of the MAMLE experience and resources available.

Community Involvement

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Middle schools across Maine contribute to the well being of their communities.  Here are just a few examples!

  • Recently recognized as a School That Shines (Channel 6–WCSH program), Madison Junior High School students organized and ran a community blood drive at their school.  Teachers were inspired to support this effort after they attended a Harrison Middle School (Yarmouth) presentation on the topic at a MAMLE Annual Conference.
  • Another School That Shines honoree is Georgetown Central School.  Their 4-8th. graders are actively involved in Project Canopy.  Students are learning data collection procedures as they gather information on tree growth and health, tree identification, and and local ecological issues.  They will share this information with town officials responsible for creating policy impacting the town’s woodlands.
  • Anyone who lives in a coastal community has heard about the European green crabs, an invasive species that threatening the clamming industry.  Two schools–Yarmouth’s Frank Harrison Middle School and Woolwich Central School–have been studying this immense problem and looking for solutions to share.
  • Becoming an United States citizen is a lengthy and sometimes arduous process.  The smiles on newly naturalized citizens’ faces say it was well worth it.  Students at the Middle School of the Kennebunks hosted a naturalization ceremony in March. The band played, the chorus sang, and Senator Angus King spoke!

We would love to hear how other schools are connecting with their community.  Leave us a comment and share your school’s story.

Mainers Honored at NELMS Annual Conference


Two of Maine’s newest  and brightest middle level teachers were honored this week as Promising Practioners at the 2014 NELMS Annual Conference.  The criteria for the award are:

  • Enjoys teaching middle level students
  • Makes a positive difference in the school
  • Fosters community connections
  • Seeks professional development and implements innovative ideas
  • Meets the needs of individual students, using effective middle level practices such as:
    • Incorporating activity-based learning
    • Developing a sense of student ownership in their learning
    • Integrating higher order thinking
    • Fostering curriculum connections
Congratulations to…
Photo of SaraSara Donahue, Special Education Teacher at Presque Isle Middle School










photo of MollyMolly Brewer, Spanish teacher at Medomak Middle School










NELMS also presented two Distinguished Service Awards, also known as the James Garvin Award.  Criteria for this award:

  • A record of service that reflects a high level of dedication and commitment to the cause of quality education for early adolescents.
  • A life that models the human qualities which, one day, we would want early adolescents to emulate.
  • A record of scholarship invested in helping others to better understand the unique needs of early adolescents.
  • A record of activities that clearly demonstrates a concern for those less fortunate, in need of special leadership.
  • A record of leadership in organizing and directing others to excellence in middle level education.
This year’s recipients of the Distinguish Service Award are Chris Toy and Jill Spencer.
Chris Toy and Jill Spencer Recipients of 2014 NELMS Distinguished Service Award

Chris Toy and Jill Spencer Recipients of 2014 NELMS Distinguished Service Award



Argy Nestor Honored by National Art Education Association

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Photo of Argy Nestor

Argy Nestor

Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission, recently was honored by the National Art Education Association at their annual conference in San Diego, California.  She received their Distinguished Service Award.  Congratulations Argy!

Argy is well know in Maine middle level circles.  She was an art teacher for many years where she loved to be involved in integrated units.  And here are a few more of her accomplishments:

Once again, Argy–Congratulations from all of your friends at MAMLE.  We think it’s time for you to come back to our annual conference in October!  What do other MAMLES think?


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Jim Moulton posted this announcement on the ACTEM listserv so we are passing it along to our members…

On May 2, 2014 please plan on coming to NESCom <> and
learn how Maine students, grade 7 – 12 can move their enjoyment of video,
audio production, programming, marketing, or digital imagery forward and
begin to see themselves on a pathway from “Cool2Career!”

Cool2Career registration opened on Thursday March 6 at 10:00 AM. Now, with
over 350 registrations in place, schools are able to increase to, or create
a new registration, with up to 25 students and 5 adults. Registration fee
will be $15 per student or adult participant, and includes lunch and
snacks. As of March 27, approximately 125 seats remained available for

Because of this, schools who have previously registered are now able to
register up to 15 additional student participants, and 3 additional adult
participants. New registrations will now be able to register up to 25
student participants and 5 adult participants. (with 1-5 students, 1 adult
required; with 6-10 students, 2 adults required; with 11-15 students, 3
adults required; with 16-20 students, 4 adults required; with 21-25
students, 5 adults required – all in a 5:1 ratio)  Capacity for this
initial Cool2Career is a total of 480, and registration will close when
that number is reached. Questions? Please contact Jim Moulton at: