Personalized Learning in the Middle Grades II - 2016


Session A: 9:45 – 10:45 am 

Livak Ballroom Room 417/419

A Journey Into Negotiated Curriculum
Jordy Griffin, Peoples Academy Middle Level
Jordy will share his story of integrating a negotiated curriculum model into his classroom this year!

The Personal Learning Plan Meets Literacy
Victoria Smith & Jen Hill, Crossett Brook Middle School
If we connect student choice to literacy in Middle School, do we improve their skills and engagement in Language Arts? If we set up stations in LA, do students work with more enthusiasm, and learn more? We started by connected their interests by writing a personal essay, which helped them to find themes in literacy. Come hear the results and suggestions for the next time we teach this.

Jost Foundation Room 422

Student Engagement with Digital Learning Management Systems and Digital Portfolios
Sydney Copp, Cori Rockwood & Amy Whitlock, Lamoille Union Middle School
Through the use of Schoology, a digital learning management system, we communicated and shared assignments with students. The students in return submitted work, displayed their knowledge and growth as learners, and recorded their progress in their digital portfolios using Google Sites. In this presentation we share how students describe the ways that these strategies affect their organization and engagement.

Does Analyzing and Reflecting on Social Media Interactions Improve a Student’s Own Digital Citizenship?
Diane Lepikko, Lamoille Union Middle School
Students enter middle school with a foundation of values from their families that they begin to reevaluate and challenge. Much of the middle school student’s communication occurs with the use of technology. I share a digital citizenship unit that utilizes the use of Schoology and Blogger as a venue to explore how technology can impact student understanding of healthy interpersonal communication and their sense of self.

Chittenden Bank Room 413

Goal Setting as a Process: Teaching Students How to Set and Implement Personal Exploration Goals
Lissa Fox, Harwood Union High School
My study examines how teaching the goal-setting process of planning, doing, assessing, reflecting, and revising influences students’ ability to investigate a personal exploration goal. I discuss how implementing a goal-setting process affects self-direction and independent learning in students

The Wolf Pack Has Your Back: Adventures in English 9, Collaboration, Proficiencies, and PLPs
Dorienne Cedeno, Moira Donovan, Rachel Duffy & Reeves Larson, Peoples Academy High School
We are a team of four English teachers collaborating to restructure our ninth grade curriculum. Our focus is on evidence-based writing and student reflection in PLPs. We are collaborating to examine student writing, including reflection, and adjusting our instruction.

Session B: 11 am – 12 pm

Livak Ballroom Room 417/419

Co-Constructing Speaking Rights and Listening Responsibilities to Evaluate Understanding and Engagement in Small Group Discussions
Emily Biolsi & Ania White, Marion Cross School
This year, our focus was to co-construct norms and expectations around speaking rights and listening responsibilities during small group discussions in 5th and 6th grade classrooms to promote student engagement in meaningful academic discourse to deepen understanding of discipline specific content. Using the Conversation Analysis Tool (CAT), filmed observations, and student blog reflections we evaluate the use of the protocol on student understanding and engagement.

How Does Professional Development Affect the Implementation of Classroom Technology?
Mary Colvin, Jen Little & Brendan Nerney, Mill River Union High School
For educators to integrate technology into their classrooms, they must be provided the necessary professional development. Our partnership with Tarrant has provided that opportunity as we entered year three of our 1:1 program. We will present data from the 1:1 program over the first two years of implementation and compare that to this years survey results. We will also include teacher perceptions of our professional development model and how that translated to more effective use of technology in the classroom.

Jost Foundation Room 422

1:1 - The Tech Effect on Student Reflection
Meg O’Donnell, Devon Morrill, Diana Rich, Katie Stansfield & Sam Nelson, Shelburne Community School
Our focus will be on meaningful and intentional integration of technology in the classroom. We will experiment with reflection tools, platforms for entry/exit tasks and portfolio development across the content areas. Our goal is to find and apply resources that seamlessly integrate technology into the classroom setting in a manner that increases reflection and student efficacy.

Growth Mindset and Grit: Implications for the Middle Level Classroom
Katherine Cooper, Browns River Middle School
Some of the most influential research on non-cognitive factors that influence achievement has been led by Carol Dweck on implicit theory of intelligence, or mindset, and by Angela Duckworth and others on grit and perseverance. This presentation seeks to share the literature on these non-cognitive factors and their influence on achievement, and strategies to help students build these skills. This research is particularly relevant for teachers of young adolescents, as these years are so influential on a person’s sense of self, and because the sense of self remains flexible and open to possibility during this stage of development.

Chittenden Bank Room 413

Using Google Tools to Help Students Create Personal Learning Plans
Jared Bailey & Joy Peterson, Williston Central School
Curious about how to use Google Tools? Act 77 is for students in grades 7 and up, but what could a PLP look like for 5th and 6th graders? Students in Sterling House are using Google Tools to get an early start on their PLPs. Jared and Joy will show you student examples using Google Sites to build student understanding of their Personal Learning Plan.

PLPs, IDUs and Negotiated Learning in a New 1:1 Tech Rich Middle School
Allison Paradee, Hazen Middle School
I share the new Initiatives of Hazen's Middle Level as we implement PLPs, IDUs and negotiated learning in our classrooms.

Lunch: 12 pm – 12:30 pm, Silver Maple Ballroom 401

Session C: 12:45 – 1:45 pm

Livak Ballroom Room 417/419

PLP Pathways: Creating a Professional Learning Network for Educators
James Nagle, Don Taylor & Maura Kelly, Middle Grades Collaborative
To assist educators in implementing PLPs we designed a monthly webinar series supported by a resource website that follows educators as they implement PLPs with their students. In this presentation we will share how PLP Pathways has helped teachers in working through the Personal Learning Framework of identity, growth and reflection, and transformation.

Jost Foundation Room 422

Introducing PLPs Using Google Classroom
Bonnie Pritchard & Kimberly Moore, Clarendon Elementary School
In this presentation we will give an overview of action research project – student engagement and transferable skills using Google Classroom. We will present our 5/6 grade PLP, share student Google Sites, and discuss our incorporation of Google Classroom.

Implementing 1:1 Norms and Digital Citizenship: How Do Student Digital Behaviors Change?
Debi Serafino, Brattleboro Area Middle School
Our hope was that our work at the Middle Grades Institute last summer, where the faculty refined the 1:1 norms, led to more on task student behavior using the chromebooks in the classroom. We share our work with students and compare student behaviors from last year with student behaviors during this year to see if refining our 1:1 implementation was successful.

Chittenden Bank Room 413

Toy or Tool: Introduction and Initial Implementation of PLP’s for 5/6th Graders with 1:1 Chromebooks
Amy Tatro, Hyde Park Elementary School
To implement PLPs our school moved to a 1:1 Chromebook model. With this combination of personal learning and technology, we share how students personalize their learning by focusing on Identity, Goal Setting, Evidence and Reflection.

Transitioning to PLP’s & PBL
Jeremy White, Danville School, Josie Jordan, SchoolHack
Join Danville middle school students, teachers and administrators and the creators of LiFT to hear how they have been using the LiFT platform to transition to personalized learning, flexible pathways, proficiency-based curriculum design, and formative assessment.

Session D 2 pm – 2:45 pm

Livak Ballroom Room 417/419

Using Digital Tools to Change Student Goal-Setting and Reflection
Barbara Nauton, Pat Bowen, Carie Dinnan, Sabrina McDonough & Helen Richards-Peele, Wallingford Elementary School & Shrewsbury Mountain School
This year we developed the cultural norms of our team in order to help students take responsibility for their learning and reflect on their role as citizens in the Grade 5/6 team at Wallingford and Shrewsbury. Students created personal goals in Google sites in order to increase engagement in their learning.

Student Led Conferences and Engagement in PLPs
Katie Bryant, Lamoille Union Middle School
Through our work in implementing PLPs, it became clear that authentic goal setting would be the harbinger of meaningful PLPs. In that same vein, a student led conference model could be an authentic way to engage students, and their families, in the goal setting process. Therefore, my team piloted a Student Led Conference (SLC) model in the hopes of gathering some data about how SLCs might influence the PLP process.

Jost Foundation Room 422

Moving Learning Through Personal Learning Plans
Jana Fabri, Nathan Caswell, Joshua Roof, Stacey Endres, Maria Gordon, Milton Middle School
The focus of our action research was to implement PLPs for our 6th-8th grade students. We planned that each student and faculty member would complete an electronic draft of their PLP by November. This included a section titled “About Me” as well as a section titled “Goals”. Going forward, we plan for students and faculty to expand their PLPs to include exploration and growth sections.

Lyndon Town School's Call to Adventure - The Quest for the PLP
Jen Reeve, Elizabeth King, Mollie Falk & Sue Galipeault, Lyndon Town School
Our presentation will use the vehicle of a hero's quest to paint a picture of our PLP implementation process. We will include many of the stages starting with our call to adventure, the gathering of our allies, vanquishing the villains, and moving forward to our final reward.

Chittenden Bank Room 413

Strategies for Teaching Math to English Language Learners
Nicole Crocco, U-32 Middle School
In mathematics classrooms, English Language Learners (ELLs) can struggle to gain content knowledge in a language they are not yet fluent in. My presentation will summarize strategies that can help ELLs access instruction, engage in math practices, demonstrate the role of language in mathematics, and my experiences attempting to put researched interventions into practice.

They Call Me “M”: Exploring Gender in a Middle School Science Classroom
Marjorie Adair Sartwell Schlitt, University of Vermont
I am researching the role gender plays in the middle grades science classroom by exploring personal and professional gender questions and commenting on the transformation of a classroom community using diversity-themed, and gender-inclusive language.

Closing Remarks: 2:45 – 3:00 pm, Silver Maple Ballroom 401

Thank you for joining us today. Have a safe trip and a very pleasant evening!