A Fisherman’s Tale
Two guys are fishing in a boat under a bridge. One looks up and sees a funeral procession starting across the bridge. He stands up, takes off his cap, and bows his head. The procession crosses the bridge and the man puts on his cap, picks up his rod and reel, and continues fishing. The other guy says, “That was touching. I didn’t know you had it in you.” The first guy responds, “Well, I guess it was the thing to do – after all, I was married to her for 40 years.”
A mother is reading a book to her 3 year old daughter. Mother: “What does the cow say?” Child: “Moo!” Mother: “Great! What does the cat say?” Child: “Meow.” Mother: “Oh, you’re so smart! What does the frog say?” The wide-eyed little 3 year-old looks up at her mother and in her deepest voice replies, “Bud.”
On Our Mind:
From our Listeners:
Thanks for all of your efforts to try to keep me up to speed. At my age (23) … I need all the help I can get!
My middle school uses Dropbox to track student discipline and parent contacts by team using Excel. We have found this to be an excellent way to keep track.
Here are a couple more middle school science items you might like to use. On a side note, I did a recent podcast on a one day science institute I went to and did a summation of each of the sessions I went to, similar to what you do with the NMSA sessions you attend. I like the idea of summarizing things we attend–good idea, thanks! It is the “Power of Technology” and can be heard at:
Keep up the good work,
11a. US Dept of Energy Grant Program for Middle School Teachers
Fermilab is offering a limited number of positions in its DOE ACTS cohort starting in the summer of 2010. Priority
for this cohort will be given to mid-level teachers (grades 5-9). Participants will meet at Fermilab for four weeks
each summer for three years. During the academic year following each summer, as participants implement their
summer work in their schools and work on small projects, they will be supported by program staff and by each
other, primarily through online meetings, with one or two face-to-face meetings as well.
The program combines three strands of professional development: scientific research, teaching & learning, and
educational leadership. Each year teachers will participate in a research project which will be woven together with
the other two strands to strengthen and reinforce one another. Participants will receive an $800/week stipend for
their summer work. Non-local participants will also receive housing and travel. All participants will be eligible for
grants to support classroom equipment purchases and travel to professional development conferences.
and click on DOE ACTS under “Programs for Teachers.” The deadline to apply is March 7, 2010. Please visit:
11b. Young Scientist Challenge
The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the premier national science competition for students in
grades 5 through 8. The Young Scientist Challenge is designed to encourage the exploration of science and
innovation among America’s youth and to promote the importance of science communication. In 1999, Discovery
Communications launched the competition to nurture the next generation of American scientists at a critical age
when interest in science begins to decline. In 2008 3M joined forces with Discovery Education in a quest to nurture
the next generation of American scientists with an innovative and interactive science program open to every middle
school student in America. Over the last ten years, more than 600,000 middle school students have been nominated
to participate in the competition, and winners have gone on to speak in front of members of Congress, work with the
nation’s top scientists, and pursue academic careers in the sciences. For more information, please visit:
From the Twitterverse:
- wfryer old school, new school is one of the best video clips I’ve seen yet from PBS digital_nation http://bit.ly/bsVI2z
(Old School, New School:Chatham High School students, like many nationwide, are increasingly surrounded by screens. Their teachers debate how to handle their split focus.)
- hshawjr RT @irasocol: You have PowerTalk for spoken PowerPoints, right? http://fullmeasure.co.uk/powertalk/
- irasocol All your school computers have Firefox with Click-Speak, right? http://clickspeak.clcworld.net/
- irasocol You do have a bunch of Flash Drives in your school loaded with Free AccessApps, right? http://is.gd/9jKdz
- Curriki Dear Middle School Science Teachers, Stop, Drop and Click! Fab resources to follow: http://ow.ly/1bduO
- NMSAnews RT @Scholastic and @gatesfoundation announce the largest-ever survey of America’s public school teachers: http://bit.ly/9VOBh3
- WebGalPat What does a 3 yr old digital native want from her library?: http://bit.ly/clycvt
- principalspage Questions About Google? I’ve Got Answers. http://post.ly/Po35
- drmmtatom Big, Huge, Free US Presidents Timeline Poster http://tinyurl.com/ykv5z2w #fhuedu508
- eduinnovation “Creativity is not an escape from disciplined thinking. It is an escape with disciplined thinking.” Jerry Hirschberg #creativity
- jonbecker All public employees should pay attention to this case. The 1st Amendment is tricky: http://is.gd/9i12p
Obama Pitches Education Proposal to Governors
Published: February 22, 2010
The president’s proposal, part of the administration’s recommendations for a Congressional overhaul of the No Child Left Behind education program initiated by President George W. Bush, would require states to adopt “college- and career-ready standards” in reading and math to qualify for federal money from a $14 billion program that concentrates on impoverished students.
The president praised efforts by 48 states — all but Alaska and Texas — to develop common standards in math and reading, coordinated by the National Governors Association. The collaboration was a bipartisan project at variance with the highly polarized political mood in Washington that has frustrated many of Mr. Obama’s top priorities in Congress.
What Your Master Teacher Knows
“Teaching is the most difficult profession of them all,” educator Lee Shulman recently told a group of teachers and psychologists. The only time a physician comes close to doing what a teacher does is when the doctor faces an emergency room of multiple patients with multiple conditions, all of whom need immediate attention.
Shulman described a few of the basics required of the expert teacher: cognitive understanding of how students learn; emotional preparation to relate to many students whose varied needs are not always evident; content knowledge from which to draw different ways to present a concept; and, finally, the ability to make teaching decisions quickly and act on them.
Willingham goes on to say that ignoring research-based principles of learning—for example, that “factual knowledge precedes skills” or that “proficiency requires practice”—can have negative effects on student learning. He also critiques many familiar principles that he regards as lacking a research base, for example, learning styles theory. “Knowledge of students’ learning style is not necessary,” he says. “Think of lesson content driving decisions about how to teach, not student differences.”
In “One Kid at a Time,” Carol Ann Tomlinson (p. 12) recalls the students who challenged her “certainties” about teaching and started her thinking about the principles that underlie differentiated instruction. Scott taught her how to connect with a student’s interests. Golden taught her how important it is to allow a student to enter the curriculum at a place that makes sense for him. Geoff taught her how to give students permission to pursue their passions and work at their own pace. Figuring out how to make learning work for one student left her better prepared to address the needs of all.
The Title I program would be rebranded “College and Career Ready Students” and financed at $14.5 billion in fiscal 2011, not including money provided under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic-stimulus program.
Kentucky has become the first state to adopt common academic standards that were drafted as part of a nationwide initiative to establish a widely shared and ambitious vision of student learning.
Events & Happenings:
Calendar of Events:
- NMSA is looking for both an Executive Director and an Assistant Executive Director. You can apply here. Good luck!
- The Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Annual Conference is coming up March 4-5, 2010 in Dexter, MI. MAMSE will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary!
- The Michigan Joint Education Conference will be in Redford, Michigan (Thurston High School) this summer June 23, 2010. Keep tabs on the website for more details coming soon.
- Classroom 2.0’s Live Calendar.
- Second Life:
- Regular Tuesday meetings are scheduled. See the board on the ISTE Island for up to the minute details.
- Video: Educational Uses of Second Life