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

Seeking Schools to Participate in “Youth Mindfulness” Opportunity

The Maine DOE has teamed up with OmKids and Radiant Beginnings to offer a 2-hour, in-person training on a video-based mindfulness and stress relief curriculum to support students’ and teachers’ emotional health.  This opportunity is available to a small number of Maine schools that include PreK through grade 5 and are available to implement youth mindfulness during the spring of 2018-19 school year.  Youth mindfulness has been shown to improve attention stability, compassion, and emotional balance when practiced regularly.

In a southern Maine pilot, OmKids and Radiant Beginnings found that implementing program activities for as little as 5 minutes a day for 8 weeks led to:

  • Overall stress reduction (decreased for 94% of students)
  • Emotional distress reduction (decreased for 44% of students)
  • Fewer behavioral difficulties (decreased for 31% of students)
  • Fewer hyperactivity and concentration difficulties (decreased for 63% of students)
  • Fewer difficulties getting along with other children (decreased for 63% of students)

If your school is interested in an opportunity to bring youth mindfulness to your teachers and students, please complete this interest survey for the Maine DOE to review.  The survey will close on March 1.  You will be notified if your school has been chosen to implement youth mindfulness by March 8.

For more information, please contact Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator, at sarah.adkins@maine.gov or 624-6685.

 

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.

Bullying Prevention: Online Professional Development

Through a collaborative effort with Safe Schools, an industry leader in K-12 school safety, the Maine DOE is providing all schools free, equitable access to professional development that addresses Maine’s anti-bullying law.  The professional development course, Bullying: Recognition & Response, specifically highlights An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools and addresses the proper use of Maine DOE’s model bullying policy and procedures, which can be found here.

Bullying: Recognition & Response is an online video that is 67 minutes in length and is divided into 7 sections, with a quiz at the end.  The video can be shown to a large group, small groups, or viewed individually.  Delivery of the video should be done in a way that best meets the staff’s professional development needs and is responsive to the school district’s efforts to address bullying.

To access this professional development, district or school leadership should contact Justin Moore, justin.moore@vectorsolutions.com, or Allison Byndas, allison.byndas@vectorsolutions.com at Safe Schools.

For more information related to bullying prevention efforts in Maine schools, please contact Sarah Adkins, Student Assistance Coordinator, at sarah.adkins@maine.gov or 624-6685.

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.