MSM 388: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, Retrieve this for great success!


Jokes You Can Use:  


Did you hear about the auto body shop that just opened?

  • It comes highly wreck-a-mended.


Why did the invisible man turn down the job offer?

  • Because he just couldn’t see himself doing it.


I just ended a long-term relationship today. I’m not too bothered, it wasn’t mine.


To this day, the boy that used to bully me at school still takes my lunch money. On the plus side, he makes great Subway sandwiches.


I won $3 million on the lottery this weekend so I decided to donate a quarter of it to charity. Now I have $2,999,999.75.


I saw a sign that said “Watch for children” and I thought, “That sounds like a fair trade”.


Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.




Hilariously Illustrated Vocabulary

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Project-Based Learning

I was recently reading the February, 2018 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 “From the Editor’s Desk” section, “Tips for Project Based Learning,” written by Peggy Perdue. In this article, Peggy provides 13 teacher tips for project-based learning.


From the Twitterverse:

Katie Powell‏ @Beyond_the_Desk Apr 19

A2: A decent tool to assess engaging teaching: #mschat

Shelby Cowan‏ @mscowansela

Wow! Learning some great information and strategies for vocabulary. #ksdetasn #mtss #TheMoreYouKnow

Dave Burgess‏ @burgessdave

Testing season mixed with end of the year stresses can make this stretch hard for teachers. Self-care is essential. “The Danger of Never Being Done” is REAL…I wrote about it here: … #ZenTeacher #tlap #LeadLAP #KidsDeserveIt #edchat

George Couros‏Verified account @gcouros

8 Things to Look For in Today’s Classroom …

Kim Campbell‏ @KimCamp4Kids

Ya know they say when teachers and students have fun together students do better and teachers do better. Coming together as a school community is so very important. #MakeItHappen @Hopkins270 @HopkinsWJH


Google‏Verified account @Google

So many different students, but just one of you. Take the pressure off your prep with video lessons from Google:


Diane Ravitch‏ @DianeRavitch

Pearson Embedded a “Social-Psychological” Experiment in Tests Without Student Knowledge …


Danny Steele‏ @SteeleThoughts

“Instructional leadership” is not about improving teachers… it is about creating the conditions where teachers can improve themselves.

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




Retrieval Practice Challenge Grids for the classroom


Retrieval Practice

When we think about learning, we typically focus on getting information into students’ heads. What if, instead, we focus on getting information out of students’ heads?



Create powerful FlashCards. Anki is based on timed retrieval.

  • From images to scientific markup, Anki has got you covered.
  • Review on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and any device with a web browser.
  • Only practice the material that you’re about to forget.
  • Use the free AnkiWeb synchronization service to keep your cards in sync across multiple devices.
  • From card layout to review timing, Anki has a wealth of options for you to customize.
  • Embed audio clips, images, videos and scientific markup on your cards, with precise control over how it’s shown.
  • Because the code and storage format is open, your important data is safe.


Interaction Online:  Creative activities for blended learning

Cambridge University Press, Lindsay Clandfield & Jill Hadfield.  

“This book is for teachers interested in incorporating interaction online into their teaching. Interaction Online is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to incorporate an aspect of online interaction in their language teaching. It is relevant for use with online, blended or face-to-face courses and appropriate for a wide range of teachers and learning contexts. This handbook contains over 75 tried and tested activities, the majority of which can be carried out either synchronously or asynchronously.”


Great Books for Middle School Book Clubs

This year our collection topped more than 70 titles to choose from and after I shared a snapshot of some of them on Instagram, I was asked for a list.  So here you are, our most-selected books from our book club selection, as well as a few new favorites for next year. Note, that some of these are more mature, for the more mature titles, students need parental permission to read them.


NASA Wavelength:

This site provides a full spectrum of NASA resources for earth and space science education.  NASA Wavelength is your pathway into a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels – from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs. These resources, developed through funding of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), have undergone a peer-review process through which educators and scientists ensure the content is accurate and useful in an educational setting. Use NASA Wavelength to quickly and easily locate resources, connect them to other websites using atom feeds, and even share the resources you discover with others through social media and email.


When you click on Middle School, you go to:

There you will find 953 resources, at this time.


Open Heritage

Explore the story and 3D model of each historic location


Web Spotlight:

Cambridge University Survey:  World Teacher Survey!

“Join teachers around the world and take part in the World Teacher Survey. Have your voice heard and help make teaching better for everyone!”  (Yes, it is probably someone’s research for their next book, but you might as well have fun with it!)


Paid summer breaks and other common myths about teachers

  • MYTH: Teachers have a paid summer vacation
  • MYTH: Teachers are given all their supplies
  • MYTH: All teachers receive an adequate wage


Why I cringe every time I hear the term Digital Literacy

So here is why I want to cringe. What students don’t possess most often is a not digital literacy, but rather digital fluency.

Fluency is different than literacy because the former is simply making meaning of something and the latter is the important concept of transfer of knowledge –  it’s where digital savviness begins to grow from a seedling to a beautiful blossoming tree.

“A literate person is perfectly capable of using the tools. They know how to use them and what to do with them, but the outcome is less likely to match their intention. It is not until that person reaches a level of fluency, however, that they are comfortable with when to use the tools to achieve the desired outcome, and even why the tools they are using are likely to have the desired outcome at all.”


Random Thoughts . . .  


Personal Web Site


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