Professional Learning Opportunity: Leveraging Free Technology to Create More Inclusive Classrooms

The Maine Department of Education and Microsoft are collaborating to offer educators the opportunity to participate in a program from March 2019 to June 2019. The program will focus on leveraging free technology tools available to Maine educators to create more inclusive classrooms. A Microsoft Learning Consultant will lead these sessions.

Technology can create opportunities for students to have more independence and agency over their learning.  Leveraging technology to remove barriers to learning can result in and also lead to improved student achievement. During these sessions, educators will learn to integrate several free technology tools to better serve students. These sessions are free for Maine educators.

Program Details:

Educators will receive on-going professional learning support related to the following tools that are designed to support the development of inclusive classrooms: Learning Tools, Accessibility Tools, Sway, Office Lens, One Note, Microsoft Teams, Translator, and Microsoft Inking. They will:

  • Attend two in-person workshops
  • Participate in a facilitated online Professional Learning Community in Microsoft Teams
  • Participate in two webinars (in April and early May) – dates to be determined.

Educators who participate in all parts of the program can earn up to 16 Contact Hours.

Workshop Agendas

Note that registration for each location will be limited to 50 participants. 

Inclusive Classrooms Part 1

March 27th, 2019 – Augusta

March 28th, 2019 – Gorham

March 29th, 2019 – Bangor

 

8:30am Light Refreshments
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:15am Microsoft Teams
10:15am Break
10:30am Supporting English Language Learners
11:30am Lunch
12:15pm Accessibility Tools
2:45pm Closing
3:00pm End

 

 

Inclusive Classrooms Part 2

May 29th, 2019 – Augusta

May 30th, 2019 – Bangor

May 31st, 2019 – Gorham

 

8:30am Light Refreshments
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:15am Connections: Sharing what you’ve done with the tools
10:15am Break
10:30am Authoring Accessible Content
11:30am Lunch
12:15pm More tools to create inclusive classrooms
2:00pm Planning for greater impact in your school/district
2:45pm Closing
3:00pm End

Who should register?

All educators are invited to register, though space is limited in each session. If districts want to focus their participation on certain educators, the tools can be very helpful the work of: Special Education Directors and Teachers, Teachers of English Language Learners, School Leaders, Curriculum Coordinators, Technology Integrators, and Library Media Specialists.

Registration:

Inclusive Classrooms Part 1

Register by 3/8 if you want Microsoft to bring a device for you to use, otherwise, register by 3/20 and plan to bring a device with Microsoft OneNote, Word, Powerpoint, etc.

March 27th, 2019 – Augusta (Registration Form)

March 28th, 2019 – Gorham (Registration Form)

March 29th, 2019 – Bangor (Registration Form)

Inclusive Classrooms Part 2

Register by 5/10 if you want Microsoft to bring a device for you to use, otherwise, register by 5/20 and plan to bring a device with Microsoft OneNote, Word, Powerpoint, etc.

May 29th, 2019 – Augusta (Registration Form)

May 30th, 2019 – Bangor (Registration Form)

May 31st, 2019 – Gorham (Registration Form)

 

Note: Please communicate with your technology director to be sure that you and your students will be able to access Office 365 tools (free to schools) on your devices and network.

 

For additional information or answers to questions, please contact:

 

Amanda Nguyen

Digital Learning Specialist

Maine Department of Education

Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov

Professional Development Opportunity: Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms

The Maine Department of Education invites educators to be part of its upcoming professional development opportunity, Fostering Musical Early Childhood Classrooms.

Early Childhood Specialist, Sue Reed, and Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield, are looking for teachers who want to energize their teaching and learning through focusing on music in the public preschool classroom.

Applicants must apply in teams of two: one public preschool teacher and one music teacher from the same district. The music teacher must currently teach at the elementary level.

Under the guidance of early childhood music experts, Catherine Newell and Danielle Collins, teams will work to build a collaborative partnership to ensure that preschool students receive a musical learning experience. Public preschool teachers will become familiar with research regarding why music is important in the preschool classroom; understand how it encompasses multiple early learning standards; and learn how to include music into their daily routines. Music teachers will learn developmentally appropriate pedagogical approaches to teaching music to our youngest learners. Teams will be expected to practice new pedagogy in between sessions and document their experiences. As a culmination of their work, participants will deliver a brief presentation to an audience of their choice.

Participating Teacher Responsibilities:

  • Attend three day-long, face-to-face professional development trainings. All trainings will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Educare, 56 Drummond Ave., Waterville, ME 04901. Dates for trainings are: March 15th, May 23rd, and May 24th.
  • Attend one online check-in support meeting between face-to-face meetings. These meetings will occur between individual teams and the trainers at a mutually convenient time.
  • Develop individual goals for music implementation in your classroom and collaboration with a music teacher.
  • Commit to incorporating music into the preschool schedule on a regular basis.
  • Develop a plan for communicating the importance of music to preschool families.
  • Present a brief presentation on the work to an audience of each team’s choice, and submit a copy of the presentation to the Department of Education.

Compensation:

Each team will receive up to $300 in music supplies (determined by individual need).

To Apply:

Interested parties should fill out and submit an application here by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 28th (only one application is required per team). Applications will be reviewed immediately, and those accepted for participation will be notified by the afternoon of Monday, March 4th.

Please forward all questions to Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Nate Menifield, at nathaniel.j.menifield@maine.gov.

Professional Learning Opportunity: Learning Design Lab at East Grand School

Maine Educators are invited to visit East Grand School in Danforth, Maine on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019, to join a Learning Design Lab lead by Kim Gray, a Kindergarten teacher, Jill Plummer, a Middle School teacher, and Jennifer Gilman, a 6-12 Mathematics teacher. This is an opportunity for educators to visit classrooms and talk with students and teachers about ways technology is successfully integrated into elementary, middle, and high school grades.

Elementary grades use digital learning portfolios to capture evidence of student learning over time and to engage families in their students’ learning journey. Middle grades have a new cohort that has embarked on project-based and place-based learning. Visiting educators can also engage with high school students who will demonstrate some of their work with 3D printing and the school’s Virtual Reality Lab. After visiting classrooms, educators will have time to debrief the experience with lead teachers and to be supported as they plan ways to bring what they’ve learned back to their schools.

  • Date: Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 (Snow date: Wednesday, March 13th)
  • Time: 9am – 2pm (arrival begins at 8:30am with light refreshments)
  • Location: East Grand School, 31 Houlton Road, Danforth, ME
  • Open to all Maine educators who have completed the fingerprinting and background check process through the Maine DOE as part of your employment in your local district.
  • Free to attend
  • Contact Hours: Educators can earn 5 contact hours
  • Registration (please complete by Wednesday, February 27th at 5pm): http://bit.ly/EastGrandLearningLabRegistration

Agenda

8:30am – 9:00am: Arrival (light refreshments will be provided)
9:00am – 9:30am:  Welcome and Introductions
9:30am – 11:00am: Classroom Visits
11:00 -11:45am: Lunch (will be provided)
11:45am – 12:45pm – Conversations with lead educators
12:45pm – 1:45pm: Supported planning time
1:45pm – 2pm: Closing and Reflections

For answers to questions or more information, please contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov or 207-624-6656.

Call for Student and Educator Team Proposals: MLTI Student Conference

The MLTI Student Conference Committee is issuing the call for student and educator team proposals for the 16th Annual MLTI Student Conference, to be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the University of Maine in Orono.

Two important notes:

  1. Proposals are due much earlier this year! This will allow us to have a session list finalized by the time conference registration opens.
  2. Ideally, all proposals will have some form of student leadership incorporated. This could mean students will lead the whole session (with some adult support), students will serve as guides/coaches during the activity portion, or something in between. Students can co-present with teachers or other educators (including from community or business organizations).

Sessions will be one-hour long, must involve some form of creating, making, and doing, and should leave participants excited about what they learned and eager to share their experiences with others.

Here’s the information you need to submit a proposal:

Conference Theme:  Create for ME

Possible Topics:  Proposals are not limited to the conference theme, and might include topics such as music, spoken word recording, coding, video production, graphic design, or writing and publishing your collection of short stories.

Device Requirements:  The student conference supports all MLTI devices, regardless of platform and encourages “platform-agnostic” sessions.

A Proposal Submission must include:

  1. The name of your school
  2. The title of your session
  3. List of all presenters ($15 registration cost will be waived for up to two presenters per session)
  4. A description of your session:
    • What skill will participants learn? How will you teach this?
    • What activity will participants engage in – what will they create?
    • What can participants expect to walk away knowing and being able to do?
  5. Materials to share in the conference registration form:
    • Short video advertisement of the session (less than a minute)
    • Short description of the session (less than 200 words)
  6. Student leadership information:
    • How will student leaders be incorporated into the session?
    • How will they be empowered to succeed during preparation and during the day of the conference?
  7. Session requirements:
    • Level of expertise needed to participate fully (beginner, intermediate, expert)
    • The maximum number of participants you can accommodate (room sizes vary from 30-100)
    • Space set up requests (auditorium, tables/chairs, projector, speakers, etc.)
  8. Technology requirements:
    • A list of which platforms can be used in the session: (MacBook, iPad, ProBook, ElitePad, Chromebook, other)
    • Software and materials participants must have to participate (be specific)
  9. The name of the educator to be contacted about this proposal, and their email and phone number

Submit Proposals by 5 pm, Friday, March 15, 2019 to this online form or copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://bit.ly/MLTI-student-conference-proposals-2019. It is recommended that you type your answers in a separate document and then copy them into the form, so you can be sure to save your work.

General Timeline:

  • Proposals due: 3/15
  • Proposals selected: 3/22
  • Registration open: 4/1
  • Last day to register: 4/23

Spread the word – if you know of someone doing fantastic work involving technology with making, doing, or storytelling please encourage them to submit a proposal or send an email with suggestions to Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov!

For more information or answers to questions, please visit the MLTI Student Conference page or contact Amanda Nguyen, Digital Learning Specialist at Amanda.Nguyen@maine.gov.

 

Read to ME Challenge to Kick-off February 4th at Young School in Saco

Year 4 of the Read to ME Challenge is scheduled to begin on February 4, 2019.  Maine Department of Education Acting Commissioner Pender Makin will launch the campaign by reading to children at Young School in Saco.  She will follow up her reading by issuing a challenge to participate in the 2019 campaign.  This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same.  The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2019. The Department will be live streaming this event on their official Facebook Page.

If your organization is willing and able to promote the Read to ME Challenge, please follow this link to provide us with your contact information: Read to ME Challenge Partner 2019. Read to ME Challenge resources, including a guidance document, public service announcements in a variety of languages, fliers and a list of engaging ways to incorporate the challenge are available on the Read to ME webpage.

Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities. The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement.  Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.

Schools and organizations are invited to join the challenge and to encourage community members to do the same. The collective voice of many key partners, leaders and those in respected positions will send a clear message about the vital importance reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine.   Maine DOE also encourages partners to be creative and to use this opportunity to enhance ongoing literacy education outreach efforts.

Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity, and don’t hesitate to contact danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov  (624-6702) with any questions.