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Thursday, October 5, 2017

MEA-MFT Is Only a Few Weeks Away

Will I see you at the MEA-MFT Educators Conference in Missoula on Thursday, October 19-20?

I’ll be participating in two sessions on Thursday:
  • Montana and the Great War: Bringing It Home, 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
  • Montana History Reborn (a panel discussion organized by Ken Egan), 3:00 PM - 4:50 PM

My colleague Deb Mitchell and I will also be staffing our booth in the exhibit hall, so stop by and say hello and check out our new resources! And if anyone wants to convene for cocktails and conversation, I propose we arrange a meet-up Thursday evening at 5:15 p.m. Anyone know a good place in Missoula to gather for convivial conversation? Email me. 

But back to more formal learning opportunities: I've been perusing the program, and there are a LOT of other sessions I’m interested in attending. Here are a few that caught my eye.

On Thursday

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM, Blackfeet Language and Stories: Maato'ommstatto'osi tells old stories that have been passed down generation to generation by the Piikunnii. Audiences get a taste of how Piikunnii lives once were, how their spirituality and empathy were important, and the joys of humor. He teaches people about Blackfeet people while making the audience feel respected.

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM: Montana's Legal System--What Teachers and Students Should Know: Have you ever wanted to teach your students about Montana's legal system but were afraid to go there? Come learn about legal resources, including free guides, from attorneys and members of the state bar's law-related education committee. Teach students what they should know legal-wise before they turn 18!

12:00 PM - 12:50 PM, A Visit with an 1879 American Fur Company Trader: Portrayal of James Willard Schultz (Apikuni) who wrote extensively regarding his life with the Blackfoot Nation. Schultz would live to see and experience the end of the buffalo days. His stories climax with a visionary gift to be shared with school kids - suggesting positive hope for our future.

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM, Before the Horse: Northern Rockies Lifestyles: Indian people of the Northern Rockies are most often considered part of the American Indian Horse Culture, yet the people existed long before the horse appeared 280 years ago. In those centuries before the horse, when the extensive use of dogs was most prevalent. Listeners will re-think ancient cultures' impact.

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM, Igniting Students' Civic Involvement Through Montana Politics and Government: This session will explore strategies to engage students in civics through conversations about local and state government, politics, and service learning. Siri Smillie, Education Policy Advisor to Gov. Steve Bullock and her former teacher Eileen Sheehy will lead teachers in this interactive session.

1:00 PM - 2:50 PM, The Digital Storywork Partnership: Community Engagement and Social Studies Education: The Digital Storywork Partnership connects youth with community members to conduct research and produce documentary films. The Partnership applies community-centered and culturally revitalizing pedagogy using a framework collaboratively developed with partners. This session will introduce participants to the DSP as a model for youth-led inquiry to enhance social studies education.

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM, Storytelling: Cultural Survival, Indigenous Cultures, and the Importance of Story: Storytelling is integral to education and cultural survival. How does story define community? How does it keep cultures intact? What functions does story serve in shaping our understanding of the world? Sharing stories with a focus on Indigenous American stories and perspectives, we learn our history.

2:00 PM - 3:50 PM, Project-based Learning with Montana National History Day: This section will discuss how to implement Montana National History Day in your classroom by using the project-based learning method and what programs MTNHD can offer you and your students. This is geared for teachers 4-12, deals with Common Core, IEFA and technology education.

4:00 PM - 4:50 PM, Resources to Reach Reluctant Writers from NHD (National History Day): This session is for educators in grades 6-12 to share resources from National History Day to help teachers improve reading and writing in their classrooms.

4:00 PM - 4:50 PM, Find the Clues, Unlock the Learning: Do you enjoy challenges? Breakout Edu is an activity that promotes collaboration, teamwork, problem-solving, higher level thinking skills and more. You will use primary sources, documents and photos to help solve the clues. Come explore a new way to engage your students. Electronic devices encouraged.

On Friday

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM, New Resource for Geography Education: The Giant Map of Montana: The National Geographic State Giant Traveling Map of Montana is a 15x20 foot floor map promotes an interactive geography learning experience for elementary and middle school students. Educators will have the opportunity to engage in lessons using the giant map and learn how to bring the map to their classrooms.

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM, Mapping Censorship: the Montana Banned Books Project: Join us as we share the new interactive online map detailing the history of book challenges in Montana! We’ll share some of the more interesting challenges as well as broader intellectual freedom implications. Participants will learn about the software used and discuss how it could be applied in their classrooms.

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM, Geographic Pedagogy: Droughts, Floods, Resilience, Science and Community Development: This session explores important contemporary dynamics in geographic education and pedagogy, including issues such as drought and flooding in Montana, ecological and human resilience to climate change, and the role of science in community development.

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM, Highways, Treaties, and Poems: Through maps, poems, treaties, and seasonal rounds, teachers will work interactively to discover how the cultural landscape changed in Montana after the Fort Laramie and Hell Gate treaties were established. Suitable for K-12, all subjects, background knowledge building, and integration ideas.

12:00 PM - 12:50 PM, Reaching Reluctant Writers Through Social Studies: Reluctant writers lurk in every classroom. This interactive session will give teachers strategies to help improve student writing in Social Studies classrooms. Gain specific tools to use historical content to improve historical thinking and writing skills.

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM, Teaching Montana Indian History with Primary Sources: This section presents innovative ways of incorporating archival, primary sources into lessons on Montana’s Native American history. Drawing primarily on documents held in the Montana Historical Society archives, I will demonstrate how these primary sources can inform how we teach Montana Indian history topics such as treaties, trade, and sovereignty.


3:00 PM - 3:50 PM, Teaching about Tribal Sovereignty and Federal Indian Policy: This interactive session will provide ideas, resources and strategies for teaching about contemporary American Indian issues. Relevant resources and where to access them will also be shared with participants.

Hope to see you soon!

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