MSM 241: Common Core – Calculate, Visualize and Code.

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:

Two philosophers were sitting at a restaurant, discussing whether or not there was a difference between misfortune and disaster.

“There is most certainly a difference,” said one. “If the cook suddenly died and we couldn’t have our dinner that would be a misfortune __ but certainly not a disaster. On the other hand, if a cruise ship carrying the Congress was to sink in the middle of the ocean, that would be a disaster __ but by no stretch of the imagination would it be a misfortune.


Socrates came upon an acquaintance that ran up to him excitedly and said, “Do you know what I just heard about one of your students?” “Just a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three. “The first test is Truth. Are you sure that what you will say is true? “Oh no,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it.” “So you don’t really know if it’s true, Socrates said. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?” “No, on the contrary..” “So,” Socrates interrupted, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?” The man shrugged, rather embarrassed. Socrates continued. “You may still pass though, because there is a third test, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me at all?” “Well it, not really..” “Well, concluded Socates, “If what you want to tell me is neither True nor good nor ever Useful, why tell it to me at all?” The man was defeated and ashamed. This is the reason Socrates was held in such high esteem. It also explains why he never found out what Plato was up to.


A teacher wanted his students to improve their spelling skills. So, he decided to have each of them come up to the front of the class and tell the class about their fathers’ profession or trade and to spell such profession or trade.

The teacher called up Johnny as the first student, and Johnny said, “My father is a baker, and you spell it B-A-K-E-R. If my father was here today, he would give everyone a cookie.”

“Very well,” the teacher said, and called Jim to the front. Jim said, “My father is a banker and you spell it: B-A-N-K-E-R. If he was here today, he would give everyone a quarter.

“Great,” said the teacher and called Tim to the front. Tim said: “My father is an electrician, and you spell it: E –E- L -K… E- L- E-K….”

Tim was having a hard time spelling, so the teacher said, “Tim, why don’t you sit and think about the spelling for a few minutes. In the meantime, we’ll have Peter come up and tell us about his father.”

Peter said, “My father is a bookie: B-O–O-K-I-E. And if my father was here today he would bet, 9 out of 10 that Tim would not spell ELECTRICIAN.”

In the doctors office two patients are talking “You know, I had an appendectomy last month and the doctor left a sponge in me by mistake” “A sponge!” exclaims the other “And do you feel much pain” “No pain at all”, says the first, “but do I get thirsty!”

Eileen Award:

  • Twitter: Brian Brushwood, Joy Kirr, Amber Gress


Point of View

Turn the sound off. Watch the first 8 seconds. Ask the class to describe what is going on. Watch the next 7 seconds. Ask the class if their view is different. Now have them describe again. Then watch the rest. Discuss with them about point of view and seeing the whole versus snippets.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


I was recently reading “The NSTA Ready-Reference Guide to Safer Science, Volume 2,” written by Ken Roy.  This book is available in the National Science Teachers Association’s online store at:


In this podcast, I share Ken’s response to the following question:

What is the requirement for keeping Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or Safety Data Sheets (SDS) available for employees in the laboratory?


From the Twitterverse:

* Larry Ferlazzo ‏@Larryferlazzo

RT @BarnettCTQ: John Merrow raises big ??? re Michelle Rhee w/ Chris Hayes  – beginning of end for Rhee-form agenda?

* Will Richardson ‏@willrich45

Why your 8-year-old should be coding | VentureBeat

* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod

Principal warns parents: ‘Don’t buy the bunk’ about new Common Core tests  #edreform #iaedfuture

* Karen Bosch ‏@karlyb

MI educators, don’t miss the Connected Educator conference next Saturday in Jackson!

* Distance Education ‏@onlinecourse

How to Transition Your Traditional Classroom to the Web –

* Jeff Herb ‏@InstTechTalk

Teach Current Events Using Apps  #edtech #edchat

* Elizabeth Bushey ‏@inklesstales 7h

How to Teach the Six Word Memoir in History Class – kbkonnected: Great writing activity! #literacy #sschat

* Bill Ivey ‏@bivey 57m

@SchlFinance101 @fredbartels I once said it’s as if we’re searching for the one best teacher in the country who can remotely teach all kids.

* Glen Westbroek ‏@gardenglen

Cutting-edge camera discovers new images of snowflakes in free fall  #scichat #STEM

* Will Richardson ‏@willrich45

Plan your digital afterlife with Inactive Account Manager  E-state planning. #edchat #parenting

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom

“How NOT to Teach Online: A Story in Two Parts” | Online Learning | HYBRID PEDAGOGY • #fhuedu642 #eLearning …

* Todd Bloch ‏@blocht574

RT @barbarawmadden: #rechat You want to pick up on some cool metaphors…Watch ONE episode of Duck Dynasty. 🙂 #rechat

#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.


Visually organize documents.


Use can use the site or install it on your blog/website. Available:


  • Scientific

  • Graphing

  • Programming

  • Equation Solver

Web Spotlight:


11 kinds of people I’ve noticed and how to decide who you want to be

Posted by Vicki Davis


  1. The poo-poo-ers

  2. The look-through-ers

  3. The get-round-to-ers

  4. The froo-froo-ers

  5. The pontificators

  6. The never-follow-through-ers

  7. The preener seeners

  8. The jump-in-to-ers

  9. The I-know-everything-because-I’m-rich-er

  10. The slackers

  11. The do-ers


WOW Math

Need help with Algebra 1 & 2 or AP Calculus AB? This website can help you. Why the name WOWmath? Well, I have found that many students, parents, and teachers say “WOW!” when they see all the resources I offer on this website. So, I hope that this site will make you say “WOW” as it helps you in your math class.


10 Apps For More Organized Project-Based Learning

There are a variety of ways to support students in project-based learning, including organized digital learning spaces that support creative thinking, collaboration, and ultimately project management. Below are 10 apps for more organized project-based learning.




Today, School is a Little Less Interesting

There is a growing percentage of America’s teachers, who have never taught in classrooms without the intimidation of high-stakes testing.

Every year, there are fewer teachers who have known the experience of confidently entering their classrooms with creativity, passion and the freedom to replace their textbooks with learning experiences that are unique, personal, powerful and authentic.

We must kill high-stakes testing before we do not have anyone left, who remembers how to be a teacher-philosopher.


Common Core: friend or foe?

Common Core – a unifying force or another educational policy hoop to jump through?

I, for one, will continue to champion the Common Core. Here’s why.

As I work to implement the Common Core this year, I have had many opportunities to collaborate. I have worked with my peers, both in-building and across the country through virtual networks, such as the Center for Teaching Quality’s Collaboratory.

I wonder, have we been underestimating our students’ abilities all along?

But the standards have become a catalyst for discussions that need to happen in all corners of education.

It doesn’t matter who created the Common Core; it matters who is implementing the standards in the classroom every day. That would be teachers like me.


iPad App/idea:

Free today:

Focus on Plant:  It covers four basic areas of plant areas, including plant parts.  the plant cell, the plant physiology, and the life cycle of plants.  Just tap on terms to get detailed breakdowns and close-up images.  The app also includes a searchable and audible plant science glossary.