Big Idea #1 - A fun science video

If you need a fun fill-in for one of the final days of science class, PBS’ NOVA is the place to go. University of Montana Professor of Biology Doug Emlen is the host of NOVA’s Extreme Animal Weapons episode. You can watch the video here in case you missed the show’s air date of May 23, 2018.

Big Idea #2 - Summer PD options

  • Montana State University's Master of Science in Science Education program is offering courses and seminars for the summer, ranging from earthquakes to statistics. Classes begin June 11th, and some courses include fieldwork. Visit the program's website for a list of courses and registration instructions.

  • The Biomimicry Collaborative is offering a special 2-day training for 7th-grade life science teachers. Macro to Micro: Innovation Inspired by Nature. The training is June 19-20, 2018 at Salish Kootenai College. You can contact Rene Dubay with any questions you may, or you can register here to attend the training.

  • The Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) is hosting their annual M Cubed conference in Butte June 27th-28th. Join mathematics teachers from across the state to discuss and learn about mathematics education from one another! Learn more and sign up for M Cubed at the MCTM M Cubed site.

  • The Montana Arts Integration conference is June 27-29, 2018 at the University of Montana in Missoula.  This year’s theme is Arts Transform Community. One of the sessions at the conference focuses on the collaboration between Ko Umezaki, a member of the Silk Road Ensemble, and their work with the Lame Deer School District. Visit the conference website for registration information and other details.

  • Join K-20 educators at Salish Kootenai College August 13th-17th for a week of fun and challenging math. Deepen your own mathematical understanding of patterns and algebraic thinking while learning how to support students as powerful users of mathematics. The week is free and graduate level continuing education credits will be offered! Learn more and register at the FRACTion site.

Big Idea #3 - Nominations for Student Assessment Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

The OPI is soliciting applications for membership on a negotiated rulemaking committee to amend ARM 10.56.101 pertaining to the policies and procedures for standardized test administration using the required statewide assessments.

Applications for membership on the negotiated rulemaking committee must be received no later than June 30, 2018. After receipt and consideration of the comments and applications, the agency will establish a negotiated rulemaking committee no later than July 13, 2018. The members selected to serve on the committee must be able to adequately represent the interests of the persons that will be significantly affected by the proposed rule amendment. The committee members will be notified in writing of their selection and receive an information packet.

Any individual or entity interested in applying for or nominating another person for membership on the committee must submit the following information in writing to Ashley McGrath, amcgrath@mt.gov, Office of Public Instruction, P.O. Box 202501, Helena, Montana 59620, no later than June 30, 2018:

  • (a) the person's name or the nominee's name, address, and contact information including telephone or e-mail address where you can be contacted during the summer months and during the school year;

  • (b) evidence that the person or nominee represents any of the specific criteria of interest groups listed above;

  • (c) the name of the school district in which the nominee lives or works, and the relationship of the person or nominee to it;

  • (d) a commitment that the person or nominee will be able to participate in the negotiated rulemaking process and will actively participate in good faith in the development of the proposed rule amendment under consideration; and

  • (e) the ability of the person or nominee to cover committee participation costs (such as telephone calls, travel, and per diem expenses).

Visit the May 25, 2018 Montana Administrative Register for more detailed information about the committee’s work.


This is our last edition for the 2017-2018 school year. Have a safe and happy summer. The 3 Big Ideas will be back in late August.


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

Colet Bartow, Director, (406) 444-3583

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

Cari Russell, Teacher Learning Hub Project Specialist, (406) 444-4422

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

Michelle McCarthy, Science, (406) 444-3537

Marisa Franklin, Mathematics, (406) 444-0706

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

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

The OPI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, require an alternate format, or have questions concerning accessibility, contact the OPI ADA Coordinator, 406-444-3161opiada@mt.gov, TTY 406-444-0235