Big Idea #1 - Create Formative Assessments for the Montana Science Standards

The OPI will select a group of 24 science educators to develop meaningful, actionable, and relevant resources for formative assessment of Montana’s new science standards. These standards align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Progress towards building a balanced assessment system for science will begin with developing formative assessments and strategies during a three-day summer workshop July 26 – July 28, 2017.  The three-day, in-person meeting will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided. Participants will be compensated with a $500 stipend and be reimbursed for lodging.

How to Apply

Elementary (Grades K-5) Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science - access application.

Secondary (Grades 6-12)

Note: If you would like to review the application questions (32), please follow these links below to access hard copy versions: Elementary Application, Secondary Life Science Application, Secondary Physical Science Application, and Secondary Earth and Space Science Application.

More information about the event, please click here.

Questions can be directed to Ashley McGrath at or 406.444.3450.

Big Idea #2 - Western Art Contest

The Western Governors Association is having their second annual Celebrate the West art contest for high school students in the 19 Western states and three US territories, including Montana. The 2016 contest had over 200 entries and last year's Montana state finalist came from Missoula's Hellgate High School. Students may draw ideas for their art from their communities, state history, landmarks, or other sources in their state. Digital entries for the 2017 contest are due April 30, 2017. Visit the Western Governors' Association website for the contest entry form and rules. 

Big Idea #3 - Graphic Arts Contest

The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) is having their ninth annual student design contest. This year's theme is MAGnify! Students are encouraged to design and print a full-page magazine ad for a product of their choice that is linked to digital media that demonstrates the role that print plays in today's multichannel media mix. The contest is open to all secondary and post-secondary students studying graphics communications/printing, advertising, graphic design, or interactive media program. Entries must be submitted by teachers/instructors, and are due June 2, 2017. Visit GAERF's website for the contest entry form and rules.

~ Content Standards & Instruction thanks you for reading the 3 Big Ideas ~

Colet Bartow, Director, (406) 444-3583

School Library & Resource Coord., (406) 444-3583

Jessica Bryant, Teacher Learning Hub Coord., (406) 444-3557

Christy Mock-Stutz, English Language Arts, (406) 444-0736

Michelle McCarthy, Science, (406) 444-3537

Jake Warner, Mathematics, (406) 444-0706

Marjorie O’Rourke, Professional Learning Data & Info Specialist, (406) 444-3538

Wanda Arlint, Administrative Assistant, (406) 444-0716