MSM 252: He took the Rhom-bus, Jim!

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:

An American tourist was lunching in a restaurant in China where the specialty was duck. The waiter explained each dish as he brought it to the table. “This is the breast of the duck; this the leg of the duck; this is the wing of the duck; etc.” Then came the dish that the American knew was chicken. He waited for the explanation. Silence. “Well?” he finally asked, “What’s this?” The waiter replied, “It’s a friend of duck.”


Waiter: And how did you find your steak, sir?

Customer: Well, I just pushed aside a bean and there it was!


What do you call a bear in the rain? A drizzly bear

What did the bean say to the bean?

Why do are seagulls called seagulls?

Three tomatoes are walking down the street.

What lights up a soccer stadium?

When’s the best time to go to the dentist?

Eileen Award:

  • Twitter: Mike Hanlon, Steve Woods

  • Email:  Patti Kinney (NASSP)


Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Nature Study Practitioners:


I was recently reading the Spring, 2013 issue of Green Teacher magazine.  One of the articles in this issue was entitled, “The Nature-Study Movement” written by Kelly Johnson.  She found that by revisiting this historic movement it reinforces the importance of integrating art and science when helping children get engaged with the natural world.  Within the article, the author shares stories about her three favorite Nature-Study Practitioners.  They are:

1.  Anna Botsford Comstock

2.  Beatrix Potter

3.  Rachel Carson

From the Twitterverse:

How To Use Google Glass In Education

* Larry Ferlazzo ‏@Larryferlazzo 1h

“9 complaints schools hear from parents: What you should do when something goes wrong” …

* Jason Eifling ‏@jeifling 14h

Looking For Real-World Math Problems? Try Google Earth!  via @zite @ali_okeeffe @RRaghothama

* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod 2h

Charter School Scandals

* Glenn Wiebe ‏@glennw98 12 Aug

5 easy back to school ideas for social studies teachers  #sschat #historyteacher

* Kevin J. Galbraith ‏@KevG 7h

Augmented Reality to Inspire Creative Writing

* Richard Byrne ‏@rmbyrne 8h

Try Grammar Pop for iPad for Grammar Lessons

* Rose Sunrise ‏@sunrise651 7h

PowToon – Online business presentation software to create free, cool, animated, powerpoint video alternatives …

* Lucy Gray ‏@elemenous 7h

Leadership 4 Mobile Learning @CoSN is out! … ▸ Top stories today via @weejan @appolearning @kosuMobile

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



Movie Teachers


Read more:

Task Timer

from Richard Byrne

Task Timer is a free Chrome app that you can use to time multiple tasks or events at the same time. The app works online and or offline in the Chrome web browser. After installing the app you can create a set of tasks that you want to time. You can run multiple timers at once or run them individually. The timer functions on a countdown basis. A chime sounds when time has expired on each timer.

Click on the search button to find infographics for your area.


Delayed Gratification


Things to Think About

Kids’ Things to Think About provides 100 prompts to spark thinking for written responses and encourage conversations about ideas and issues for kids. Created by students and teachers in Michigan, it can be used in classrooms or with families by allowing children to explore the prompts and by using them to guide a discussion or lesson.


-12 categories of questions including Friends, Family, School, Fun and Feelings.


-Challenges kids to dream about the future, think through “what would you do..” scenarios and make decisions about interesting topics.


-Voice narration of prompts and original illustrations by local elementary students


-Coding and graphics by Jackson Area Career Center students


Socrative Back Channel

Mr Vernon, a 6th grade Earth Science teacher wants to engage students during his overview lecture on plate tectonics. However, he has a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time. He turns to Socrative Short Answer to create a backchannel room so that students may submit questions throughout class. Students learn what their peers are thinking and can compare it to their own understanding.  Mr. Vernon appreciates how he can clear up any areas of misunderstanding before the class ends.  In addition, he often adjusts homework as a result.

Web Spotlight:

The Ruthless Global Battle for Your Back-to-School Shopping Dollars

China, big box retail, and automation: the economic development of the world as seen through the iconic school notebook

In a world of cell phones and iPads, there’s one back-to-school product both grandparents and children share: lined paper. Whether it’s three-hole punched for a binder, perfect-bound into a black-and-white composition journal, or waiting to be torn out of a spiral notebook, lined paper is the medium of schoolwork.

But very cheap imports combined with retail dynamics in the United States have produced an incredibly competitive marketplace. The school-supply paper market is as seasonal as Halloween costume rentals. And worse, the paper and notebooks are what retailers use as their loss-leader or door busters. The cheaper the notebooks that kids need, the more families come to the store and end up buying the expensive higher-margin stuff that kids want.

Things got so bad, in fact, that the American school supply companies and the union representing their employees went to the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2006 to ask for “anti-dumping” action against China, India, and Indonesia. They claimed paper suppliers from those countries were subsidized by their national governments, and thereby were able to sell their products below “fair value.”

The dynamics of back-to-school retail are difficult to get around. The retailers desperately need to drive foot traffic because it’s basically a second Christmas for them. They need good back-to-school sales or they’ll never make their third-quarter numbers.

The Biggest “Game-Changer” in Education

September 5, 2013

By George Couros

Recently, Jon Samuelson and I were having a conversation and he asked me, “What do you see as the big ‘game changer’ in education?”

I hate this question (as I think Jon does as well).  You hear things like MOOC’s, tablets, the Flipped Classroom, coding, gaming, social media, blah blah blah, and how they are going to change everything that we do.  If you are going to pick a single “thing” that is a game-changer in education, it is the Internet.

The real game changer isn’t something external; it is internal.  It is the way we think and grow.  It is moving from that “fixed” mindset about teaching and learning, and moving to the “growth” mindset.  It is thinking differently about education and understanding that all of us as people need different things to succeed.

School bullying’s chilling new front

By Francey Hakes, Special to CNN

Why do these problems seem more frequent and the bullying more vicious than ever before? After all, bullying existed long before cyberspace, social networking and text messaging. What has changed?

re bullies meaner? Are there more of them? Why do children who are bullied today experience overwhelming feelings of isolation and despair, such that they feel compelled to end their young lives rather than endure any more torment?

The answer is simple. Now one person or a small group of bullies can exponentially raise the torment to an unimaginable level in cyberspace.