MSM #26 MAMSE Reduex and You

Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Conference 
General Items
Attendance:  400 or so
Keynote speakers:  Dr. Monte Selby, Zeitouna
New book using Musical Intelligence and 6+1 Writing Traits.  Look for it May on his web site.

Individual sessions:
Dr. McVey:  Social Networking in the Middle School
Scary factor
Poster school 2.0
What are the tools?
We participate therefore we are.
Ning recommended for educators:
No HTML coding required
Can make it very private.
Limited to the first 200 books, there’s a fee for going over that amount.
Imagine virtual book clubs.
Dr. McVey’s email:

Alternates to Retention:
Dr. Nic Cooper

Tyrany of OR (only this or that)

If we’re asking the question about retention:
We’re assuming that all kids must be at the same place at the same time. Could we look at the systemic reasons?

Look at the system, an analogy:
A rigid ceiling restricting growth
A porous bottom allowing kids to fail and fall through the bottom.

We need to turn the system on it’s head.

How do we address the physical aspects of kids development?

Getting to Got It! Helping Struggling Students Learn How to Learn
Compliance vs Understanding. Do kids really understand or do they just say “Uh, huh”?

Project Based Learning Through Negotiating and Differentiating the Curriculum
Suzanne Hopkins
Backwards planning first:  What is it that I want to teach?
Wide variety of examples.
Key thought:  They’re going to do the project, its just a matter of choice A presentation of mastery of the material, or choice B presentation of mastery of the material.  “Red Cup/Blue Cup”

The X-Factor
Kids earn their way to rewards.
Have someone be in charge of the naming of the teams and theme.
Use theme words in the hallway
Based off of the “Joy Factor” by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Merits: Each student starts with 5 per day and then can lose them. They did this for paperwork reasons, easier to count by deletion rather than addition.

Must keep 90% to participate in the reward.
Rules of the classroom are cause for merit loss.
School rules can also be the cause of merit loss.
Merits are only through core classes and the hallway for the team.
Team has allowed the students to “earn” back merits for some kids (depending upon the reason for Merit loss).

Rewards (try to keep the reward (what it is) a secret until it happens):
Miss one class period per month.
Students not participating are supervised by a teacher. (There is no “punishment”, they are just missing the reward. Basically a study hall)
Sundae Monday
Movie Madness (Movie & Popcorn)
White Elephant
PinBall (dodge ball with a bowling pin behind)
Card Games (different card games in different rooms)
Capture the flag
Duck Races – bought plastic ducks
Musical Plates (spin on Musical chairs) – decorate a paper plate, went outside, put plates in a circle, throw plate in the air, walk around, when the music stops, they had to find their plate.

It’s only an hour, once a month.

What we’d like to see developed at MAMSE:

  1. Non-compete clause with MRA.
  2. Conversation opportunities with peers built in to the schedule so that folks don’t have to miss a session to verbally process what they’ve seen and learned.
  3. Some time to interact with the vendors outside of session time.
  4. No sessions during lunch.

Resources from our Presentation at MAMSE

  1.   Skype:
  2.   Required t-shirt:
  3.   Hardware:  we recommend
  4.    Software: WordPress, PodCast Maker, PodPress
  5.    Free Options: Gabcast, Gcast, Blogger.