Weekly Links #6


Happy August! And Happy New Year! We believe 2019-2020 will be AMAZING for middle grades teachers and students in Alabama. Here are a few items from around the web for your weekend.

Many thanks to Charlsie Wigley, who recently recommended two new books for our Middle Grades Reads. Check out her summaries below:

Internment by Samira Ahmed: Set in a futuristic America not too far from our present, Layla Amin and her family are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens in California. The seventeen-year-old must learn first hand the trials of discrimination and the power of revolution. Layla must also confront her emotions regarding her boyfriend, a Jewish teenager back in her hometown, and the alliances she makes with others being held captive at the internment camp. If you are into drama, dystopian young adult lit, and/or books with a social justice flair, you will appreciate the topics covered and pace of this novel's plot. Due to language, it is recommended for ages 15+.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary K. Schmidt: Joseph is in trouble. A product of the foster care system, his home instability and difficulty with dealing with his pent-up anger lands him in a tense situation with a teacher. Kicked out of school, he is placed with a new family including a scrawny kid named Jack. They are an unlikely duo, but the two become thick as thieves. Their bond is put to the test when Jack learns that Joseph has a baby daughter named Jupiter. Will he be able to help Joseph find his daughter? What will happen if he does? Find out in Orbiting Jupiter.

AMLE recently welcomed their new CEO, Stephanie Auditore. Connect and learn from here here!

In the coming weeks, teachers will be establishing connections with families so we can keep in contact about our students throughout the year. Have you tried ClassTag? We love this communication tool that offers options for reminders, weekly newsletters, class photo galleries, conference and event scheduling, and more!

Do you practice mindfulness in your school? If so, or if you’d like to get started, you’ll be excited to know that the Calm app is now free for educators. This includes their full library of guided meditations, as well as Calm Kids, which is geared specifically for children in grades K-12. Learn more here, and thank you to Michele Downey for the recommendation!

Upcoming Events: Are you registered for the Alabama Conference on Grading and Assessment for Learning? Be there on October 5! And don’t forget that the AMLE Annual Conference is in November. Grab your promo code, and meet us in Nashville!

Follow Friday: Do you know about West Smiths Station? Great things are happening at this school serving some of our younger middle level kiddos in Lee County. Follow along with them this school year via Twitter!