Middle Grades Conference 2023 - Equitable Oriented Middle Grades Education

Middle Grades Conference Schedule

Check-In & Refreshments 8:30 - 9 AM Silver Maple Ballroom 401

Welcome 9 am – 9:15 AM Silver Maple Ballroom 401

SESSION A 9:30-10:30 AM

Livak Ballroom Room 417/419, Facilitator: Jessica DeMink-Carthew

Mirrors and Windows: A Reflection on Classroom Environment in Equity
Stephanie Zuccarello, Pam McGrath, and Elizabeth Emerson

Peoples Academy Middle Level
We share how allowing students to see themselves and others in the curriculum and in the learning environment created a stronger sense of self, empowered individuality, and celebrated differences.

Cultivating Equity and Belonging Through Diverse Visual Literacy (DVL) Studies

Damariscotta Rouelle

Chelsea Middle School

This project takes the lens of equity literacy to create a sense of belonging in students using the Arts to cultivate understanding, empower awareness, and redress inequities.

Jost Foundation Room 422, Facilitator: Meg O’Donnell

Student Voices and Choices in Spanish Class

Beth Merrill

Main Street Middle School

This presentation shares how student voice and choice influence student engagement in middle school language classes.

Student Voice, Student Choice

Elizabeth Placencia

Middlebury Union Middle School

This presentation focuses on two specific activities used with 6th grade students to begin the school year in a way that cultivates an anti-bias community. The purpose of the activities is to start the year in a way that allows students to be part of creating a learning community that is a brave and safe learning space for all perspectives and opinions and that does not allow for hate.

Chittenden Bank Room 413, Facilitator: Kristie Smith

First Steps Toward Curating an Inclusive Curriculum and Fostering Critical Thinking in a High School Creative Writing Classroom
Lissa Fox

Randolph Union Middle & High School
This project intends to infuse social justice into a high school Creative Writing curriculum through incorporating diverse voices, teaching critical thinking skills, and providing language to respond to bias and inequity.

How Will Lessons on Critical Literacy Impact Expressions of Student Identity?

Jon Potts

Harwood Union Middle & High School

this presentation shares my journey so far this year as I introduce lessons with a strong focus on representation, identity, and authorship--with a consideration for the lessons' impact students' expressions of identity.

SESSION B 10:45-11:45 AM

Livak Ballroom Room 417/419, Facilitator: Katy Farber

Leadership, Sustainability and Youth Partnership

Don Taylor & Students

Main Street Middle School

Emerging from the pandemic, the MSMS Sustainability Program was created through youth partnership. Youth leaders present on the evolution of the program, leadership training, and sustainable action projects.

Newark Newts Morning Power Hour and Friday Exploratory Program

Tim Mulligan, Ty Mulligan & Students

Kingdom East School District

We share how we implemented a daily morning movement program and a year-long Friday exploratory learning program and the impact it has had on our learning community.

Jost Foundation Room 422, Facilitator: Joe Rivers

Cultivating and Sustaining Engagement through Routines and Positive Feedback

Morgan LaPointe

Peoples Academy Middle Level

This project attempts to cultivate a sense of belonging in science class through predictable daily routines and frequent positive feedback. From students I learn what’s working and what needs to change.

Learning about Scientists from Diverse and Marginalized Populations

Molly Roach

Middlebury Union Middle School

This research project examines the extent that learning about scientists from diverse and marginalized populations can change students’ thinking about who scientists are.

LUNCH 11:45-12:30 PM Silver Maple Ballroom 401

SESSION C 12:30-1:30 PM

Livak Ballroom Room 417/419, Facilitator: Don Taylor

Climate Justice: Empowering Youth to Advocate for Change

Louise Beaudry

Charleston Elementary School

In a climate justice unit for eighth grade science students I present what students learned about the Sustainable Development Goals and how they created an advocacy project to facilitate change.

STEAM for Social Justice and Sustainability

Lisa Holderness

Two Rivers Supervisory Union

In this interactive presentation, we look at language and choices of examples to think of ways we can adjust for greater inclusion and emotional safety in a STEAM classroom. We share empowering projects/resources to address middle school standards while building students’ ability to envision and create a more just, joyful and sustainable path for learning.

Jost Foundation Room 422, Facilitator: Jessica DeMink-Carthew

Effect of Place-Based Learning Experiences on Rural Elementary Students
Amanda Allemeier

Smilie Memorial School
I present on the levels of engagement I observed in students in grades one through four when attending a place-based learning experience as compared to classroom instruction.

Increasing Student Success Through Increased Learning Styles Opportunities
Jennifer Vargo

Peoples Academy Middle Level
In an effort to increase student attentiveness, on-task behavior and knowledge acquisition, this project incorporates a multitude of teaching strategies that provide multiple ways to gain knowledge and access information for more equitable learning.

Chittenden Bank Room 413, Facilitator: Life LeGeros

Reflecting on Math Anxiety

Scot Pooler

Windsor Middle school

Test anxiety is on the rise. This presentation shares how certain assessments can lead to increased anxiety and how to alleviate that anxiety.

Student Engagement in a Skills Based Assessment System

Tammi Parker

Lyndon Town School

This presentation discusses changes in student engagement when the report cards have been skills-based for six years.

Closing Remarks 1:45 – 2:00 PM Silver Maple Ballroom 401