MSM 248: Visual Notetaking . . . but this is a Podcast . . .

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:

Three men were discussing at a bar about coincidences. The first man said, ” my wife was reading a “tale of two cities” and she gave birth to twins”

“That’s funny”, the second man remarked, “my wife was reading ‘the three musketeers’ and she gave birth to triplets”

The third man shouted, “Good God, I have to rush home!”

When asked what the problem was, he exclaimed, ” When I left the house, my wife was reading Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”!!!


A guy drove to the beach and parked his car close to the water’s edge – not realizing it was Low Tide – then he went for a long hike up into the mountains. During his excursion, High Tide came and then receded – completely submersing his car for a period of time in the process. When he finally returned to his car – he became very concerned when he found out that he had Tuna in his Mercury!


Eileen Award:

  • Twitter: Megan Barker, CSPAN Classroom, Student Cam (CSPAN), HAsbell, Megan Gaven, LMS (Linwood Middle School) Public Relations, LearnPal, IPEVO, Gretchen Pace, Brenda Knobloch, Faith Howell, Dianne Krause, Gayle Andrews, Mark Lavine, K12 Inc., Chelsy Hooper, Dr. Scott Rimes, Kelly Dumont

  • Facebook: Brian Rice, Sue Anderson



Futuristic Inventions

Review the following futuristic inventions. Have students come up with their own and present.


200 Calories

What does 200 calories look like? (*Note that they do show alcohol).

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or


Middle School Science Minute — PBL and Fossil Finders


I was recently reading the March, 2013 issue of Science Scope, a magazine for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  An article that caught my attention was:

“Fossil Finders: Engaging All of Your Students Using, Project-Based Learning.”  It was written by Timothy Conner, Daniel Capps, Barbara Crawford, and Robert Ross.


The article does a nice job of explaining Project -Based Learning (PBL), why they use PBL and how Fossil Finders fits into the curriculum.  You can learn more about Fossil Finders by visiting:

From the Twitterverse:

* Dana Huff ‏@danamhuff

Top story: Introducing Edmodo’s Brand New Look …, see more

* ‏@teachertime123

Behavior Management Plan-article on classrm behavior,positive intervention, how to write a behavior management plan

* Farrah Kilgo ‏@KilgosClass

How Twitter Made Me A Better Teacher  via @zite

* Mitchell Salerno ‏@wkndDisney

Cute and strangely true. Limericks for Leaders  via @zite

* Michele Corbat ‏@MicheleCorbat

22 Easy Formative Assessment Techniques for Measuring Student Learning  via @zite #swcrkpln

* Garnet Hillman ‏@garnet_hillman

Working on #geniushour plans for next year… Can’t wait to see how they #Choose2Matter!

* Kyle Calderwood ‏@kcalderw

Wonderful Graphic Featuring 10 Simple Ways to Create your PLN  #njed #edtech #smchat

* ann foreman ‏@ann_f

Speaking activities for low–level students  #TeachingEnglish #elt

* Darth Vader ‏@DepressedDarth

If you understand Star Wars puns, you’re the Obi-Wan for me.   Retweeted by Pilar Pamblanco

* Steve Cushing ‏@Montberte

A must for every Edmodo Student – Big Planning – Flowchart Tool  #edmodo #edtools #elearning #edchat

* Barbara Bray ‏@bbray27

The 50 Best Smartphone Apps For Teachers Arranged By Category | @scoopit via @hVuj

* LearnPal ‏@LearnPal

How To Get An Education For Free Using Only Your Android Phone Or Tablet  via @edubeat

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom

Integrating the #iPad into my Teaching Style ~ Friday’s session at #tetaita2013 ~  #tn_teta #fhuedu642 #fhucid

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



Adobe FormsCentral

Allows you to create forms for free. You must create an account by providing an email address. Responses are limited to 50 with the free version. Lots of templates available. I would use Google Forms in place of this. The templates are the one advantage to Adobe.


One take on Standardized Testing

Do you know a class like this?



Unleash your creativity

Produce beautiful notes, quickly and easily. Share them with friends and colleagues to enhance your ideas collaboratively. All for free! Sign in using Google credentials.

Easily create MindMaps. Each MindMap can be shared (either with Write or Read privileges).

You can download your work as a pdf or png. (Thus, it won’t be able to be edited).

You can also see a revision history.



These can be created in a number of places. You can create a public one, an offline version or save one in your Google Drive.


Free Resources from Larry Ferlazzo

Yesterday, I posted about how Routledge, who recently purchased Eye On Education (the publisher of my first two books on student motivation) had just made all the figures, including student hand-outs, available online for free (see All Figures, Including Student Hand-outs, From My Two Student Motivation Books Are Now Freely Available For Download).

Web Spotlight:

How To Learn Math

I’ve decided to attend Stanford. Sort of.


I just enrolled in EDUC115N: How to Learn Math:

In July 2013 a new course will be available on Stanford’s free on-line platform. The course is a short intervention designed to change students’ relationships with math. I have taught this intervention successfully in the past (in classrooms); it caused students to re-engage successfully with math, taking a new approach to the subject and their learning.


In the 2013-2014 school year the course will be offered to learners of math but in July of 2013 I will release a version of the course designed for teachers and other helpers of math learners, such as parents. In the teacher/parent version I will share the ideas I will present to students and hold a conversation with teachers and parents about the ideas. There will also be sessions giving teachers/parents particular strategies for achieving changes in students and opportunities for participants to work together on ideas through the forum pages. The ideas I will share will be really helpful as teachers prepare to implement the new Common Core State Standards.


Cinema Effects


Visual Notetaking

I have learned a great deal about visual notetaking the past year as I’ve been working on my second eBook project, “Mapping Media to the Common Core: Vol I.” Canadian educator Giulia Forsythe has been and continues to be inspirational to me. Rachel Smith’s 18 minute TEDx talk, “Drawing in Class,” has also been a big influence. Since I believe we should all “walk our talk,” I resolved before the ISTE 2013 conference to try the suggestions of Giulia and Rachel at some of the conference sessions and create my own visual notes. Here are the results.

My visual notes of Stephen Johnson‘s morning keynote today at ISTE:

How to Create Visual


Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School

Instead, help them channel their energy into productive tasks.

This year’s end-of-year paper purge in my middle school office revealed a startling pattern in my teaching practices: I discipline boys far more often than I discipline girls.

Something is rotten in the state of boys’ education, and I can’t help but suspect that the pattern I have seen in my classroom may have something to do with a collective failure to adequately educate boys.

Boys are diagnosed with learning disorders and attention problems at nearly four times the rate of girls.

While I love teaching boys, many of my colleagues do not, particularly during the hormone-soaked, energetic, and distracted middle- and high-school years.

Teachers and school administrators lament that boys are too fidgety, too hyperactive, too disruptive, derailing the educational process for everyone while sabotaging their own intellectual development.

Peek into most American classrooms and you will see desks in rows, teachers pleading with students to stay in their seats and refrain from talking to their neighbors. Marks for good behavior are rewarded to the students who are proficient at sitting still for long periods of time. Many boys do not have this skill.

eight categories of instruction that succeeded in teaching boys. The most effective lessons included more than one of these elements:

  • Lessons that result in an end product–a booklet, a catapult, a poem, or a comic strip, for example.

  • Lessons that are structured as competitive games.

  • Lessons requiring motor activity.

  • Lessons requiring boys to assume responsibility for the learning of others.

  • Lessons that require boys to address open questions or unsolved problems.

  • Lessons that require a combination of competition and teamwork.

  • Lessons that focus on independent, personal discovery and realization.

  • Lessons that introduce drama in the form of novelty or surprise.

Rather than penalize the boys’ relatively higher energy and competitive drive, the most effective way to teach boys is to take advantage of that high energy, curiosity, and thirst for competition.

Educators should strive to teach all children, both girls and boys by acknowledging, rather than dismissing, their particular and distinctive educational needs.


Half-Baked Ideas . . .

Visual Recording