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Penny Kittle to Keynote MAMLE Annual Conference!

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-5-36-53-amAs an Author, Teacher, and Advocate, Penny Kittle is dedicated to fostering a love and passion for reading and writing within students and teachers.

Success at the Summit!

Moving Middle Level Learners Forward

Point LookoutPenobscot Bay from the Summit of Lookout Point

Have you registered for MAMLE’s Annual Conference, Success at the Summit, October 20-21 at Point Lookout? Here’s a peek at what to expect:

  • Two inspiring keynotes
  • Relevant and engaging concurrent sessions
  • Networking with like-minded middle level educators
  • The never-to-be-forgotten experience of a MAMLE social

Register Now!

Details below…


Opening Keynote: Jennifer Dorman—Teacher Leadership: Moving from Good to Influential

JennHedges Hall — 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.(No meal at this session)

Luncheon: Exemplary Practice Awards

Hedges Hall — 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Best Practice sessions

10:00 – 11:00   Best Practice Session A

Increasing Student Engagement with Text through Close Reading and Text-Dependent Questions – Jennifer Dorman, Maine 2015 Teacher of the Year

Are you looking for ways to increase student engagement with content-area texts? Do you find your students come away from reading without an understanding of key ideas? This session will focus on how to integrate close reading activities and text-dependent questions into your daily lessons across the curriculum in order to optimize student involvement and elevate learning.                               COMPASS ROOM – SUMMIT

Rock and Roll Show! An Integrated Social Studies and Performing Arts Unit – Stacy Edgar & Heidi Goodwin, Skowhegan Area Middle School

Hasn’t everyone dreamed of being a rock and roll star? This engaging unit lets you have some fun with your students while incorporating elements of RTI, Common Core, and more! This presentation will show you how to integrate goal setting, student choice, collaboration, technology, research, history, drama, and music into your curriculum, with the culminating event being a “Rock-N-Roll Show” that your students perform for parents, friends, and community members.                             NORTHPORT ROOM – SUMMIT

Applications of Mindfulness, Social, and Emotional Skills into Education – Nancy Hathaway

Research shows that integrating Mindfulness, Social, and Emotional Skills into Education not only eases teacher burn-out and brings calm to the classroom, but also brings aliveness to schools creating a healthy environment for learning not only academic skills but tools for life. In this session we will explore Mindfulness, Social, and Emotional intelligence offering some simple and practical skills to take into the school environment.



Breakout EDU – Amy Tucker, Maranacook Community School & Sonja Abbott, Auburn Middle School

Can you find all of the clues and open each of the locks to open the box(es) before time runs out? Find out how Breakout EDU can transform learning and engagement in your classes!    BELFAST ROOM – SUMMIT

SPARK Year Two – An Advisory Program with Career Prep Gocus – John Keane & Anthony Bitetti, Piscataquis Community Secondary School

Come hear about how year two is going with this innovative approach to advisory. Last year we presented about how we designed and implemented the first year of the program. This year we will tell you how we have built on the strengths and eliminated the implementation issues. We will talk about the journey and the school change process along with the specifics about the actual program we call SPARK.          


screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-9-20-27-amTrue Grit: Helping Learners to Persevere – Jill Spencer and Dr. Wally Alexander, Thomas College. Center for Innovation in Education

It has been suggested that children need to develop grit in order to be successful in school and life. Can grit be taught like mathematics or social studies? Might there be a better way? In this interactive session we will explore approaches that help students internalize the importance of perseverance in their own lives. Hint: We do not believe a standardized test in grit is the way to go!                LINCOLNVILLE ROOM – SUMMIT

Innovations in Personalized Learning: Fully Knowing, Connecting, and Engaging Young Adolescents – Erin Elizabeth & Tom Shepard, Currency Camp

Personalized learning necessitates truly knowing your students. Learn how to know, reach, and engage students quickly and deeply for a more successful, easier, and more impactful school year.

Gain the foundation to:

  • Identify human hard-wiring: the 7 natures which underlie personality, behaviors, decision-making, communication, and essential soft skills.
  • Identify the 3 motivation types: what drives people.
  • Implement future-forward training and tools to provide effective, meaningful personalized learning opportunities.
  • Improve classroom culture and increase results.


Promoting Literacy with Cartoons, Comics, and Graphic Novels – Barbara Greenstone, Boothbay Regional Schools

At one time comic books were banned from schools because they were thought to have no literary merit or to contain inappropriate content. In recent years, many teachers and librarians have begun to see how cartoons, comics and graphic novels can be used to engage reluctant readers, support struggling readers, and assist language learners. Join us as we explore the many ways students combine pictures and words to read and tell stories, both in print and digitally.                                        EXECUTIVE OFFICE — SUMMIT


11:15 – 12:15   Best Practice Session B

I Spy/Talk About It! – Margy Burns Knight, Winthrop Public Schools

Using the original Talking Walls Discover Your World* illustrations the author of Talking Walls Discover Your World, Margy Burns Knight, will have everyone participate in her Talk About It/I Spy Scavenger Hunt…. an inclusive, very fun activity that not only incorporates listening, conversation and questions strategies, but supports comprehension and close reading. Participants will also create and share their own I Spy activity.
*Michael Fiori purchased Anne Sibley O’Brien’s original Talking Walls illustrations. Thanks to Michael the framed exhibit is available to loan
 to libraries, schools and museums.           COMPASS ROOM – SUMMIT

Helping Middle Schoolers Live in the Past – Bill Guerrette, Presque Isle Middle School

How can you bring your local history to life? This session will focus on some ideas that will connect middle schoolers to their community’s past. Projects shared will show the use of ArcGIS and collaboration with local merchants and civic groups. No prior understanding of ArcGIS is necessary.        NORTHPORT ROOM – SUMMIT

Believing, Blurring, Building – Morey Hallett & Robert Griffin, Wells Junior High School

We believe that individuals are capable of success and want to achieve.  By blurring and strengthening the connections between students and teachers as well as regular and special education we strive to build a stronger academic community.  Each student is unique and may access their potential differently from others.  We recognize that students learn when their basic human needs have been met and their assignments are aligned with their capabilities.  Using a common shared space designed to promote belonging, pride, and self-determination we attempt to find an alternative path to meet the challenge of educating the student.     CAMDEN ROOM – SUMMIT


Nine Changes to One School’s Grading Practices – Sherri Nelson, Huron School District – South Dakota

For three consecutive years, Huron Middle School learners have completed all assignments and exceeded national growth projections in reading and math. Learn the bold actions this school took to increase student achievement and narrow the achievement gap by overhauling their assignments and grading practices. The presenter, a former middle school instructional coach (currently the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment), describes how to implement best practice research and will share assessment and grading practices that can be implemented at the classroom, department, building, or district level.      BELFAST ROOM – SUMMIT

Baxter2Bug Bytes – The Health of Our Rivers – Andrew MacLeod & Nick Costello, Middle School of the Kennebunks

In this presentation we will be demonstrating how we (and our students) can assess the health of our local rivers by looking for the aquatic macro-invertebrates (bugs) that live in the water. Certain bugs can tolerate higher levels of pollution, pH that is not neutral, and differing levels of dissolved oxygen. By assessing what creatures live in the river, we can determine how healthy the river is by calculating a bio-indicator score. We run this program with the help and support of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.    SEARSPORT ROOM – SUMMIT

Teaching Computer Science in Middle School – Dani McAvoy, Code-org

Computer Science is for Everyone! In the new ESSA, CS is defined as a core subject, and is a non-profit dedicated to making it available to all, including teachers new to the field. Our newest freely available course, CS Discoveries, has been designed to meet the needs of an MS audience. Come see what CS can look like in your class, how it empowers students to make real things, and how to get your school ready to provide CS for All!                                                                                              LINCOLNVILLE ROOM – SUMMIT

Recollections and Restoration – The Alewife Project – Alison England, Sonja Schmanska, Ashby Bartka, Josh McPhail, St. George School

Join us to learn about a middle school expedition combining local alewife restoration and community history, math and language skills. Students embraced active science research and primary oral histories and developed leadership skills in order to make recommendations to the town government, blogging their process and learning along the way. Leave with inspiration to use this model and find your own local partnerships for integrated studies where students can make a difference in their community.


visual-notetakingVisual Notetaking/Doodling in Class – Ann Marie Quirion Hutton, Apple, Inc.

A combination of sketching and traditional note taking results in rich educational documents to support learning. Studies show that sketching leads to better retention of information and helps clarify ideas. Sketching is one of our original forms of communication. Visualizing ideas is a great way to learn. Why not bring this creative form of learning into your classroom? Explore how visual notes support learning. Discover techniques to create, share and integrate visual notes into your instructional practice. Visual note taking, often called sketch noting, uses two parts of your brain, which is referred to as Dual Coding Theory. This has been found to improve learning. Research has shown that people who doodle while listening retain 29% more information (Andrade, 2009). Join this hands-on session and start sketching your notes today


2:00 – 3:00   Best Practice Session C

Special Education Scavenger Hunt – Lindsey Carnes, Apple Inc.

Bring your sneakers to this session to move through different learning stations to see how well you know your assistive technology built into your Mac. Need to enlarge your display? Find easier workflows? Explore apps for dyslexia? Think you know your special education assistive technology accommodation and modifications? Arrive at this session to take the challenge. Team-up to conquer special education stations and gain points along the way. Pick up brain break ideas as you go. Be prepared to move, think, and gain life changing knowledge to help individuals with disabilities. The team with the most points win a coveted prize.


screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-9-31-24-amGetting Started with ArcGIS Online – Margaret S. Chernosky, Maine Geographic Alliance

This hands-on workshop will help you get started making custom maps with ArcGIS Online. Margaret will help you learn how to use web-based mapping software to create, save, add data and share maps. At the conclusion of this workshop, you will be comfortable teaching your own students how to use this powerful geo-spatial technology. Please bring your laptop or tablet. At least a week prior to the workshop, please request a free ArcGIS Online Organization account for your school.

If you miss getting your Organization account, please come anyway!



The Ease, Need and Fun of Digital Storytelling Around Curriculum – Brett Price, Meridian Stories

Digital literacy – the mix of image, sound and text – has risen to the same level as textual literacy in significance (think YouTube, Crash Course, BrainPOP). Since digital literacy is where kids already are, we have an obligation to integrate these skills into the classroom. How do we do that in an engaging, creative, and deeply curricular way? Meridian Stories is one answer. This will be a hands-on workshop, working in teams, to pre-produce a short digital story. Fun.                                                                        CAMDEN ROOM – SUMMIT

When Students Don’t Learn: Reteach! Relearn! Reassess! – Sherri Nelson, Huron School District – South Dakota

If you believe all students can learn…how do you respond when they don’t? At Huron Middle School, teachers have aligned their core beliefs, transformed their assessment practices, and become unconditionally focused on learning…and students are learning! School administrators attribute this success to teachers identifying at-risk students, allowing extended learning time, providing extra help opportunities, and requiring reassessments. Discover how to make the reteaching and relearning process more efficient, ensure reassessments produce desirable results, and make certain original assessments are taken seriously.


National Board Also Believes… – Tammy Ranger, Skowhegan Area Middle School & Danette Kerrigan, Sacopee Valley Middle School

Two flavors that go well together: This We Believe and National Board Certification. Danette and Tammy are passionate about middle school kids and know firsthand how National Board Certification helps them better serve their amazing young adolescents! In this workshop, you will: (a) uncover the shared traits of AMLE’s This We Believe and the National Board’s Core Propositions and (b) learn about NB Certification through an introductory PowerPoint and informal discussion. Session includes dark chocolate!


Feedback in the Digital Age: Using 21st Century Literacy Skills to Provide Differentiated Feedback in the MS Classroom – Katie Rybokova, Thomas College Center for innovation in Education

In this session, the presenter will discuss multiple ways of providing feedback on student papers using a variety of digital platforms. These platforms include Word track changes and Google Docs but will focus primarily on the use of screencasting as a form of video feedback. The audience will come away with concrete examples of how to use a variety of digital tools to provide feedback as well as a hands-on experience of creating a screencast.                                                                                         CASTINE ROOM – SUMMIT


Easy Book Making – Carol Duffy, Lamoine School

Lotus books, accordion books, and slat books are all easy to make and encourage students to combine art and writing across content areas. One of my former students wowed her school geometry teacher with a geometric term lotus book. All of these books use “regular” school materials. If you can cut and fold, you can make these books next Monday with your students.                                             LINCOLNVILLE ROOM – SUMMIT


Designing Innovative Professional Development – Amanda Nguyen, MLTI-DOE

Do you have a long list of topics that need to be covered during your very limited amounts of professional development time? Would you rather spend that time inspiring teachers to use more innovative teaching and learning tools? You don’t have to choose between the two! This session on innovative professional development will give school leaders ideas about how they can design professional development opportunities for their teachers that will model what they’d like to see in classrooms (increased student engagement, deeper learning, etc.), while still covering the required topics at the same time.  Participants should bring either a laptop or tablet device to the session so they can participate more fully in the activities.          EXECUTIVE OFFICE – SUMMIT



Penny KittleKeynote: Penny Kittle—You Can’t Hurry Love

Hedges Hall — 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  (No meal at this session)

Luncheon – Annual Business Meeting

Hedges Hall — 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

10:00 – 11:00   Best Practice Session D

Book Clubs: Connecting Kids to Books and Each Other – Penny Kittle, Author

Reading habits do not emerge by accident, but through careful and purposeful modeling and instruction. We must meet children’s social and learning needs as we support their lives as readers. These needs are intertwined and interdependent and have more to do with reading success than school-centered standards do. We will consider classroom conditions grounded in the key principles for motivation: relevance, engagement, and success. I will show how I help readers construct identities of power and opportunity, to challenge themselves as readers, and to act with agency in my classroom through meaningful talk and writing in book clubs.


Embedded Formative Assessment in the Math Classroom – Peggy Brown, Mt. Ararat Middle School

In this participatory workshop, you will strengthen your understanding of the five elements of Formative Assessment and learn practical techniques for linking assessment, instruction and learning that can be put to immediate use in your classroom. You will find this session to be valuable, even if you are not a math teacher.



So You Think You Know Middle Level? – Chris Toy, BoomerTECH Adventures

Come to this interactive game to see how much you and your team really knows about middle level students, instruction, organization and research.                                               CAMDEN ROOM – SUMMIT

Restorative Practices – Rick Hogan, Maranacook Community School


Digital Breakouts – Amy Tucker, Maranacook Community School & Sonja Abbott, Auburn Middle School

Can you solve the clues and escape before time runs out? Come and try a Digital Breakout and learn how to create your own for your students!                                                    LINCOLNVILLE ROOM – SUMMIT

Creating Engaged and Courageous Citizens: The Samantha Smith Challenge – Connie Carter & Robert Shetterly, Americans Who Tell the Truth

The Samantha Smith Challenge (SSC) is a MAMLE and Americans Who Tell the Truth initiative that connects students to real issues, gives relevancy to their education, and requires them to be engaged community and world citizens. Participants in this session will learn how teachers at seven Maine middle schools and their 700 students used the curriculum to turn their concerns about the world into positive action while connecting to standards.  Learn how to bring the SSC to your students!             SEARSPORT ROOM –SUMMIT

image of students talking to visiitors

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

Using Productive Talk to Build a Culture of Public Reasoning – Kate Cook Whitt, Thomas College Center for Innovation in Education

Building a classroom culture of public reasoning can help teachers effectively engage students in the knowledge building and sense-making practices central to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. In this session, teachers and administrators will be introduced to productive talk moves and strategies that help students go public with their ideas, share their reasoning, and collaboratively build understanding.                                                                                             CASTINE ROOM – SUMMIT


More Cowbell – Tim Hart, Apple, Inc.

Using GarageBand to support learning GarageBand is a whole audio creation studio on iPad. Whether you are writing a song or recording a podcast, GarageBand makes it easy. In this session participants will learn the basics of GarageBand and explore uses of audio in the classroom. Apple Primary Solution, please bring your updated iPad with Garageband installed.                                                  EXECUTIVE OFFICE – SUMMIT


11:15 – 12:15 Best Practice Session E

Engage Students and Enhance Problem-Based Learning with Free Microsoft Tools – Jill Pierce, MLTI-HP

Come for a whirlwind ride through over 30 free tools from Microsoft available for your classroom and students. Learn about Photsynth, Photo Gallery, Sway, Microsoft Math, AutoCollage, Songsmith and many more. Explore how these tools and technologies designed to engage and energize your students in learning.


Embedded Formative Assessment in the Math Classroom – Peggy Brown, Mt. Ararat Middle School

In this participatory workshop, you will strengthen your understanding of the five elements of Formative Assessment and learn practical techniques for linking assessment, instruction and learning that can be put to immediate use in your classroom. You will find this session to be valuable, even if you are not a math teacher.


screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-9-48-50-amWildcat Relay – Building a Community Where Everyone Finds Success – Julie Gardner & Dianne Leavitt, Presque Isle Middle School

How many times do we, as educators, want to get the entire student body involved and connected? Presque Isle Middle School designed and implemented a fun and educational activity that unified the school. Come and see how we helped a diverse population of kids feel included and work together as part of a spirited team.


Classroom Management Strategies that WORK – Andrea Logan, Lyman Moore Middle School

Looking for a way to make life easier in the classroom? Looking to gain more time with students? In this session you will learn about three highly effective classroom management techniques that promote learning, structure and respect from all students. You will learn how to reduce time lost for bathroom and locker visits, increase response time when gaining student attention and manage student absence in an organized way.


kate4Using STEAM and Proficiency-Based Learning to Engage MS Students in Inquiry-Driven Projects – Katie Rybokova & Kate Cook Whitt, Thomas College Center for Innovation in Education

In this presentation, the presenters will showcase different project-based learning activities for students in 5th-8th grade classrooms. These inquiry-driven projects will be situated within the STEAM and proficiency-based learning frameworks. Participants can expect to leave this session not only with inspiration for their own units but also a concrete example of how to incorporate such a project logistically as well as how to work collaboratively with administrators to promote such a project.      SEARSPORT ROOM – SUMMIT

Classcraft: Turn your class into an epic adventure – Amy Tucker, Maranacook Community School

Classcraft allows teachers to foster engagement and collaboration, as well as to recognize positive growth and to hold students accountable for behavior concerns. Using gamification, students can earn XP and level up in your class. It is a fun (and teacher-friendly) way to manage a classroom. Integrates with Google Classroom.


img_3905Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom – Sean Malone, MLTI-DOE

Have you heard the hype about the Maker Spaces? Learning Commons? Think of the Making Spaces as a place to make, tinker, collaborate, and invent. How much space, time, resources, tools do you need? The answer is ‘next to none’. Come explore instructional strategies and resources to use in your classroom Monday… not someday.                                                                     CASTINE ROOM – SUMMIT


Using a Data Protocol to Make Informed Goals/Decisions – Alison Veilleux, Lyman Moore Middle School

Do you want to make informed changes? Have you struggled with wanting to make changes but aren’t sure how to corral all of your data or coworkers? In this session, participants will review various data protocols and take part in a mock data meeting. The remainder of the session will be spent creating goals and making informed decisions based on participants’ data. Data that you bring should not have student names.


1:45 – 2:45 Best Practice Session F

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-9-36-18-amiBooks Author – Tim Hart, Apple, Inc.

iBooks Author is an amazing app that allows anyone to create beautiful digital books. With image galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, mathematical expressions, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could. In this session, we will experience an overview of iBooks Author and discuss best practice when creating digital books.                             ISLEBORO BALLROOM – HEDGES

img_4033The Beat of the Brain – Monte Selby

Music can bring power to every middle school classroom.  No musical bones in your body?  No worries, you can still use the power of music to engage reluctant, challenged, or gifted learners.  Powerful research supports the notion that music is more than singing and dancing.  For many students, music is the rhythmic soul of learning. Come learn how every educator can unlock the magic of music to increase learning, reduce misbehavior, motivate, and improve writing skills. Explore practical strategies from schools where students write music to promote respect and responsibility in classrooms, hallways, activities, and leadership groups.  Learn why that favorite old tune from The Beatles, Jay Z or Hank Williams remains stuck in your head – and how to use the “Beat of the Brain” at school.                                  DUCKTRAP – HEDGES


Additional information including registration, housing, and all of the times.


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Happy August! Think October!

IMG_0883We MAMLEs hope you are enjoying this lovely summer we’re having.  The many, many bright sunny days have allowed us to bask in the warmth of  the sun this year. However we know the mornings will soon grow a little chillier, and that’s the signal to switch our brains from play mode to planning our best school year ever.

Add zing to your year by attending the MAMLE Annual Conference on October 20-21st at Point Lookout in Northport. You will…

  • Explore major issues facing every middle grades school.
  • Network with colleagues from across the state to exchange ideas.
  • Experience interactive sessions that provide specific strategies for making learning authentic.
  • Hear two inspirational keynote speakers who, just like us, are in the classroom everyday.

Below is a preview of  Success at the Summit: Moving Middle Level Learners Forward! Register now!

JennThursday keynote: Jennifer Dorman, Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year and special education teacher at Skowhegan Region Middle School: “Teacher Leadership: Moving from Good to Influential”



Penny KittleFriday keynote: Penny Kittle, Author of Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers and teacher at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire: “You Can’t Hurry Love”


Here’s just  a taste of some of the sessions you will have to choose from including sessions on middle level basics, digital learning, literacy, problem solving, STEAM and much more!

  • So You Think You Know Middle Level?
  • Creating Engaged and Courageous Citizens: The Samantha Smith Challenge
  • SPARK Year Two – An Advisory Program with Career Prep Focus
  • Classroom Management Strategies that WORK
  • Classcraft: Turn Your Class into an Epic Adventure
  • Using a Data Protocol to Make Informed Goals/Decisions
  • Book Clubs: Connecting Kids to Books and Each Other
  • Increasing Student Engagement with Text through Close Reading and Text-Dependent Questions
  • Designing Innovative Professional Development
  • What is the Cloud, and How Do I Ride?
  • Designing Innovative Professional Development
  • Engage Students and Enhance Problem-Based Learning with Free Microsoft Tools
  • Using Productive Talk to Build a Culture of Public Reasoning
  • Using STEAM and Proficiency-Based Learning to Engage MS Students in Inquiry-Driven Projects
  • Innovations in Personalized Learning: Fully Knowing, Connecting, and Engaging Young Adolescents
  • Getting Started with ArcGIS Online

Click here to register!




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Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers by Penny Kittle

This review was originally published on July 18, 2016 at A Virtual Summer Book Club and is cross-posted here. Penny Kittle will be one of the keynote speakers at the MAMLE Conference, October 20 and 21.

We’ve all seen it. We give students a reading assignment and they pretend to read it. They get by in class because we feed them what we want them to know, and they give it back on the test (often with a little help from SparkNotes). If you ask, many middle and high school students will admit that they haven’t read a book from cover to cover since elementary school (and some not even then).

Book with pages forming a heart

flickr photo by Pradyumna Prabhu shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

This is the issue Penny Kittle openly and honestly addresses in Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent ReadersMost students are not reading much and therefore are not building the stamina they need to keep up with the reading that college courses require, around 200-600 pages a week according to Kittle. This may in part account for the low percentage of college students who actually graduate, but success in college is only one of the consequences of increasing reading volume. People who read often and a lot are lifelong learners who make wiser decisions and are more likely to pass the reading habit and love of books on to their children.

A large portion of this book is devoted to the idea that students will read more when they are given choice and allowed to find and read the books that interest them. They also need time to read in class and guidance (mostly through conferencing) in setting goals, choosing books, overcoming challenges, and responding to what they’re reading through writing. Kittle provides advice gleaned from years of experience as an English teacher whose classes are workshops where students read independently, reflect on their growth as readers, and share their love of books with each other. While she understands the curricular and assessment requirements imposed on ELA teachers, she advocates for a balance of individual choice and required  whole-class text study, but suggests a greater percentage of time for the former.

In the last chapter of the book, Kittle addresses the challenge of creating a school-wide reading culture, a community of readers. In my mind, this is the greater challenge, but one that must be met if our goal is to inspire lifelong readers. We’ve all seen attempts at school-wide sustained silent reading time, and most of them fail, generally through a lack of commitment and shared intent. Kittle describes her success in creating a school-wide reading break, as well as other ideas for creating a reading community.

A few years ago, Kittle created a video where she asked students about their reading habits and whether they read assigned books. I’ve asked this question in my school with similar results.

Our students’ lack of reading stamina is something most of us will acknowledge, but how do we turn it around? Is allowing more choice the answer? Is this something we can do while focusing on standards-based instruction and proficiency-based assessment? How important is it that all students read the classics? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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Calling all Presenters!

Have you applied to present at this year’s annual conference? This year’s theme is “Success at the Summit: Moving Learners Forward”.  Share with other middle level educators how you engage, excite, and meet the needs of each and every learner in your classroom!

Intent to Present Form

Why present?

  • Presenting makes you reflect on your teaching
  • It validates your work
  • Professional Development
  • You receive feedback to help you grow
  • Looks good on your resume
  • It’s fun!


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PCSS in Guilford Hosts a Special Student Led Conference Evening

Pirate Led Conferences

The entire school of PCSS, Home of the Pirates,  had an evening of celebration as a school community. Our “pirates” led their parents or a friend through their portfolio of learning for the year. After this student led conference, parents and advisors assisted their children in signing up for classes the following year. A pirate feast of Spaghetti and all the fixins’ was shared with all,Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 8.17.26 PM followed by a battle of the Pirate Ships in our Battle Balls. To cap off the night, the school board all got in the Battle Balls and solved some of the more important issues….like who has the best stamina!
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Plan Your Fall Schedule Now! MAMLE Annual Conference


Comments from 2015 conference!

Fabulous – I haven’t been in years and loved it.

Best ever!

This could be 3 or 4 days.

I REALLY got energized around MCL!

More Details

Register Now

Registration 2016

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