Sessions

Join us for collaborative sessions that will feature quick presentations followed by ample time for questions and idea sharing. And we’re flipping the camp classroom, so be sure to review the resources and materials provided by the presenter ahead of time so you’re ready to dig in during our time together!

Addressing Concerns about Cheating
Rick Wormeli
The emergency, remote instruction to students working at home this past year amplified teachers’ concerns about students’ cheating, plagiarizing, and parent over-assistance. As we move into the start of classes in the new school year, we’ll need to address the concerns, taking clear, pedagogically sound steps to minimize their occurrence. Join us for a candid and practical look at why students cheat on their school work – some of which may surprise middle school educators, as well as specific steps we can take to minimize that cheating, plagiarizing, and parent over-assistance. We’ll also include suggestions for a school’s constructive response to cheating when it happens. Based on research at the middle school, high school, and university level and the presenter’s own work in schools around the nation and abroad, this session provides a solid foundation for school policy and practice regarding cheating and plagiarizing during this difficult time.

Assessing Student Learning
Rick Wormeli
Teaching is not a "gotcha" enterprise, yet many assessment approaches can fall into that category if we’re not careful. On top of that, we’re challenged currently by what blended or full-time remote instruction means for assessment in our middle schools. Join us for a provocative presentation in which we identify key principles and practices of effective assessment in our classrooms that transfer well to remote instruction. We’ll look at assessment types (formative, summative, common, alternative, pre-) as well as those companion elements so vital to their successful use in student learning: becoming evidentiary, using descriptive feedback, reiteration, disaggregate/reveal story, and more. Inseparable from sound instruction, modern assessment practices are key to instructional design and student success!

Caring for the Health and Wellness of Staff
Todd Brist
It's time that educators start filling their buckets by embracing self-care! Teaching can be physically and emotionally challenging, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. Practicing self-care is not selfish or an indulgence; it is necessary in order to recharge, rejuvenate, and reclaim the joy in education. Let’s talk about how to take care of ourselves and everyone on the staff because you can’t pour from an empty cup!

Choosing Tools for Remote Instruction Assessment
Tracey Abercrombie
Did our extended online learning experience leave you with a new set of digital skills, but feeling overwhelmed at the same time? Come chat with colleagues about the digital tools you used and which you felt were most powerful. Let’s talk about what makes remote learning more effective and some of my favorite tools for creating videos, engaging lessons and assessing student learning.

Conducting Remote IEP Meetings
Bryan Boykin
The transition from face to face engagement to a virtual environment has sparked innovation and the evolution of K-12 education. The work of special educators has become increasingly more difficult to meet the needs of their students and families. However, the more things change the more they can actually stay the same with a few minor adjustments. During this session, participants will learn how to organize and conduct IEP meetings efficiently in a virtual environment.

Continuing and Enhancing School Culture During Uncertain Times
Sabine B. Phillips
Relationships are key! “Know your people!” I have lived by these words since the inception of my administrative career, and it has only failed me when I didn’t follow it! Kindness, positivity, recognition and rewards all matter with students & staff, and the activities and ideas shared will help you keep the culture in your school positive even during these uncertain times! You can always reinvent yourself and your school!

Creating, Editing, and Incorporating Videos for Instruction
Christine Thielen
Join us for a discussion about several different video recording options including Screencast-o-matic, Screencastify, and WeVideo. We will also look at uses for teacher-created videos and student-created videos. You’ll leave this session with tools and strategies for incorporating videos into your class next year, whether you’re in a remote learning environment at some point next year or you’re full time back in your school building.

Designing Manageable Online Lessons for Students and their Families
Amber Chandler
We don't know what lies ahead, but if we've learned anything from our foray into distance learning, we've learned that information overload can be crippling for our students and their families. As we begin to think about returning to school, it will be very important to design manageable lessons that will engage our students and are easy to navigate for our families who partner with us for student success. This trail will provide tips to plan for online learning, in-person learning, and hybrid learning and the possibility that we might move through all of these.

Join the conversation and share your experiences of what worked (and what didn't!) as we prepare for the adventure that is right around the corner: back to school!

Fostering Relationships Between Students And Staff In A Remote/Virtual Environment
Ruthie Stevenson/Sue Caron
This session will engage campers in a discussion of the importance of creating and fostering meaningful relationships between students and staff in a remote/virtual environment. Discussion topics will include:

  • Providing a culture that promotes social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes
  • Keeping the lines of communication open
  • Creating a safe environment that encourages students to give input into “what and how they learn”

Helping Students Adjust to Remote Learning
Erin Scholes and Janine Campbell
Join us for a discussion of three E’s that impact remote learning: Expectations, Engagement, and Enhancement. This session will focus on what structures, routines, and practices can assist students and teachers when implementing online learning, especially when starting the new school year. Let’s focus and share how these three E’s can help us harness and provide relationship-building environments that foster a sense of classroom community both remotely and face to face.

Identifying and Bridging Learning Gaps
Rick Wormeli
No doubt about it, we were thrown a curve ball at the end of last year. Now what do we do? Do we just count the last quarter/trimester as a lost marking period of little to no learning? And, how do we know where students are personally and academically so we can proceed with the new material this year? What in the new school year’s curriculum can we afford to let go in order to make room for teaching the leveraging standards from last year that students didn’t learn? And then, how do we respond to the varied readiness levels that sit before us in the new year – tiering? Scaffolding? And where do we find the time to do it all? Join us for a thoughtful look at identifying where students are and what can be put in place to help them – and all of us – get up to speed with their learning.

Implementing Multiage Teaming to Address Learning Gaps
Linda Hopping
One of the biggest challenges facing schools this fall is the significant learning gaps that will exist among our students. Bringing them together and bridging those gaps, while at the same time attending to their social/emotional needs, requires thinking outside the box. Multiage teaming provides a system of assessment within teams, grouping into classes based on skills levels rather than grade level, and the stability of a long-term team of teachers.

Interviewing, Recruiting, and On-Boarding New Staff
Christine Toth
Hiring is critical to the success of your institution and finding the right hire requires work! By putting in the effort, your team will benefit in the end because you will have: a higher level of quality performance; longevity to the organization; and the creation of a rewarding and fulfilling work environment. During this session, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your hiring process and walk away with recruitment strategies and on-boarding tips to set you up for success for a virtual or non-virtual setting.

Job alike session
The job alike session allows participants with similar roles in their districts to discuss questions specific to their responsibilities. Each session will be moderated by a camp guide. It will also allow participants to collaborate with others and grow their professional networks. Discussion will be driven by the needs of the participants.

Making Effective Transitions Happen to and from the Middle Level
Dru Tomlin
According to This We Believe, young adolescents need educators who value them and who are prepared to teach them. In addition, they (and their families) need and deserve effective and amazing transitional programs to and from the middle level. This interactive session will provide you with the tools, ideas, and examples you need to make this happen for every student in your school. Participants will:

  • Identify the stakeholders in the transition process
  • Determine their concerns
  • Develop strategies to address those concerns
  • Explore strategies to strengthen relationships and ease the anxiety for students in grade-level transition and the families who love thems

There will also be a "blueprint" to create your own "transition camp" for incoming middle grades students.

Master Scheduling
Ann McCarty-Perez
Are you considering a different schedule for the fall? Do you need some new ideas of how to structure the time you will have in your schedule? We will explore the logistics and key elements of middle school schedules and reflect on what schedules might have to look like with the return to school. You will have an opportunity to review current scheduling practices and experiment with new ideas to maximize your instructional time.

Maximizing Staff Involvement in all Aspects of School Operations
Cedrick Gray
What role can teachers play inside the school building while outside of the classroom? What impact can the school secretary, building custodian, and school nutritionist, who traditionally operate outside of the classroom, have on instructional practice within the classroom? How can you share responsibility without giving away your authority? It all depends on your ability to delegate not abdicate. This session will explore ways to strategically utilize the talents in your school building to create a strong operational system of support for your students.

Motivating Students to Engage in Remote Learning
Simone T. Lewis
Make room in your camping backpacks for a plethora of tools and resources that will help you to motivate students in your remote learning classes. Join Dr. Lewis, as she provides you with tips and tricks to lure and keep learners engaged. Learn how to use social media platforms and applications such as YouTube and Bitmoji, teaching methods such as PBL and more to ensure your campfire of learning remains ignited throughout the school year.

Providing Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Activities Remotely
Barbara McCarty
Before March 2020, our students benefited in a variety of ways from engaging in co/extra-curricular activities. These activities may look different in an online environment, but the benefits and their importance to students remain the same. In this session, we will examine practical approaches to run an array of co/extra-curricular activities in a remote setting. Leave with resources and ideas to replicate these clubs, programs and special interest groups in your middle school’s distance learning program.

Reopening Facilities and Maintaining Social Distancing
Juan Rodriguez
This will be difficult.
Assuming school buildings may reopen this fall in some form, we understand that it won’t be business as usual. How can we ensure social distancing, limit group size, provide transportation, limit large gathering places, maintain healthy environments, modify usage of physical space while not sure about school budgets? How can we ensure that remote learning is helping students learn? Let us engage in a conversation, make connections and share ideas.

Selecting Tools for Collaborative Lessons
Tara Maynard
Teachers need to see student work, their thinking and be able to give feedback. Come learn about different web-based sites that allow teachers and students to collaborate as well as students to collaborate with each other. We’ll look at how to create activities as well as use templates and previously created materials. These sites will work for all subjects.

Un-conference sessions
Participants are asked to suggest topics for these sessions. The topic can be information that they would like to share with the group or something that they would like to learn about from the group. It is an opportunity to address issues, questions, or concerns that may not be covered in the scheduled breakout sessions.

Using Music As a Teaching Tool to Teach Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Rock Digi
Music has been known to improve retention of topics and knowledge, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the foundation for academic achievement. Using music to teach makes it easier for students to gain knowledge on topics such as empathy, self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Join us as we experience different genres of music, how that affects our emotions, and how we can use that to enhance the learning experience.

Using your Counseling Compass to Navigate through COVID-19
Laura Ross
The hike toward the 2020-2021 school year can be challenging and confusing leaving school counselors feeling unsure of which direction to go. Explore four directions of our counseling compass that can help you plan your comprehensive counseling program during COVID -19: Nurturing community. Supporting coping. Elevating Culture. Working with others.