AMLE Members Say…

In fall 2018, AMLE members were invited to participate in a survey about their experiences as middle school educators. In each issue of AMLE Newsletter—your bimonthly member e-newsletter—you'll find a new question with member answers and supporting resources, which were gleaned from this survey. Take a look at what your fellow educators said about important issues and key practices in their schools and classrooms.

We asked: Which of these practices are employed in your school as a whole?
You said: 49.92% Project-based learning
27.72% We don't use any of these
27.31% A no-zero policy
22.61% SEL in most or all classes
10.30% No letter grades
6.68% Gamification
Resources:

Talking Tech for the PBL Classroom
by Kristie Smith
PBL: Learning How to Learn
by Rachel Erickson
It’s Time to Stop Averaging Grades
by Rick Wormeli
What Does Passing Look Like?
by Sandy Cameli & Colleen Masukawa
Our SEL Journey
by Rachel Pregont, Roberto d'Erizans
(Re)Discovering Social Emotional Learning
by Sandy Cameli
A Discussion on Grading? Let Me Get My Helmet
by Guy Gambone
Graphic Representations of Student Achievement
by Rick Wormeli
Leveling Up in a Gamified Classroom
by Ashley Fulks, Becca Lord
The Hidden Benefits of Video Games
by Clark Godshall, LaVonna Roth
The Hidden Benefits of Video Games, Part 2
by Clark Godshall, LaVonna Roth


We asked: Does your school focus on making sure every student has at least one meaningful connection with a caring adult?
You said: 83.2% Yes
16.8% No
Resources: Silent Mentoring
by Katie Novak
Our SEL Journey
by Rachel Pregont, Roberto d'Erizans
The Challenge of Advisory and Why it's Worth the Effort
by Matt Pearsall
Creating Connections in Our School: It was BIGGER than We Thought!
by Ellen D'Amore and Erin Tobul
Technology in Advisory Programs: The Softer Side of Hardware
by Lynn Salehi
Making a Difference through Student Advocacy
by Dru Tomlin
Jump-Start Your Student Advocacy Program
by Jill Dreer, Jennifer Moyer, Nancy Schneider, Meredith Weiss, and Susan Lloyd

We asked: Does your school provide a computer or device to all students for educational purposes (1:1:)?
You said: 59.44% Yes, we provide computers
23.58% No, but we're considering or planning this
14.22% Yes, we provide a tablet device
2.76% No, but we've tried this in the past
Resources: The Intersection between 1:1 Laptop Implementation and the Characteristics of Effective Middle Level Schools
by John Downes, Penny Bishop
Transforming Middle School Practice Through Instructional Technology
by Andrew Maxey, Elizabeth Hancock
Distance Learning: The Wave of the Future
by Brian Cook, Kristi Schmidt, Katherine Shaffer
Talking Tech for the PBL Classroom
by Kristie Smith
Information Overload: Giving Students the Tools They Need to Navigate the Digital World
by Suzanne Zimbler
Going Online to Improve Student Achievement
by Mary Slaughter, Connie Shubert, Brenda Dix
Making Tough Technology Decisions
by Sandra Wozniak

We asked: How do you feel about the attention paid to standardized tests at your school?
You said: 32.40% We pay too much attention
31.20% It's just right
26.35% We pay slightly too much attention
5.15% We don't focus on this at all
4.90% We need to pay more attention
Resources: The Relationship between Curriculum-based Measures in Oral Reading Fluency and High-Stakes Tests for Seventh Grade Students
by Sawyer A. Hunley, Susan C. Davies, Christina R. Miller
Efficient vs. Effective Environments: Testing the Testing Environment
by Katie Houdek
The Influence of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Eighth Grade Mathematics Achievement
by Christopher H. Tienken, James A. Maher
Helping Students Understand the Rigors of Assessment Text
by Ruby Payne

We asked: About engaging outside experts for student learning … do you:
You said: 68.99% Hold assemblies with guest speakers
48.37% Host experts in person directly in the classroom
29.40% Students visit outside professionals
23.32% Hold virtual discussions (phone, Skype, live webinar) with outside experts
18.48% None of these
Resources: Going Beyond School
by Rachel Mark, Katy Farber
No More Assemblies
by Vanessa Scanfeld, Vincent Dotoli

We asked: Which statement most closely reflects your view of focusing on growth mindset?
You said: 79.95% I firmly believe in the importance of growth mindset and coach my students to develop this way of thinking about learning
13.98% It's a good way to view learning, but has limited usefulness
6.07% It's just the latest buzz, fad, jargon
Resources: Grit and Growth Mindset: Deficit Thinking?
by Rick Wormeli
Webinar: Growth Mindset in the Middle School Classroom: Lessons for Teachers
with presenters Rachel Kamb, Tammy Fisher, Kate Tovias