Ideas For Chapter Activities
Texas A&M University-Commerce had a local middle school principal as a guest speaker at one meeting who talked about what a middle school principal is looking for in hiring new teachers. The topic was well received and brought in a good crowd.
University of Dayton had several people come and talk to their chapter:
- teachers speaking about rapport with students
- a school counselor talking about his/her role
- a student panel of three 6th graders, accompanied by their teacher, discussing what they like about their teachers and changes they would like to see happen
- an intervention specialist explaining his/her role
- a local teacher providing examples of how she builds community within her classroom
- a panel of first year teachers sharing their experiences
- a clinical practice intern (student teacher) panel answering questions chapter students had about their experiences
Central Michigan University has members fill out a survey providing information about their interests. They use to the surveys to determine their calendar for the year.
Southwest Baptist University invites a student teacher panel for a Q/A session. They have found this to be very helpful to students. They also have panels of local middle school teachers, focusing on one area of school (discipline, teaming, stories about the students, best experience, worst experience, etc.). The teachers who come are invited well in advance, given the topic so they know the theme of the meeting, and are given thank you notes the day of the meeting. A small gift certificate to a local restaurant is included as their way of thanking the teachers for giving up time in their very busy schedule.
College of Charleston aims to have one professional development event each month. The following are some of the topics they have had success with:
- teachers speaking about the truths and myths of middle school
- teachers speaking about classroom management strategies
- a clinical practice intern panel
The College of Charleston also participates in numerous conferences. In the 2003-2004 school year, members attended and presented at the South Carolina Middle School Association (SCMSA) conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They also attended the 2004 CMLA Spring Retreat held in Columbus, Ohio and the 2004 conference in Minneapolis.
Otterbein College holds a Reverse Shadow Day - urban middle school students spend the day on campus.
Fundraising and Community Service
Texas A&M University-Commerce sponsored a Scholastic Book Fair, similar to book fairs in public schools. The fair was held for one week from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in a classroom on campus. Numerous signs were posted and every education professor was notified to make announcements in their classes. The university has held two fairs, thus far, collecting $1,000-$1,500 per fair, and are planning to hold another one. Chapter members signed up for times to work at the fair in exchange for a free book (two hours = one book). The first time the university held the fair, they set it up in the foyer of the Education building. It was a great location for visibility, but was a disaster time wise because the entire display had to be packed up and set back up each evening/morning because there was no way to lock it up in the foyer. The second time the fair was held in the least used classroom in the education building, asking classes that met their once a week to relocate for the week of the fair. This location worked much better because we could leave all the displays up each evening and just lock the classroom door. We participated in the Relay for Life fundraiser as well as having the Angel Tree Project and an Essay Contest.
Appalachian State holds an annual CMLA raffle. In October, we finished a two-part MOYA project which involved putting pamphlets in doctor's offices.
Ashland University sponsors a Cleveland Indians baseball game. Our service projects included raising $800 and sending 4 boxes of school supplies to Monteleone Middle School in Louisianna after Hurricane Katrina and having art contests with the Ashland City Schools for MOYA.
Baylor University sponsored a book drive for Hurricane Katrina relief.
Morehead State University also sponsors a Scholastic Book Fair on campus for a week in the fall. They order books suited to their education majors but open the fair to everyone bringing in a lot of traffic and high sales. They earn enough to send 2-3 members to the national convention in November. We also do a donation drive, candy count raffle, recipe books and spring basket raffle. Our service projects include: MOYA mentorship, grant writing workshop, family book night, democracy day, donations to Costa Rica.
University of Dayton sells foil-wrapped hotdogs in freshman dorms for $1. They also sell bags of candy for Valentine's Day in small decorated bags for $1 or $0.50, depending on the size of the bag. In addition to these fundraisers, the university raffles off a home-cooked dinner for four people and sponsors a Scholastic Book fair as well. Our service projects include: Placemat's for children's medical center, grant to get students involved in a school clean-up, collection and basket for Hurricane Katrina relief, Thanksgiving collection and a booth on campus at Christmas.
Central Michigan University sells conference T-shirts. The order form used is available if you would like to see it. Order form
The College of Charleston sells T-shirts as a means of raising funds. In addition to T-shirts, the chapter applies for campus grants. The raffles have been successful in the past.
They are currently examining other methods of raising funds including a car wash, oyster roast, and "Thank You" party for middle level educators. They also volunteer at schools and are adopting a middle school. There are many service projects we are involved in, which include MLK service day, tutor for Middle Grades Achievement Program (MGAP), and an on-campus recycled art program for the children's museum.
Missouri Southern State University for fundraiser projects we have made calendars and made theme baskets for a silent auction. Our service projects include Student Teacher resume books, mock interview sessions, MOYA calendar, angel tree with Salvation Army, school angels (providing school supplies to area schools), maintain book nook at local Laffayette House.
Armstrong Atlantic holds a St. Patrick's Day T-shirt sale.
Illinois State holds bake sales and has T-shirts to sell. We have chaperoned middle school dances and sporting events as part of our service projects.
Otterbein College is hoping to establish tutoring sessions at the Homeless Family Foundation.
Texas A&M University-Commerce
- Has CMLA pencils, note pads, pocket folders, etc. printed to provide a sense of belonging and ownership
- Has T-shirts or a collared polo-type shirt for members
- Printed brochures and posters
- Created a CMLA Web site
- Looking at possible retreat for team-building
- Provide scholarships for a few members ($250.00 awarded for one semester based on involvement in CMLA)
- Obtained book store gift certificates
- Provided transportation to/from various districts for service/volunteer projects with middle level kids
- Have a teacher-panel of middle level teachers/administrators for discussions/questions/etc.
- Invited speakers from special needs areas such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and diagnostician
- Video game systems in Planetarium
Central Michigan University
Southwest Baptist University
- Has two cookouts during the year: one at the beginning to welcome new students and members and one at the end of the year to say good-bye to the seniors.
University of Dayton
- Monthly meetings
- Tech connect
- Career fair
- Group picnic
- Scrapbook party
- Bible study
- Get to Know You social
- Attend middle school functions and game parties
- Spring & Fall "get together"
College of Charleston
- Spring 2004 calendar
- Fall 2004 calendar
- The chapter creates a pamphlet each semester that includes the events and a membership form.
- Membership form
- Has discovered that it helps to have events on the same day, at the same time, in the same location. By keeping the day, time, and location consistent, people are more apt to remember and attend events. The chapter has a general flyer they post around campus. General flyer
- For the annual Spring CMLA Retreat in 2004, the chapter wrote an article for the newsletter. Communication with national, regional, and local chapters is important. The chapter tries very hard to keep in touch with other chapters to discuss ideas, events, and problem solve.
- It is also important to communicate with your school of education as much as possible. Make sure to check for spelling, grammar, and proof read more than once before you send out announcements, updates, etc.
- Have pizza parties, conferences, and end of year party.