SWMSS Indian Education for All Learning Opportunities 2018-19

Professional Learning Sessions

Bring in SWMSS professional learning consultant Kim Quigley to facilitate one of the following IEFA integration sessions, customized to your needs.  Followed by the session learning experience, we will provide an overview of additional IEFA resources and opportunities from OPI to help teachers with their next steps in accessing support for IEFA integration.  (2-3 hours per session)

Pictographs to Poetry

Participants view Montana pictographs first through the lens of an archaeologist and through the lens of a poet.  Then they create pictographs of their own life and write a poem from the pictograph using Birthright as a mentor text.  In this engaging, interactive session, teachers will experience a powerful lesson that can be adapted for their own classrooms, and used to spark other ideas for teaching Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians and the Montana Common Core State Standards for ELA.  

Mountain Spirits

Many groups of native peoples visited or lived in the area during prehistoric and historic times.  Primary among them was the Shoshone group called the Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters, who maintained a rich and abundant way of life closely related to their primary source of protein, the mountain sheep of the high-altitude Yellowstone area. Through Native American Poetry we look through the lens of survival of these great people.

Using Art and Literature to Foster Critical Thinking and Collaborative Conversations, K-12

Through literature, art, effective questioning, and collaborative facilitation techniques, participants will learn ways to foster critical thinking and meaningful discussions, while deepening knowledge of American Indian culture and the Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians.

NGSS - Lab Reports in Writing

Lab Reports and Science Books, uses inspirational IEFA nonfiction texts to help students design and write about experiments and other scientific information using the NGSS and newly adopted Montana Science Standards. Students share their experiment and findings in a science symposium.

Games, PE, and Writing

Students study sports articles as their mentor texts, learn traditional Indian Games, and then write about the play-by-play action in sports language.  Students film the games with sportscasters and share their video with the school audience.

Strategies to Deepen Comprehension: Native American Boarding Schools

Through nonfiction texts and media capturing the time period in history in which Native American children were taken away from their families and sent to boarding schools, participants will learn best practices for fostering students’ comprehension, with an emphasis on text structures and features.  They will gain lesson examples and resources to apply to reading units of their own.  

Engineering, Project-Based Learning

Students will investigate the materials and tools used by Native American Indians in different regions of the U.S. as they think like engineers and engage, explore, and build models of Native American homes.  This session integrates reading, writing, and thinking like engineers, while deepening knowledge of Native American history.  

Geometry in Nature, K-8

Geometry allows students to describe, analyze, and understand the physical environment.  Using tangrams and engaging stories, designs, and art from various Native American tribes, students will explore nature and shapes to design their own creations.

Building Relationships and Community in the Classroom, K-12

In this session participants will discuss ways to build a caring, safe, and inclusive classroom community.  Practical strategies and examples will be shared to help students build relationships and a sense of connectedness across cultures and perspectives.  

Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading and Problem Solving

Tanny McGregor uses metaphors, art, music  and concrete representations to make thinking visible.  Using schema, questioning, inferring, visualizing, determining importance and synthesizing strategies her methods not only help students understand what they read but also gives them the tools for problem solving as well.

The Gift of the Bitterroot

“Women have always been considered the caretakers of the bitterroot. For generations, a woman has been appointed to watch over the plant to determine when it was ready for digging.” (As told by Johnny Arlee, Illustrated by Antoine Sandoval in The Gift of the Bitterroot).  How do organisms vary in their traits? How are plants, animals, and environments of the past similar or different from current plants, animals, and environments? What happens to organisms when their environment changes? This Third Grade science lesson integrates the new Montana Science Standards (MTSS) with IEFA Essential understandings.


Museum of the Rockies - Annual IEFA Institute - May 2019 (date tbd)

Through this full-day institute, educators will gain strategies and resources for integrating Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians. Learn ways to incorporate MOR’s online photo archive, traveling trunks, exhibits, and more!

Online Book Study/Facilitated Course (Gr. K-8)

Join our SWMSS online book study course using Google Classroom. Together we will read and discuss recommended IEFA books, engage in experiences that will deepen our understanding of ways to maximize IEFA, and collaborate with educators from across the consortium to discuss practical strategies to use in different grades and content areas. Although this course is self-paced, there will be opportunities to connect live through one-two webinar sessions we will host for further discussion.

Books provided by SWMSS. Earn 30 OPI renewal units! 2018-19 Course Dates TBD. Contact Melissa Tovaas for more information: mtovaas@swmss.coop

Books of focus: Sweetgrass Basket, Shi-Shi Etko, My Name is Seepeetza

IEFA Book Tubs - BOOK RENTAL

Indian Education For All Book Tubs are available from SWMSS. Visit the SWMSS website (Education Services - Resources Library) to review titles, unit activities and the checkout process. Each book set is encased in a box that includes a folder with a print out of the appropriate lesson plan (if available) and other resources as identified by teachers who have taught the book.

IEFA Book List

Search for books by text level, content, theme, genre, and more to incorporate into your classroom libraries or instruction with our IEFA Book List (in progress). Contact Kim Quigley for more information:  kquigley@swmss.coop.  

Don’t have the funds but want the support?  Let’s talk.

We may have grant funds to support you this year!

(first come first served)

For more information contact Melissa Tovaas – mtovaas@swmss.coop  (406) 624-3336 ext. 2