News & Events:
1. Start planning for October’s Month of the Young Adolescent!
2. Ohio Middle School Association’s Annual Conference, February 19-20, 2009 in Sandusky, OH. Presenter information is posted on the page. Download now and get it it in to your administration while they’re too confused and dazed with the opening of school’s events to say, “No.”
3. NMSA Annual Conference, October 30 – November 1 (Video sample)
4. Canadian National Middle Years Conference, November 5, 6, & 7 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
5. Rick Stiggins has a Balanced Assessment Manifesto posted at NMSA‘s website worth checking out.
6. Looking for news from Ontario Middle Level Educators Association. If you have any, drop us a line.
7. Wisconsin Association of Middle Level Educators annual conference is coming up October 9-10, 2008.
8. The New England League of Middle Schools has a whole bevy of professional development planned for the 2008-2009 school year and you can access it here.
9. ADVISORY IDEAS NEEDED: NELMS is putting together an Advisory Resource page with lessons for you to use. They are asking for submissions here by January 1, 2009. If your entry is used, you will be entered in a raffle for a 3 day NELMS conference ticket.
10. NMSA’s latest podcast focuses on using Skype for academic learning. How many of you have access to Skype at school?
11. Research Summary Posted: Vocabulary Teaching and Learning Across Disciplines is now available at NMSA.
12. NMSA has a Facebook ! They would like to invite you to join them on Facebook and the opportunities it affords. How many of you can reach Facebook through your district’s firewall?
NMSA adds Featured Sessions
NMSA has announced that Apple, Inc. will be hosting a featured session as part of their Classrooms of Tomorrow program. To borrow from Martha, “Its a good thing.”
Its the second week of school and the Great Disease Exchange has happened. What can you do?
1. Hand Sanitizer
2. Personal box of tissues
3. Wipe down surfaces with sanitizer wipes.
4. Prepare a substitute teacher lesson box.
5. Get plenty of rest, fluids, and load up on your favorite Middle School Matters podcasts.
Alan November has a new Tech Article up at the NMSA website.
“Many classrooms have one computer sitting in the back that gets very little use.”
Reading coaches in Florida middle schools have helped teachers and administrators build their knowledge and skills, and have had a positive influence on students’ motivation to read, but their impact on achievement is mixed, a report on the little-studied topic says.
“We found that the coaches’ review of assessment data with teachers was associated with positive outcomes,” said Jennifer Sloan McCombs, who was a co-principal investigator for the study with Julie A. Marsh. “That seems to be this key step in the push for data-driven decisionmaking: getting someone to help you actually translate what the data means and how to put it into an instructional strategy.”
“From the qualitative measures,” she said, “the report gives one the sense that coaches could have a big impact, particularly since they are helping principals to learn more about literacy, and they are really helping teachers improve their teaching strategies.”
Read the Study
Report: Retool instruction, or U.S. will Fail
The report, called “21st Century Skills, Education, and Competitiveness,” argues that for the United States to be globally competitive–and for states to attract growth industries and create jobs–the nation requires a fresh approach to education that recognizes the critical role 21st-century skills play in the workplace.
In 1967, the production of material goods (such as cars and equipment) and the delivery of material services (such as transportation and construction) accounted for nearly 54 percent of the country’s economic output. However, by 1997, the development of information products (such as computers) and the delivery of information services (such as financial and broadcast services) accounted for 63 percent of the country’s output.
“It has become apparent that there isn’t a lack of employees who are technically proficient, but a lack of employees who can adequately communicate and collaborate, innovate, and think critically,” said Ken Kay, P21 president.
Parents May Sue over Cops MySpace Lecture
Students who attended the presentation on the first day of school said Officer John Gay called some students’ MySpace pages “slutty” and said they would be grist for sexual predators.
Gay has denied he sought to publicly humiliate students. He said he was trying to show them how easily an Internet predator could gain access to a student’s private information through websites like MySpace and Facebook. He also denied calling anyone’s page “slutty.” Teachers in the room at the time of the talk agreed with Gay’s version of the event.
“What we really want to see is the school district take some action and to prevent Officer Gay from harming other children,” Gillian C said.
From Hybrid Courses to Hybrid School:
“Hybrid” courses, which offer a blend of online and face-to-face instruction, have become increasingly popular in schools and colleges nationwide. Now, a new high school in Hawaii has taken the same concept and applied it to an entire school.
The combined online and face-to-face curriculum gives students the benefits of a flexible schedule, while maintaining a high-quality education, school officials said. Courses are taught by experienced teachers who provide small-group instruction and individualized feedback to help students master course material. Students also will benefit from ongoing interaction with their teachers and peers via online and on-campus lessons and face-to-face lab and field activities.
You can check them out at: http://www.uhmseedacademy.org/kapoleihighschool/