MSM 343:  The TED-ED Club does that 100 Word Challenge . . . Go!


Jokes You Can Use:

A frog, a duck, and a skunk went to the movies. The frog and duck were allowed to see it, but the skunk wasn’t.


Because the frog had a greenback, the duck had a bill, but the skunk had only one scent.


What kind of medical help does a mermaid seek, a vet or a doctor?


The father of five children had won a toy at a raffle. He called his kids together to ask which one should have the present.

“Who is the most obedient?” he asked. “Who never talks back to mother? Who does everything she says?”

Five small voices answered in unison. “Okay, dad, you get the toy.”

Middle School Science Minute  

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

A Closer Look at Flowers

I was recently reading the September, 2016 issue of “Science Scope,” a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  

In this issue, I read the the article, “A Closer Look at Flowers: Exploring Structure and Function in Science and Art.” It was written by Laura Robertson.  In the article she shows how she integrates artistic design into her unit on flowers by adding another lens through which students can evaluate the specialized structures and organization of flowering plants.

From the Twitterverse:  

Dave Schmittou

⚓️ ‏@daveschmittou


So true! Collaboration cannot be a hoop to jump through or a facade created by admin.

#TeacherGoals ‏@teachergoals

Black Friday…when the rest of the world gets to experience what it’s like to be at recess duty for a teacher. #teacherprobs


Scott Rocco ‏@ScottRRocco

Good info: Using Graphic Organizers Correctly  #satchat #k12 #education

Tom Loud ‏@loudlearning


Rules w/out a relationship leads to rebellion! @nalang1 #edchat

MSMI ‏@MSM_Institute

This section of the Middle School Matters Field Guide lays out principles for schools to follow in implementing…  

Sharon LePage Plante ‏@iplante

5 Ways to Bring Literature to Life with @Buncee @ClassTechTips  #edtechchat


Here are our top ten strategies and practices that can help all students overcome barriers.


#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  And as Troy says, “The Twitter never stops!”  



Appears to be gone.


TED-ED Clubs

How Clubs Work

In TED-Ed Clubs, students work together to discuss and celebrate creative ideas. Club leaders receive TED-Ed’s flexible Clubs curriculum to guide their school’s club and to help inspire tomorrow’s TED speakers and leaders.

You can start the application process by filling out the TED-Ed Clubs application. After your application is reviewed, you’ll receive an email with next steps for gaining approval to start an official TED-Ed Club.

Want to learn more? Dive into the details by downloading this information packet.

Digital Public Library of America

Web Spotlight:

Biology Resources

ATEP Project.

100 Word Challenge

We ask children to write in school but often there is no apparent purpose that they can see other than pleasing their teacher! This can prompt some very reluctant writers in our classrooms. The 100 Word Challenge seeks to address this problem.

It is a weekly creative writing challenge for children under 16 years of age. Each week a prompt is given, which can be a picture or a series of individual words and the children can use up to 100 words to write a creative piece. This should be posted on a class blog and then linked to the 100 Word Challenge blog. The link is usually open from midday on Sundays until midnight the following Saturday.

By setting a limited word count with a focused theme and a guaranteed audience beyond the class teacher, children have far greater motivation for writing. Those who are reluctant writers feel safe with only 100 words to write, whilst those more advanced writers can really extend themselves with the word restriction.

One of the special things about 100WC is that those entering a piece are encouraged to visit other blogs and leave a constructive comment. Peer ‘talking’ to peer is very powerful and we have seen a real improvement in some writing that has come from suggestions from other children. It also provides another teaching point for teachers to show children how to comment constructively.

The 100 Word Challenge has been used for homework tasks and up leveling practice as well as a regular writing activity. Teachers have found that this has helped with their workload. It certainly helps drive traffic to a blog which in turn helps the motivation for blogging in general. The Quadblogging phenomenon has been able to use 100 Word Challenge for a shared activity. This of course provides an international audience.

Above all – it is fun! Children feel challenged and then really rewarded when they see the comments (please see Team 100WC). Do join in and see writing improve!

Random Thoughts . . .  

Personal Web Site