Changing by the Minute Documentary Tool Kit for AMLE Members

A core component of AMLE’s mission is to change the narrative of middle school from a negative time to one of opportunity and incredible growth and development. It’s truly a time to celebrate! Toward that end, AMLE’s has partnered with an award-winning documentary filmmaker and All Points North Foundation to make the film Changing By The Minute (CBTM) available to membership to use with students, parents, and in professional development with staff and pre-service teachers. The filmmaker, Camilla Calamandrei, had no fond memories of middle school herself but was surprised to find that her son was having the more important emotional and intellectual education of his life at his middle school and wanted to know why. Camilla was embedded as a one-woman film crew for an entire school year, yielding exceptional access, rare observational footage, and a wealth of candid interviews.

A research-based documentary toolkit, CBTM lifts the curtain to reveal authentic interactions of 10 to 15-year-olds recorded over a school year, allowing viewers to hear – unfiltered – from students about their social and emotional lives. It provides a jumping-off point for facilitated discussion about young adolescent development and identity and how to build supportive learning environments for middle schoolers.

Middle School Moments

View the 10-minute excerpt for a glimpse of the authentic middle school moments included in the film.

The CBTM Documentary Toolkit

The CBTM documentary toolkit contains a variety of resources to support educators in using the film with Students and Families, Staff, and Pre-service Teachers.

Using the accompanying guides, the film segments are designed to easily plug into professional development sessions, parent communications and educational events, college classes, and advisory programming.

Note: AMLE member login required to access the film clips (both streaming and downloadable files, professional development guides, and discussion guides). Once logged in, you will find comprehensive instructions on how to stream or download the films and discussion guides. Not a member? Join the AMLE community today to gain access.

Changing By the Minute

(Full, 62 minute documentary)

Changing By the Minute – Full Film Topic Segments

The below clips provide segments of the film organized by key middle grades topics. These segments and their accompany guides are designed to be easily incorporated into professional development activities, parent education activities, and advisory/SEL curriculum. (login required)

Changing By the Minute – The Middle School

The Successful Middle School Alignment: The Importance of Middle Level Education (pages 3-9)

Changing By the Minute – Middle School Friendships

The Successful Middle School Alignment: Culture and Community (and in particular pages 12-14)

Changing By the Minute – Young Adolescent Identity

The Successful Middle School Alignment: Young Adolescent Development (pages 55-65)

Changing By the Minute – Choices

The Successful Middle School Alignment: Culture and Community (and in particular pages 17-19)

Changing By the Minute – Community

The Successful Middle School Alignment: Culture and Community (pages 11-23)

Changing By the Minute – Bonus Clips

These short clips provide commentary, anecdotes, and insights on common middle grades topics and concepts. Combined with the accompanying guiding questions, they provide ideal jumping off points for robust conversations among educators, parents, and students. (login required)

Stereotypes vs. Realities of Early Adolescence

Students as Owners of their Own Learning

A School Leader’s Non-Negotiables

Successful Middle Schools: Different Approaches Yielding Same Results

Mixed Grade Project-Based Work

Exploratory Curriculum

Whole People: Embracing Multifaceted Identities

Executive Function: Incredible Growth

Getting to Know Yourself

Scaffolding Success: Appreciating Students’ Strengths

Social Development: Figuring out Relationships with Parents and Peers

Making Friends, Sticking with Friends: Peer Groups

Discovering Who You Want to Be: Social Identity

More Vicious Than They Would Ever Be in Person: Social Media

Something Took Over My Body

I am Not a Distraction: Student Voice and Activism

Need Help Getting Started?

Team AMLE is available to support your use of the film, including conducting facilitated professional development sessions with your staff and parents. For more information or with any questions, contact Katie Powell, AMLE Director for Middle Level Programs at

*Note: This film and its supporting guides are not designed to be a comprehensive presentation of middle level education issues. Nor does AMLE endorse any particular school or educator featured in the film. Rather, it is designed to stimulate meaningful conversation at the school and classroom level about the middle school experience. For more guidance and AMLE’s official position on middle grades best practice, educators should refer to The Successful Middle School: This We Believe and accompanying Successful Middle School program.