MSM 227: We’re Not New & Noteworthy, We’re Hot!

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Eileen Award:


  • Facebook:  Joyce Capcara Fisher, Nelly Korman, The Simply Scientific Classroom


Jokes You Can Use:

A boy always asks for 50 cents from his mother. So his mother questioned the boy on why he kept asking for 50 cents. The boy replied that his friend told him that if you eat 50 cents worth of peanuts a day you would become smarter. Quickly his mother gave him $5. The boy asks “Why $5”, and the mother replied, “Buy 50 cents of peanut for yourself and buy peanuts for your father with the balance.”

One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer. She read, “…. and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”

The teacher paused then asked the class, “And what do you think that farmer said?”

One little girl raised her hand and said,
“I think he said: ‘Holy Mackerel! A talking chicken!'”

The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

A man needing some legal help walks into a law firm. He asks an attorney,
“If I give you $300 per hour to help answer two legal problems I have, will you help me?” The attorney replies “Sure, what’s the other question?”



Here’s an interesting video. It is an interesting take on perception. Entertaining and instructive. 4:33 long. (via Larry Ferlazzo)

A blind person describes color

What would you do?
Here is a 12-year-old middle school wrestler,Justin Kievit showing a great amount of humility and sportsmanship to his fellow competitor Jared Stevens. I dare you to watch this video and not let out a tear or two.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Culturing Microorganisms
I was recently reading the December, 2012 issue of the Science Teacher, a publication of the National Science Teachers Association.  In the magazine, Key Roy, Director of Environmental Health and Safety for Glastonbury Public Schools in Connecticut wrote an article entitled, “Dangers in a Dish.”  In this article he shares the dangers of culturing microorganisms in the K-12 classroom.

From the Twitterverse:

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom
5 Great Ways for Teachers to Collaborate on Twitter  #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 ~ for @MSMatters followers
* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom
How Teachers Are Using Social Media Right Now  #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 ~ for @MSMatters followers
* Diane Ravitch ‏@DianeRavitch
Setting Schools Up to Fail
* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod
New bookmark: 20 Tech Trends for 2013
* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod
New bookmark: An iPad Workflow for the Classroom Using Google Drive & Pages, Keynote, or Numbers & Notability | …
* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom
The 50 Most Popular Books For Teachers  #fhuedu508 #fhuedu320 #fhupsy306
* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom
Top 10 Bookmarking Websites for Teachers  #fhucid #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320
* International Center ‏@RigorRelevance
Have You Flipped Your Faculty Meeting Yet?  by @PeterMDeWitt
* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom
Common Core Big Idea 5: Consider Meaningful Assessment  #fhuedu610 #fhuedu508
* WORLD Magazine ‏@WORLD_mag
Debt and destruction: Insights into America’s rise illuminate the causes of her unraveling  @MarvinOlasky
#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.


Gallery of FakeBook Profiles

Some good examples of fake FaceBook profiles.

Sign Up Genius

If you are a group leader and find yourself organizing volunteers, meals, service projects, or events… we want to make your life a lot simpler! Now you can coordinate it all online… FREE!

Introduction to the Living Wage Calculator

In many American communities, families working in low-wage jobs make insufficient income to live locally given the local cost of living. Recently, in a number of high-cost communities, community organizers and citizens have successfully argued that the prevailing wage offered by the public sector and key businesses should reflect a wage rate required to meet minimum standards of living. Therefore we have developed a living wage calculator to estimate the cost of living in your community or region. The calculator lists typical expenses, the living wage and typical wages for the selected location.

Web Spotlight:

Books to Read

‘Tis the time of year that many people pick up additional books to read. Here are some thoughts:

Whole Novels

I’m writing a chapter of my book on Whole Novels–in which students read an entire novel more or less on their own before having substantive discussions about it–about support and differentiation for diverse learners. The classes at my school could not be more diverse, with reading levels spanning from second or third grade through first year college.  It’s rewarding and mind-blowing!

7 Habits of Effective Teachers who use Technology:
We’ve all heard about Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Some teachers out there may have heard of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers. Below are our 7 habits of highly effective teachers who use technology:
1) They always start with the why.
2) They are malleable and can easily adapt.
3) They embrace change.
4) They share, share, and then share some more.
5) They think win-win-win-win.
6) They are extremely thorough and think two steps ahead.
7) They actively care.


The Weight of Obesity

Obesity has become an epidemic in our society called developed, according to the OECD. What is the extent of this phenomenon ? Which countries are most affected ?

Top 10 Bad Tech Predictions

Think today’s pundits and scientists can really forecast the future? Not if history is any lesson. Relive the folly of predictions past with 10 particularly ill-fated tech prophecies that did not stand the test of time.

STEM Students Must Be Taught to Fail

As a mechanical engineering professor at Northwestern University, I believe that that’s precisely what we should be teaching our students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects: how to fail. Right now, we do not explicitly teach our students how to fail so that they can get right back up. That’s in direct conflict with our goal: to prepare students to play competitively upon graduation. If our students are going to stop deadly pandemics, solve the energy crisis, and cure world hunger and poverty, they will have to be prepared to fail, over and over—and more important, they will need to know how to learn from those failures. STEM innovator Albert Einstein recognized that falling is an inevitable part of innovation; he’s quoted as having said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Another STEM innovator, Marie Curie attributed her success the fact that, as she put it, “I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.”

2 Mesa students forced to hold hands as punishment for fighting

Two high schoolers in Mesa, Arizona were given a choice of punishment after getting into a fight at school — Be suspended or sit in the courtyard all day holding hands. You can see what they chose…
The Mesa school district wants everyone to know that they don’t condone this type of corrective strategy and will be discussing it with the principal who sentenced these boys to public humiliation.