MSM 256: Chocolate from nothing – I need to Telegram this!

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:

A group of doctors were out duck hunting, when a large bird flew overhead.

The family doctor raised his gun to shoot, but then lowered his gun saying “I am not sure that is a duck.”

The Psychiatrist raised his gun, but then lowered it again saying “I know it’s a duck, but I’m not sure that it knows it’s a duck.”

The surgeon raises his gun and blasts the bird out of the sky. He turns to the pathologist and says “Go see if that was a duck.”

A frustrated father told a work colleague: “When I was a youngster, I was disciplined by being sent to my room without supper. But in my son’s room, he has his own color TV, computer, games console, cell phone and CD player.” “So what do you do?” The father replied: “I send him to my room!”


Did you hear about the dead cabbage?

There was a big turnip at the funeral.


Q: What do you get from a pampered cow?

A: Spoiled milk.


Vocabulary – Men & Women



This is the word women use to end an argument when they feel they are right and you need to shut up. Never use “fine” to describe how a woman looks – this will cause you to have one of those arguments.



This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it’s an even trade.



This means “something,” and you should be on your toes. “Nothing” is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backwards. “Nothing” usually signifies an argument that will last “Five Minutes” and end with “Fine”


GO AHEAD (With Raised Eyebrows)

This is a dare. One that will result in a woman getting upset over “Nothing” and will end with the word “Fine”


GO AHEAD (Normal Eyebrows)

This means “I give up” or “do what you want because I don’t care” You will get a “Raised Eyebrow Go Ahead” in just a few minutes, followed by “Nothing” and “Fine” and she will talk to you in about “Five Minutes” when she cools off.



This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A “Loud Sigh” means she thinks you are an idiot at that moment, and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over “Nothing”



Again, not a word, but a non-verbal statement. “Soft Sighs” mean that she is content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe, and she will stay content.



This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. “That’s Okay” means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you back for whatever it is that you have done. “That’s Okay” is often used with the word “Fine” and in conjunction with a “Raised Eyebrow.”



At some point in the near future, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble.



This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. You have a fair chance with the truth, so be careful and you shouldn’t get a “That’s Okay”



A woman is thanking you. Do not faint. Just say you’re welcome.



This is much different from “Thanks.” A woman will say, “Thanks A Lot” when she is really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have offended her in some callous way, and will be followed by the “Loud Sigh.” Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the “Loud Sigh,” as she will only tell you “Nothing”



How to Create Chocolate Out of Nothing


Find more Activities:

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or



I was recently reading the Summer, 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, “Editors Roundtable,” written by Inez Liftig.  This month, Inez writes about nurturing argumentation and discourse and how it is necessary as we shift toward the Next Generation Science Standards.  She then shares some observations from years of trial and error with implementing student-student interactions and argumentation in her own teaching.

From the Twitterverse:

* Derek McCoy ‏@mccoyderek 15m

11 Teaching Strategies For Spotting The Blind Spots In Your Classroom |

* Kristy_Larson ‏@Teeechur 10h

Ss had the ahha moment 2day “U mean, what I want to do?” This after 3 wks of lead up #geniushour. So thrilled they get it.

* USA TODAY News ‏@usatodaynews 2h

So you want to be an astronaut? Here’s what it takes

* Marlon Ng ‏@NgMarlon 51m

@the_explicator Words their Way has an ELL edition that goes into the accommodating dif languages #satchat

* Yoon Soo Lim ‏@DoremiGirl 53m

Grant Wiggins: Curriculum Is More Important Than Learning Technology  #edchat

* Doug Peterson ‏@dougpete 2h

Teach Kids To Be Their Own Internet Filters | MindShift

* StephenPerse PrePrep ‏@SPFPreprep 30 Sep

iPad club learn to ‘Explain Everything’ @SPFSchools

* Ed ‏@Primary_Ed 5h

54 Classroom Management Resources  #ntchat #edu #edchat #ukedchat #edtech

* BBC News (World) ‏@BBCWorld 8h

Morocco teens held for kissing photo

* Sean Junkins ‏@sjunkins 3 Oct

PD on Twitter is everything a teachers lounge or faculty meeting should be… inspiring educators with engaging ideas. #denchat

* Paul Blankenship ‏@instruisto 10h

Catherine the Great (“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga)

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



Twitter Posts as Telegrams

These works on paper suggest a speculative overlap between two disparate periods in the history of social media: the 21st-century advent of Twitter, and the 19th- and 20th-century era of the Western Union Telegram. Although the two technologies were never concurrent (the last Western Union Telegram was sent on January 27, 2006, only weeks before the very first tweet on March 21), there are notable similarities between formats, such as the economy of words and syntax imposed by a limited number of characters. Where the two messaging systems differ fundamentally is in the fact that telegrams were expensive and required a massive physical infrastructure for delivery, whereas Twitter is so easy and ubiquitous that users typically broadcast their most banal activities and passing thoughts.

Once I believed

“Recently my leadership coach presented me with a challenge: write about what you have learned in your years of experience as a school leader that you bring to the new position you have begun this year. The task sparked my imagination as I remembered the young educator I was thirteen years ago when I began my first principalship and sixteen years ago when I began my first school administrative position. What is it I believed then, I wondered, and what is it I believe now?”


– Although this is done from an educator’s perspective, it could be quite fun to have kids reflect on what they have learned. Have them write out things that they once believed on index cards. This could be a good way to reinforce metacognition.


How to Make Your Own Luck

by Maria Popova

If the twentieth-century career was a ladder that we climbed from one predictable rung to the next, the twenty-first-century career is more like a broad rock face that we are all free-climbing. There’s no defined route, and we must use our own ingenuity, training, and strength to rise to the top. We must make our own luck.

Lucky people take advantage of chance occurrences that come their way. Instead of going through life on cruise control, they pay attention to what’s happening around them and, therefore, are able to extract greater value from each situation… Lucky people are also open to novel opportunities and willing to try things outside of their usual experiences. They’re more inclined to pick up a book on an unfamiliar subject, to travel to less familiar destinations, and to interact with people who are different than themselves.


We can’t, however, simply will ourselves into better habits. Since willpower is a limited resource, whenever we’ve overexerted our self-discipline in one domain, a concept known as “ego depletion” kicks in and renders us mindless automata in another. Instead, Young suggests, the key to changing a habit is to invest heavily in the early stages of habit-formation so that the behavior becomes automated and we later default into it rather than exhausting our willpower wrestling with it.


Turn your Twitter feed into a video. Learn about your followers and other statistics.

Free Materials

These top-quality financial literacy materials, including classroom modules, games, DVDs and brochures, are free and available for access now by all educators, parents and consumers. Click “Download” to download an item, or “Add to Cart” to receive it by mail.


Mix of free and paid Math resources. May be a bit elementary.


YouTube channel that has tons of good Science stuff. Range in time from a couple of minutes up to about 15.


Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement

You’ll want to change the bottom line.


Stanislav Petrov: The man who may have saved the world

Thirty years ago, on 26 September 1983, the world was saved from potential nuclear disaster.

In the early hours of the morning, the Soviet Union’s early-warning systems detected an incoming missile strike from the United States. Computer readouts suggested several missiles had been launched. The protocol for the Soviet military would have been to retaliate with a nuclear attack of its own.

But duty officer Stanislav Petrov – whose job it was to register apparent enemy missile launches – decided not to report them to his superiors, and instead dismissed them as a false alarm.


Download The Chronicles of Narnia as Free Audiobooks

Through Open Culture I learned that Harper Collins has allowed Ancient Faith Radio to publish free audio recordings of Chrissi Hart reading the stories of The Chronicles of Narnia. You can listen to the recordings online or download them to your computer.

Web Spotlight:

All Technology Is Assistive Technology

Six dispositions for designers on disability

You might imagine that “disability studies” is just one more category of identity that’s purely for political advocacy, interesting only to those directly affected by issues of accessibility, accommodation, or special rights. But “disabledness” is a far more slippery designation than even the other notorious ways cultures have of historically organizing themselves—

First, it’s a false divide to make a we/them: either able-minded, able-bodied, or disabled.

Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement

1. Working with their peers

2. Working with technology

3. Connecting the real world to the work we do/project-based learning

4. Clearly love what you do

5. Get me out of my seat!

6. Bring in visuals

7. Student choice

8. Understand your clients — the kids

9. Mix it up!

10. Be human

Surface Tablet Review


1.  Screen resolution is easy on the eyes.

2.  Programs load fairly quickly.

3.  On-screen keyboard is fairly easy to use.

4.  Battery time is pretty good.


1.  The non-responsive keyboard is worthless.

2.  Boot time is a little slow.

3.  Updating programs is SLOW.

4.  The Windows 8 tile system is a clunky.  I can only see a few apps at a time and it is a little tricky to move app tiles from place to place.

5.  Sometimes getting the Wi-Fi to work is a pain.  Sometimes it’s easier than the iPad.

6.  OneNote stinks.

7.  Version 2 is coming out not long after I get version 1 . . . granted it was free . . .