MSM 255: Swivl me timbers, Pirate day is over.

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use: do you make seven an even number?

A.take the s out!


Question: Why are ghosts bad liars?

Answer: Because you can see right through them


What dog can jump higher than a building?

Any dog, buildings can’t jump!


Q:How do you make a fruit punch?

A:Give it boxing lessons.


Q:why did the sheep go to the movies

A: to get some snaaahcks


Q. What has four legs but can’t walk?

A. a chair!!!!!!!!!!!


Q.Why was Rita carrying a ladder?

A.Because she was going to high school


Q:What is a witches favorite subject in school?

A:Spelling LOL!!!


Q: Where does a rabbit learn how to fly?

A: in the hare force.

Eileen Award:




Produce Flops


The Prudential Spirit

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.


What We Are: Shattering Stereotypes


The “I Am” wall originally started as a language arts class project for individual students to shatter the stereotypes that they felt have been placed on them. Before starting on the project, we personally felt confused and unenthusiastic towards this prompt, because it seemed awkward projecting our personal struggles in front of teachers and peers.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or



I was recently reading the April/May, 2013 issue of “Science Scope,” a magazine for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  Within this issue is the monthly column, “Scope on Safety,” written by Ken Roy of the Glastonbury Public Schools.  In his column for the month, he answers a question posed by a middle school science teacher.  The question is:

“Should I know first-aid procedures in case one of my students has an accident in the lab?”

From the Twitterverse:

“10 Powerful Screencasting Apps For Mobile Devices”  #edchat #edtech #BYOD

* Valia Reinsalu ‏@trulygreenfish 35m

Become an Inquiry-Based Teacher in 10 Steps  via @sharethis #edchat #funFriday reading

* Richard Byrne ‏@rmbyrne 39m

New post: Seven Alternatives to iGoogle

* edutopia ‏@edutopia 45m

Witty answers to “Why do we have to write today?”  #writing #nwp #engchat

* Motivational Quotes ‏@DavidRoads 1h

You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. -Henry Ford

* Kelly Dumont ‏@kdumont 58m

11 Sites and Apps Kids Are Heading to After Facebook

* Tony Vincent ‏@tonyvincent 1h

Kids’ Journal for iPad is now a free app! Write daily reflections with photos & export as PDF:  #iosedapp #kinderchat

* Susie Highley ‏@shighley 1h

Everybody says we need more rigor in education, but what is it?? Suggestions for any lesson via @TeachThought …

* Kim Flintoff ‏@kimbowa 2h

5 Great Augmented Reality iPad Apps – EdTechReview™ (ETR) | @scoopit via @PekkaPuhakka

* edutopia ‏@edutopia 4h

Educators & parents share their favorite strategies to build bridges btwn home & school:  #edchat #edu

* Michelle Baldwin ‏@michellek107 25 Sep

Dear people who create products for Education – talk to educators before you create your interface. #kthxbai

* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod 4h

The Dictator’s Practical Guide to Education

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom 4h

Integrating Rubrics into Your Assessment Strategy ~ #fhucid …

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom 5h

Five-Minute Film Festival: Vine & Instagram Video in the Classroom ~ #fhuedu320 #edwebchat #tetaita2013

* Michelle Nebel ‏@mnebel 5h

US Dept. of ED declares October Connected Educator Month. | All October. All online. All free. Hundreds of even… …

* Kelly Dumont ‏@kdumont 6h

Self-evaluation Rubrics for Admin Tech Use, 2013 – 1-5

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



Khan Academy: The hype and the reality

In a new profile in Time magazine, Sal Khan, founder of the popular Khan Academy, explains how he prepares for each of his video lessons. He doesn’t use a script. In fact, he admits, “I don’t know what I’m going to say half the time.”

The highest ranking official in American education says that effective teaching requires training and planning, and then holds up as his archetype someone who openly admits to showing up to class every day unprepared. If a teacher said that, they’d be fired.

Khan Academy boasts almost 3,300 videos that have been viewed over 160 million times. That’s a heroic achievement.

But there’s a problem: the videos aren’t very good.

When asked why so many teachers have such adverse reactions to Khan Academy, Khan suggests it’s because they’re jealous. “It’d piss me off, too, if I had been teaching for 30 years and suddenly this ex-hedge-fund guy is hailed as the world’s teacher.”

Of course, teachers aren’t “pissed off” because Sal Khan is the world’s teacher. They’re concerned that he’s a bad teacher who people think is great; that the guy who’s delivered over 170 million lessons to students around the world openly brags about being unprepared and considers the precise explanation of mathematical concepts to be mere “nitpicking.”

Because the truth is that there’s nothing revolutionary about Khan Academy at all. In fact, Khan’s style of instruction is identical to what students have seen for generations: a do this then do this approach to teaching that presents mathematics as a meaningless series of steps.

Sal Khan has done something remarkable in creating such a vast and varied library, and he deserves to be recognized. His commitment to making the site free is a rare and selfless act, and he deserves to be praised. Sal Khan is a good guy with a good mission. What he’s not, though, is a good teacher.

As Arne Duncan said, we need to invest in professional development, and provide teachers with the support and resources they need to be successful. We need to give them time to collaborate, and create relevant content that engages students and develops not just rote skills but also conceptual understanding. We have to help new teachers figure out classroom management – to reach the student who shows up late to class every day and never brings a pencil – and free up veteran teachers to mentor younger colleagues.

We have to recognize the good, and then cultivate it.

Before we can do that, though, we have to agree on what “good” is. I don’t know what I’m going to say half the time isn’t good enough, and we have to stop pretending that it is.




30 Classic Books That May Change Your Life

A classic novel need not be one that was penned a hundred years ago: rather, some of the traits that define the classic genre are timelessness, universality, truthfulness. Will this work remain relevant as time goes by? Can the reader learn something heartfelt from the story? Does the narrative flow beautifully? Does it resonate with the reader?

25 Things You Had No Idea There Were Words For

Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP)

The Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) is directed by Zachary Elkins (University of Texas, Department of Government), Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago, Law School), and James Melton (University College London), in cooperation with the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation (SES 0648288).

The intent of the project is to investigate the sources and consequences of constitutional choices. Towards this end, the investigators are collecting data on the formal characteristics of written constitutions, both current and historical, for most independent states since 1789.


Looking for a new way to engage students, or an exciting way to teach a difficult concept? Wish you could take your students on an impossible field trip? Checkout TEDEd: Lessons Worth Sharing for access to an innovative lesson planning tool. TedEd is linked to YouTube videos appropriate for school-age students and searchable by subject area and content. Use the search feature to find a video; add short answer or multiple choice questions, discussion points, and further references throughout the video. Hit the exclude option to hide any of these options. If you would like to see an already completed lesson search their library of “flipped videos” and modify them to fit your needs. This is an easy-to-use, free resource with limitless possibilities for educators.


The perfect solution for professional applications. Includes the complete featureset for a great video experience with enhanced audio. See the full list of specs here.

(Model #SW1721)

$199 per unit. Free cont. US ground. International fees may apply.

Web Spotlight:


Connected Educator Month Is Coming – What Will You Do?

The United States Department of Education has designated the month of October as “Connected Educator Month.” The description below comes from the Connected Educator Month District Toolkit created by Powerful Learning Practice:

Connected Educator Month (CEM) is a month-long celebration of community, with educators at all levels, from all disciplines, moving toward a fully connected and collaborative profession.

The goals of Connected Educator Month include:

  • Helping more districts promote and integrate online social learning into their formal professional development

  • Stimulating and supporting collaboration and innovation in professional development

  • Getting more educators connected (to each other)

  • Deepening and sustaining the learning of those already connected

So, what will you do? How will you promote the power of Connected Learning for others? Whatever its is, be sure to share your ideas here! That’s what being connected is all about!

575 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

Where to watch free movies online? Let’s get you started. We have listed here 575 quality films that you can watch online. The collection is divided into the following categories: Comedy & Drama; Film Noir, Horror & Hitchcock; Westerns & John Wayne; Silent Films; Documentaries, and Animation.