Educator Edition: 12-5-22

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An update from Academic Standards, Instruction and Assessment

Vol. 1, No. 4: Dec. 5, 2022

Happy Holidays!

From all of us here at the Academic Standards, Instruction and Assessment Division to all of you, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Updates From MDE

Including Indigenous Contributions into Science Instruction

There are a number of entry points within the 2019 Academic Standards in Science to include and teach the contributions of Minnesota’s indigenous communities. During the 2022 Minnesota Science Teachers Association Conference, MDE specialists presented guidance on instruction that includes Indigenous teachings that are aligned with the standards and benchmarks. The summary, presentation, and supporting resources are included at this link and below:

  • MDE presented a session at MnCOSE 2022 focused on Indigenous Education for All Students in Science. If you are interested in information about this session, please see our presentation resourcesMercury maps used in the presentation are a free resource provided by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  
  • MDE presented a session at MnCOSE 2022 focused on Teaching and Learning in Three Dimensions. If you are interested in information about this session, please contact Angela Kolonich or Samuel Zimmerman. Their contact information is provided below.

Presentation Overview

Are you wondering how to begin focusing on and including the contributions of Indigenous communities of Minnesota into your science teaching? This presentation focuses on increasing the focus and presence of Indigenous education in your classroom, and at your school. It also includes information about the 2019 Academic Standards in Science that include Indigenous contributions and provides resources and ideas for collaboration and support.

Takeaways and Guidance:

  • Learn about the land your school community resides on and which tribal communities also call this area home.
  • Build relationships with local parent organization (AIPAC), cultural centers, and Tribal Communities.
  • Build relationships with other school districts.
  • Develop a communication plan to share district aims with the school community and partners.
  • Learn to teach something you are not familiar with by bringing in outside resources or speakers, or let your students and parents be the expert on a given topic.

If you have any questions, need additional information and resources, please contact Angela Kolonich ( Science Specialist, and/or Sam Zimmerman (, Indigenous Education Specialist.

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Upcoming Opportunities

Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science (CS) Education Week takes place this week, Dec. 5–11. The educational week is an opportunity for educators to inspire and excite students and families about computer science. It’s a great time to try out an Hour of Code, learn about the work of Computer Science Heroes, and celebrate your computer science teachers and students.

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Middle School Arts Programs Wanted

Do you know a middle school that offers at least three arts areas at each grade level? Arts areas are dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. Please contact Arts Specialist Alina Campana ( She is collecting examples of how different middle schools do this in order to share different solutions statewide.

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Webinar: Creating a Culture of Mathematical Sense-Making in Standards-Based Classroom – Part 1

What are the actions mathematics educators can take to create a culture of sense making? On Jan. 11, 2023, from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m., MDE will start the discussion and investigation of student sense-making as it relates to standards, instruction and assessment in math classrooms around Minnesota. Additionally, MDE math content folks from academic standards, assessment, and COMPASS will be available for questions after the session. This session will not be recorded. Please sign up for the Jan. 11 Math webinarPlease contact Angela Hochstetter (651-582-8851) if you have questions or would like assistance in completing this form.

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Important Ideas and Research

K–12 Native American Education Report Released

Understanding Native Minnesota recently released a report focused on K–12 Native American teaching resources. “Restoring Our Place: An analysis of Native American resources used in Minnesota’s classrooms,” examines what curricular resources and professional development programs are used in the state’s elementary and secondary schools, which ones should be shared more broadly, what gaps or inadequacies exist among those resources, and the most pressing needs for new resources.

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Academic Standards, Instruction and Assessment

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