Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education


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CONFERENCE SESSION Descriptions

Sunday, March 1

Session #1 – 12:15 – 1:15 PM

1A:  "Finding Your Place in the Middle." – Noel Petrosky, Principal, Amy Reed, Fawn McMackin, Missy Cadori, Dana Smith, Patty Dillinger, Jessica Szymanski & Traci Meeker – Teachers, St. Marys Area MS

Strands: Belonging, student led groups, School Culture, growth mindset

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders

Middle school is a time to support students and help them find a place where they belong. From 6th grade until 8th grade, we create experiences that not only help enrich students as middle schoolers, but also help build a solid foundation for life. Success at six, SCORE, Team Renaissance and Student Council all offer leadership opportunities within our school and community. Student-managed businesses and activities such as our outdoor classroom, and poster-making center offer responsibility and lifelong learning. Teachers also model this vision by managing a student care closet. We strive to meet all needs in the middle.

1B: Building Respect for Cultural Diversity: A middle school course” – Mary Kirchner – Teacher, ET Richardson MS

Strands: Diversity and Inclusion

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Administrators, Team Leaders

Springfield teaches Culture and Communications, a course for all 6th grade students that addresses the need for explicit instruction and courageous conversations on cultural diversity, racism and prejudice. This presentation will share the outline of the curriculum and approach for age-appropriate instruction. Participants will participate in a simulated lesson and role-play to demonstrate approach and age-appropriate language used in instruction.

1C:  “Spartan Block - Advisory Program and then some” – Jason Pane & Zach Fuller – Administrators, Springfield Township MS

Strands: Advisory, Enrichment/remediation/tiered intervention,

Targeted AudienceTeachers - seasoned, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders

To start each day, our school opens with a time slot titled, "Spartan Block." Named appropriately after our school mascot, Spartan Block is a 6-day rotational schedule that allows us to implement an Advisory Period, Band, Chorus, Tiered Support, and much more! We will share the philosophy behind the system, and discuss how we structure & schedule it.

1D:  “Transitioning to Student Led Conferences” – Joel Alutius – Principal & Nicole Armbruster, Michelle Ritz, Gina Ragan & Lisa Pasceri – Teachers, Northley MS

Strands: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students, Setting Instructional Outcomes, Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport, Communicating with Students, Engaging Students in Learning, Maintaining Accurate Records, Communicating with Families

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Administrators, Team Leaders

Learn about the transition process from traditional parent conferences to the student led model. Staff will share documentation, discuss student preparation, provide steps for parent communication and the conference set up. There will be role play opportunities to better understand how the students take the lead as facilitator, advocate and take ownership for their own learning and develop communication skills that help them become Ready for Life.

1E: TBD


1F:  “Understanding PA Schools to Watch” – Bruce Vosburgh – Director, PA STW & Paul Meck – Executive Director, PAMLE

Strands: School Improvement

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Administrators

Learn about the Schools to Watch process and how your school could get involved. In addition, we will go over how you can use the STW criteria with your staff as a review of middle level best practices.

Session #2 – 1:30- 2:30 PM

2A: The Cycle of Continuous School Improvement” – Ed Gooch – Statewide Continuous Improvement& Data Consultant

Strands Enrichment/Remediation/Tiered instruction; Diversity and inclusion; PBIS, Bullying, Restorative practices; ELA, Reading, Math, SS, Science Instruction

Target Audience:Administrators

Pennsylvania’s Cycle of Continuous Improvement for schools provides a cyclical framework along with various tools and resources, which allow a school to deeply analyze its systems and practices by incorporating the perspectives of all stakeholder groups. The session is intended to share an overview of the steps in the process and first-hand experiences using this process in urban, suburban and rural school districts. Participants will gain a sense of the differences between this process and prior school improvement efforts in Pennsylvania. Time will be allotted for Q&A/discussion.

2B:  “Don't be scared ... Get In The Hot Seat!” - Christi Gates – Certified Trainer, Speaker – GGP Leadership

StrandsProject Based Learning, Enrichment/Remediation, Growth Mindset, Curriculum Integration, Diversity and Inclusion, Curriculum Instruction, Teaming

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts

Everyone gets scared to be Front & Center! It's time for the Hot Seat! It's OK if you don't know the answer! We are going to give you help ... just like the old telephone line! I can't wait to share simple, proven strategies that will help get all your students engaged and motivated. You will want to use these strategies in your classroom immediately! The bonus is, these strategies help provide formative assessment and interpersonal communication opportunities! So Why Not? Go Ahead and Put Someone In The HOT SEAT!

2C: “Gender Bias in the Middle Level Classroom: the Intersection of Data, Teacher Self-Perceptions, and Student Perceptions” – Jenna Plump & James Durham – Pre-service teachers, Kutztown University

Strands: classroom management, social equity

Targeted Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators

This presentation will describe an ongoing research study being conducted by two middle level teacher education students and their professor. The purpose of this study is to compare student perceptions, teacher self-perceptions, and observable indicators targeting gender bias in middle school classrooms. We will share the research-based indicators of classroom gender bias, as well as report on the survey data collection.

2D: Building 21st Century Learning Spaces That Work For Middle School Students” – Dr. Jennifer Cameron – Teacher, Daniel Boone SD

StrandsMy research-based theories address using the classroom as the "Third Teacher" in a 21st century learning space.

Targeted Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Technology has changed the dynamics of education, especially the relationship between the student, teacher, and the classroom environment. The role of the teacher has shifted from the educator lecturing at the front of the class to the facilitator guiding students’ self-directed learning.

2E: Connecting Classrooms Around the World Through the Love of Literature” – Lora Batchelor & March Lankes – Teachers, South Side MS

Strands: Academic Excellence, Social Equity, Developmental Responsiveness.

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

This presentation will focus on using the Global Read Aloud as way to extend student learning beyond the four walls of the classroom. Participants will learn how to join and make the most of the GRA by using social media and Google tools to allow for content-rich, global learning experiences.

2F: Sharing Mindsets: Where Classrooms and Businesses Meet” – Joy Rosser – Teacher, Kennett MS

Strands:  Growth Mindset, Teacher Wellness, School Culture

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Could a mindset that works for a former NFL player work for a teacher? How could the CEO of a successful snack food company inspire a teacher? Discover the seemingly unparalleled connections between classrooms and Greater Philadelphia businesses! In this unique presentation, you will be powerfully encouraged to maximize who are, be your best, and give your best to others. Teachers improving classrooms and influencing students; business leaders stimulating companies and motivating employees . . . with the same strategies and the same perspectives! Ignite your heart to live with fire, passion, and purpose. Is there any other way?

Session #3 – 2:45 – 3:45 PM

3A: Escape Room - 8th Grade Math” – Timothy Smith – Teacher – Andrew Mellon MS

StrandsMany strands - this is a PSSA Review activity

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers

This presentation is designed to deliver an Escape Room example in the field of Mathematics. The example provided is used to help 8th grade Algebra I math students practice concepts they have learned throughout the year, and the audience is encouraged to participate and try to escape. The intention for the presentation is to introduce teachers to a sample project that can become a catalyst for audience members' creating their own class specific activities or Escape Rooms.

3B:  “Mindful Movement for Middle School – Sally Delisle, Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher, ChildLight

Strands: Curriculum integration/cross curricular connections; Diversity and inclusion; Bullying, Restorative practices

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Explore how the beneficial practice of yoga & mindfulness can be woven into your current work with middle school students. Learn a variety of adaptable yoga postures, breathing techniques, community-building activities and visualizations that encourage mindful awareness and reduce stress while improving self-regulation, strength, focus, connection, and self-confidence.

3C: Mental health supports for middle school students” – Anthony Babusci, Principal, Denise Manganello – Teacher, Ryan Gloyer MS

Strands: Mental health

Targeted Audience:  Administrators, Counselors

Administrators and teachers from the Seneca Valley School District will present on the implementation of a Mental Health Support Room and In-School Therapy. The district began the program in 2016 and expanded to Ryan Gloyer Middle School, which serves 7th, and 8th grade students in 2019. The Ryan Gloyer Middle School Team room provides an atmosphere conducive to learning and working on personal goals through a therapeutic model while acknowledging the unique development taking place in middle level students. To provide flexibility, the curriculum is delivered through online courses and directly supported by a special education teacher within the classroom.

3D:  “Blurring the Lines Between Teacher Education and Middle Schools” – Joel Brigel, Principal, Northwest MS & Carol Watson, Professor, Kutztown University

Strands: Collaboration

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators

In the spirit of collaboration, a variety of field experiences have been developed between an urban middle school and a university teacher education program to the mutual benefit of middle level students, current ML teachers, and future ML teachers. This session will describe the triumphs and challenges of getting middle level teacher education candidates out into the middle school setting with real kids and teachers early and often during their university program.

3E: “Career Readiness” – Kevin Monaghan – Principal, South Park Middle School, Rob Furman – Principal, South Park Elementary Center

Strands:

Targeted Audience:Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators,counselors

This presentation will discuss the formation and implementation of the new career readiness classes that have been established at the South Park Middle School that meets the mandates of the Chapter 339 Plan. These readiness classes provide students with the skills and tools that are necessary to ensure that every student has a clear understanding of how to succeed and thrive in high school and beyond. The course involves the use of electronic portfolios, presentation and public speaking activities and group projects. Topics that are covered include goal setting, career cluster studies, entrepreneurship, interviewing skills and post secondary options. As part of preparing students to be post secondary and career ready, these courses also equip students with the skills needed for business and industry, continuing education, and lifelong learning.   

3F: TBD


Session #4 - 4:00 – 5:00 PM

4A: Making Time for Enrichment and Re-teaching” – Dan Tracy – Principal, ET Richardson MS

Strands: Organizational Structures, Academic Achievement

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Administrators

This presentation will cover how E.T. Richardson Middle School designed a schedule and system for providing students with opportunities for enrichment and re-teaching. Including our implementation of learning targets and formative assessment.

4B: .  “Connections” – Mike Hall, Principal & Katie Straley & Ahmed Affaneh, Teachers – Avonworth MS

Strands: Advisory

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders

How do you build true connections with middle school students? We struggled for years with developing an advisory program that focused on building relationships. Through a collaborative effort we have started a new program that has shown a lot of promise. Establishing a program, which allows for student voice was key. Our connections program does not require additional prep time for teachers. It only requires an intentional effort to connect with kids. A packaged program did not work for us. However, listening to teachers’ and students’ voices did.

4C: “READ: Realistic Engaging Activities Daily” – Megan Alicandro & Samantha Dawson – Teachers, New Brighton MS

Strands: 1.2 Reading Informational Text, 1.3 Reading Literature, 1.4 Writing, 1.5 Speaking and Listening

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Team Leaders

Having a hard time motivating reluctant readers? Come enjoy this presentation on anticipatory sets, quick activities, units, and projects across our Reading and Language Arts curriculum. Activities will be based around the short stories, excerpts, and plays found in the Pearson Literature Grade 8 textbook, the novels "Flipped" and "Freak the Mighty," and the thematic units about the Holocaust, Black History Month, and career exploration.

4D: Acceptance of Literacy in the Math Classroom” – Arianna Hondares – Pre-service Teacher, Millersville University

StrandsRead/write across the curriculum

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers

This presentation will be taking a look at the role of literacy within the math classroom. Including how to become comfortable with the idea of writing about math and several activities to go about including literacy in your classes.

4E: “Four Things Which are Different for Kids Today” – Jen Cort - Jen Cort Consulting

Strands: Student Life

Targeted Audience:  Teachers-seasoned, Teachers-beginning, Administrators, Counselors

Middle School teachers, administrators, and parents need as much information as possible on educating their students today. This workshop provides up to date information on what is different for students today and how to apply it to their daily work. Participants will leave with a workbook, digital library, current information, strategies for immediate application and answers for how to navigate incorporate them into their thinking at school. They will leave with a workbook, digital library of resources, new information, and ideas for how to bring the information back to their schools. The workshop will include lecture, group discussions, and personal reflections.

4F: PAC-TEW/PAMLE Meeting – Paul Meck – Executive Director PAMLE & Carol Watson – Past President PAC-TE

Monday, March 2

Session #5 – 10:00 – 11:00 AM

5A: “Using Technology to Boost EQ/SEL while meeting Common Core Standards”  - Lisa Colapieto, Teacher – Upper Perkiomen MS

Strands:  emerging technologies, positive behaviors

Target Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Media Specialist/Librarians

The surge in demand for social-emotional learning practices is a powerful stimulant for innovation. When the school culture calls for instruction geared toward high-stakes testing, the importance of EQ is often omitted. This requires a renewed clarity around what quality means, and what it looks like in different contexts and communities. Using technology to boost EQ/SEL while meeting common core standards is a powerful way to promote the education of the whole child.

5B: Yes! Get Up And Vote With Your Feet!!!” – Christi Gates – Certified Trainer, Speaker – GGP Leadership

StrandsProject Based Learning, Growth Mindset, All Instruction and Teaming Strategies

Target AudienceTeachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Team Leaders

5C: Speed Sessions 1

#1 - Creating a Culture that Makes a Difference

Presenter – Heidi Marshall – Principal, Sharpsville MS

Targeted Audience: Administrators, Counselors, Teachers

Middle School Issues is a 12-week rotation course for 6th and 7th graders that meets one period per week. This discussion-based course aims to increase student self-awareness, develop tolerance for others, and improve students’ ability to emotionally self-regulate. We also address  common mental health issues among young adolescents and ways to seek help.

#2 Creating a Culture that Makes a Difference

 Presenters – Katie Rogers & Annie Neff – Teachers, Springton Lake MS

Targeted Audience - Pre-service Teachers, Teachers

This presentation will focus on a variety of programs implemented at the middle school level that are designed to increase the amount of time students with diverse learning needs spend with their    peers. Programs covered include Coffee Cart Fridays, Peer “Buddies,” Unified Special Olympics, and Community Based Instruction Trips. Learn how these efforts were initiated, implemented, and continue to be adjusted. All teachers, regardless of content area taught, are welcome!

#3 Creating a Culture that Makes a Difference

Presenter – Carrie Gendaszek  & Stephanie Berardi - Teachers, Twin Valley MS

Targeted Audience - Administrators, Media Specialists/Librarians, Teachers, Team Leaders

Student leadership is a key part of successfully integrating 1:1 technology in middle schools. At Twin Valley Middle School, selected students participated in a technology training camp to become “Tech Ambassadors.” Students worked to earn badges, which demonstrate their ability to help their peers and teachers with specific technology tools. In this session, we will discuss how to implement a student technology leadership program and the positive impact it can have on school culture.

#4  Breaking Down the Math Wall

Presenters:  Gina Sheehan & Laura Shadow – Teachers, Twin Valley MS

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers

In this session we will show the beginning of the year survey we hand out to our 7th grade math students. This is done so that we can start to understand how our students feel about math. Many students have a fear of math by the time they get to middle school and feel they "can't do math". We use these surveys to build our classroom expectations and have conversations with our students on how to treat each other knowing that someone at your table may feel like THAT can't do math. We believe in a growth mindset and this is our starting activity on how to get students to change their views by changing their words.

5D:  “Let Students Tell Their Story: Student-Led Conferences & Digital Portfolios” – John Walsh – Teacher – Charles F Patton MS

Strands:  Integrating Technology, Developmentally Appropriate Practice

Target Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators

Student-Led Conferences are an alternative to the traditional parent-teacher conference, empowering students and giving them the responsibility to prepare, organize, and direct the conference experience. Come and find out how our middle school has implemented a successful SLC program for the past 17 years. And this year, to compliment our recent 1 to 1 Chromebook initiative, students created digital portfolios we call “My Story” using the new Google Sites.

5E: “Every Student. Every Day. No Matter What” – Robert Salladino, Michelle Britton & Devin Layton – Administrators, Springton Lake MS

Strands:  Advisory, Personalized Learning Environment

Targeted Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Every Student. Every Day. No Matter What. This is our mission at Springton Lake Middle School. Join us to learn about Springton Lake's journey to personalize the environment for all students and to increase opportunities for voice and agency. We will share our process and journey to launch a new student advisory program, including how we created staff-buy-in. We will also share some additional ideas that have enhanced the climate at Springton Lake, including the implementation of our Spartan Council.

5F: “ AR and VR and AI, Oh My!” – Dr. Rob Furman – Principal, South Park Elementary Center

Strands: Technology/Student engagement

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Media Specialist/Librarians

This presentation will share the latest ideas in AR, VR and AI in education. It starts with the basics and goes to a futuristic look at how this can play out in education.

Session #6 – 11:15 – 12:15 PM

6A: “Making Advisory Work for Your Schedule” – Anneliese Ledebur – Teacher, Titusville MS

StrandsAdvisory, Growth Mindset, Diversity, and Bullying

Targeted AudienceTeachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Counselors

Middle school reformers have widely promoted advisory programs as a way to strengthen connectedness at the middle level. Advisory programs are configurations in which an adult advisor meets regularly during the school day with a group of students to provide academic and social-emotional mentorship and support, to create personalization within the school, and to facilitate a small peer community of learners.

6B: .  “Discovery Character Development, School Culture Improvement, and Social Emotional Learning. “ – David Hatfield, Administration, Halifax SD & Jared Shade

Strands: Advisory and Classroom Management

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors

Based on the Hyde School model, Halifax and Upper Dauphin Area School Districts implement a comprehensive character development program that changed school culture and provided for the students social and emotional development. We feel character education provides our students and school a foundation allowing learning to occur with less distraction. Student character education has changed the very ethos of each school from places dominated by negative peer pressure to cultures in which students know that they will be supported when they have the courage to act responsibly and to choose to do what is right.

6C: .  “Accommodations for Linguistically Diverse Students” – Alyssa Bilak, Ryan Manbeck & Ryan Rosenberry, Teachers – Northwest MS – Reading SD

Strands:

Targeted Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning

Introduction to English as a Second Language: Understanding how to accommodate according to students WIDA scores. Also how we accommodate in the different subject areas such as English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

6D:  “The PA Middle Level Certificate: Flexible, Rigorous, and Developmentally Appropriate” – Jenna Plump, James Durham, Ian Petrillo, Staci Jett & Natalie Schrantz – Pre-service teachers & Carol Watson – Professor – Kutztown University

Strands: Teacher education/certification

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Team Leaders

This session is designed to clearly explain exactly how the middle level (4-8) certificate works in PA, and to dispel misconceptions surrounding it. Since the first completers in 2012, misinformation has circulated about its content rigor, subject areas that can be taught at each grade level, and flexibility between elementary and middle school buildings. Guidelines about how and what can be ‘added on’ through testing (without any additional course work) will be clearly explained. We will also share recent advocacy efforts and the need for ongoing attention to sustain developmentally appropriate middle level teacher education.

6E: A Learner’s Journey Through Individualized Goal Setting” – Daniel Provence, Erin Cleary, Kristina LaFave & Tyler Lonergan – Teachers, Garnet Valley MS

Strands: Enrichment/Remediation/Tiered instruction; Student-Led conferences; ELA, Reading, Math, SS, Science Instruction; and Teaming strategies

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Media Specialist/Librarians

Research shows student involvement in the learning process is vital to success. Students should be setting goals, tracking their progress, and reflecting on their journey as learners. During this presentation, participants will discover more about individualized student goal-setting in all three tiers of the multi-tiered systems of support model as well as during student-led conferences.

6F: Using the Harris Moves to Empower Students” – Kathleen Madigan, Kathryn King, Karen DiMascola & Karen MacNamara – Teachers, Kennett Middle School

Strands: Argumentative Writing & Non-fiction Analysis

Target Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Media Specialist/Librarians

Students are bombarded with arguments in their daily lives, and more than ever it is essential that they become critical consumers of information. This presentation explores the Harris Moves, four argumentative techniques that will enhance students' ability to read critically and write purposefully. Attendees will move through activities that introduce and demonstrate the Harris Moves and walk away with materials ready to use in the classroom.

Session #7 – 2:45 – 3:45 PM

7A: PBIS: Your Recipe for a Rewarding School System” – Jessica Henry, Jeff Kiser, Valerie Meehan & Renee Treonze – Teachers, West Allegheny MS

Strands: Tier 1 Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Administrators

Tired of the same old disciplinary strategies? Stuck in a rut with punitive consequences? Try our recipe for school success! Using our simple ingredients of 1 pound of positivity, 1-cup creativity, and a pinch of pride, transform the culture of your school by implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. This workshop will help you get “cooking” with PBIS by taking you through the steps of implementation and sharing some helpful hints.

7B: “Creating a Culture that Supports Students’ Experiences Within a Transformed Middle School Master Schedule” – Lisa Stenz – Principal & Eileen Stec – Garnet Valley MS

Strands: Organizational Structures and Processes

Targeted Audience:Teachers - seasoned, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders

This presentation will utilize interactive elements as well as provide participants with the opportunity to experience our school’s journey through the new middle school master schedule process. Participants will engage in reflective practices to begin action planning and preparation to transform their middle school master schedule to meet the needs of its organizational goals for its student’s growth and achievement.

7C: Speed Sessions 2

#1 Student-Led Conferences (Strand: Characteristics of High Preforming Middle Schools)

Presenter – Jonathon Walsh – Teacher, Twin Valley MS

Targeted Audience:  Teachers

Learn more about the three stages of executing Twin Valley Middle School’s transition from traditional parent-teacher conferences to student-led conferences. First, traditional conferences were identified as an area for growth. Second, possible alternatives were researched and it was decided to transition to SLC. Third, student-led conferences were planned and implemented. During this third stage, an initial pilot group experimented the student-led conference format, staff were trained and student-led conferences were executed at a school-wide level.

#2 High Impact Classroom Strategies

Presenter – Kate Jorgensen – Teacher, Kate Trains

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

Classroom chaos is exhausting, counter productive and academically disastrous. Stop that chaos!   Embrace a new creation – A creation designed around encouragement, empowerment and             excellence in every classroom. Bring your teacher’s what they crave: Time to Teach. And bring     your staff and students unity and leadership!

#3 High Impact Classroom Strategies

Presenter – Amy Somerville & Bridget Laubach – Teachers, Springton lake MS

Targeted Audience - Pre-service Teachers, Teachers, Team Leaders

Differentiated Strategies for Teaching Middle School Students- All students come to school with    different strengths and needs and it is important for teachers to be assessment-driven, responsive, and engaging in the design and delivery of instruction. This session will share with teachers four           differentiated strategies that can be used on a daily basis including: Anchor Activities, Split Screen             Teaching, 10-2 Taboo, and RAFTS.

7D: What Can Google Classroom Do for You? -  Andrew Kuhn – Teacher, William Penn SD

Strands: Technology: Google tools, Growth Mindset

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Harness the power of Google Classroom. Discover ways that Google Classroom can improve your teaching, differentiate your instruction, and accelerate student learning. Spend less time doing mundane administrative tasks and more time doing things that actually improve student achievement. Using the power of Google cloud you can prepare for a class anywhere on any computer. Provide more meaningful and thoughtful work with easier and higher quality grading. Seamlessly integrate the ever expansive universe of Google Applications into your own personalized classroom experience.

7E: .  “Nearpod 101” – Beth Zigmont – Administration, Great Valley SD

Strands: Technology/Student engagement

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Media Specialist/Librarians

Nearpod 101 is designed to introduce an interactive technology tool that increases student engagement and provides immediate formative feedback. Participants will learn the basics and walk away prepared to implement the tool the next day!

7F: The Power Of Fun ‘. PART II” – Dr. Kathy Harrington - Retired Middle Level Principal, Adjunct Professor  - Harrington Inc.

Strands: School Climate and Culture, Making connections and building relationships!

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

‘ The Power of Fun ‘ Part II is based on my book, although I have presented several years ago, I have tweaked my presentation and made some changes, but the fun is still there. !!! My presentation is a collection of fun and inspiring stories, ideas, inspirations, games, music, and dancing, of course, that you can use in your classroom and your school. It’s all about making connections and building relationships, who doesn’t need that??? We dance, sing, and laugh a lot, when finished all participants will “. Have The Power “. To change your culture!! I promise!!

Session #8 – 4:00 – 5:00 PM

8A: “Empowering Middle School Pride Through PBIS” – Jason Lochner, Principal & Jennifer Purkiss, Dominique Singer, William J Barch, teachers & Judy Varacalli, Counselor – Harrold MS

Strands: PBIS and Advisory

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Harrold Middle School will present on how to effectively empower a middle school community to run a data driven school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports System (PBIS) as well as an Advisory program.  Participants will hear about how we worked backwards through the PBIS implementation process by developing a Tier 1 and Tier 2 system.  Attendees will gain innovative strategies to engage middle school students and improve the overall school climate through our PBIS and Advisory programs.

8B: How to Make MTSS for Math Work in Your Middle School: Maximizing Small Group Instruction In All 3 Tiers” – Emily Hampson, Scott Morgan, Ron Anderson & Gerry Weinhardt – Teachers, Garnet Valley MS

Strands: Enrichment/Remediation/Tiered instruction, Math Instruction

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders

How can we find and address math skill gaps while continuing to provide quality instruction on and above grade level? This presentation will explain how we utilize a tiered system approach to implement data-driven, fluid interventions on a school-wide scale. We’ll provide time for participants to examine their current system of support and to discuss how to make an MTSS framework for math work in their own school.

8C: .  “Coding in the Middle School  - Brian Herrig – Teacher & Ken Schrag – Administrator, Canonsburg MS

Strands: Technology

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Administrators

Learn how Canonsburg Middle School has created opportunities for all students to experience the concepts of programming/coding. With courses in both seventh and eight grade, students experience the concepts of coding in a variety of ways with a variety of outputs. Content specific vocabulary is introduced and utilized in context to grow and support students’ ability to apply terms across a variety of disciplines.

8D:  “Be a Data Ninja: Using Google Forms” – Andrew Kuhn – Teacher, William Penn SD

Strands: Technology: Google Tools, Growth Mindset

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

In this hands-on technology session, you will learn the ins and outs of effectively using Google Forms in and out of the classroom. Quizzes, exit tickets, and surveys...oh my!! No more fighting with the copier, fixing paper jams, and practicing your foreign language skills when you learn that all the copiers in the building are jammed. Google Forms will allow you to expedite data collection, processing, and student retention. Utilizing Google Forms provides immediate feedback for all. We are data-seeking teachers in a data-driven world! You’ll leave this session as a Google Forms Ninja Warrior!

8E: .  “PLC and Panther Time: a Mastery Learning Approaching” – Joe DeMar & Erin Peterson, Administrators & Lakyn Lutton, Andrew Bowers & Dave Kyle – Teachers, Fort Couch MS

Strands: Mastery Learning, Student scheduling, PLC format and tasks to be completed.

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders

Interested in PLC’s? Want to hear how to provide Mastery opportunities for all students? Come hear this presentation by Fort Couch staff as we share our PLC and Panther Time/Mastery Model that can be incorporated into your middle school!

8F: 2 Claps” -  Lorenzo DeAngelis – principal & Brenna Austin, Jacob Moore, Kori Barley-Stoudemire, Lauren Boder, Jennifer Reinheimer – Staff, Kennett MS

Strands: School Culture

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

2 Claps is a presentation about how Kennett Middle School develops school culture for our students and staff. We believe we are the decisive element in the classrooms and our school. Role models are not just adults, but students too. We create an environment where people are banging the door down to get in, not out!

Tuesday, March 3

Session #9 – 9:45 – 10:45 AM

9A: “Life Long Learners and Teachers for Life – Denise Morrow & Nicole Terpack – Teachers, South Side MS

Strands: PBIS, Bullying, Restorative practices ;

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Rising rates of anxiety, depression, and self-harm in today’s children, are resulting in more behavioral disruptions and absenteeism. Educators are being stretched beyond their area of expertise with increasing numbers of students with neurological and mental health conditions. This presentation aims to help the modern educator restructure their educational practices by providing: (a) Considerations of neurological conditions to better understand the effects on children and learning; (b) Perspective to the critical student challenges; (c) Strategies to interact, respond, and ultimately teach students and families impacted by these conditions.

9B:  “Tiered Instruction without Tears” – Erin Brenner – teacher & Jennifer Chamberlin – Gifted Support & 6th grade Math & ELA Interventions, Yellow Breeches MS

Strands:

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

As educators, we are often overwhelmed by the dilemma of what to do when the data reveals the diverse needs of our students. Tackling the challenge alone feels impossible. Join us as we discuss our journey in learning to effectively collaborate with colleagues to creatively design tiered instruction and enrichment within the constraints of our existing resources and master schedule. By sharing our Elementary and High School perspective on middle level learning, we are confident you will walk away with a new way to conceptualize tiered instruction and enrichment without shedding a tear. 

9C: Understanding Invisible Challenges: Igniting a Growth Mind Set”  - Michael Cavallaro & Adele Saccarelli Cavallaro – Teamwork Wins Ltd

Strands: A-E

Target Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Learn what Invisible Challenges are and how they affect you, your students and every area of education. This presentation brings a new fresh power perspective to education. Learn how Invisible challenges affect learning, behavior, focus, transitioning, communication and self-esteem. Gain insights on what to do and how to begin to remediate these challenges, and connect with your students more effectively and introduce a new paradigm in education.

9D: School News: Creating Something from Nothing” – Andrew Kuhn & Robert Smyth – Teachers, William Penn SD

Strands: Technology, Communication, School News, PBIS, Growth Mindset

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders, Teachers of the Arts, Media Specialist/Librarians

Live from PAMLE: Patriot News! Live streaming, editing, and bloopers...oh my! Learn the ins and outs of efficiently (and inefficiently) running a school news program. This session will show you how to set up and deliver a school news program. See how the process unfolds firsthand. Learn how to: set up a YouTube channel, live stream, recruit and train students, create a script from scratch and how to promote the news to a diverse audience. As a bonus, you’ll learn our marketing strategies and techniques to engage and reach ALL stakeholders. Join the #PennWoodProud movement!

9E: Killing the stigma of movies in the classroom: Using film in reading and writing instruction” – Monica Mancini – Teacher, ET Richardson MS

Strands: Reading, Literacy, ELA

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers

“I’ll just put on a movie today.” This presentation aims to kill the stigma that movies are a chance for teachers to “take a break” from instruction. By using film in the classroom, not only can we create lessons that are more relatable and interesting to students, but we can also allow our students to closely read and see film as a form of literature.

9F: .  “Nontraditional Educational Opportunities for the Whole Child” – Joshua Kuehner – Principal, Courtney Maguire, Christina Miller & Christine Wysocki – Teachers - Schuylkill Valley MS

Strands:

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers – beginning

With a focus on educating the whole child, many learning opportunities occur outside of the classroom. Schuylkill Valley Middle School teachers and administrators will share some of the strategies and practices we use in grades 5 - 8 including: outdoor education, colonial times re-enactments, genius hour, project based learning through the designing of tiny houses, service club activities, and community partnerships. All along, grade level teams use the focus of organization, responsibility, cooperation, and respect to guide the development of all students.

Session #10 – 11:00 – 12:00 Noon

10A: “The Write Stuff: How to Structure a Writing Workshop that Works” – Eve Kollar, Maranda DeRienzo, Erica Harrington & Emily Raitano – Teachers – Andrew Mellon MS

Strands: ELA, Read/Write Across the Curriculum

Target Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators

For over 35 years, the secondary English department at Mt. Lebanon School District has utilized a writing lab with a dedicated Writing Clinician to support writers across the curriculum. Join the current clinician and three ELA teachers to hear how this practice strengthens writing instruction at Mellon Middle School. We will describe how the lab is used for reinforcing expectations, providing timely and individualized feedback, and supervising student-initiated revisions. Learn how to train parents and community members as “adult conferencers” who listen to student work and offer feedback to help improve YOUR writing program!

10B: Transforming the Traditional Research Paper into a Collaborative Oral History Documentary” – Vicki Truchan – Teacher, North Hills MS

Strands: Project based learning, 1:1 devices, cross-curricular connections, teaming strategies

Targeted Audience:Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Media Specialist/Librarians

It was time to kill the traditional research paper in my eighth grade English class. The papers were stagnant, just like the students’ interest in the process and content. I then began a journey to collaborate with others in order to transform this research paper into a vibrant oral history documentary. Through collaboration with a team of teachers, we catapulted this old research paper into the new millennium. In my session, I will discuss how an isolated traditional research paper assignment can be transformed into a collaborative oral history documentary that connects students with peers, teachers, family, and community members.

10C: Innovation Practices - Studios Spaces at Work” – Melissa Survinski, Enrichment Teacher, Marlynn Lux, Principal, Gwen Cohen – Instructional Coach & Brian Molinero, Jamie Pillar, David Hartman, Teachers  – Hampton MS

StrandsInnovation, Technology, Enrichment

Targeted Audience:  Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers

Catch a glimpse into how we use our Studios to enhance innovative and enrichment practices across all content areas. Our Robotics, Print, Innovation, and Digital Arts Studios offer a myriad of innovative experiences to our students and teachers, utilized for both regular education programming and for academic enrichment. We will highlight our robotics, 3D printing, design challenges, and other technology and collaboration strategies.  The audience will leave with ideas on how each of our studios has been used to enhance instruction in many content areas, as well as ways to challenge students in need of academic enrichment.  We'll also share the ways that we found funding for these tools!

10D:  “Learning Through Play: Intro to the Game Design Process” – Jeff Holliday & Amy Barone – Teachers, Andrew Mellon MS

Strands: Strands: 1-4

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers

This active, hands-on session is designed around the idea of learning through play. Teachers continuously adapt to meet their students’ diverse and changing needs. Games can help students to learn concepts, build skills that connect to their lives outside school, and develop reflective practices. Our goal is to introduce the game design process and its alignment with Universal Design for Learning’s Engagement Principle. We will introduce the parts of a game, how to mod a game, and how to embed content into game play. Experience an example of how we learn through play. Every level of learner is welcome!

10E: Panther Program - A SWPBIS and SEL Program” – Dan O’Rourke & Christine Mussomeli – Administrators & Justin Gremba, Sam Gallaher & Holly Fisher – Teachers, Boyce MS

Strands: Advisory, SWPBIS, Growth Mindset

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Team Leaders

The Panther Program is a two-part program at Boyce Middle School in the Upper St. Clair School District- SWPBIS and SEL . The presentation will provide an overview of the Panther Program, detail the positive focus plan and words, outline implementation strategies and social-emotional learning connections, discuss Advisor Time activities, and more.

10F: “Taming the Monster: Tackling Analysis Across the Curriculum” – Katherine Kraky, Regina Wood & Jessica Yenser – Teachers, Northwestern Lehigh MS

Strands: Curriculum Integration/Cross Curricular Connections, Read/Write across curriculum

Targeted Audience: Teachers - seasoned, Teachers - beginning, Pre-service Teachers

Analysis is a complex, time-consuming skill for middle-school students, but it doesn’t have to be a scary monster. The transition from concrete to abstract thinking and the increased complexity of content requires more opportunities to practice and boost confidence for middle-level learners. In isolation, teachers struggle to do this justice. This session will spark a new outlook on taming the “Analysis Monster.” We will present ideas that allow teachers to share the responsibility for instruction and application of analysis across content areas. Teachers will walk away with the necessary tools to team up with colleagues to tame the “Analysis Monster.”

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