MSM 230: The Makings of a Good Teacher

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:

What do you call a 4 foot psychic who escapes from jail?

Why did the mermaid wear seashells?

What concert costs 45¢?

How did the hipster burn his tongue?

What do get when cross the Atlantic with the Titantic?

What did one eye says to the other eye?

Listen to the show for answers  🙂

Eileen Award:

  • Twitter: Richard Ball, Kenna Wilson


Seeing things differently

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Heat Safety

I was recently reading the December, 2012 issue of Science Scope, a publication of the National Science Teachers Association for middle school teachers.  In the monthly section, “Scope on Safety “written by Ken Roy, director of environmental health and safety for Glastonbury Public Schools in Glastonbury, CT, he wrote about using heat sources safely in the middle school science laboratory.  The article was entitled “Turning Up the Heat on Safety.”  Safety-wise, the hot plate is probably by far the best choice.

From the Twitterverse:

* Dayna Lauckner ‏@Laucknerdig
Profanity is a strong way to express a weak mind
* WORLD Magazine ‏@WORLD_mag
Pakistani girl shot by Islamist militants leaves hospital
* Will Richardson ‏@willrich45
Creativity, A Literacy  #edchat #education
* jennyluca ‏@jennyluca
@mcleod: Why So Many Schools Remain Penitentiaries of Boredom  #iaedfuture #plaea” by @MsEnglishTweets
* Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Teen creates awesome Twitter account to spread compliments about kids at his school
* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod
New bookmark: Battling the “Bad Teacher” Bogeyman

New bookmark: The Mystery of Good Teaching | Education Next

* Miguel Guhlin ‏@mguhlin
Teach with Moodle course available on the MOOCH
* Larry Ferlazzo ‏@Larryferlazzo
Documentary examines Rhee’s legacy in D.C.
* Ron Peck ‏@Ron_Peck
NOVA | Ancient Worlds … Excellent resource. #sschat #wrldchat
* David Britten ‏@colonelb
RT @OaklandSchools: What Learning Will Look Like in 2013  via @anniemurphypaul #EdChat
#mschat every Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.


How We Know the Earth is Round!

Banished Word List

The Power of Mindset

Eduardo Briceño is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mindset Works (, an organization that helps schools and other organizations cultivate a growth mindset culture. The growth mindset was discovered by Stanford professor and Mindset Works co-founder Carol Dweck, Ph.D., and is described in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success ( Mindset Works offers Brainology, an innovative blended learning program to teach a growth mindset to students, teachers and schools, as well as teacher professional development and tools (

Essay Bank

9000 essays to steal look at.

Web Spotlight:

The Power of Love

The effect of a teacher and the effect in the classroom. Very motivating. Useful for principals especially.!

Dying teacher’s quest: Did I make a difference?

..nothing to do with my speaking, more to do with my listening…


More Evidence Showing The Dangers Of Using High-Stakes Testing For Teacher Evaluation

Though slogging through academic papers like these often lead me to thoughts of shooting myself, I think this paragraph sums it up and is worth a read:

In sum, the results indicate that a teacher’s effect on test scores and other non-cognitive outcomes are largely orthogonal such that teachers who tend to improve test scores are no more or less likely to improve non-test score outcomes…. It is clear that a teacher’s effect on non-cognitive skills is essentially missed by her effect on test scores.
This implies that roughly half of teachers classified as above average at improving test score will be below average at improving non-cognitive ability and roughly 25 percent of teachers in the top 25 percent of improving test scores will be in the bottom 25 percent at improving non-cognitive ability. Because unexplained variability in outcomes associated with individual teachers is not just noise, but is systematically associated with their ability to improve unmeasured noncognitive skills, classifying teachers based on their test score value-added will likely lead to large shares of excellent teachers being deemed poor and vice versa
…. Another implication is that if teachers must expend less effort improving non-cognitive ability in order to improve cognitive ability, regimes that increase the external rewards for test scores (such as paying teachers for test score performance or test-based accountability) may undermine the creation of students’ non-cognitive skills (Holmstrom & Milgrom, 1991). In light of the large estimated benefits to higher noncognitive skills (particularly for students at the lower end of the earnings distribution) in Table 2, this may be cause for concern.

A cause for concern, indeed….

Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition.

Published: December 29, 2012

The problem is that a math model, like a metaphor, is a simplification. This type of modeling came out of the sciences, where the behavior of particles in a fluid, for example, is predictable according to the laws of physics.
Models can create what data scientists call a behavioral loop. A person feeds in data, which is collected by an algorithm that then presents the user with choices, thus steering behavior.