MSM 259: Think Rich, Think Candy Corn, Think Petri Dishes … Shucks, Just Think.

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Middle Level Education.

Jokes You Can Use:


We will no longer accept a doctor statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.



Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment.



Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.



All employees will take their vacation at the same time every year. The vacation days are as follows: Jan. 1, July 4 & Dec. 25



This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or coworkers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early, provided your share of the work is done enough.



This will be accepted as an excuse. However, we require at least two weeks notice, as it is your duty to train your own replacement.



Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order. For instance, all employees whose names begin with ‘A’ will go from 8:00 to 8:20, employees whose names begin with ‘B’ will go from 8:20 to 8:40 and so on. If you’re unable to go at your allotted time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again. In extreme emergencies employees may swap their time with a coworker. Both employees’ supervisors in writing must approve this exchange. In addition, there is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, and the stall door will open.



Skinny people get an hour for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy, normal size people get 30 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain the average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast and take a diet pill. Sondra gets none.



It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary, if we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers and carrying a $600 Gucci bag we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise.


Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternations or input should be directed elsewhere. Have a nice week.


— Management


Eileen Award:





Introduction to the Cognitive Style Inventory

This modest self-scoring inventory is Not a substitute for taking an MBTI ®. It is simply an introduction to personality type or psychological type. We hope it whets your appetite for learning more about the Myers and Briggs model of personality development and its message of increased human understanding.


The Style Inventory will allow you to approximate what are your MBTI Type preferences. After determining your 4 Type letters, you can jump to a number of links we have provided to help you get acquainted with the characteristics and indicators of the 16 types and verify if your type, as determined by this “unscientific” survey, seems to “fit” or not.


Does Being Rich make you Different?

Science can explain a lot of things that I’ve always wondered about (go, science!). In this case, it explains what I’ve known for a long time but been unable to quite understand: Why do some folks who have a lot more money than others seem to be less nice and more evil to everyone around them? At 0:50, someone actually takes candy from babies. No, really. At 3:00, we start to see the science unfold before our eyes. Entire management courses could — and should — be taught with the bit starting at 4:40.

Middle School Science Minute

by Dave Bydlowski (k12science or

Petri Plate Disposal


I was recently reading “The NSTA Ready Reference Guide to Safer Science,” written by Ken Roy of the Glastonbury Public Schools.  In this book, Key answers questions that have been submitted by middle school science teachers.  In this podcast, Ken answers the following question:

“What is a safe way to dispose of Petri Plates used to grow mold and bacteria?”

If you would like to order Ken’s book, please visit the NSTA bookstore at:

From the Twitterverse:

Any frmr teachers looking for a cool job? …

* Scott McLeod ‏@mcleod 15m

Bizarrely Improbable Objects That Make You Think

* Wesley Fryer, Ph.D. ‏@wfryer 1h

I just watched commented on the amazing #k12online13 presentation by @fuglefun “Making and Sharing Fugleflicks”

* Vicki Davis ‏@coolcatteacher

BLOGGED: Student time management: a powerful demo [Video]  #education

* Richard Byrne ‏@rmbyrne

New post: iloggo – Another Simple iGoogle Alternative

* American History TV ‏@cspanhistory

Pres. Truman defeats Republican challenger Thomas Dewey for the presidency #onthisday 1948 in major upset. SEEN HERE:

* Larry Ferlazzo ‏@Larryferlazzo 1h

RT @donalynbooks: Lexile levels as censorship? Talk among yourselves.

* First Kentucky Trust ‏@FirstKYTrust 1 Nov

5 things you didn’t know about candy corn  via @usatoday

* Larry Ferlazzo ‏@Larryferlazzo 2h

RT @GuardianEdu: Secret Teacher: bribing students to learn is bad education …

* Sue Gorman ‏@sjgorman

Vocabulary Lessons: Flipped, Collaborative & Student Centered  via @CTuckerEnglish #edtech #mlearning

* Matt Wachel ‏@mattwachel

It Might Be Hard To Find A Better Short Video Than This One To Portray Grit- … #colchat @MicheleCorbat @RodneyHetherton

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom 1 Nov

#CE13: 20 Teacher Treats  ~ #sigadm #fhuedu642 #fhuedu320 #tn_teta #edwebchat

* Monte Tatom ‏@drmmtatom 30 Oct

The Mind of a Middle Schooler: How Brains Learn  ~ #fhupsy306 #sigadm #fhuedu508

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



10 things I learned about productivity watching 70 hours of TED talks last week

  • 10. Caffeine can significantly improve your focus and energy levels, but only if you use it right.

  • 9. Seek out opinions that contradict your own.

  • 8. One of the best ways to connect with people is through humor.

  • 7. Meditation gives you perspective, allows you to process information easier, and calms you down.

  • 6. It’s worth it to be very defensive of your time.

  • 5. Listening to a TED talk, podcast, or audiobook takes about 50-75% of your attention.

  • 4. Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.

  • 3. Step back and enjoy your successes.

  • 2. Breaks make you a lot more productive than you think.

  • 1. If you want to become inspired, surround yourself with inspiring people.


Shakespeare has all the ingredients of a big budget movie—if you can understand him.


SwipeSpeare puts the words of the Bard into plain and simple English with a Swipe of a finger!


Unlike other apps that put the original and modern side-by-side in a way that is distracting and hard to read, SwipeSpeare only shows you the modern text when you want to see it. Simply swipe your finger over the text, and the text will change; swipe it again and it will change back.


Romeo & Juliet is free.

Web Spotlight:

What poor children need in school

Most educational policy elites, whether in government or in the nonprofit sector, mean well.

Yet policymakers tend to come from a relatively privileged slice of American society.  And they tend to possess a set of beliefs and assumptions distinct to their background.

But in most cases, the fact that decision-makers inhabit a different world from students—and particularly, poor students—is a matter of great significance.

Poverty limits opportunity in all senses.  It restricts career paths, as policymakers recognize.  But it also denies young people equal time, resources, and exposure to discover their interests and foster their passions.  It constrains lives.

Schools, of course, did not create this problem.  But they do exacerbate it.  Over the past decade, well-intended policymakers concerned with closing the achievement gap have promoted policies and practices that reduce learning to something easily quantified.

Our best schools are places where children gain confidence in themselves, build healthy relationships, and develop values congruent with their own self-interest.  They are places of play and laughter and discovery.

Concerned only with the cultivation of ostensibly job-oriented knowledge and skills, they have neglected everything else that makes schools great.

Reformers need to understand that their narrow efforts to close the quantifiable “achievement gap” are creating another kind of educational inequity.  In other words, as they seek to close one gap they are opening up another.

For contemporary education reformers, improving test scores is the only measure of school quality that matters.  And they have had some modest successes in this regard.  Yet they have merely reshuffled the deck.

Half-Baked Ideas . . .

If you’re at AMLE, say, “Hi!”

A couple of observations about AMLE this year.  1.  It’s going to be colder than usual.  2.  No conference App this year.  Yea, verily.  There is much sadness . . .   3.  If you see a person wearing a Middle School Matters podcast shirt, be sure to say hello.  Hope to see you there!  (If I have MSM pencils, you can have one for free!)