Promising Middle Level Educator Award

We bet you know an educator who fits the criteria for MAMLE’s newest award–Promising Middle Level Educator:

Basic Criteria:

  • Nominee has one to five years of education experience
  • Nominee is currently teaching at the middle level
  • Nominee is a member of MAMLE (a teacher is a member or his/her school is a member)

The recipient of this award practices the following Core Beliefs of MAMLE:

  • Meets the developmental needs of young adolescents
  • Enjoys teaching middle level learners
  • Participates in professional development
  • Promotes a healthy learning environment for students and colleagues
  • Uses research to guide practice and make instructional decisions
  • Invites participation by students, parents, and/or the community
  • Incorporates technology effectively to enhance learning experiences

Who in your school meets these criteria?  Download the nomination form: PromisingMiddleLevelEducatorAward.  The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2014.  The award(s) will be announced at the MAMLE Annual Conference in October at Point Lookout. Shhhh….it will be a surprise to the honorees so don’t tell them you are nominating them!

Recognize the hard work of your exemplary new teachers with this award!  Questions? Email MAMLE’s Executive Director, Dr. Wally Alexander:


Do Your Students Study the Civil War? Check Out These Fabulous Resources!

Ernie EasterErnie Easter from the New Sweden School presented his integrated unit on the American Civil War at the MAMLE Annual Conference at Point Lookout.  Here’s the description of his presentation from the Conference program:

The Civil War, an integrative unit, is taught through History, English Language Arts, Music, and Art.  Making extensive use of photographs by Civil War Era photographers as well as resources from the Library of Congress, Maine Memory, and the National Park Service, students spend time analyzing photographs and creating their own photographs in the style of Mathew Brady. Also, students read primary and fictional sources to develop their own role-playing character to help them appreciate what is going on as they keep their own diary and react to the events that lead up to and events during the Civil War.  A formal research paper and student presentation round out the unit.

Naturally Joshua Chamberlain plays a role in the unit.

Joshua Chamberlainfrom Maine Memory Network

Literature, art, music, research, historical content are all integrated into this engaging unit.  Role playing is always a popular activity with middle level students; Ernie’s kids create the persona of a person who might have lived through this catastrophic time in our history and write letters and diary entries that reflect the realities of their lives. Below is an image of the graphic organizer they use  to bring to life their “person”.

Ernie GO for Civil War persona

Ernie put all of the materials for his presentation in a Google Drive document and has very generously allowed MAMLE  to publish it here so everyone can access these terrific resources:

Ernie Easter presentation

Captain Mac–A Fabulous Class/Team Read

MAMLE Conference attendees will have a chance to meet Mary Morton Cowan, author of Captain Mac: The Life of Donald Baxter MacMillan, Arctic Explorer, on Friday, October 18 at Point Lookout. Sit with her overlooking Penobscot Bay and chat about interesting ways to use this award winning biography in your social studies and science classes or as a class or team read. Do you have students who loved Hatchet and Lost on a Mountain in MaineCaptain Mac is another real-life adventure book you can recommend to them. Another cool aspect of this biography is that there are so many Maine connections–MacMillan lived in Freeport and went to Bowdoin, his boat was named the Bowdoin and was built in East Boothbay, and the Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Studies Center at Bowdoin College in Brunswick is named for him. In a time when there is growing emphasis on incorporating more informational text into the curriculum, connecting with Mary Morton Cowan to learn more about Donald MacMillan is an opportunity not to be missed.

Mary’s book has won national recognition:

  • 2010 — National Outdoor Book Award–Children’s Category
  • 2010 — John Burroughs Association List of Outstanding Nature Books for Young Readers
  • 2010 — Honor Book Award from Society of School Librarians International–Social Studies, Grades 7-12 category
  • 2011– Bank Street College, Best Children’s Books of the Year

Here’s what the reviewers have to say:

From the School Library journal: “The author skillfully weaves primary-source quotes with short, action-oriented sentences (e.g., Mac was lucky to escape alive!). The grimmer aspects of Arctic life (drownings, amputations, and eating the weakest dogs) are mentioned but not addressed in detail. This engaging biography is also a solid overview of an era of exploration that still captivates adventurous youths.”

From Booklist: “…the severe hardships and wild beauties of the Arctic come through as strongly as her case for the significance of his achievements.”

From Amazon customers:

“CAPTAIN MAC reads like fiction, so fascinating. But all the more amazing because it’s TRUE! Wow, what a life MacMillan lived. The author’s research was impressive. His story would make a great read-aloud for Gr. 3-5, but it would also appeal to middle school up to adult readers. I’ll be looking for this book on some award lists for the year–it’s truly deserving!”

“CAPTAIN MAC reads much like a novel, yet is meticulously researched, and chocked full of vintage black and white photos.”

“Mary Morton Cowan visits Mac’s boat, the Bowdoin, as tenderly as she would call on a beloved family member. She watched Mac set sail in it for the Arctic in 1954. Mary’s grandfather and Mac were friends. Mary’s family’s factory made sledges for Mac in 1913. Mary is an avid sailor herself. Add these facts together, and readers have not only a fascinating story about a courageous character, they also have a story told from from heart”

Gadgets Spur Student Engagement!

Pat Dunphy from MSAD 59 in Madison shares her Google site below.  Click, read, and learn how to use your wireless mouse and laser pointer to actively involve your students in a lesson.  Pat will be presenting at the MAMLE Conference on Thursday, October 17–Attend her session to pick up some new strategies!

Education for the 21st Century – Patricia Dunphy, MSAD #59

In this day and age of budget cuts, and world event happening faster than textbooks can be printed; how do we get students the information they need to know to be successful?  A laptop, a projector, a pointer, and a Ladibug just might hold the answer.  Come explore the ways information and learning can be shared in any classroom, and don’t be afraid to “click”!     PENOBSCOT (EDUCATION CENTER)

Here’s the link to her google site.


Jack Berckemeyer in Action!

Jack is the keynote speaker on Friday at our Annual Conference at Point Lookout on October 17 & 18, 2013. He sends a powerful message about teaching and learning with young adolescents through his humor.  Watch the snippet below to get a preview of what you will experience on October 18, 2013.

Middle Level Education: Living It, Loving It, Laughing About It!