Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education


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Speed Learning

Speed Learning sessions are pre-recorded sessions lasting 10-15 minutes in length. All of these pre-recorded sessions will be on the #PAMLE21 conference site for any attendee to view at any time

SL1 - Digital Detox: How you (and your students) can set limits, reduce stress, and hit refresh
Kristen Rowe – Pine Richland MS

Targeted Audience – Administrators, Counselors, Media Specialists/Librarians, Pre-service Teachers, Teachers, Team Leaders

How can educators stay centered during a worldwide pandemic? Start by clearing your mind with tech breaks, guided meditation, and regular movement. There are many free resources available to help us practice and model mindfulness for our students. Attendees will learn how to limit their own screen time (even while teaching virtually!) as well as guide students to make healthy choices.

SL2 - Sheets that Grade Themselves!
Meredith Heavens – Garnet Valley MS

Targeted Audience – Teachers

This session is geared towards resource room teachers that need a digital alternative to the traditional worksheet that asynchronously self-checks a student’s work, allowing the teacher more time to check student mastery and provide individualized instruction. This session will be using Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

SL3 - Hosting and Helping Student-Teachers
Tracy McCalla – Edinboro University

Targeted Audience – Teachers

In this presentation, seasoned veterans who are considering taking a student-teacher will be given advice and suggestions for helping teachers-in-training become successful teachers. Helping student teachers plan lessons and establish classroom management will be two of the topics discussed.

SL4. Using Mathematics as a Tool to Teach Social Justice and Empathy
Christine Persun – Mechanicsburg MS

Targeted Audience – Pre-service Teachers, Teachers

With a constantly changing society, educators must consider exactly how students will be using the information they learn throughout their academic career in the real world. What if we could go deeper with math to the point where we could teach our students to quite literally change the world? How can we use our classrooms and content to build empathy?

SL5 - Fostering Student-to-Student Response
Brian Kelley – CF Patton MS

Targeted Audience – Pre-service Teachers, Teachers

Adolescents do not always believe they are "smart enough" to help their classmates with their writing. All students can learn a few basic skills to provide better response to one another beyond correction and editing.

SL6 - No Session

SL7 - Using Equity Teams to Impact School Culture
Heidi Marshall – Principal Sharpsville Middle School

Targeted Audience – Administrators, Counselors, Media Specialists/Librarians, Pre-service Teachers, Teachers, Team Leaders

At Sharpsville Middle School, we have created Equity Teams for staff, for students, and for community members. In each of these groups, we hold honest discussions and plan activities that will help us to adhere to our Equity Mission Statement: “The SASD commits to work collaboratively and democratically toward a just, equitable, antiracist, and safe school community where voices are shared, heard, and respected.” In this session, we will share our progress thus far as well as our goals moving forward.

SL8 - Building self-efficacy in STEAM education and beyond
Nathaniel Wharton, Cambria Heights Middle School

Targeted Audience – Administrators, Counselors, Media Specialists/Librarians, Pre-service Teachers, Teachers, Team Leaders

In this session, Dr. Nathaniel Wharton will unlock the components of instruction that are critical for building self-efficacy in STEAM education and beyond! Self-efficacy is one of the most essential, yet undervalued components, in a holistic learning environment. Strategies outlined in this presentation help transition knowledge from memorization to application.

SL9 - Co-Teaching in a Virtual Environment
Nathan Bearer & Jordan Fees, Cambria Heights Middle School

Targeted Audience – Teachers

This session will demonstrate co-teaching strategies used in the virtual learning environment. With the shift in the current educational environment to virtual learning, these strategies will help co-teachers utilize technology effectively, monitor behavior, provide support, and deliver quality instruction in a virtual environment.

SL10 - Coding and Robotics Across the Curriculum
Doug Ropp – Cambria Heights Middle School

Targeted Audience – Teachers

A cross-curricular project will be presented by our Computer Science and Technical Education teacher on a coding and robotics project used in our school. The project includes use of devices such as the Wonder Workshop Cue Robot and Sharper Image Robotic Arm. The project is performed by the students using robotics with a focus on career opportunities.

SL11 - CHMS TV - Student News Channel
James Blake & Paula Albright – Cambria Heights Middle School

Targeted Audience – Media Specialists/Librarians, Teachers

Cambria Heights Middle School is the home of the CHMS TV news channel. Daily morning announcements and biweekly newscasts are aired via youtube to students and the community. In this workshop we will take you through our step-by-step procedures that we have to execute on daily basis to produce and air these videos.

SL12 - Cross-Curricular Propaganda and Bias Unit
Chelsea Crandall, Scott Krug, Christina Fetsko – Cambria Heights Middle School

Targeted Audience – Teachers

In this presentation we will share our Propaganda and Bias themed Cross-Curricular Unit. Each 8th grade subject highlights this topic in their content area with a variety of activities to engage students.

SL13 - Improve Students' Writing and Grammar Skills Using "NoRedInk”
Anneliese Hatton – Teacher, Fairview Middle School

Targeted Audience – Teachers, Pre-service Teachers

Writing and grammar skills often take a back seat to reading comprehension in the ELA classroom. NoRedInk is an online program that can "build stronger writers through interest-based curriculum, adaptive exercises, and actionable data." Participants will learn how this exceptional resource can supplement their existing instruction (using the free version) or act as a stand-alone writing curriculum (using the premium version).

SL14 - Rate Your Knowledge: a previewing vocabulary strategy
Michelle Ritz – Teacher, Northley Middle School

Targeted Audience – Pre-service Teachers, Teachers

In this session, learn one way to assess students understanding of vocabulary. Students will rate their own knowledge of vocabulary terms as a pre-reading activity. This vocabulary activity may be used before, during, or after reading with fiction and nonfiction text.

SL - Bitmojis, Memes, and Gifs! Oh My!
Leighann Forbes – Associate Professor, Gannon University

Targeted Audience – Teachers – seasoned, beginning & Pre-service

Every middle level educator knows the power of making connections with their learners. In this speed session, we will examine how use of Bitmoji, memes, and gifs can support connections and provide meaningful feedback. A sprinkling of learning theory will be added to support use of these forms of feedback. Sources for Bitmojis, memes, and gifs will be shared. The session will include strategies for ensuring culturally appropriate use of these tools.

SL16 - Culturally Responsive, Relevant, and Sustaining Education
Leighann Forbes – Associate Professor, Gannon University

Targeted Audience – All Seasoned, Beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Media Specialists/Librarians, Teachers of the Arts

Education in the #BLM era is shifting focus to more intentionally examine equity and diversity issues in an effort to transform our schools and communities. This speed learning presentation will provide an introduction to the terminology and fundamental concepts necessary for participating in the conversation about this shift. Terms such as culturally responsive, culturally relevant, critical race theory, and structural inequity will be introduced. In addition, the session will highlight Pennsylvania’s recently adopted Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework.

SL17 - When Good Job Isn't Good Enough
Kristie Smith, Professor, Gardner Webb University
Kristina Falbe, Illinois State University

Targeted Audience – Administrators, Teachers & Pre-service Teachers

Teachers know that effective feedback is one of the keys to increasing student engagement and achievement. What exactly is effective feedback? How do middle grades teachers allocate time for feedback alongside other instructional tasks? In this session, presenters discuss ways that teachers can give effective feedback that students can use toward next steps in learning. This work aligns with PAMLE principles that call for “varied and ongoing assessments that ADVANCE learning…[and] measure it."

SL18 - How to Talk to Students About Scary News and Difficult Topics
Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh, MD – Brain Power LLC

Targeted Audience – Teachers, Pre-service teachers & Team Leaders

It can be incredibly challenging to navigate the current state of the world, even for adults! The stream of scary and difficult news can feel relentless, at times. Add to that the need to inform children about the goings-on in the world, and the task can feel overwhelming. We’re here to help take some of the stress and mystery out of how to approach these topics, and equip you with proven strategies and tools recommended by doctors, researchers, and psychologists. You may not be able to control the news, but you can control how you talk about it with your students in a way that will provide them the most beneficial outcomes. In this session, you will explore practical and ready-to-use strategies that will help you feel more confident turning difficult dialogue into more productive conversations with your students.

SL19 - Virtual Student Council
Katie Straley & Julie Tullar – Teachers, Avonworth Middle School

Targeted Audience – Teachers

Mrs. Straley & Mrs. Tullar, Student Council sponsors, will describe the ways we continued to build school culture and foster positive relationships with students during the pandemic. We will show you how to get started, what worked best for us, and examples of different events you could implement in your school. Our own Student Council members describe different ways to change events from in-person to virtual platforms. Resources are embedded in our Google slide presentation.

SL20 - Creating Personalized Virtual Spaces for Libraries and Classrooms
Corey Hall – Professor, Indiana Wesleyan University, PA & Curriculum Specialist, STEM Education Works

Targeted Audience – Media Specialists/Librarians, Teachers & Pre-service Teachers

Learning management systems are a staple for blended and hybrid learning. But are they providing the connection and sense of belonging that students need to feel a part of your classroom? In this speed session, you’ll learn to create Bitmoji virtual spaces for your classroom or library that brings your personality and style to life. This short session is packed with ideas, tips, and resources for making your virtual space come alive!

SL21 - What are we learning about learning?
Kim Mowery – Professor,Penn State University – College of Education

Target Audience – Teachers

Hear about new research findings that help us understand how the human brain works. Even better... take a chance to think about ways to apply these findings to learning in your own classroom!

SL22 - Addressing Learning Loss and Accelerating Learning Outcomes; The FEV Tutor Approach
Paul McDevitt – FEV Tutor Regional Account Executive

Target Audience – Administrators, Teachers, Team Leaders

Meet Paul McDevitt, Regional Account Executive as he explains how FEV Tutor addresses Learning Loss and collaborates with school and district partners to provide targeted tutoring to support all students and close achievement gaps.

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