Ernie teaches at the New Sweden School in New Sweden, Maine.
Do you have a great picture of somewhere in Maine? Would you like to share?
Send it MAMLE.
This post is from Paula Vigue, a computer science/literacy teacher from Winslow
Students from Winslow Junior High School, led by Winslow teacher Mrs. Paula Vigue, spent a week in Costa Rica during the 2014 summer. Their job was to research the biodiversity of the area, the flora and animals, specifically bats, amphibians, and reptiles. In addition, students were able to see a volcano close and personal, see the black-sands beach, and spend time in the hot springs. That was only the beginning!
Students and parents alike, zip-lined through the trees of a tropical rainforest and worked together to conquer the rapids (and their fears) before performing a biological survey and water tests on that same river. Learning the local food and dance were other experiences shared by all. It was an amazing science adventure!
“I really liked learning about the poisonous dart frogs. The Blue-jean dart frog was everywhere.” ~Ryan
“The beach had black sand! It was funny that they had beans and rice at every meal, even breakfast!” ~ Ely
“The food was delicious. There were so many interesting tropical fruits and juices. I’ve never tasted such fresh, yummy pineapple. The cows were strange looking- skinny with baggy skin. Our guide was great. He made it fun and interesting; he was very knowledgeable.” ~Lassandra
“Zip-lining was awesome! I’m glad you made me do it.” ~Stephanie
Next science trip is to Iceland the summer of 2016!
Do you remember when a group of Freeport elementary students took on fast food giant McDonalds and won? Concerned about the environmental impact of styrofoam packaging, the students convinced Freeport’s town council to ban its use. McDonalds had to come up with another way to serve their hamburgers. How about Katie Brown who at age 11 raised money to purchase protective vests for police dogs? And… did you know there are students all over the state participating in research projects related to the invasive European green crab? Given the opportunity, our students will amaze us!
After the December break is a long stretch of instructional time in which to do something extraordinary. Join other middle grades teachers and students across Maine as they accept MAMLE’s and Americans Who Tell the Truth’s Samantha Smith Challenge. Invite your students to amaze you and their school community by taking on a real life problem—local, state, national, or international—and work to come up with a viable solution or plan of action. Here is an excerpt from a recent news release:
The purpose of the Samantha Smith Engaged Student Challenge is to build a bridge between the classroom and the world and to show students that no matter what age, they can be part of solving the challenges and problems they see around them in the world. Samantha’s journey began with her concern about nuclear war. A year later she was an eleven year old teaching adults and children about making peace. Her progress from concern to courageous engagement was a series of small steps and decisions—the kind of thing any of us can do!
Here is the link to the teacher’s page for the Challenge: http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/the-samantha-smith-challenge
Should you wonder how you could possibly fit in this type of project with all you have to do, consider Maine’s Guiding Principles:
Part of The Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction
The knowledge and skills described in the Maine Department of Education Regulation 132 support Maine students in achieving the goals established in Maine’s Guiding Principles. The Guiding Principles state that each Maine student must leave school as:
A. A clear and effective communicator who:
B. A self-directed and lifelong learner who:
Recognizes the need for information and locates and evaluates resources
C. A creative and practical problem solver who:
D. A responsible and involved citizen who:
Participates positively in the community and designs creative solutions to meet human needs and wants
E. An integrative and informed thinker who:
The Samantha Smith Challenge fits the bill as a way for your students to work toward proficiency and meet the high standards of Maine’s Guiding Principles.
Nancy Doda wowed the audience with her keynote at our Annual Conference this past October. One of the reasons her address was so powerful is that she shared the microphone with Nick, a student from Hampden. He explained why having a choice in how he demonstrates his learning is so important to him. In case you missed Nick, here is a video of what he had to say.
Here is a video of of his composition.
Nick’s 8th grade teacher was Karen Lewis (Reeds Brook MS), and she also is the Teacher Representative on the NELMS Board.
Nick will be our featured speaker at the Scholar-Leader Dinner in May.
Soft Shelled Clam Connections – Denise Friant, Hesper Reith, Edward Striewski, Leanne Fisher Woolwich Central School
It’s All About Choice… And a Lot of Planning! – Carl Bucciantini, Auburn Middle School
Dual Purposes that Serve the Needs of Both Curriculums… Take a Risk!! – Abby Jacobs & Mike Burke, Westbrook 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?
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
The 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