Back-to-School Shopping in Your Library’s Professional Resources Section!

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Back-to-School shopping posts are all over Facebook. Yesterday, I saw one from a former colleague who was taking her daughter to get everything she needed for her first year of high school.  Today, another colleague gleefully reported she had scored two class sets of highlighters at a ridiculously low price at a local store.  I almost jumped in the car to go  get some when I remember that I don’t need class sets anymore. Despite the fact I won’t be going back to my own classroom this fall, I still look at the ads and think about how I would set up my room and how I would make the first week of school memorable.

Another Facebook post earlier this week reminded that there are gems hidden away in the professional sections of school libraries just waiting to be liberated by an adventurous teacher looking for inspiration.

A Treasure Trove of Resources for the Adventuresome Teacher
A Treasure Trove of Resources for the Adventuresome Teacher
Jim Trelease, an advocate or reading aloud to adolescents, published several resources for teachers.
Jim Trelease, an advocate or reading aloud to adolescents, published several resources for teachers.

The message in the image to the left is important, however, what caught my eye was the name, Jim Trelease. The post sent me scurrying to my bookshelves and there it was—Read All About It! Great Read-Aloud Stories, Poems, & Newspaper Pieces for Preteens and Teens. It’s still available on Amazon!

Some of the benefits of reading aloud to middle schoolers include:

• Building vocabulary

• Improving comprehension

• Building a literacy-rich culture in your classroom or on your team

• Introducing students to genre and authors they wouldn’t pick on their own.

In Read All About It!, Trelease includes themes such as Growing Pains, Fantastic Tales, Classics, Chilling Tales, Historical Fiction. and…anticipating the Common Core by 15 years…Nonfiction as Literature!  He provides a bit of background information and related titles.  Quick, go find your library’s copy and check it out for six weeks.  Keep it on your desk and you have a ready-made advisory activity, a lead-in to silent sustained reading, a hook for an upcoming lesson, or perhaps just a vehicle for sharing some enjoyable minutes with your students as you explore a fine piece of literature together.  Visit Trelease’s webpage: http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/

I began to wonder what other dusty copies might be just waiting to be rediscovered in the school library?  These topics and titles came to mind:

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 5.03.17 PMBuilding Community/Get-to-Know You Activities—Two classics from way back when whose activities have been adapted over the years:

The New Games Book was first published, gasp, in 1976! Raise your hand if you were even alive then! Here’s a portion of a review on Amazon. “This book is loaded with all sort of fun games to do as a group outside such as a family gathering, church picnic, camp activity, etc. The games involve a lot of human interaction and contact, allowing people to get to know each other better and laugh and exercise and communicate all in one activity.

I would recommend this book to anyone who just wants to do something besides the everyday get together. It really has a lot of very creative ideas for allowing more fun among a gathering of people. A lot of the games require a lot of cooperation and good sportsmanship among the players. It’s all in good fun. A great way to get to know each other better. The motto as the book subtitle indicates is, “Play Hard, Play Fair, Nobody Hurt!”

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 5.04.50 PMSilver Bullets: A Guide to Initiative Problems, Adventure Games, & Trust Activities is another resource for activities that help students come together and appreciate one another’s strengths.

The next time you are at school, do an archeological dig in your library’s stacks and see if you can unearth these still-relevant gems from an earlier time. They are packed with ideas to use as is or to adapt for your own situation.

 

Personalization, individualized learning, and differentiation.  These concepts each have some unique characteristics, but they all focus on creating a classroom where one-size-lesson-plans do not cut it. Organizing classroom routines, grading, and structuring learning environments in these ways can be quite daunting.  Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, herself a former middle school teacher, has led the way in writing about classrooms that meet individual learning needs.  Check out one of her books for ideas that you can adapt to your particular situation.

Carol Ann Tomlinson titles
Carol Ann Tomlinson titles

 

MaineMaine Studies: In 1989 The Maine Literature Project published Maine Speaks: An Anthology of Maine Literature.  Its intended audience was middle and high school students, and its purpose was to provide Maine students access to the rich and varied literary heritage of our state. Authors and peoples represented include:

• The Wabanaki

• Edna St. Vincent Millay

• Sarah Orne Jewett

• The Passamaquoddy

• French immigrants

• Factory workers

• Fishing, farming, and lumbering families

• Marsden Hartley

Organized by the themes of Identity, Nature, Work, Communities, and Origins, these pieces are rich in history, voice, and texture—authentic pieces of Maine life for the 2015 classroom.

So…take a walk on the wild side and detach yourself from the digital world.  Visit the professional resources section of your school library and shop for free. You just might be surprised by what you find!

 

 

 

Annual Conference: Powerful Learning for Young Adolescents

 Powerful Learning for Young Adolescents

October 23-24, 2014

Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center

Northport

One of the many spectacular views from Point Lookout.
One of the many spectacular views from Point Lookout.

 

2014 Conference Program (PDF)

 

What makes an outstanding school for 10-14 year olds? The well – research position paper from the Association for Middle Level Education, This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents lists four essential attributes:
  • Developmentally Responsive: using the nature of young adolescents as the foundation on which all decisions are made.
  • Challenging: recognizing that every student can learn and everyone is held to high expectations.
  • Empowering: providing all students with the knowledge and skills they need to take control of their lives.
  • Equitable: advocating for every student’s right to learn and providing challenging and relevant learning opportunities.
The MAMLE Annual Conference is the perfect time for staff to reflect on the vision for their school and how it is being implemented. It is the only event in Maine that explores the current issues facing schools through the lens of effective teaching and learning for 10-14 year olds as exemplified by the essential attributes outlined in This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents.
Just look at the opportunities at the conference:
For everyone:
  1. Two outstanding keynote speakers: Matt Nelson, MPA Middle Level Principal of the Year and Nancy Doda, international expert on educating young adolescents.
  2. 35 + concurrent sessions on a wide range of topics
For folks interested in STEM:
  1. A STEM Model For Problem Solving – Sara Nason, Sanford Middle School
  2. Make ‘Space Day’ Everyday– Sharon Eggleston, Aerospace Educator
  3. Getting Students to Beg for More Math Time! – Alison Veilleux, Lyman Moore Middle School
  4. Gaming in the Classroom – Suzanne Simmons, Bonny Eagle Middle School
  5. Working to save clams from European green crab--Woolwich Central School
    Working to save clams from European green crab–Woolwich Central School

    Soft Shelled Clam Connections – Denise Friant, Hesper Reith, Edward Striewski, Leanne Fisher Woolwich Central School

  6. STEM Programs Roundtable – Jeff Rodman, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  7. Start Developing iOS and OS X Apps Today! (Double Session D & E) – Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  8. Moon Unit – Alison England, Adam Bullard, Sonja Schmanska, & Josh McPhail, St. George School
  9. K-12 Outreach – Interactive Civil Engineering – Lauren Swett
STEM projects
STEM projects
  1. The Auburn Land Lab – An Opportunity To Learn Differently – Phil Brookhouse, Auburn School Department
  2. FROM CURIOSITY TO CAREER: Transforming Student Engagement into Career Pathways – Jay Collier, Educate Maine
  3. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Field Marine Science – David Williams, York Middle School
For folks focusing on culture and climate:
  1. Middle Level Theory into Practice – The Troy Howard Middle School Story – Kimberly Buckheit & Students, Troy Howard Middle School; Kelley Littlefield, Ecology Academy Teacher; Chris LaValle, Innovation Academy Teacher; Sarah Wyman, International Academy Teacher
  2. The Power (and Struggles) of Shared Leadership Teams – Mike Muir, Auburn School District
  3. Legacy: Making Education Meaningful Through Service Learning – Shianne Priest & Students, Leonard Middle School
  4. Meeting the Standards in a Restorative Classroom – Celeste Libby, Travis Taylor, Lisa Hall, Ansley Newton and 6th Grade Guidance Counselor, Saco Middle School
  5. Enthusiastic and engaged students at Space Day-Auburn MS
    Enthusiastic and engaged students at Space Day-Auburn MS

    It’s All About Choice… And a Lot of Planning! – Carl Bucciantini, Auburn Middle School

  6. The Fourth “R”-The Power of Relationships in Middle School – Jerry Kiesman, Hermon Middle School
  7. Building Community Through Challenge – Gert Nesin & Todd McKinley, Leonard Middle School
  8. Positive Adults + Positive Interventions = Positive Students – Sheila Underhill; Reuben Fowlow; & Tracy McKay, Central Middle School
  9. The Anatomy of a Successful Parent Night – Ward Willis, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  10. Student Reflecting and Conferencing – Melissa Fenelon, York Middle School
  11. “Ignite the S.P.A.R.K!”~Students Promoting Acts of Random Kindness – Jodie Bennett & Molly Brewer, Medomak Middle School
  12. Brain Breaks for Students – Susan Callahan, Auburn Middle School
For those who literacy throughout the curriculum remains an important topic:
  1. Talking About the Text: Engaging Ways to Boost Comprehension and Understanding — Nancy Doda
  2. Read 180: Increase Student Engagement, Ownership, and Achievement – Tammy Ranger, Skowhegan Area Middle School
  3. A Culture of Collaboration in Writing – Kym Granger, Mt. Ararat Middle School
  4. Allagash Tails and Tales – Tim Caverly, Allagash Tails
  5. Mark Twain
    Mark Twain

    Dual Purposes that Serve the Needs of Both Curriculums… Take a Risk!! – Abby Jacobs & Mike Burke, Westbrook Middle School

  6. Classroom Blogging with Google Apps for Education – Suzanne Simmons, Bonny Eagle Middle School
  7. Creating Visual Notes with Apple MLTI Tools (Apple MLTI Primary Solution) (Double Session D & E) – Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  8. Writing Power: Creating Authentic Audiences for Student Voices – Joyce Bucciantini, Auburn Middle School
  9. Meeting Literacy Standards in Health and the Other Allied Arts – Strategies to Help Students Excel in Your Class – Doreen Swanholm & Courtney Belolan, Mt. Ararat Middle School
bandFor participants who believe the Allied Arts are an integral part of any outstanding middle grades program:
  1. Recreating Radio Dramas – Barbara Greenstone, Boothbay Region Schools
  2. Empowering Students Through Assessment Techniques and Strategies – Jane Snider, Hancock Grammar School
  3. Tricks and Tips to Help Students Take Really Good Pictures – Jill Spencer, BoomerTECH Adventures
  4. Legacy: Making Education Meaningful Through Service Learning – Shianne Priest & Students, Leonard Middle School
  5. Dual Purposes that Serve the Needs of Both Curriculums… Take a Risk!! – Abby Jacobs & Mike Burke, Westbrook Middle School
  6. Proficiency-Based Education in an Art Class – Gloria Hewett, Mount View Middle School
  7. Dual Purposes that Serve the Needs of Both Curriculums… Take a Risk!! – Abby Jacobs & Mike Burke, Westbrook Middle School
  8. Meeting Literacy Standards in Health and the Other Allied Arts – Strategies to Help Students Excel in Your Class – Doreen Swanholm & Courtney Belolan, Mt. Ararat Middle School
  9. A STEM Model For Problem Solving – Sara Nason, Sanford Middle School
  10. K-12 Outreach – Interactive Civil Engineering – Lauren Swett
  11. Start Developing iOS and OS X Apps Today! (Double Session D & E) – Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  12. World Language Market – Tad Williams & Ellen Jardine, Middle School of the Kennebunks
For attendees whose interest is personalizing learning and MCL:
  1. Teaching MCL: Beyond the Theory – Erin Hoffses, Presque Isle Middle School
  2. Proficiency-Based Education in an Art Class – Gloria Hewett, Mount View Middle School
  3. Assessment with iPads – Barbara Greenstone, Boothbay Region Schools
  4. May the Force Be With You: Planning for the Unique Needs of Young Adolescents – Lindsay Mahoney & Hope Herrick, Messalonskee Middle School
  5. Metacognition and the Middle Schooler – Andrea Logan, Lake Region Middle School
  6. Back to Basics: How to Create Learning Targets and “I CAN” Statements – Jennifer Etter, York Middle Schools
  7. Motivating Students With Engaging Tasks – Mike Muir, Auburn School District
  8. Customize the Brain – Bill Zima, Mt. Ararat Middle School
Americans who Tell the TruthFor folks who help their students develop a world view:
  1. Hands-On History: The Bangor Community Heritage Project – Ron Bilancia & Pricilla Soucie, William S. Cohen School; Larissa Vigue Picard, Maine Historical Society; Bill Cook, Bangor Public Library
  2. World Language Market – Tad Williams & Ellen Jardine, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  3. TOP’s Turning Points and Timelines! Kids Get Chronology! – Jacqueline Littlefield, Goethe-Institute Washington -Transatlantic Outreach Program
  4. From History to Action, Using the Lessons of the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement to Empower Students – Elizabeth Helitzer, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine
  5. Models of Courageous Citizenship: Connecting students to themes in social studies, language arts, science and other curriculum areas Connie Carter
Especially for leadership teams and administrators:
Jeff Rodman, President of MAMLE and,John Keane, President Elect
Jeff Rodman, President of MAMLE and John Keane, President Elect
  1. Developing Teacher Expertise – Ben Harris & Mick Roy, Bonny Eagle Middle School and Stacy Penna with Learning Sciences
  2. Apple’s Five Best Practices of Excellent Schools! – (Double Session A & B) – Maine-based Apple PD Specialists
  3. Middle Level Theory into Practice – The Troy Howard Middle School Story – Kimberly Buckheit & Students, Troy Howard Middle School; Kelley Littlefield, Ecology Academy Teacher; Chris LaValle, Innovation Academy Teacher; Sarah Wyman, International Academy Teacher
  4. The Power (and Struggles) of Shared Leadership Teams – Mike Muir, Auburn School District
  5. Making Sense of Chapter 180: Implementing the New Teacher Evaluation System in Two Districts – Bill Zima, Mt. Ararat Middle School & John Keane, Leonard Middle School
  6. The Anatomy of a Successful Parent Night – Ward Willis, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  7. Administrators Roundtable – Jeff Rodman, Middle School of the Kennebunks
  8. Meeting the Standards in a Restorative Classroom – Celeste Libby, Travis Taylor, Lisa Hall, Ansley Newton and 6th Grade Guidance Counselor, Saco 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?

Registration: https://mainemamle.org/conference/registration/

Full program: https://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
E-mail: Wallace_Alexander@umit.maine.edu

 

 

5 Great Sites Related to iPads in the Middle School Classroom

The use of iPads, a new teaching and learning device for many, has exploded this year. Check out these 5 sites for ideas and tips for integrating them seamlessly into your classroom:

iPad

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything–iPads in the Classroom   Kathy is a technology integration pioneer.  She was in the classroom, and thus her suggestions are always practical.  Here are some of the topics from this site:

  • Tutorials
  • Apps and related materials
  • iBook creation
  • PD suggestions
  • Ideas especially for special education

18 iPad Uses: How Classrooms Are Benefiting From Apple’s Tablets  The suggestions here are both subject-specific and cross curricular in nature. Some of the ideas include:

  • Virtual field trips
  • Math instruction
  • Going paperless
  • Engaging the disengaged

Tony Vincent’s Videos on YouTube   He has been a keynote speaker at ACTEM and other major conferences.  His website Learning in Hand focuses on hand-held devices in the classroom.  A couple of his videos you probably want to view are…

  • Using (digital) sticky notes in the classroom
  • Talking heads
  • QR codes

The Complete List of iPads Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials   Step-by-step directions on a myriad of topics including

  • PDFs on the iPad
  • Battery life
  • Typing faster with double spaces

Chris Toy’s Workshop Materials page    Chris travels the world working with educators to effectively integrate technology. Fortunately for those not attending his sessions, he posts his materials on his website.  Take a gander to find out about…

  • Web 2.0 tools
  • Tools for collaboration
  • OER —  Open Education Resources